On these final few hours of 2014, it’s easy to reflect on what happened the previous 364 days.
Family-wise, there were multiple trips to the emergency room. That comes with having children, of course, but two of the four were with my wife. Fortunately all were resolved well, but not without staying a few nights in various hospitals. We pray that’s all behind us … at least for a little while.
Other than the few hiccups that came along the path, 2014 was an amazing year. I shared in the successes of my rodeo friends and got to cross off a bucket-list item attending a World Series game while watching my favorite team, the Kansas City Royals, play in the series. I also got to be on hand to witness a strong and powerful lefty win Game 1, then dominate the other two games in which he pitched.
By the way, that same Madison Baumgarner also is a team roper. I can’t help but marvel at him now. Throw in the fact that as a header, he ropes right-handed. That type of true ambidexterity, especially in athletics, is incredibly fascinating.
The year also was fabulous for me and my business, Rodeo Media Relations. I worked all the major ProRodeo events – the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. I got to do it all while experiencing my true passion: Telling rodeo stories and helping promote the sport.
I was honored by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association with its 2014 Media Award. One funny to that was on the day I receive the plaque, I stood on the stage in front of the top 15 barrel racers and hundreds of others as eight-time world champion Joe Beaver interviewed me. It was surreal; over the course of my career, I’ve interviewed Joe a couple dozen times, but that was the first time he’d interviewed me.
I also experienced some growing pains, but they are true lessons that I will carry with me as I move forward. With the right approach, we can take all the negatives we face and not only turn them into positives, but also grow because of the experience.
There is no way I can write something of this nature without mentioning the great Dirty Jacket, a 10-year-old bay gelding that I’ve written about and promoted for five years. Through my work with Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, I’ve written about a lot of incredible animal athletes, but Dirty Jacket stands out. This year, he was named the 2014 Bareback Horse of the Year, a very deserving honor. It did my heart good to see that phenomenal athlete receive the honor, because he loves his job as much as I love mine.
Thanks to my girls for their unwavering support and love. I’m blessed beyond measure. May we all be as blessed in 2015.