Now, If I Were a Lawyer…..

…..which I ain’t…..but I almost was. I went to college right our of high school on a rodeo scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. My grades were good enough but It was mostly all about college rodeo at the time and not much about education. Looking back…not very smart but it was what it was. We did have a very competitive team at Eastern. I was second in the bull riding in the  region with a lot of good bull riders….and our team was 3rd nationally at the College Finals in Bozeman, Montana. But after a year there I’d had enough of college life and headed back to the ranch and to rodeo full-time.

I started thinking about what I would do after rodeo. Actually, looking back, not many of my rodeo friends gave much thought of what they’d do ‘after’! Again, not wise, but it was mostly a fact. I had always had an interest in law and the whole legal system, even as a young adult. I remember watching every episode I could of Perry Mason, then later Barnaby Jones and every other TV show or movie about lawyers. So, I set my mind to pursue that kind of career. My plan was to get a business degree and then on to law school. I put rodeo on the back burner, for the most part. Got another rodeo scholarship to Southwestern State in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Took some summer school classes so I’d be eligible for the fall college rodeo run. All was going right on schedule, made the Dean’s Honor Roll in both my summer and fall classes. 

When the PRCA winter rodeos cranked up I went; Denver, Ft Worth, San Antonio, Houston. I could do that and not miss too much school. I rode good, but didn’t draw good at all and up until the Astrodome Rodeo in Houston I hadn’t won a dime. But the week following Houston I ‘hit a lick’! In rodeos in Montgomery, Alabama, San Angelo, Texas and Phoenix I brought home over $5000, which was quite a bit in those days (1976). It positioned me to make a good run to go to the National Finals Rodeo. I never went back to another class at Southwestern! Again, pretty dumb (seems like I keep saying that quite a bit!), but it was what it was. My run for the NFR was squelched when I got injured at Sidney, Iowa on August 12, resulting in major shoulder surgery.

I never again pursued a law career for a number of reasons. I still think about it every week, …..sometimes daily. I still watch whatever I can on TV and movies, I read nearly all of John Grisham’s books up to a point, and I have a few friends who are lawyers. I still enjoy picking their brains about their career, it still fascinates me.

I think I would’ve made a decent lawyer. and when I’m having a bad week it does still go through my mind to go back to school and get that degree. (dumb again! Way too far behind the curve now!) But, I guess, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Although there’s plenty of people who don’t think so……and at times I really wonder, myself. But, God has a way of getting us where He wants us to be.

So, in the meantime, I’ll just have to live that life vicariously through the few I know that are actually doing it. So, David K, Abby C., Michelle R., Deb M., James W., Lynn F. or Brian H…..if I get on your nerves (it could happen!) questioning you about what you’re doing….you have my permission to tell me to ‘back off’!

*Some great timing; finishing my blog and on the Today Show there’s a story on Dickie Scruggs, a lawyer who took on Big Tobacco…and won! I’ll be busy for a few minutes!

*You might like this one too! *(click on the highlighted link)

August 12… “A Day That Lives in Infamy”….at  Least For Me!

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VIP #9 – Art Harris

I first met Art Harris in October of 1988, our last year on the ranch north of Allison, Texas. I had been taking care of 2500 head of cattle for Art’s cousin from Munday, Texas. Art came down that day that we gathered the cattle. We were busy weighing cattle all that day and I didn’t get to visit a lot with Art ……but enough to know that I liked him a lot. Art had grown up in Seymour, Texas and was one of the best athletes to ever graduate there. He played football and basketball where he was a standout in both sports. He’s still known, admired and idolized around those parts just simply as, Art Lynn.

When we moved across the line into Oklahoma and we needed to find a bank I looked for Art…..and after I found him he would be our banker for the next 27 years. In that time we became very good friends. I’ve said often that Art was the last of the ‘old time’ bankers. That kind of banker that believed in you as a person and loaned money based on that premise. In fact, he actually loaned millions of dollars on exactly that! We bought a several houses (rental properties) over the years and just called Art after the fact. It was never a problem.

By 1997 Art had become a VP and loan officer and was heading up the branch in Sayre. We started Trinity Fellowship in a home and then moved to a small building on the south end of town. When we grew to about 35 people (on a good day) we started looking for another place. We landed on Walter Merrick’s property two miles east of town on I-40. The Merrick family was gracious to allow us to use the property with no rent from ’92 to ’97…..which was a good thing because we had no money

The property became available for purchase and there were some very interested people who had the means to buy it. But we felt that the Lord wanted us to have the property. After a lot of prayer we decided we should try to buy. I remember vividly sitting in Art’s office and telling him that we wanted to buy the property. Art said “Yes”, and the rest is history.

