The Pain of the Distance (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Last week I went to Miami for a few days to train with Dodd and as I was walking into a vitamin shop, it dawned on me that it was almost two years to the day since I first walked in there. I was trying to overcome my shoulder injury and get in shape. Though at times I felt low, I knew at least I still had Topper. Then, while I was there, he was killed.

It all hit at one time. I remember thinking that I could accept everything that had happened but I couldn’t see how losing Topper was going to be good. My faith told me it would be okay but I sure couldn’t see it at the time.

At that point, I was really doing some soul searching and asking myself if I was still supposed to being do this. It had been a good living; I wasn’t a broke cowboy that needed to find a job to pay off credit card debt that I had accumulated rodeoing. I like to think I’ve been smarter with my money and investments than that.

In Florida last week, I thought about the low point I was at two years ago and how it’s all come full circle. At the time, I questioned my physical ability, whether I could win consistently without Topper, and most importantly whether or not I wanted to go through another year-long battle on the rodeo trail. To other people, a comeback seemed improbable, if not impossible. I’ve never looked at things like that and actually thrive on the challenge.

Now, two years later, I’m glad I decided to go forward – and to go full force. It’s been an amazing journey with no regrets. Recently, I read a survey where eight out of ten people said the only regrets they had were the things they didn’t try – not the things they tried and didn’t succeed at. I’ve always said that when I’m sixty and look back my biggest fear would be for me to say, “If only I would have….” – whatever that might be.

I don’t believe I’ll have those regrets about my roping because I’ve tried to do everything possible to be successful, leaving no stone unturned. If it means changing everything I eat to food that doesn’t taste good to anyone else, it’s no big deal because I see the results. If it means buying another horse to make my other last longer, I’ll do that. If it means buying a bus so I can have my family with me, then that’s easy to do.

I’ll go the extra mile to get that two percent. That’s what I’m looking for because I expect 110% from myself. We all have 10% more than what we realize and I want to use all of mine.

My motto is, “The pain of the distance is the price of the journey.” Till next time, God Bless and I’ll see you down the road.


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