Perspective (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Veteran’s Day is just around the corner and if you stop and think about what this really means, you will probably gain perspective.

 

The nature of competing for a living can be all consuming. Besides the rodeo lifestyle is not what I’d call normal. You often find yourself in a very small circle of people, most of whom you are trying to beat on a daily basis.

 

A lot of people live and die with every run they make, as well as the runs their competitors make. If you’re not careful you can find yourself rooting against someone. In fact, I can’t think of one person who, when leading the round, at the NFR, is rooting for the guys that go after him.

 

Early in my career I recognized that I had a hard time talking to people about things other than myself, or my roping. It was disappointing to me and that’s when I started to realize that God was not going to fall from the heavens if I missed one. My calf roping would not affect world hunger.

 

It’s been a transformation where I don’t need to be consumed by roping and rodeo. When you have a very specific goal in mind, it’s important to stay grounded, balanced, and to have people around you to help with that. It cannot become the center of your wheel; it always needs to be just a spoke in the wheel.

 

In the latter part of my career it’s easy for me to root for my family, more than myself. I’m able to enjoy their successes and hurt with them during their failures. There’s so much more to life than winning and losing, buckles and championships.

 

Now consider the meaning of Veteran’s Day. Those who fight for our country are not playing a game. They are fighting for their lives. On a day where you miss your calf, or break out to win the roping, someone somewhere is risking his or her life to protect you. Past and present, they have put themselves in harm’s way to protect this great country and allow us to pursue our dreams.

 

Until next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.