How One Attitude Adjustment Can Change Everything

by Kevin on December 29, 2014

Two of the greatest traits a cowboy can possess are doing a job right the first time and amnesia.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to do a job two, three, or even four times or more. Cowboys learn early on that it is so much easier doing a job right the first time. We like to pride ourselves in perfection without a lot of practice. Unfortunately, getting the job done right involves learning every way to do it wrong first.

If this isn’t bad enough, now we have to fight with a surly emotion known as frustration. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to ride a colt that is bound and determined to break you in half or you are throwing a loop at the heels of a heifer, there is usually another cowboy around that is watching to see how many tries it takes you to get the job done. With every unsuccessful attempt, you know that they are assessing you whether they say anything or not.

It’s the way cowboys get so good so quick. It’s never mean spirited, but everything is a competition. And I mean everything…

I was trying to heel a heifer not too long ago in a 60 mph wind. She had pink eye and we needed to get her doctored and back to feeling good. I swung the rope around my head, but because of the wind, I’m pretty sure the loop stayed behind me the whole time. The only shot I could get on her was throwing into the wind; otherwise, she would whirl and beller like me at an Olive Garden Restaurant.

After about the fifth miss, I was frustrated beyond measure. Ty was being very supportive as he and his big yellow horse stood there and watched me miss time after time.

Finally, he told me to stop and just sit there a second. I did as instructed and took a few deep breaths…the heifer did likewise. After a minute or two, he said, “The wind ain’t making you miss, your frustration is. Take your time and do it right. I’ve seen you do it a hundred times.”

I gave myself a conscious case of amnesia and let go of all the previous misses. I rode in there like a top hand swinging his first loop. Even with the wind, I threw a perfect hip shot and snatched up two feet like a pro.

Ty whooped and hollered when the loop landed true. His smile was contagious and I laughed hard when he yelled, “You got her on the first try!”

Now when we rope, that is our new saying. Whenever we catch, no matter how many misses, we both smile and say, “First try.”

And let us not grow weary of doing right, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

© Kevin Weatherby, 2014

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