Live Life to the Fullest (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

This is the sixth year I’ve been writing this Down the Line article. Each month this job rolls around faster than you can imagine and I sometimes scramble for something to write about.

So when faced with this task, I remind myself that people actually want to hear what I have to say. Enough so, that they read my article. That’s very humbling to me – to think that people are actually interested in what I have to say. I believe, as it says in the Bible, when much is given, much is required. And though I’ve been blessed and given so much, I’m still honored and take this very seriously.

At the same time, I ask myself, “Who am I to give advice on life?” Usually when I’m writing about life or my philosophy on how to live, I’m speaking as much to myself as anyone. I do try very hard to give good and honest advice or thoughts straight from my heart.

Ultimately what I want for everyone who reads this article is to live life to the fullest. Expect a lot of yourself and revel in your triumphs and embrace life’s challenges. Because on the other side of the hard times are the good times. The best times of your life cannot be fully appreciated without knowing the joy of surviving and triumphing challenges.

Leading up to my recent shoulder surgery I was in constant pain. I had decided that if the surgery did not remedy this, I would seriously look at winding down my calf roping career. During the recuperation I still had some pain here and there and was hesitant to call the surgery a success. Today I roped twenty-five calves and my shoulder hasn’t felt this good in years. I had forgotten what it was like to rope without pain in my shoulder. I could tell by the smile on my dad’s face what a difference it made in my roping.

Though I had dreaded the surgery and what it might mean, I can now celebrate the outcome. Life is a journey that is sometimes rocky and out of our control, but I plan to soak up each moment and experience and thank God for it.

An experience that has been profound for me recently is having a little girl. I love all my children exactly the same amount, but there’s something a little different, more protective, about having a girl. My daughter is two months old now and it still blows me away. She is so dependent, innocent and pure. It’s given me a new perspective.

If you have any questions or anything you would like me to write about, please email me at strant@aol.com. Till next, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.