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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

Ridin' the Bull

Posted Thursday, October 25, 2007, at 5:07 PM

At times, I feel as if I have been thrown unwillingly into a rodeo where only the tough will survive.

Life is the bull that I must ride, and it is mean and nasty. This is the craziest bull in the world. I find myself wishing for a pass. Someone to tell me that I do not have to ride, but it never comes. There is no other choice. I must cowboy-up!

Now, I do not know anything about bull-riding, but from the few times that I have watched the event on television, I have concluded that it is indeed very dangerous. I am sure that this sport takes a great amount of training and skill. As with all challenging activities, I would imagine that one of the most important ingredients to a successful ride is a confident attitude. The rider must believe in himself or herself. There must not be any doubt, for doubt will eat away at the rider's concentration.

Imagine, if you will, yourself sitting on top of this enormous beast. Snarling up his nose, the creature gruffly paws at the ground. With several grunts and groans he begins to buck. When I imagine myself on top of the animal, I see uncertainty etched across my face. A look that clearly asks the question, "Will I make it?" I try to regain my composure and my balance as the bull begins to buck more rapidly, almost viciously. He clearly wants to dismount me. My body stiffens, and I hold on with both hands. I have no skill or knowledge that will keep me on top of the game, only hopes and fear. After a few seconds that seem to stretch into a lifetime, I am hurled through the air. My body is tossed as if it were a rag doll, and I land lifeless at the feet of the aggressor.

This outcome is not acceptable to me, so I began to consider the moves of an expert rider. I feel there is much to be learned from one who is confident in the ride. An expert must mount his bull with confidence. He doesn't cower in fear and cling to the ropes with both hands. He does not sit with a stiffened body and with fear plastered in his eyes. He becomes one with the bull. He is confident, so confident that he raises one hand in the air, as if to say, "Hey, look at me. I am riding this bull, and I won't be bucked off. Woo hoo!" His body moves smoothly with the movement of each buck that the bull throws in the air. In the end, he dismounts the bull on his own and only after the ride is over.

This expert rider maintained his position on the bull only because he had the right mental attitude and the proper training. He knew how to handle the tricks that the bull threw at him.

So goes the story of life.

Sometimes we may really be put to the test. Situations may come up that we think are too overwhelming. We become fearful and hope for things to change. We hang on with all our might and are too afraid to move. This is when we must cowboy up. We must put on the mindset of victory, knowing that we can make it. We must relax and have confidence, raising one hand as if to say " Hey, look at me. I will make it; I will not be defeated." we must learn to move in accordance with the bucks of life. We must equip ourselves with knowledge and not let doubt break our concentration.

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