By Laura Drake
If you’ve followed our blogs here at WITS very long, you’ve seen that there’s a lot more to us than the stories we write. We all have other interests; Sharla has her dolls, Fae has cats and cards, and Jenny has Baby Girl and underwear (we'll wait - we know you're going to check out the underwear!)
I’ve got other interests as well. Yeah, there’s motorcycling, bicycle riding, and fly fishing, but today, I want to put forth a case for my biggest obsession. No, not food.
Why? I’m not a country girl; I grew up in Detroit. I don’t much like country music; to me, a steel guitar sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. So how could I have gotten so wrapped up in a sport that I wrote a three book series set in that world?
- I’m fascinated by young men who, through courage, craziness, or under the influence of large quantities of testosterone, get on the back of two thousand pounds of attitude that wants to throw them in the dirt and dance on their dangly parts.
- The athleticism. Bull riders have more in common with gymnasts than wrestlers. The mechanics require more balance than brute strength.
- These aren’t media savvy, spoiled athletes. They’re mostly kids off farms, and ranches. Watching their wide-eyed interviews on camera, and talking to them in person, gives me hope for the future of America. They remind me with their gentlemanly “Ma’am’s” and “Sir’s” that mothers somewhere are still raising kids right.
- I’ve watched this sport grow over the past ten years, and have enjoyed watching events that are real -- not slickly orchestrated and Hollywood perfect.
But the bigger picture is that these men represent the American Cowboy; a rare breed in today’s society of political correctness and metrosexuals. They still live by the belief that their handshake is a scared promise, and integrity isn’t what you talk about, it’s what you live. They live by a code that they’re willing to die by. How many people do you know like that?
Do yourself a favor. Check out their website. Tune in to a PBR event some weekend (TV schedule is here.) I dare you not to get sucked into the drama. Maybe I’ll see you at the finals in Las Vegas some November!
Let ‘er buck!
How about you? What you do, when you’re not pounding a keyboard? WITS readers want to know!
Laura has written three books set in the world of Pro Bull Riding. The first, The Sweet Spot, is due out next May, from Grand Central.