Summer means rodeo season. I grew up going to rodeos every weekend - my father was a rodeo clown and bullfighter in his 20s, and then a rodeo announcer for decades. He was a corporate executive during the week and then Friday afternoon we would drive to a rodeo. I spent my childhood weekends watching rodeo performances and learning that 8 seconds is important.
8 seconds in a rodeo is a critical amount of time. It's the length of a qualified ride in bronc and bull riding. The cowboys (and a few cowgirls) must hang on for a full 8 seconds on a bucking spinning animal. And not just hang on, but be judged on their form while trying to stay alive.
Here is what achieving an 8 second bull ride looks like click here
To the rider, 8 seconds can feel like an eternity. But, for us, 8 seconds can be a very helpful tool for life. In the adage of "count to 10" before you do something...I count to 8 and picture rodeo athletes in my mind. I hope this image may be a tool for you to add to your toolbox.
Watching a cowboy hang on for 8 seconds can remind us that we too can hang on for 8 seconds. Life can throw us one direction and then another, it can be chaotic and unpredictable...but remember that you are stronger than you think you are and you can hang on for 8 seconds.
When you feel like you have to quit...give it 8 seconds more.
When you are about to snap regrettable words....count to 8 before you speak.
When you are overwhelmed and don't know where to start...take a deep breath, count to 8, another deep breath, and see if clarity comes to you.
When you feel the urge to do something you know is not good for you (eat the thing you crave, skip the workout, order another cocktail)...think it through for 8 seconds and ask your soul if this is really what is best for you.
When you have a task you dread...think of this cowboy and consider, if he can do 8 seconds on a bull, I can do this.
When anxiety is running high...breathe with this count...inhale exhale 1, inhale exhale 2, in out 3, in out 4...until you reach 8.
8 seconds becomes a tool to help you remember you can do hard things, you can hang on a little longer, and give yourself an 8 second pause when you need to re-group.
If you are intrigued with the sport of rodeo, watch the movie titled 8 Seconds. It is a true story about rodeo legend Lane Frost. It stars Luke Perry and will give you a view into the life of a rodeo cowboy.
I just spent three nights watching rodeo this weekend in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas with my family. I have lots of video footage of rides that didn't last 8 seconds, it is much harder than it looks. Thanks to Trey Kimzey from Strong City, Oklahoma for this bull ride video I'm sharing with you today. He is in the top 15 of the nation right now and likely to ride in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.
If Trey can hang on for 8 seconds, we can do it too!