I want to take a minute to share a little piece of my story with you about my breakaway journey. Spoiler alert: I won my very first breakaway jackpot at age 30 last night. I started breakaway roping when I was a junior in high school. I had team roped before that, but was still really green. I worked pretty hard at it and did okay, but goat tying was definitely my main event.
After high school, I got more into it and did pretty well at the amateur rodeos. I won rodeos, won money and made it to the finals and finished in the top 15 a few years in a rodeo with my best year end finish in 4th place. In college rodeo, I struggled. For three years I had a hard time handling the pressure of competing against my peers in the breakaway. In 30 rodeos, I think I only made 3 or 4 short go’s in the breakaway roping.
I idled back on my roping for a few years while chasing my pro rodeo barrel racing dreams. After that the Lord had plans for me to build a couple businesses. Even when I wanted to defy those plans and follow my worldly desires, things happened that didn’t allow that. I moved to Oklahoma to work and rodeo at the same time. I got there, entered two rodeos, then my horse was sore the rest of the summer. I moved to Colorado as a coach, got to practice quite a bit, then all my horses got strangles one-at-a-time from June to September, prime rodeo season.
I moved back to Iowa after that and was in a place that I could rodeo quite a bit again. I didn’t rodeo hard, but went consistently last year. I practiced on three horses at least 3-4 times a week all summer. I roped the bale, worked out and did all the things and still came up short when it looked like winning. I won ONE check in the breakaway. This year, I entered 7 rodeos in the breakaway. I missed my first calf, went back to the trailer and made up my mind that I was DONE not winning. I was DONE standing in my own way. I was DONE playing not to loose and I started PLAYING TO WIN!! After that, I caught my next 5 calves and won checks on 4 of them.
I entered a jackpot a few weeks ago and figure 8’d a leg to win a jackpot and spot in another big roping. Last night, I won my very first breakaway jackpot. It was tiny, in fact, there were only three entries and two of them were me. But it was a small victory and “success is a series of small victories.” It doesn’t mean you’re going to win everything or that you won’t still make mistakes, you just have to remember, “win or learn, I never loose.”
I’m sharing all this with you not to discourage you, but through all these ups and downs, ins and outs of roping, I’ve learned SO MUCH!! When God has a different plan for you, he’ll put up obstacles to keep you headed in the direction he needs you to go. He needed me to build businesses at that time in my life, so that’s where he kept me. Trust his plan!
Another lesson I’ve learned from this is when he does give you the opportunity, PLAY TO WIN! We have dreams and goals for a reason. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have more planned for us. When his timing is right and he puts you in the places to chase the dreams, you have to GO FOR IT! It takes putting in the time. It takes doing it wrong to figure out what’s right (making mistakes). It takes failing to become a winner. It takes the long night, hard work, tears, frustrations, and disappointments. It takes putting in the work event when you can only see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. It takes belief that if he put it in your heart, it’s there for a reason. It takes trusting his timing. It takes believing in yourself and being ready to step up to the plate when the time does come.
So, when things aren’t going right, if its your passion, purpose and dream, KEEP WORKING towards it! Nobody can determine your success except you. Not your parents, not your friends, not your coaches, just YOU! You can have as many God given talents as you can imagine, but you have to put in the time and bust down those walls in your mind that hold you back in order to go the places that God has intended for you!
PLAY TO WIN!
“Win or learn,
I NEVER loose.”