Monday, July 20, 2009
Cowboys are tough sons of guns. There is no doubt in my mind, and likely, none exists in the minds of others either.
On Saturday, I saw Croc Dumdi, a steer wrestler, fall from his steed at full charge. He skidded on the top of his head across the arena floor for nearly 10-15 yards before falling motionless on his stomach. After a couple seconds, he tried to come to his feet, head bleeding like a sacrificial lamb, and he fell again, unconscious. After the medics tended to him, he rose to his feet and walked off the arena floor with what looked like a raspberry-colored hair piece of blood covering his shaved head. He walked off! That’s tough, period.
Even with their myriad, and obvious, physical strengths, these cowboys often look for a solace for pains that cannot be shaken off or healed with a little dirt rub.
On Sunday, I attended the Cowboy Church service at Frontier Park. During the sermon by pastor Cory Young, I noticed a strong-looking cowboy clinching his nose as tears poured down his face. I shot a couple frames and he noticed, quickly wiping the tears away.
After the service, he approached me and I asked if I could interview him. Like a gentleman cowboy, he did not decline. We spoke about faith and the importance of having it in a sport like rodeo. He confided in me that yes, rodeo is tough; but he was quick to note the difficulties of his life outside of the arena are those which have humbled him in his journey.
It was quite an experience to see a man of such stature with such an outpouring of emotion. After all, he was not getting gored or stomped or thrown by a 2,000-pound beast, tasks which seldom relegate these competitors to tears. It was his absolute joy of living life for a greater good that brought him to tears.
And that my friends, is what makes that particular cowboy one tough son of a gun.
For a larger version of this Soundslide, click here: COWBOY CHURCH