Kylie Whiteside

Stepping Right

Learning how to change a trailer tire, part of learning the ropes of rodeo!

I woke up Friday morning, and the stress hit me instantly. I had a couple rodeos over the weekend, and knew I would be on my own travelling. My husband and niece have been going to the amateur rodeos, and I have been headed the opposite direction to the pro rodeos. I then remembered, I had changed things up. I took a deep breath, and jumped out of bed with instant release, and a smile.

I was ready.

The week prior, I made a decision. I went down to a semi-professional card, therefore I have the opportunity to still travel with my husband, and also bring my niece along to teach her the ropes of rodeoing. Things are much more affordable!

I can honestly say, recently, running in the pros was stressful. It is very tough, way too many miles, and very expensive. I have been doing it for 10 years now, with the help and support from many people, and I am very grateful for it all. But I think I felt it was time to just take a step, and to start enjoying life, rodeo and my horses again.

One of my weekends of rodeo, for example, I was set up at Strathmore, Alberta, in the 2:00 Friday performance. After I ran, I drove to Millarville to pick up my husband, swap out rigs with my brother-in-law, and we left there around 8:00 p.m. We drove all night to Abbotsford, B.C. We competed in the Saturday night performance in Abbotsford at 6:00 p.m. When we finished up, it was 8:00 p.m., and we had a 14 hour all night drive to Grimshaw, Alberta. Without stopping, or sleeping, we would get to Grimshaw just in time to compete in the afternoon performance. And then after that, off to LaCrete. Then 15 hours home. On that weekend, I was only about $1,000 out of qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. One win would put me there, and then I would have to maintain my spot by placing here and there.

I knew I could do it.

After competing at Abbotsford that evening, I looked at my husband Joel and said, “I don’t want to do this.”

He stared at me. I continued, “This is retarded, all this driving, sleepless nights, living out of the truck, it’s too freaking expensive! We are putting our lives at risk driving tired – for a chance at winning just a little over one thousand dollars. I love my horses too much for them to be hauled all these miles any more. I’m sorry – I just want to go home.”

Joel supportively said, “That is fine, don’t feel bad. It is your call, you are the one making a run for the CFR. I support whatever you choose.”

It was the next day on the drive home I had made my decision to drop to semi-professional. I realized how much “ego” can play into a title or a dream we are chasing, or have already achieved. Therefore we feel we have to maintain our status by being miserable. Don’t get me wrong – I love running barrels, and I am so grateful for having been to the Canadian Finals Rodeo a couple times, the Calgary Stampede and so on. I honestly get just as much enjoyment running barrels at local jackpot on a summer night, as I do competing at most of the pro rodeos. So for me – there was my answer.

I went to my first couple amateur rodeos over this past weekend, with Joel and my niece, we didn’t have to go far, I was not stressed, and we had a good time. We are a team. And I like that.

Comments

  1. Melissa Sword says

    I think it took a lot of courage to make this decision. I congratulate you for realizing what is really important in your life, not many people are blessed with this insight.

  2. I really admire your honesty and courage. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nancy Spratt says

    I totally admire you for making the decision you have, and for your honesty about motivations and what drives us to keep going after goals that can, in the end, harm us.

    I also congratulate you on not hauling on no sleep anymore. It wasn’t just your lives at risk! Happy runs!

  4. Cindy Thomson says

    Just for the love of it!!! You continue to do what means the most to you…Just for the love of it!!!

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