Rodeo and roping have been such a huge part of mine and Charly's lives, and the Western lifestyle has shaped so much of who I am. I will support my kids through whatever their passions may be, but if they choose a life in rodeo, here's what I want them to know:
1. In rodeo, there are no shortcuts.
In barrel racing or breakaway roping, what you get out of it is the work you put into it. Nobody will be rewarded for not putting in the work in or out of the arena.
2. You've got to learn to enjoy the process.
We're all a little crazy because we're striving for perfection that we'll never reach. You have to enjoy learning, learning to win, and learning to lose. It's all part of the journey, so you've got to enjoy it.
TRJ Staff Favorite Jackie Crawford Stories:
3. You're going to gain more relationships and friendships throughout the country than most people see in a lifetime.
Don't take those for granted. Rodeo family is family. Cherish that, because most people do not have that opportunity.
4. You can let this sport become too big.
This is what we do, not who we are. Don't let this come before God and your family. Don't let it take over your life. We see that a lot: people being defined by what they do in the arena. When the life in the arena is gone, it's a downward spiral if you don't have it all in perspective.
5. Be prepared to fall in love with a way of life that's unlike no other.
It's full of history and heritage and pride. It's unlike any other way of life I've seen anywhere else. You will fall in love with it, and you'll stand up for it and protect it. BRJ