Thrown from the Bull
By Steve Goodier
Speaker Andy Sherman tells about learning to ride bulls in the
rodeo. At eighteen, he told his father he wanted to be a
professional bull rider. His father said, "You want to do what?
Why would you want to do that?"
Andy said jokingly, "I don't know - I guess I like the hours. You
just work eight seconds at a time. That appeals to me."
His father, concerned about the inherent danger, responded, "I
absolutely forbid you to do that!" And, at that moment, young
Andy instantly knew his life's calling!
The only problem was - he couldn't ride. Always 7 1/2 seconds
away from making the eightsecond buzzer, he decided to enter
The first day of school he was told to get on a bull. He got on
and was immediately thrown off. The instructor said, "Get on
another one." He was thrown from a second bull. Then a third. And
a fourth. He finally asked the instructor, "Are you going to show
me how to ride these things?"
"That's how you ride them," came the reply. "Just get on one and
By the week's end, Andy had climbed on, and been thrown off,
about eighty bulls. But he learned how to ride.
Experience can be a great teacher. Unfortunately, there is only
one way to get it, and that is to fall a few times until you
learn. Like the employer who told her new employee, "I hired you
to make right decisions."
"And how do I do that?" he asked.
"Experience!" she answered.
"How do I get experience?" he asked.
But experience will never come if we are afraid to try. And fail.
And try again. And maybe fail again. We may have to "get thrown
from a lot of bulls" if we are ever going to learn to ride. But
that is part of living a full and happy life!
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