By Teresa Fackrell "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
Although I work full time and have 2 kids to keep up with, I really enjoy contributing. I am not the type of person who can sit at a rodeo and just watch. So in addition to my full time responsibilities, I volunteer as much as possible.
I teach 4H every Thursday, secretary for Central Utah Little Britches, jackpot secretary for Central Utah Junior Rodeo and put together the program for the Juab High School Rodeo team. The best part is knowing that what I do benefits the kids who are working, riding, roping and practicing hard each day.
For some moms, they may feel a little out of place at a rodeo. They may not know how to help. When I first started volunteering, I really had no idea how to do a rodeo payback. Someone knew that I worked with computers and was good at math. So they said can you help do our jackpots. Of course I said yes. But I still had to learn how to calculate the number of kids, the entry fee and the percentage to pay back. Now, I organize an entire rodeo.
Junior rodeos especially are made up solely of volunteers. The people timing, helping push cows, opening and closing the gate, and being the secretary are doing it to help the kids.
If you are at a junior rodeo and want to, just ask what you can do. Normally, all committees would really appreciate any additional help. Even if you don’t know what to do ask and someone will teach you. It really is a learn as you go thing. Even if you just help open and close a gate that frees someone else up to move cows or set up the barrels. So don’t be afraid to jump in. It will be greatly appreciated.
I also want to send many thanks to the volunteers. I am always amazed at the amount of time and dedication that people volunteer for junior rodeos. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!
Most of the time we may not see our kids as the athletes that they are. We might make sure that our horses have the best nutrition including supplements but do we do the same for our kids. Several of you may answer yes. But I have been to too many rodeos to see the snacks and foods most parents are handing their kids.
Most parents are handing their kids sodas, crackers, cookies, candy, rodeo burgers, nachos and a myriad of other junk. These are all empty calories and doing nothing to build the body of an athlete. They may provide a temporary energy boost but there is always the sugar crash. On top of the overload of sugar in soda, it also reduces your endurance and strips vital nutrients from your body. Crackers, cookies and chips do not provide any of the essential nutrients your body needs to get stronger.
In order to be in top athletic shape our kids needs to eat like an athlete. It is important that they get the proper nutrition to focus and perform. They need lean protein for sustainable energy and to build muscle. They need fruits and vegetables to get all of the essential nutrients. Adding in nuts, seeds or the good oils like olive, coconut and flaxseed will give them the Omega 3s they need for their brain to be functioning optimally.
Yes it will take some time to plan meals, cook the right things and pack nutritious food. It is time well spent when your kids bodies are performing well. Plan to give them what they need and not what they want.
You can follow a few simple rules to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need. 1) Make sure they are getting 3 servings of lean protein everyday. Eggs, whey protein shakes, turkey, chicken or beef are good choices. Lean means not breaded or deep fried. 2) Try to get in 4-6 servings of fruits and vegetables. Add a banana to a breakfast smoothie, make a veggie omelette, replace the potato chips with some raw veggies as a snack, give them an apple instead of a cookie, or choose a salad instead of a potato for dinner. A good rule for veggies and fruits is to eat a rainbow everyday. The different colors provide different nutrients. 3) Add in some healthy oils. Get a bag of raw nuts for traveling or make your own trail mix without all the sugar. Cook with healthy oils like olive or coconut. Make your own salad dressing with olive oil and spices.
It may take some planning and work but your kids are worth it!
Little Britches has an event for Little Wranglers and Jr Boys called, Flag Racing. I first did this event in 4-H and then in some riding clubs. It is a gymkhana event that has a few variations according to the association. I have to say when I watch my little boys have a good run this is one of my favorite events.
The course consists of two barrels set on opposite sides of the arena approximately 100 feet from the starting line. On top of the left-hand barrel is a bucket of oats, on the top of the right-hand barrel is a bucket of oats with a flag sticking in it.
The contestant is given a flag at the gate. The object is to ride around the pattern as quickly as possible, STICKINʼ the flag carried in the left hand bucket and PICKINʼ the flag in the the right-hand bucket and carrying it back across the start/finish line.
A contestant is disqualified for knocking over the barrel or bucket, failing to get the first flag in the bucket, failing to retrieve the second flag, for circling the barrel, going on the wrong side of the barrel, using the flag as a whip, or if either flag is dropped. Carrying the flag anywhere but in the hand results in a five second penalty.
This what we are talking about when we yell look. You gotta get you head and body pointing the right direction so the horse can finish their turn. Love seeing how deep those barrel horses get into their turn.
As you look at each week, you may feel overwhelmed with so many things to get done. As a rodeo mom, you have daily mom duties but you also have to make sure that your chores are done, your kids get to school, you go to work and you get your kids to practice. This week for example, not only do I have to work a full time work schedule but we have a rodeo to put on for High School Rodeo that is Friday and Saturday.
In addition to working, I need to get the all the laundry done, go to the grocery store, pack the trailer and get my kids to practice at least 3 days this week. Plus finish the program for the rodeo and enter all the jackpot information. Here are some tips to help get you through it and get motivated to do more.
First, congratulate yourself. Women are amazing. We are great at multi-tasking. Although I may be stressed about it today, by Friday I know I will have everything ready and we will have a great weekend at the rodeo.
Second, can I mention lists? The best way to get things done is to know exactly what you need to do. So today before I leave work, I will make a list of all the things that need to happen by Friday. Also when, I clean and go through the trailer we are staying in, I will make a list of things that need to be bought before we go. You should also prioritize the list. There is always too much to do. So make sure you only do what is important. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you get mark things off of the list.
Third, put your priorities on a schedule. Most people waste a lot of time because things are not scheduled. If you break your tasks up into manageable pieces of time, you will get a lot more done. Also, you need to learn to set time limits for things. For example, tonight we only have 2 hours for practice because we need to get home and start cleaning the trailer. So only practice for 2 hours. It is way too easy to let things go beyond schedule but if you stick to it, I promise you will get more done.
Fourth, reward yourself. One of my favorite rewards is to do absolutely nothing Sunday morning when we get home from a rodeo. Really. I make some coffee in the morning, grab a blanket and watch HGTV for a couple of hours. Yes I don’t watch anything horse related. Or I pop in a movie usually a chick flick. Then when I have chilled for a little while I will get my children back to work, clean the trailer and deal with everything else left over after a rodeo weekend.