Heart AttackSo rodeo week is over.  I’ve moaned, groaned, smiled, laughed, whooped, hollered, cheered, and sung until my throat has run up the white flag of truce, wonder what in the world it could have done to deserve such treatment.  I’ve been burnt watching hours of performances and slack.  I’ve wandered around, feeling useless and guiltier when people thank me during those down times.  I’ve had my yearly dose of overlapping heart attacks and the resulting HOURS of sleep that still don’t feel like a decent recovery.

And somehow, this is new to me.  I’ve always had another year to look forward to with this team and coach.  But that’s not the case this time.  I’m a senior – very happy to be one, in fact – but no more rodeo.  This stage of my life is over.  It’s very hard for a paper pusher to stay hyper-involved through their adult years, and I’m about to graduate into adulthood.  After this season, I am relegated to the position of “friend of rodeo.”  They’re needed and appreciated, but very background.  That’s a hard thought.

I kind of already miss it.  I don’t miss the throat torture, or the sunburn, or the down time, or the series of perpetual heart attacks that last for three days.  But I miss how it feels, the pure joy of it.  The fact that I’m needed and wanted in this place.  The smell of horses and rodeo dust.  And how loved I feel, the family I am part of, because that’s what’s rodeo’s given me.  My life and my family in a foreign place.  And THAT will never be over, I thank my lucky stars.