Yesterday at breakfast I had a chance to talk to a young bullrider here in Cheyenne. He's riding in the rodeo at the Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration. I've always been amazed by these guys. Most of them are relatively small, about 5'9" or less, maybe 150 pounds. But there is a confident air about them; a fearless look in their eyes that is intriguing.
I asked him, "When you're sitting on top of a ton of ticked-off bull with only a rope to hold on to, how do you decide when to tell the handlers to kick open the gate?" (Because when the gate opens the bull explodes)
He said, "There's no best time. You just climb on, take a second to settle in, take a deep breath, and let'er buck."
The first three days of this week we looked at the three sides of the Time Management Triangle, Time, People, and Stuff. The triangle, in the Greek alphabet, is the delta, the symbol for the letter "D." I believe that stands for Decision. Creating a better work life; creating a better life, is all about making decisions. Being willing to, as noted yesterday, step out...or, as the bullrider would say, climb on.
I'm sure sitting in the stands or standing along the fence is more comfortable for a bull rider. One of the great thing about these guys, though, is that they all know the ride doesn't last very long (in fact, the whole objective is to stay on for only 8 seconds) and it ALWAYS ends up in the dirt. Some may finish the ride standing up, some may end up with their faces in the dirt. And yes, in bullriding, as in life, sometimes you get hurt. But the bullriders continue to find the courage to climb on.
The next time you see bullriding scheduled on television (or better yet, at a local rodeo), take a few minutes to watch them. They take their time climbing into the chute and on the bull. They carefully rap the rope around their hand to get a good grip. Sometimes they will reach up to pull their hats tighter on their heads, and then it's a quick nod to the handlers; the decision is made.
We all have bulls in our lives. We all have people who will help us, either in person or through books, cds, dvds. We all know what it takes for us to get settled in. We all have the opportunity to nod and say, "Now."
I know, it's got to be more comfortable standing along the fence than climbing on a ton of mad bull that is trying to put you in the dirt. But, when I asked the young guy what it was like during the few seconds he was on the bull he said, "It's livin'."
What's your bull?