This time last year I was preparing for the Miss Rodeo Sul Ross competition. To a lot of people, itʼs probably not a big deal, but to me it was my first competition as a horseman. You see, my riding career was just beginning. Being a rodeo queen was not my childhood dream, but competition horseback has always been.
It was my last year to be eligible to run for this title so I thought “Aw what the heck!” and “Why not?”. I honestly did not think Iʼd win. Surely I wouldn’t… these other girls had been riding far longer than I had. I had been riding since high school and I was on a drill team, The Catalena Cowgirls, back in 2014 but I had never really competed. It wasn’t all foreign, but I only thought of it as a way to become a better rider and help me learn to overcome my nerves of being in front of others in the arena. I never really gave myself a chance at winning in my head. I was honestly ok with not winning this.
I tend to be my biggest critic and I really was not giving myself enough credit. Every single day Iʼd go out and practice leads and patterns on my horse. Iʼd practice impromptu speeches and time myself speaking. I put in a lot of time after work and during my lunch breaks to prepare myself for this competition. Lo and behold, I won the dang thing.
I put in the work and I won it fair and square. And despite how crappy some people can be when they donʼt win (I hate to put this in here, but it happened and it was real), I kept my head high because they couldn’t possibly know how much this meant to me. I was honestly honored to accept this title. It really meant a lot.
Then life happened.
I found out that I was pregnant with Miss Codi a few months later. And if you know anything about pageants, you probably know that a title cannot continued to be held if the queen gets married or becomes pregnant. So I was immediately heartbroken, embarrassed, and mad at myself. How could I have turned myself into “that girl”? This feeling lasted for a while and I continued to be selfish only thinking about the fact that I would be “losing my title”. I kept worrying that Iʼd be the laughing stock of the small town of Alpine, Texas and beyond. I felt like a failure to myself and to the program. Whatʼs really funny is that I was so upset about giving the buckle back. My goal for so long had been to win a buckle horseback and it was extremely hard for me to hand that back. Of all the things to be worried about. I laugh now thinking about it. Tanner even joked that he would just buy me a buckle for being “the best momma” out there.
Finally there was a day that it all clicked. It didn’t really matter. The title was just that, a title. As soon as I realized I was giving up a such small “thing” and I was gaining a far more important TITLE (momma) my cares about the latter went to dust.
Now, Iʼm not saying itʼs ok for queens to be in this situation and I am NOT bashing anyone or the program. Obviously, I knew the stakes. I signed the contract, but Iʼm just saying that I had stopped caring about what others would think and say because that did not matter anymore. All that mattered now was this sweet baby and making sure that I try my very best to be the best for her!
So sure doors close when you become pregnant! Everyone has a different story and different situation. Right or wrong. Everyone sacrifices something when they bring a child into the world, but sometimes those sacrifices aren’t as big as we think they are. I am so proud to be this little girls momma and I’m not looking back.
I may not be a rodeo queen anymore, but I am a momma and that’s a pretty awesome title!