adventures you will ever go on in life. Growing up in a small town, raised by an extremely close and supportive family, being the younger sister of a set of triplets, you are surrounded by love, opportunity, and comfort zones. As a young girl going through the evil cycles that life can throw at you, you struggle to find the smallest bit of confidence, the group of friends that you fit into, and even “your thing” whether it be basketball, volleyball, softball or rodeo. At this time in your life you seem to be the only one in the entire world that just so happens to be on the J.V. team in all the sports that you tried out for, and the only one in the entire world that hasn’t made the high school national finals.
My two sisters and brothers set a great path for me to keep pressing on, and my parents raised me in a strong Christian home, so I knew better than to give up. I always kept chugging along. I never found “my thing”, I was mediocre at everything but not good at anything. I lacked self-confidence so I never could find the group of friends in high school that I fit into. As a seventeen-year-old girl that is one of the most confusing parts of life. When you don’t feel as if you belong anywhere you struggle to find your worth.
Going into senior year, just as every other eighteen-year-old is, excited it’s their last year, this is going to be the year. This is the one. I will be confident I will make varsity, I will catch every calf at my rodeos, keep every barrel up, and keep every goat tied down. After I began to have big plans for myself the unexpected happed.
I was at a jr. rodeo getting some practice in before our season started with one of my best friends. As I was finishing up my barrel run, on the third barrel my horse lost his footing and went down on me. I got rushed to Harbor View medical center due to extensive injury on my left leg.
After surgery was all said and done I dislocated my knee leaving me with four torn ligaments. They were completely severed I had to get cadaver ligaments put into my left knee. This was hard on a young girl who didn’t quite understand what she did to deserve this.
I couldn’t walk on my leg for two months, having to miss out on my senior year rodeo season, volleyball, and basketball. When I was in the moment weeks after it happened laying on the couch, I definitely didn’t understand. I didn’t know why God wanted me to miss out on my opportunities I have finally mentally prepared myself for.
I had many thought of giving up since I didn’t know my purpose anyways. After I got over the self-pity, I began to see why this path was given to me. I had never truly worked hard at something. God gave me this path because for me to even be able to walk again I had to work extremely hard. I learned what true grit and determination was.
Wanting to walk is something that we all take for granted until it hurts, and it is so hard it brings tears to your eyes. I worked so hard for those ten months, gaining almost full motion back in my left leg and enough strength to feel as if I could ride again. My doctor out of the University of Washington Medical center suggested that I don’t ride again because it was too chancy, but nothing was going to stop me.
After I overcame this obstacle I felt as if I could conquer anything I set my mind to. Once I got a clear mind and a full heart, I learned that I can only be my worst enemy. I can conquer all things so I learned to erase all demons, including doubt, lack of self-confidence, the fear to fail, and that I will work so hard that my dreams will have no choice but to come true.
That next year blessings just flowed to me. I met “my people”, which led me to have self-confidence and directed me towards my path. Once I let go of caring that I didn’t fit in with those girls that look like they have it all, that I wasn’t a high school champ or the best basketball player, I began to be who I was always meant to be. What does matter is that I take all cards given to me and own them. I will be the best basketball player on the j.v. team if that’s what it takes. I will be the best support system for my sisters and brother while they are at nationals. Once I changed my perspective on life, I began to spread my own wings.
When you have a clear mind, your path suddenly becomes clear. I went to Walla Walla Community College that fall and I decided that I would work my hardest, the hardest that I have ever worked, I will outwork everybody. It was my time. If I see one of my teammates roping the breakaway dummy 60 times and I only roped it 50, I will go home and rope it 80.
I decided that I will give myself an honest chance to work just as hard at something as I did to get my motion back in my leg. I went on to win the northwest region in the breakaway roping the next two years, and wining a round at the CNFR. Now looking back on all of the events that happened, everything is a story that was written out for me. I found my own purpose and confidence. I may have to work harder than everyone to just to keep up with their talent but I think that I was shown just how to do that.
I am thankful for all events that happen in my life because, as they say, “everything happens for a reason.” When you can overcome obstacles that seem impossible at the moment, they teach you how to spread and fly your own set of wings. You are the only one that can steer yourself down the path that you want to go on. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith, spread your wings, and go be the best that you can be. Give yourself an honest shot.
Don’t be afraid to spread your wings and go down the path that was meant for you.
March 18, 2017