My Bull Riding Experience
In society, bull riders are looked upon as modern gladiators by some. They step into the arena in an attempt to conquer the beast before them. By others, bull riders are looked upon as adrenaline junkies simply looking for their next “fix”. I’ve always had a curiosity as to what keeps these athletes coming back to the arena after sustaining injury after injury. Is it the love for the sport, the natural competitive nature of human beings, or something else entirely? The sport is seen as primitive to outsiders, almost barbaric. Man versus beast, beast versus man. What else is there to win in a sport like this other than pride and enough money to pay for your medical bills? Even these questions I had prior to my experience did little to deter my curiosity.
I set out to gain a little more information about the sport before ...view middle of the document...
After I conducted my brief research, I was excited to begin planning and setting up a date where I would ride a 1,200 pound bull for the first time.
I came across an amateur bull riding event that was going to take place in West Virginia where they were going to allow anyone who had to the guts to take a shot at riding a bull prior to the main event. I was one of the individuals who took a shot at it. I recall being so nervous as I stood in line waiting for my turn. Once it was my time to go, I remember mounting on top of this enormous creature, my nerves going into overdrive almost to the point of vomiting. However, oddly enough, my excitement was still ever-present. The fact that I was riding a bull was one thing but the fact that I was about to do it in front of quite a large crowd was another. I suppose all those people showed up early to get a good laugh and I was sure that I would be the one to give them just that.
Everything happened so quickly, which was my expectation. I remember one of the conductors trying to explain to me what exactly I was supposed to do once the gate opened and once I was bucked off the bull. The only part I can recall from everything I was told could be summed up into one sentence; hold on for dear life and then run like hell. Once the gate dropped I did as instructed and held on. The bull was in total rage and violently bucked me off, throwing me flat to the ground and knocking the breath out of me. I hit the ground harder than I’d ever hit anything before but with the help of my adrenaline pumping I jumped up and ran for the fence. The rodeo clowns distracted and rounded up the bull as I successfully got away.
I was terribly sore for a few weeks that followed the event but even until this day, I don’t regret my bull riding experience. I will never do it again but I don’t regret it. I have immense respect for those that do this sport professionally. As they say, it all kinds to make the world go around and the people who’ve made bull riding their job are a unique kind.