Back on the Rodeo Road!

Hey all sorry I have fallen behind and haven’t blogged in awhile. I had surgery a few weeks back and was pretty well bed ridden for awhile and wasn’t able to do much but sleep. I’ve been working to get caught up and will post all my blogs in one to not clog your feed sometimes this week. With the spring rodeo season under way I have decided to blog about my weekend adventures rodeoin since I will have little time for my independent learning project. This weekend we went to Torrington, Wyoming, stop 2 of 5 for the spring rodeo schedule. Torrington is always a fun rodeo for me because they ALWAYS have great bucking bulls.

Back track to Friday morning, 7am. I wake up and go through my morning routine. I shower and shave, (Leaving a ‘stache for moustache March of course) then eat some breakfast. I double checked my bags and made sure I had everything I needed for the weekend and headed out the door to meet the rest of the team. A group of us rough stock riders always travel together in a van, since we don’t have to haul a horse and trailer. We met in the parking lot of the PAC at 9am made a quick stop for coffee and headed down the road.

We rolled into Torrington just in time for the slack. The slack is when they run 100’s of contestants all afternoon so everyone can compete. I won’t lie I find the slack very very boring. I do not enjoy watching 100’s of team ropers and barrel racers make runs. So I usually slip away to the hotel with some friends and either play cards, do homework, or take a nice nap, as I did this time

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I was woken by my coach when it was time to head to the night perf. The night perf is when 10 rodeo athletes are selected randomly out of the list to compete at night under the lights, in front of the crowd with the “rodeo” atmosphere. When we got back to the arena I proceeded to grab my gear bag check the draw for what bull I have and head behind the bucking chutes. I tend to hang out behind them the entire rodeo so I can help my friends in the bareback and saddle bronc events, as well as keep away from people and keep my mind clear before I ride. At the end of the saddle bronc event I began to get my gear ready. I rub rosin into the tail of my rope to make it sticky as well as the palm of my glove. I then put my lucky riding pants and shirt on, my boots and spurs, and tie on my boots. After that I tape my wrist and forearm and began to stretch and warm up. When they start running bulls into the chute I put my chaps and vest on grab my helmet and rope and go find my bull.

My bulls was a young coming 4, very small and I was told he has only had 2 riders on him before. I put my rope on and sized it so that the sticky part of my rope lined up with my handle. I would be the 4th rider out. My teammate and good friend Chasen Cole was 2nd out, he made an awesome bull ride (1 of only 3 this weekend) and man did it pump me up. When the rider before me went out I crawled into the chute and onto the back of my bull. He instantly began jumping and thrashing in the chute. I took my time and squatted above him as I warmed up my rope, took my wrap, and slide back down onto his back. As I tried to slide up on my rope he began to lay down in the chute. After trying to get him to stand I finally asked the stock contractor if I could take him lying, which he said yes. I took one last deep breath and nodded my head. As the chute came open the bull instantly shot out. I charged my hips into my rope to match his kick as he spun around. This bull almost spun 180* the first jump, or so it felt and I thought oh boy here we go! So I instinctively started driving my body to the right for the next spin. But all of a sudden the bull completely stopped, and I didn’t, leaving me hanging off the side. As it turns out the bull got his horn caught in the gate which made him stop. When he became unstuck he jumped to the left away from me leading to me getting bucked off. I tried to get a re-ride but the judges did not favor me that day. Not much I can do but be happy I’m healthy and on to the next one!

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Digital Activism

I learned a lot after reading all the digital activism articles. I really had no idea what Digital Activism was or anything about it, but “The 6 Activist functions of technology” was a very helpful read for me to get started. I learned how people were using the internet to aid their activism. I then went on to the other articles and learned more about how today’s teens are using it effectively to fight key issues they face.

Maybe it is just because I am from the Midwest, or I have the wrong friend circle, but I rarely see people actively engaging in digital activism on my Facebook or twitter feed. The only thing I can honestly think of is anti-suicide campaigns that come across every few years. But when reading the articles I was able to see how teens are effectively spreading their word and cause via Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. Each like and sharing making it bigger and stronger. Slowly but surely gaining more followers.

With social media and the internet teens are able to stay up to date almost instantly about issues and they stay on top of issues that concern them, like bullying and depression. I think another great thing about digital activism is it can give people a voice that may be shy. Some activists can be keyboard warriors, in a good way. They can express concerns through a screen they would be too scared to say in front of a crowd.