We all need someone in our corner. We all need some source of inspiration. Even if you are just a mom, raising kids (not an easy job by any means) or a rodeo mom! Or you could be a barrel racer with or without kids. Honestly, I can’t think of anyone in this world who doesn’t need a source of inspiration!

I’m writing this as I wait for my son to do his speech competition. He is 8. He is in 2nd grade. This kid is amazing and I know I am bias. But seriously, he has the heart of a leader! He didn’t even hug me before running off with his group! As a mom, I can either be sad about that or proud that he is so independent! I’m going to choose the latter! But he has to have a source of inspiration as well! He soaks it in from God, church, his classmates, teachers and I pray he sees that we, as his parents, also want him to succeed!

So back to me. We all need that light. The one at the end of the tunnel? You know the one! The one that helps us to figure out our goals and achieve them. Sometimes we throw our suckers in the dirt and walk away. I’m going to tell you something that you might not know… others are watching. Others see you throw down that sucker. You might be the light for that one person. So I encourage you to hold on to that sucker. Smile. Thank God you are at that race. Thank God you have that horse. No matter the situation, you have to find the light. Someone is always watching!!!!

It took me years to figure this out for myself. To figure out that my failure to succeed did not define me. What defined me was how I handled failure and how I handled success. YEARS. I’m just as guilty about throwing down my sucker as the next. But then I began to realize what that looked like. I saw folks whom I looked up too for inspiration, throw down their suckers. I saw how they responded to failure. Even if it was just “not winning” or hitting a barrel. I saw them get mad. I saw them jerk on their mount. I saw the bitterness. It made me sad. It made me want to walk over and offer words of encouragement to these strangers whom I looked up too…. but when I did, I was normally met with a bitter look. That is when I had to realize that my source needed to change.

Folks, I have had my share of life altering changes, injuries, losses, and even heartache that could have taken me out. When I was preparing to have total hip reconstruction on my right hip due to a freak accident while riding, my surgeon told me that I needed to find my faith. This really was a slap in the face. He told me that I might never be able to ride again. That if I didn’t find my faith, I would loose myself with this surgery. I was at a point where walking a few steps would knock me down. I could not fathom loosing my ability to ride. So, I started to look for the light. Thank you Lord for showing me where to look! I found my FAITH. I found my encouragement! I found my SOURCE. It wasn’t in my idols. It wasn’t in my small circle of friends (although I do appreciate their love), no, it was in God.

Going into my surgery, I was confident. I was facing a new reality. I was facing the fact that it could go one way or the other but I had FAITH. I wasn’t suppose to ride again until after my 16 week check up. And that was all depending on how bad the hip really was. I could drag this out and tell you all about it but I won’t. I will just say that my surgeon placed me back in my saddle on Lynx after 13 weeks! He told me to NEVER stop riding. He said that God has a plan for me and I need to focus on HIM. This was the turning point in my life. Not to say that I didn’t have my share of failures since that glorious day in February of 2014, but I learned that life is about more than winning. It’s about spreading joy! It’s about encouraging others even if you don’t directly address those people. You can inspire just with a smile even though you hit a barrel. You can be a light with a simple prayer with a stranger before your run. Speak life into all that you do. You don’t know who is watching. Don’t be the sour girl because you didn’t win. Be a light. I may not be pro. But I know I have some folks who look up to me. So I will continue to be thankful and grateful after every run! No matter how it turns out!!!!!! May God shine his light on you and show you the way!

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