My CNFR Experience

As a college rodeo athlete, times can get stressful when trying to balance the load of practicing, being a full-time student, and being gone three days a week for college rodeos. There are times that I want to get away from it all because I feel like I’m drowning in all my responsibilities. At the end of the day, the one thing that keeps me going is the thought of making it to college finals. I made my first college finals my sophomore year of college and it was the coolest experience that I had ever been through. The production that the rodeo committee puts on is truly amazing. When I rode in my first grand entry that year I had goose bumps because it was such a cool feeling. With 2016 being my first time to qualify, the nerves were all there and then some. This year, having one year under my belt, I knew what to expect and the nerves were much more manageable. I took all the experience that I had gained from the prior year and began using it months before this year’s college finals.  I altered my practice and exercise regimen to best prepare me for what I wanted to accomplish in Casper.  The goal going into the CNFR this year was to be in the top three in at least one of my two events that I had qualified in. I qualified for the short round in both of my events inside the top ten. I had set myself up to accomplish my ultimate goal of clinching the all-around title and be in the top three of an event. My short round did not go quite as planned and I ended up placing sixth in the goat tying, ninth in the barrel racing and fourth in the women’s all-around race. After getting back to the trailer that night, I was very disappointed in how it all turned out because I had been working so hard for that moment for months on end. I allowed myself to sulk about it for a while until I realized something way more important. A friend of mine that goes to school at Odessa College got in a very bad bull riding wreck during his third round ride. While I was sitting there feeling bad because I hadn’t accomplished everything I had set out to, Brady was lying in a coma fighting for his life. He would have given anything to be in my shoes and just be able to compete in the short round of this year’s college finals. This sport will consume a person and we get so caught up in winning and accomplishing our goals that sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be able to compete and do what we love. After I had this insightful moment that night, I changed my attitude and started setting new strategies that I will implement this year to get me back to Casper and allow me to accomplish my goals. One thing that not reaching those ultimate goals this year did for me was to set a fire that will push me to work harder than ever to get where I want to go next year!

 

- KynzieMcneill