Why do I tell that story?? I tell it because Art Harris believed in us when there wasn’t much to believe in. In two years we had the property (100 acres on I-40) totally paid off. Art started coming to church with us along about that time and our friendship deepened even more.

A couple of years ago Art was diagnosed with cancer. It was a tough diagnosis with the doctors giving him 6 months to live. I was there at his house when he arrived from Oklahoma City after getting the discouraging news. We prayed and he vowed to fight it…which he did. There was a mixture of reports from the docs over the next year, some good …..some not. Three of us went to Dallas in December to watch the Texas state football finals games. Art tired easy and didn’t have a lot of energy but it was a great trip, nonetheless. It was only a few months later that he was promoted to heaven.

When I look back over the years since I’ve known Art it’s very obvious how much he’s helped the Taylor family……and the Trinity family, as well. There’s hundreds of stories out there just like mine….of people that Art believed in. and gave them a ‘leg up’.

He was my Friend! There’s no question about it for me…..Art Harris is definitely a VIP! …….and you wouldn’t have to look far to find a lot of other people who think so too!

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“Highly Credentialed”!

I had a speaking engagement recently in Oklahoma City. It was held at a huge, and elaborate, venue….and there were several hundred people in attendance….and I was the ‘Keynote Speaker’. When I arrived and assessed the situation I immediately text Julie and said, “This is kind of a big deal! I’m pretty sure I’m out of my league. You better be praying for me!” I could immediately relate to how Forrest Gump felt when he went to the White House!

After a very honoring introduction I made my way to the podium. And, I thought….“Well, I guess I should let this big crowd of bank presidents, doctors, lawyers…and professional people of every type know that my credentials as a ‘keynote speaker’ are definitely up towards the top of the scale of speaker qualifications.” You’re probably wondering by now what those credentials are. Here’s the ‘short list’:

  1. I was in the largest graduating class that ever graduated from Allison, Texas High School (I call it the Institute of Higher Learning…just sounds better to me! lol) There were 15 of us!! I was in the Top-15 in my graduating class! (*Barely)
  2. I have been the “Keynote Speaker” at the Sayre, Oklahoma Kindergarten Graduation...not once, not twice, but 3 times! And if my own kids will keep havin’ kids, I could have a ‘lock’ on that gig for a few more years!
  3. I’m the only guy I know of that has been ‘kicked out’ of the Canadian, Texas Moose Lodge! *via a certified letter no less (You might argue that it’s not a qualifying factor but either way….I do hold that distinction) *Keep in mind, that was in the BC (Before Christ) days
  4. Roger Mills County Jr Spelling Bee Champ (4th Grade – Winning Word – “executive”) What ‘ya think about that, huh?!!

I know a ‘goat ropin’, and a tractor pull or two on my resume would make my qualifications a little more legit but I just haven’t had the hankerin’ to go to either of them. I have, however, roped a few goats and driven a tractor a little if that counts. And I guess if you consider the fact that I’ve seen Ernest Tubb in person I’d pretty much be overqualified for about any kind of speaking engagement.

I hope you’re not intimidated by that stellar list of qualifications….and if you need a top-notch speaker for your Senior Citizens Dinner, garage sale or maybe your family reunion….I just might be your guy! ……..and don’t worry about my fee ………I ain’t cheap…..but I’ll work with ‘ya!

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*You might like this one too:

You May Not Know This, But I’m Kind of a Big Deal

VIP #8 – Monty Taylor

I have an unlimited pool of people to write about when I write about VIP’s. There’s been so many people throughout the course of my life that have had a profound effect on me in one way or another. I’m grateful for the things I’ve learned from all of them and grateful for the deposits they’ve made into my life.

