There are so many little phrases that encourage us to reach into our hearts and pull out more strength and more endurance than we ever thought we could muster. Those little words that stick deep in our craw, words that are burned into our heart and soul.
I have heard many a little phrase for getting it done, outlasting the everlasting and sticking it out no matter how bad it hurts. We all have it in us, but sometimes we just don’t know it’s there until we get right down to it: the last straw, the last minute, the last chance. That’s when you hear those little words that get you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and take a hold of life and not look back.
I have often heard it said to the home team during a football game when that old “mo” has slipped over to the other team due to some spectacular play or miraculous catch. A time when momentum may be lagging and a shot of enthusiasm is needed. In my world, momentum is often trying to get down the hill fast enough with that old Ford and wagon attached, to make it up the next hill. At times, I ask myself, did have this momentum before I started or did it just happen by and I got on for the free ride?
I’ve heard that you can’t get by on somebody else’s coat tails, because the weight of you hanging on will eventually cause a tear and sooner or later the big fall will commence. It’s like cow skiing when we were little. We’d grab an old cow (that was preoccupied) by the tail and hang on through the slime and manure until she cut one way and us the other. The outcome was never pleasant.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is you have to get it done on your own sometimes… no free rides.
The term that got me through some off the roughest things in life was what I heard the old timers say when they got in a bind or some cow was making a break for the mesquite trees. Or when a bronc horse would decide it was time to have a meltdown. It was hollered by the whole crew and shouted loud and clear to be heard by all and that was around, “Cowboy Up!” Those two little words meant so much. It was a way of saying no matter what’s fixin’ to take place, we’re counting on you to not let us down. Make a hand and stay in the saddle no matter how rough the ride. Cowboy Up meant you were giving your heart and soul to perform this sometimes insurmountable task, and them other fellers where depending on you to get it done.
It also was a matter of pride and honor.
It was an honor that those fellers hollering were putting faith and sweat and blood in your hands. And that man in the saddle was out to prove to himself, and those fellers that he was going to give his best effort, no matter how hard the ground might be. And pride that would swell inside from a shot of confidence that those fellers gave.
Cowboy Up! ’cause it’s the thing to do. Whether it’s bucking horses or hooking cows, life’s not easy so give it your all. In the end you will feel better no matter the outcome. Disappointment is easier to swallow if you know in your heart that you gave it your all and you left nothing out- all the ingredients were added, the sweat, the blood and your heart.
If you keep using this recipe you can always make it through life no matter what it throws at you. Oh I will promise you, there will be times it’s going to hurt and I mean break you heart, but if life were easy it wouldn’t be any fun. The toughest of times may be ahead, so bear down, give it your all and as Shannon tell’s me, “Bring on your A game!”
So pull your cinches tight and hang on to that saddle horn. Squeeze that leather until your knuckles turn white and you think you can’t hold on anymore. Then reach deep into your heart and soul and ask for more, and remember- have fun. Because you know by now, if it ain’t going to be fun, I aint going!
When life throws a you bunch of bucking horses in your string all I can say is, Cowboy Up we’re counting on you to get it done.