Original publication: Oct. 6, 2022
I roped like sh*t. That’s it.
And here’s what I’ve figured out when it comes to why.
The thing that everybody has asked me all these years: “How do you balance it all?”
New answer to that question: I can’t.
It all came crashing down at once, and I couldn’t do it all. I tried so hard to do so much—to be so many things to so many people.
Meanwhile, Charly had been telling me that I don’t practice enough. I argued with him, because I’m in the arena all the time, every day. But this summer, we were in Salt Lake, and Charly had flown in to help. We were practicing at a good friend’s house, and Jade Conner was over there helping me. I run the first two calves, and Jade stops me and stands in front of my horse and says, “Hey do you think I can get 10 minutes?”
And I said, “What are you talking about? I’m out here!”
And what Jade said next slapped me in the face: “You ain’t been out here yet! You’re looking around, worrying about sweeping up behind peoples horses, where your kids are, everything else except roping.”
It was like someone slapped me in the face. I was literally there, but I wasn’t present. It was like all of a sudden, this is what Charly talks about. I’m trying to do so many things and be so many things to so many people.
I’ve got to say NO to whatever it may be that’s keeping me from my goals in the arena. I’d skated by on my past work ethic, my muscle memory, but when that couldn’t carry me anymore, I was so far behind.
I can make all kinds of excuses. TBoy isn’t going to be sound enough to be on the road year-round. He needs to stay home and get used in the winters when I can. I tore my knee up before I left, so I wasn’t riding good. But when I did get things presented, I didn’t capitalize. I have all sorts of reasons and excuses. But the long and the short is I didn’t perform. I roped terrible. I didn’t deserve to be in the top 15.
I want to give myself enough time to rope for as long as I feel like I should, and I need to. I have to give it my all until I’m done with rodeo. Roping is what I do. I either want to be in it, or I need to be out of it. I have to refocus until I’m done with this part of my career.
As soon as September 30 rolled around, I got very selfish. I had a fit, I guess you could say. What came out of that? I’m even worse about my phone than I’ve ever been (and that’s really saying something). I decided I have to get more organized. I have to get really selfish with my time. Our place has always been really open to everyone who wants to come rope and get better. I don’t want that to change, but I told everybody that they can use my stuff, my arena, anything they need. But from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the arena is mine. It has to be this way. Because if not, none of us will have what we need because I won’t be able to provide.
I have help with my kids from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., so that’s the time I need to focus and practice however I want. Then Creed is home from school at 3, and I can hang with the kids and help everyone else and be a mom. THEN the other stuff can happen—the phone calls, the extra stuff that isn’t as critical as roping and being a mom. Nobody else can be a mom to Creed and Journey, so that has to be a part of it. And if I give myself the time in the arena from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., I can dedicate myself to them in the evenings.
Next week, I’ll check back in and tell you what and how I’m practicing in those critical hours in the arena.