These are my People (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

From time to time I see young people do or say things to cause me to wonder about future of our country. I just got home from the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis where I spoke to approximately 600 state delegates. Overall there were probably 57,000 kids in attendance. Meeting and speaking with these kids was so refreshing. Most of these kids are courteous and goal oriented. They know what they want and how to go about getting it. My hat is off to their parents for involving them in the FFA and also to the FFA for the positive impact they have on these young people.

I left there very refreshed and proud because these are my people. They are kids that are from farms and ranches, who have the same morals and principles that this country was founded on. Spending time with them has allowed me to breath a sigh of relief.

I missed making the National Finals by about $3,000 and this is how it played out. When the doctor released me I had three weeks left in the season to qualify for the finals. My first rodeo back was the tour finale in Puyallup, Washington where I won $17,000. I won El Paso, placed at Albuquerque and at the finale at Omaha. It all came down the Heartland Circuit Finals in Waco where I needed to win about $5,000. There I drew a couple of calves that weren’t very good and only won $600.

Though I’m not satisfied with the way this year turned out, it was still the most fun year of my career. Most people don’t realize that after you win the world the first time, you want to win the second title just as bad, if not worse. For me not to make the finals this year is harder to swallow than losing the world championship by $1,000. But in all honesty during this year there have been seven or eight times where I said, “That was the most freakish thing to ever happen to me.” So it just wasn’t meant to be.

Sure I’m disappointed, but I’m not going to let it affect me and ultimately my family. I’ve got two little fellows on that bus that don’t know the difference between a gold buckle and a goat roping title. But they would know and feel the difference if I didn’t take this in stride and handle it well. Poor behavior on my part would affect my family and everyone I come in contact with.

As I rode out of the arena at Waco, I let that feeling of disappointment motivate me. In 2010 I’ll come back with a vengeance. I spent three hours in the gym today; I have fifteen head of calves and twenty more coming. Now I have something to prove to myself.

Till next time God Bless.