Monty Taylor, or ‘Mont’ as I’ve called him since we were little kids, is my brother (there’s just the two of us) but he’s been my best friend since the day he was born 59 years ago. Oh, we had our differences when we were growing up like all siblings do but neither one of us ever tolerated anybody else mistreating the other one. We’ve been ‘partners in crime’, so to speak, all these 59 years. We’ve had about every kind of ‘wreck’ with horses, cattle and bulls that you could ever imagine……and some you just couldn’t imagine no matter how hard you tried. We’ve even had a couple of car wrecks; one when we were headed to school in little Allison, Texas and hit a patch of black ice and rolled my pickup up on the side. Another the night before I got married. We’d had way too much to drink and ran off a bridge on the Oklahoma line. It was a miracle that me or Mont….or Ken Henry weren’t killed. Then there was the time when I was about a 3rd grader and  Mont hadn’t started to school yet. Dad had gone to shoe horses at a neighboring ranch and he didn’t let us go. We weren’t happy about that so we got on a big ‘ol tractor. We somehow got it started….and it took off. I bailed out! (Sorry Mont!) But Mont rode ‘er on out…until it hit a cattle guard and spun out ’til it died. It could’ve easily killed us both! And, let’s just say that Cliff Taylor wasn’t too happy when he got back to the ranch and the tractor had run through the fence.

We had no choice but to be cowboys and we took to it full blast. We started our bull riding careers on the arm of the chairs and couches in a little one bedroom ranch house on the Washita River 35 miles SE of Canadian, Texas. We graduated from the chair arm to riding on the back of our dad on hardwood floors. They don’t call ’em hardwood floors for nothin’! You learn early on to try as hard as you can to not get bucked off and bang your head off the hardwood. We went to our first rodeo when I was 8 and Mont was 5. We were determined to practice riding but we had no bucking chute….but we made do! When we’d see the dust from Dad’s pickup go over that last hill….we’d gather every cow, calf and bull we had and ride every single one of them. We’d run ’em in a big pen, rope ’em, snub ’em to a post, put our rope on ’em….and the rodeo was on!! Dad started gettin’ kinda suspicious when the cow herd wouldn’t even come in when he fed….and when he noticed how bad we were bruised and skinned up!! Rodeo was a pretty important part of our lives for the next 20-25 years. We rode in every major rodeo throughout the United States and Canada…..and won money at most of ’em! We were both inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mont Taylor is a ‘Man’s Man’! He’s a man of his word, treats every single person with dignity, hard worker, great husband and Daddy, has a thousand really good friends and I doubt if he has an enemy on the whole planet. He’ll ‘loosen up’ with the best of ’em….but wouldn’t ever cause anybody any harm. We live 300 miles apart but I talk to him a couple of times a week. I have a ton of respect and admiration for him. His impact on my life has been immeasurable…..Mont Taylor is definitely a VIP!!

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Check out some more VIP’s:

VIP #1 – Booger Bryant

VIP #2 – Sarge Cook

VIP #3 – Ronnie Chadwick

VIP #4 Paul Luchsinger

VIP #5  & 6 – Edith Yowell & Nellie Millar

VIP #7 – Rick Hudson

“If You Ain’t Lovin’, You Ain’t Livin'”

I’m always on the lookout for quotes or phrases that I think’ll make a good blog title. I find good things everywhere but music offers an endless supply of great phrases. I have a great admiration for songwriters, especially the good ones. And if you’ve been reading my blogs up ’til now you know I’m way partial to Classic Country. I grew up on it….and whether you like it or not you gotta admit that the songwriters of that era had it goin’ on!

“If You Ain’t Lovin’, You Ain’t Livin'” was written by Tommy Collins and sang by Faron Young. (one of my very faves! *click to watch!) The song went to #3 on the Country Charts in 1954. George Strait (another fave! *click to listen) recorded it in ’88 and it went to #1…..like most everything else of his! But the song title, like a lot of others I notice, has some really profound spiritual truth if you just think about it.

It’s an eternal truth; Love is what makes the world go round. It never fails, at least that’s what the Book says. “Of these three abide faith, hope and love….but the greatest of them is love”. I could go on and on but the fact of the matter is that, whether he knew it or not, Tommy Collins nailed it right on the head.

Love is the essence of what our lives are all about…or at least what they ‘should’ be about. Starting with the Father’s love for each of us; It’s pretty incredible! He doesn’t love us because we’re good….He loves us because He’s good! And when we experience His love, firsthand, it changes us forever. And then along the way we begin the process of learning to love like He does…..unconditionally!

In a nutshell…we’re created to love…..and to be loved. There’ll be no lack of good excuses as to why we’re not loving others……but in light of God’s love toward us……none of them are valid. “If You Ain’t Lovin’, You Ain’t Livin'” The song simply says that you can have everything else that money can buy….but if you’re not lovin’, you’re missing out on what life is all about!

