I’ve been thinking about motivation recently, attending parent-teacher conferences will do that to a person. One kid thrives on and pursues praise, while the other only pursues personal curiosity. All this reflection, has led me to question my own motivation. What drives me? I’m not going to lie, I relish praise as much as the next person. However, as a true introvert, I do not need recognition or connection to feel fulfilled. As an oldest child, I’ve often struggled with a suffocating sense of family responsibility. Where on the spectrum of motivation does this place me? More importantly, is there a “spectrum of motivation?” I don’t know.
What do I know for sure? I want to live a life that honors my grandfather, mother, and dear baby brother. I feel alive, when I step outside my comfort zone. I feel lifted when I am horseback on the range. What have I done recently to embrace these truths? Rope a bull, of course.
With their thick brows, heavy muscles, and prominent manly displays, males of the bovine persuasion ooze testosterone. Handling them horseback or otherwise gives me the willies. There are times when no amount of coercion and cajoling convince a bull to cooperate. When kindness fails, one must resort to more deliberate livestock handling methods. I would never embark upon a bull gathering mission solo. No sir, not me. When it comes to bovine malice, I am a coward. However, my brother was my companion and the instigator of this past summers’ bull roping escapade.
There is something about cowboying with my younger brother, that stokes my dormant competitive spirit. He is undoubtedly bigger and stronger than me, but I chafe at the idea of being outdone by him. So when my brother builds to a belligerent behemoth (that has failed to read a bovine etiquette book) with his rope swinging, I follow his lead.
As I stated before, my brother is bigger and stronger than me. In my estimation, this one of the keys to a successful bull roping expedition.
Rachel’s Rules of Bull Roping
- Enlist the help of someone bigger and stronger than yourself.
- As important as a good partner is a steady mount, a horse that can withstand the rigors of a successful catch.
I am certain there are more important points to remember, but it doesn’t seem appropriate to type, “Don’t wet your pants.”
Before the day was done, we had roped, tied, and loaded three bad bulls into our stock trailer. It was exhausting and stressful. However, months later I am still filled with confidence and an unabated sense of accomplishment when I reflect upon that day. What will I do next? What can’t I do next? I’m still working on that. What motivates you? How do you push your boundaries? I’d like to know.
* In the interest of full disclosure, I did not rope the big Hereford bull pictured, but I did rope several of his smaller, younger cousins.