Crowning of a Champion

Just before heading out the front office door to sit at the nearby green plastic picnic table to eat lunch, I overheard a conversation between colleagues talking about one of their fathers just having knee replacement surgery. And that he is now in recovery with 20 something screws in it.

This made me think about a specific recent event that occurred with my nephew who is an amateur bull rider in a rural town in the state of Wyoming.

About two weeks ago he took a nasty spill after a 4-second ride when the bull bucked him up and over its head. The bull twisted its head directly into his upper thigh breaking bones. As his body fell to the ground his entire being went into shock.

Before the rodeo clowns could grab the bulls attention his back foot crashed down into the same leg then chased a clown.

Many hours of surgery later, the nephew is already thinking about when he can be back in the saddle for his next ride.

Personally this is crazier than anything I could ever even imagine. First its the desire to be a bull rider than the courage to climb on top and take one for a ride. Whether that ride lasts one-second or eight! Its too extreme for this writer.

What amazes me most is the fortitude this young twenty-two year old is demonstrating to the world around him. His desire has grown ten fold about getting back as soon as possible. Every word he spoke uttered the realization that this wasn’t over with. This battle was lost but the war is far from being over.

Today, I retold only part of his story to my colleagues about his broken leg, and the 37 screws post surgery now planted inside him. And his current recovery position is on the couch letting time mend the wound and fuse the bone back together.

The reality is, its a 4 to 6 month healing process which requires an abundance of medical visits, rehab and physical therapy to get him walking on his own two feet.

Then there is both the mental and physical workouts he will be going through every hour to adjust and learn the ways of the bull, in order to ride once again.

There is a fortitiude and desire of his spirit that rages deep down inside him. His glory is not earning the respect of others but the respect of a beast!

And his desire of being crowned a champion of an eight-second ride!

~ James Cutrtis

Featured photo credit: PRCA photo by Tom Donoghue


  1. Lively write up. Hope your nephew is okay!?

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