Nothing Worth Having is Easy (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Last November, I had a school at my house for tie-down ropers. The school was for advanced ropers from age 13 to 21. I got an email the other day from the mother of one of the boys. Here is part of that email:

“Tears still fill my eyes as I think back on when he got home, he had such a glow to him and confidence I hadn’t seen in a long time. Not only on the outside, but on the inside too. I don’t know the things you said to that group but you said something right to him, you made him feel he could do and be anything he wanted to and no one can tell him different. You showed him that God is in all things you do, believe in him, believe in yourself and nothing is impossible. We all look at the negative when we are in a situation that we don’t like but that even though we may not like it, there are always positives to it, we just have to look and find them.”

These are my goals and objectives when I’m teaching these young men and boys. The first thing I do is take the pressure off and let them have fun. Face it, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure when a kid comes to a school, especially if he’s not advanced. They’ve seen the pros and then they come to my house and it’s very intimidating. I tell them we’re going to have fun. No one cares if you’re six-seconds or if you miss every calf.

As far as teaching calf roping, I’m very strategic and break it down. I don’t want people to leave and say, “Man, that calf roping is easy.” I want them to know there are lots of blood, sweat and tears and it’s not easy. The message is nothing worth having is easy. Every calf roper at the top of this game has broken their body down.

There’s an old saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That’s the next thing. I have an opportunity to make a connection with these boys, to love them, to encourage them, and to build a relationship. I’m trying to share life skills and if they pick up tips about roping, that’s great.

How many of these kids will pursue this path and become world champions? Maybe a few, but not many. But, they will all leave my house and live life. The principles apply whether you’re a calf roper, lawyer, truck driver – it doesn’t really matter. My main goal is for each person to leave this school and realize if they’ll find what their passion is, and work hard at it, and make the right decisions, they will live a happy life and be fulfilled. That’s my goal for the kids at my schools. My hope is they leave and feel they will be the very best they can be at whatever they are called to do.

Recently, I went to Philadelphia for surgery on my cracked pelvis. The doctors discovered my lower abdominal muscles were pulled in two, which was why my pelvis wouldn’t heal.  They repaired the muscles and now twelve days later I’m back in the gym. I feel like I’m ahead of schedule on my rehab and am hoping to rope at Houston. I’m pretty pumped up.

Until next time, God Bless and I’ll see you down the line. If anything you’d like me to write about, please feel free to contact me at strant@aol.com.