We should thank Tommy Collins, Faron Young and George Strait……they had it right!

If you liked this one…..Check these out:

*(Click on highlighted link)

God Loves You And There’s Nothing You Can Do About  It

Love  Gives

What’s Love Got  To  Do With It?

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“I Keep A Close Watch On This Heart Of Mine”

 You probably recognize that line….it’s the first line in Johnny Cash’s song, “I Walk The Line”. (Click on the link to see Johnny sing it ‘LIVE’ in San Quentin) I found it really interesting that Johnny wrote that song in just 20 minutes, backstage, before a show in Gladewater, Texas, in 1956. The song went on to be a #1 hit….and remained #1 for 6 weeks. You’ll still hear “I Walk The Line” regularly on Classic Country stations nationwide……..60 years later!

But that first line has some profound ‘spiritual’ implications if you’ll think about it. Solomon, regarded by many as one of the wisest persons of all time, said it this way, “Guard your heart, for out of it flow the issues of life.”. There’s no doubt about it, one of the greatest challenges of our entire life, is to maintain a ‘pure heart’. Even Cash’s song eluded to that very fact. Everything we do and say, and every thing we ‘are’, for that matter, is directly governed by our heart. Not the body part that’s beating in your chest right now…..but the soul and spirit part of us. That part of us that makes us ‘who we are’!

Guarding our heart starts with a raw, unadulterated honesty with our own selves. That seems to be the hardest thing for some people….but it’s needed for all of us if we’re to get an accurate ‘read’ on our heart with our motives and intentions. You can be sure that everything imaginable in the world is working against us to pollute our heart. The Bible talks extensively about our ‘being conformed into the image of Jesus’. If you’ll stop and think about it….God doesn’t care if we look like Jesus; He doesn’t care if our voice sounds like His. But He does care that our heart responds to the events…..and people in our lives like He did. It’s our ‘heart’ that the Father is determined to conform to be like Jesus’.

Where do we start? We can only start by being honest with ourselves. Then we should ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our thoughts, attitudes and behavior that needs to be adjusted. Nothing to get frustrated about…it’s a lifelong endeavor. But we can ease the discomfort some by cooperating with the Lord. You can do it……so “Keep a Close Watch on That Heart of Yours!”

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“Opportunism” Is Not a Good Thing – But Have You Thought About It From This Perspective??

Opportunism is not a positive word; not a positive thing. Wikipedia’s definition: the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles, or with what the consequences are for others. Therefore, an opportunist is someone who takes advantage of someone else’s misfortune….and for their own gain. That’s not nice!

But I have another perspective to think about. In fact, we’ve been practicing it to some degree for 20+ years. An ‘opportunist’ sees someone going through a bad time and they lurk around to see how they can personally capitalize, benefit or profit from their calamity. But what if we were to take a more positive position?? What if, when we see someone going through a bad time, we were to reach out to those people and, rather than take advantage of them, do whatever we could do to help them in their dilemma?

At one time we actually had a person at Trinity on a part-time salary to do just that. He was very good at it too. His name was James Daniels, or JD as we all called him. He had an uncanny knack for noticing people who were going through trials in their lives. He could quickly discern what their actual needs were and did whatever he could, whenever he could, , with whatever resources we had, to help. (JD passed away a few years ago) Instead of just waiting around for people to come our way for help we were actually being aggressive in searching those people/families out. It seems like just something that the church should naturally do!

Of course, it was a huge ‘difference maker’ in the lives of the affected families.….but more than that it gave them a ‘good taste’ of church and even more important, the kingdom of God. Oh, and we’d supply the help that we could with absolutely no strings attached. We think that’s how Jesus would do it.

Imagine how different the world would look if we would all think that way!! And maybe, just maybe the world would change how they think about the church….and it’s people!

I say, “Let’s all be opportunists”.…..but from a kingdom perspective!

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8378 Zulu ….. and the Flight That Was Almost the Last One!

