What a great first week of the summer run! I am traveling with Josh Frost and Junior Patrick Souza this year. We started out in Reno for the Xbulls and rodeo, where I won second at the Xbulls. My first bull was just a nice long round draw, so I knew if I just took care of business, I would make the short go, and I did just that. The short-go bull was really wild and kind of hard to track, but I kept my hand shut and tried really hard, and it paid off. In the rodeo, my bull leaned really bad in the bucking chute, and I got frustrated and just nodded instead of re-pulling (a mental mistake). I try to limit my mental mistakes as much as possible, so that was really disheartening, especially because the rodeo ended up not being as tough as usual.
After Reno, we drove all night to Delta, UT, for Josh to rope calves in the slack. We were exhausted and rested all day to be ready to ride in Pleasant Grove that night. I was 87.5 on a sweet draw that night for a decent check and a great start to the summer. After Pleasant Grove, Josh, Trey, and I flew to Charlotte for the Carolina Cowboys training camp. We met up with our captain Cooper Davis at the airport and made our way to our head Coach Jerome Davis’ house to start our camp. I didn’t know what to expect at camp and was a little nervous about how it would go. When I say our camp was FANTASTIC- I mean it. Our front office set up a great experience for us, and I feel like we all grew as men and competitors. One of the nights we stayed out in the arena till almost 1 A.M. just talking bull riding. We really came together as a team, and we are all ready for the team season to start in Cheyenne.
We didn’t get much sleep all week (averaged about 4 hours a night), so I was exhausted all week but wouldn’t trade any of it. Josh and I flew back to Denver to start our rodeos at Greeley for the Xbulls. I had a nice little bull there and pulled a check with an 81-point score. We then drove up the mountain to Steamboat for the weekly rodeo. There were no qualified rides at the last two weekends last year, so the weekly rodeo in Steamboat added $9,700. Josh was 88 and I was 86.5 for a couple of nice paydays. It was super cool to ride in such a pretty place. We drove back to the airport that night, where Junior and I flew to Springdale while Josh flew back to Reno for the Short-go there. I was 89.5 for the win there on White Trash at Shad Smith’s.
In Greeley, I had a nice 3-year-old of Beutler, at least on paper. He had an off day and was really tough to ride. Sometimes it happens that way. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the airport with so much joy in my heart because I am about to get to see my little family. It was a rough ending to the first leg, but all in all, I am happy with my performance and the memories made. In 10 days, I won almost $20,000, so summer started off on the right foot.
This has been a great 10 days to get everything started, but I am missing my family badly. I wasn’t able to talk to Alexis as much as I would have liked because we were so busy. I am ready to go home for a couple of days to recharge with her and Mr. Steele. We have FaceTimed a bunch, so I can at least feel their presence and support. Having a great support system like theirs is so important out here on the road. I am ready for the 4th of July run. We got up for almost every performance that we wanted, so our travel schedule is relatively easy this 4th.
Leaving the family for the first time in over a year has been very difficult.
The team environment is everything that I was hoping it would be so far.
Lack of sleep for personal growth is a trade I will make every time.
It feels good to be entered into rodeoing.
I live an extremely blessed life.
"Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another."