So I was playing racquetball a while back. Yea, that sport with four walls and a ceiling where players pound the ball around in circles and yell like hell at each other!
Anyway, there were three young guys taking a break. Being the out-going, nosy person I am I asked if they were having fun to which they said “that’s all we do this for.”
I asked if they went to school and they said yap, we’re all on the rodeo team. I asked do you guys do the barrel racing or some such to which they chuckled and said “girls barrel ride, we are bull riders.” Now mind you one of these fellas is missing a hand so I just had to ask “Did you loose your hand to the bull.” He said na, a big fire-cracker got that. Silently my mind said “I’d like to hear that story one day.”
Being a city dude I had to ask more. So I said “so tell my guys, how do you exactly practice bull riding?” With the seriousness of a saint one of them said “We ride bulls.” I could imagine inside their minds “Is he kidding or is he just a plain stupid city slicker.”
Having a football background I know that teams practice with second stringers and aren’t always practicing at full speed. You know what I mean here. You tell the guy across the line “Hey, make me look good, don’t hit me so hard, let’s get through the practice without killing each other.” You see, you’re practicing against a human being.
But these bull riders, they ain’t practicing against no bull that they can talk to and reason with. Although I can imagine that plenty of times if you look real close, right before they pull the gate open, you can see the bull rider leaning into the bull and whispering “come on mr. bully, take it easy on me tonight.”
But anyway, back to the story.
So right at the moment I thought of “how do you exactly practice bull riding” I blurted out “So, do you guys have like a wimpy bull that isn’t quite good enough for the big arena to practice with.” With a little disgust in their eyes one replied “look, bulls ain’t like no damn horse, they never get use to someone on their back and they want to hurt you for get’in on there.”
So I guess it holds true, as with bull riding, to get good at anything it’s a matter of constant practice, even if the damn bull doesn’t like it!!!