8378Z; That was the ‘call letters’ on my dad’s airplane. It was a great plane, Cessna 205, 6-seats, long-range tanks, STOL Kit (equipped for ‘short takeoffs and landings’), and a real ‘workhorse’ of a plane. By that I mean that you could load it down with weight and fly a long ways. That comes in handy when you’re traveling from rodeo to rodeo in the summertime with several guys and all their gear, and going to two rodeos a day (one in the afternoon/one at night). *(Over the 4th of July we went to 3 rodeos in one day! Cody, Wyoming, Red Lodge and Livingston, Montana)

The year was 1981. I was on track to make the NFR (National Finals Rodeo where the Top 15 in the World compete) in Oklahoma City. I had caught a ride with PRCA World All-Around Champ, Paul Tierney. Paul had leased a twin-engine plane and hired a pilot for the rigorous rodeo run through July and August. We flew to Custer and Aberdeen, South Dakota where I’d won the bull riding at both places. I had left our plane in Sturgis, South Dakota. I’d be back to Sturgis late that night where I’d meet my traveling partners, Gary Toole and Ricky Bolin. We’d leave there about noon-ish the next day for Hill City, Kansas.

The day before one of my main instruments had stopped working in our plane. The ‘attitude gyro’ just quit working. The ‘attitude’ instrument tells you if you’re climbing…or descending, or turning left or right. It’s an extremely important instrument. I had asked the pilot of Paul Tierney’s plane about it. He told me that, as an alternative, I should watch the compass….and that anytime the compass was moving…I was turning. I did not have an instrument rating but was fairly proficient in using my instruments in flying.

I was a good, safe pilot…..unless you ask Julie! Earlier in the year Julie and I, and Denny Flynn were flying to Del Rio, Texas to the Super Bull, the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding…which was the largest, highest paying Bull Riding event in those days. In making my landing approach I came in ‘a little hot’, had to make a fly around and then made a perfect landing. Julie tried every way in the world to get another ride home from Del Rio…but to no avail….she was forced to ride back home with me in the plane. We made it home fine but she was pretty hard to get loaded up in the plane after that!

I made it back to Sturgis sometime after midnight. The next morning the weather around Sturgis and Rapid City was overcast with some thunderstorms and low cloud covering. We were ready to head out for Hill City but I wasn’t going to ‘chance it’ with the marginal weather…and the faulty instrument. The weather reports were telling us that the clouds were moving out and we should be able to fly ‘clear skies’ all the way to Kansas. As soon as we got the good report we were taking off and headed for Hill City.

Only about 15-20 minutes into the flight the weather changed dramatically……for the worse! Heavy, dark clouds moved in and the ‘ceiling’ was only 300 ft. We stayed below the cloud covering, which is pretty dangerous considering that there are communications towers taller that that! The clouds appeared to be about 50 ft thick. We’d see huge gaps in the clouds of blue sky. The clouds were dropping even lower and I knew I had to try to go above the clouds. I told Gary, who was flying the right-hand seat, to keep an eye on the ground and I’d try to take it up through one of those patches of blue sky. Almost immediately we were encased in clouds….couldn’t see up, couldn’t see down. It sounds crazy but when you’re in the clouds like that you can be flying upside down and can’t tell it. It’s like being inside a paper bag.

I remember my flight instructor teaching me that you can just turn an airplane loose and it’ll fly by itself. That’s great if you’re several thousand feet up, but we’re 300 ft above the ground. That wouldn’t work! I looked at the compass and it was moving (which meant we were turning). I turned the yoke (the wheel) loose and the compass turned even faster. Not good! We were all in panic mode when Gary grabbed the yoke and pulled it straight into his chest. A No-No in most conditions…..and if the plane happened to be upside down…it’d fly us right into the ground!

Well, that didn’t happen; within a few seconds we cleared the clouds and our wings were vertical to the ground and we were climbing. I grabbed the yoke and brought it back to a horizontal, straight and level position. We were all exhausted from the stress of those few minutes. In 5 more minutes we were flying south with nothing but blue skies ahead.

I look back at that day often and it seems obvious to me now that the Lord had everything to do with preserving us that day…..and saving our lives.

8378 Zulu made it safely into Hill City, Kansas!

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Gem City, Texas…….and the Prayer That Should’ve Never Been!

Prayer is an important ingredient of the Christian life. It’s at least one way that we’re able to communicate with the Father. I pray a lot these days. It’s probably not prayer like you might classify it, but it’s prayer, nonetheless. It’s mostly (but not limited to) just a one liner here and there. A lot of times I’ll just say, “Help me Lord”, or I’ll just speak a healing prayer over someone that comes to mind. I pray for Julie every morning when I put my wedding ring on, have for years. Anyway, my point is, prayer is a priority for me and I try to simply follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in doing it.

