Well, it’s been awhile since I posted a sermon and I’m way past the time I can post a HOF speech. This week, I guess I have a topic on my mind. It has to do with fear and our approach and mindset when it comes to quitting and more specifically, our view of the nic bitch. As usual, rodeo will be involved in this object lesson.
I’m dying to do rodeo, but grew up in the city. I had been to a few rodeos, but didn’t know much about it at all other than some dude hops on the back of a mean bronc or bull and tries to hang on for 8 seconds. Now that right there should have kept me from ever trying it, because I didn’t know shit about it. So, I started scouring the internet and I happen to find exactly what I was looking for, a 3 day intense rodeo school. Yep, there is rodeo school where for the small price of $350 you too can learn how to get yourself in the hospital in just about the coolest way possible. This school was in New Caney, TX and was run by a 3 time all-around champ – Lyle Sankey. Lyle’s about as bad ass as they come. He brings it to you direct and straight and doesn’t mess around. He has what he calls a “fantasy” camp for guys like me who just wanted to say we rode a bronc or bull.
When I got there and I told him I didn’t want the fantasy camp but wanted to be a real rodeo guy, he just kind of looked at me pretty puzzled because I was 1.) Way too old, 2.) didn’t know a latigo from a lasso, 3.) I don’t think he’d ever seen a sri Lankan before and it confused him.
But, Lyle did his best to make a bronc rider out of me in those days. On the last day, we’re about to have our last go ‘round, and he comes up to me and pulls me aside and says, “look, you don’t have to do this.” I think he was pretty worried that after 2 and a half days of watching me get my ass kicked, he was sure that my luck wasn’t going to last long and that he’d be calling an ambulance that afternoon. I said, man Lyle, why would you say something like that to me. I’m trying as hard as anyone out here. And he looked at me with compassion but in a very stern voice says, because “you are still way too full of fear. You have no confidence in yourself, what we’ve taught you, who you are, and what this sport is all about. All you are doing is going out there and trying to hang on and you can never win just trying to hang on. You have to battle and you have to fight and you have to have the mindset that when you see that rank bronc bucking away in the chute and you have to get on him that you are thinking “ya, this is going to be awesome.” You need to have that look of excitement in your eye and all I see is total fear and that is dangerous. If you look at the champions, you’ll see them – they are calm, cool and collected and if you look in their eyes, you’ll see pure determination, confidence and excitement that they are going to conquer this beast today. Until you can do that, you have no business riding.”
I rode anyway, trying to muster up some ‘semblence of courage and got my ass kicked something awful. A week later, I was at the St Paul Rodeo and getting ready with a whole bunch of world champions. The only reason I was going to get to ride there is because I live in the town and I’m on the committee and the chute boss is a personal friend of mine. The rest of the guys riding are all bad ass riders. To go with the badass riders are the who’s who of bad ass broncs. These things were huge, mean and athletic. As I watched the cowboys get ready, I saw what Lyle was talking about. These dudes were as cool as the other side of the pillow and I’m sitting there shaking like a dog shitting peach seeds. I had absolutely no business being there or on one of those broncs.
A few months later I had gone to some local rodeos and gained some confidence. I got the gleam in my eye and won. It was amazing. It was an amazing ride and I knew it from the minute I arrived at the rodeo grounds. I was just that confident. I wasn’t scared, I was excited.
That’s along damn way to talk about the approach to quitting. I’m seeing way too much of the “dog shitting peach seeds” approach and not enough confidence and determination. This method is true in just about any kind of athletic event. If you are playing football, you gotta hit the other guy harder than he hits you. Same principle with the nic bitch. You cannot quit fearing her. You can respect the force, but not fear it. Part of quitting is to build that confidence each day. That confidence does not get built from romanticizing the nic bitch and how awesome she is. It’s not sitting around being scared of a crave coming on or caving. No, it’s building a confidence that in fact, you are no longer a slave. You have to get past that slave mindset and get onto living like a freeman. A man that makes his decisions with his mind and heart and not from feelings. You cannot make good decisions coming from feelings – see the great heresy/church split of June. When grown men start to use feelings and emotions as a basis of decision making, nothing good comes out of it.
What are you doing to build that confidence in you today? What are you doing to build it in others? How can you go from fear to fortune? You gotta build that. You won’t ever win just learning how to escape. You will win by learning to fight and kick ass.
And I’ll end with conjuring up my inner WCWBigNasty and say this. Confidence in a quitter is sexy, and if confidence is sexy, then I’m a bad ass, quit like fuck, every damn day, one day at a time sexy mother fucker. I own that bitch today.
And unlike WCWBigNasty, I’ll say, I’m only that way because of all of you. Thank you for getting me here.