Ok, boys! Ok!

8 seconds, lane frost, buckingThis whole weekend I’ve felt like Lane Frost in 8 Seconds when he’s in the bucking chute and hollers out “Ok, boys! Ok!” before they pull the gate. There’s a tangled ball of nerves chasing themselves around in your stomach right before the gate swings open. Then the nerves line out, pack it in and marshal all your efforts together to get the job done.

However, in that fractionated second before the gate opens to daylight, there’s a line. It’s simple: Up to that line, you can turn back – once you’re over the line, you can’t. As soon as you yell, “Ok, boys! Ok!” you’re committed to trying to ride that bull or that horse for the eternity that is eight seconds. You’re in. You can’t let go. You can’t change your mind. You can’t do anything but try your hardest, and hope it is good enough.

I’ve always wondered, what goes through their minds as they get settled in the bucking chutes? Would they bail if it weren’t for stubbornness and pride? I wonder if, at the first jump out of the chute, they’re wondering what in heck they’re doing on top of a bucking, twisting passel of angry animal flesh. I wonder if they’re ever truly ready for that gate to be pulled.

Because I know I’m not. I’m hardly ever ready for the gate to be pulled. I think it’s alright to admit that, because here’s the other thing: it hardly ever stops me from saying “Ok, boys! Ok!” anyway.

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