But there was a time in my life that I didn’t pray much. I mean, I prayed back during my rodeo career…..and daily, when I was getting on bulls every day. There’s just something about climbing down on an 1800 lb bull that makes you want to pray….if you know what I mean. But other than that prayer wasn’t a huge priority in my life. Should’ve been…..just wasn’t.

Life on the ranch was good. One of the yearly events was a little Christmas get-together at Gem City. Now, Gem City ain’t no ‘city’ at all. Matter of fact, all that Gem City consisted of was one house….and a little one room church house that had no regular services. Our nearest neighbors lived in that house. Homer and Georgia Thomas, an elderly….and very sweet couple, lived there. Every Christmas, a few days before, a lot of the ranch families would meet at the little church, sing a few Christmas carols, hear a little Christmas story preachin; and have a little something for the kids. There might be 40-50 people there and it was always a pleasant time.

Well, one year, and long before I’d started going to church, we went to the little program at Gem City. The carols had been sung, the preachin’ about Baby Jesus had happened and it was about time to wind it all up with a prayer when the preacher started lookin’ around the room. Everyone else had their head bowed and eyes closed but me and he made eye contact with me. I immediately thought, “This can’t be good!”. …..and get this!! Out of his mouth he says, “Andy Taylor….would you please lead us in prayer.” I ’bout gagged!! My blood pressure spiked! I broke out in a cold sweat! My whole life flashed in front of me! My hands got ‘clammy’! My mouth went dry! Julie and I looked at each other at exactly the same time….and as scared as I was…..she was scared – er!!! Neither one of us had any idea what I might say!

I have no idea what I prayed that night; maybe something like, “Lord, four-score and seven years ago” or “I pledge allegiance, Lord”  ….Who knows what I might’ve said? I somehow made it through some kind of prayer….and without cussin too’!

We got in the car and let out a huge sigh of relief. We had a good laugh (I bet the Lord even laughed on that one!)….but I was secretly planning what I could be doing next year on that night instead of going to the Christmas program in Gem City!

PS- I’ll bet, if you can find those church pews, you can still find mine and Julie’s ‘claw marks’ on ’em!!

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There Is Such a Thing as ‘Extreme Sports’ ……But This Is Ridiculous!

I’d never heard the term, ‘Extreme Sports’, until about 10-15 years ago. Now you hear it all the time. If you look at the list of extreme sports you’ll find a pretty extensive list of things that any normal person really wouldn’t want to do. I mean, if common sense is involved, you just wouldn’t want to risk your life for this stuff. But there’s plenty of people out there who aren’t satisfied with just a normal existence….they have to test the limits! And nothing, it seems, can stand in their way.

I can relate to that, somewhat. I rode bulls for 20 years…..starting as a kid riding calves, then steers right on up to 2000 lb bulls. And there’s no denying to most that bull riding has to be counted as one of the most extreme of the ‘extreme sports’. Add to that, when we were riding in the ’70’s and early ’80’s there was no such thing as helmets and protective vests. And really, most of the guys back in those days wouldn’t have worn them anyway. It would’ve been wise, I guess, but those who are extreme sports enthusiasts have considered the danger…and the potential for complete disaster, and are still willing to do it.

There’s a growing list of extreme sports; hang gliding, base jumping, motorcycle jumping (flips/back flips, etc), snow skiing (I’m not talking about the ‘bunny slopes’! I’m talking about getting dropped out of a helicopter on a mountain with nothing but jagged rocks and snow!), white water rafting, mountain biking, etc. And, I’ve seen enough on TV of these guys attempting to climb Everest…..and I’m thinking, “Hell no!””. *(click on any of the highlighted links for more information/videos)

The list of extreme sports could go on and on….but of all of them out there this one chills me the most! Free climbing! And this guy, Alex Honnold, (You really must click the link and watch!!) who is the ‘poster boy’ for free climbing/free soloing, is one incredible guy. I first saw him on a segment of “60 Minutes” and could hardly believe what I was seeing. He climbs these ‘unclimbable’ rock faces, some of them inverted, with nothing but his bare hands. Being several thousand feet up with nothing but rock below means absolute ‘certain death’ should he make the slightest slip! But he still insists on doing it time and time again.

I don’t know what Alex would say about bull riding….but I do know what I’d say to an opportunity to do what he does…..NO!! Some would call it machismo, others like me would say, “it’s just crazy”! But it’s a shining example of the human spirit. We’re created to conquer and overcome…..and a few like Alex Honnold really, really believe it!