Tucson – Houston


So, Things haven’t gone the way I’d hoped up until this point. We left off just before my third steer at San Angelo.  My Dad has always told me to stay positive because you never know when your chance is coming. That if you struggle long enough, hard enough, that eventually you’ll break free. He loves the quote from the last Rocky movie. The one where Rocky say’s to his son,

“I’d hold you up to say to your mother, “this kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.” And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life. Don’t forget to visit your mother.”.

I know It’s a little long for a quote, but It speaks a lot to how he taught me to go about things. So with that said, San Angelo is notoriously easy. Most all four headers are. I think to myself, ” Don’t miss, If I lay two more down it will be worth a ton.”.  Already a mistake. Instead of trying to win, I’m trying not to lose. Dave did a great job and I rode too conservative of position and missed….. Damn.

So, then we Drove all night to Tucson. Not because we had to, just because I needed some time to think. I had a big month coming up and I needed to rope well. I thought about fundamental things like, I needed to hang on to my rope longer, or get down the arena farther, but in the end I decided I just needed to be aggressive, and no matter what believe in myself and what I’m capable of . Instead of fix every little problem, let the bad stuff roll off my back. Instead of accepting the wins like, “thats what should happen”. I was going to pat myself on the back and enjoy them.

So, with my new way of thinking. Tucson slack rolled around and we had a steer that tried on our first one and a steer that was pretty good on our second. We mad good runs on both steers but I missed my dallies on both of them. Maybe could have got money in the second round if not for the misstep. Instead of beating myself up about it, I dwelt on the fact that I was happy to be 6th high call at such a good rodeo. After the Cervi (I roped well at the Cervi roping but my partners had heck.) and a few great days of practice at some great friends house in stellar weather. It was Sunday short round time. Saturday night brought a huge thunder storm to the Tucson desert and a very deep and muddy arena. I normally would have thought how tough the steers were gonna be to heel in such deep ground.  Instead I focused on how easy it was going to be, because the steers were going to be going so slow in the mud. We made a great run on a good steer and won fifth place, $2000.

Then it was back to Texas. I went back home and helped Dad teach at our place in Stephenville for two weeks. The only rodeo I went to was Glen Rose and won fourth 5.4. Good run. Rodeo is a scheduling nightmare. I drew up at Houston, Austin, and the Strait all the same day. So Thursday night was my first one at Houston. Our steer tried and Dave Waved it off. Spent the night and Got up at 5 am. Drove to Austin for slack at 10. Made two great runs 5.9 and 6.0. As of writing this we are currently setting 2nd. Then drove like a crazy person to San Antonio for the Strait. Ran six steers in an hour. Made the cut just once with Kelsey Parchman. Then jumped in the truck and made the 3 1\2 hour drive back to Houston. Made it with about thirty minutes to spare. Our steer fell down when he turned him. Then I hitched a ride with Tyler Magnus back to San Antonio for the short round and got there about 2AM. Got up and roped the next day in the finals. Kelsey and I were 5.66, 5.66, and 5.21 and won fifth for $16,000! then I jumped on a private plane, flew right to Houston and won the round there for another $2000. Making it a pretty nice little $18,000 day!

I wish I had more time to tell you about every run, but it’s not important. The Important thing is I changed my attitude, I changed the way I looked at things. I became more positive. More mentally tough. I normally would have been very nervous at the Strait roping for that much money. I just told myself “this is what you work so hard for”, “This is what you dream about”, and instead of being afraid of the opportunity. I welcomed it and was rewarded for it. People always wanna talk about fundamentals and horse position, but while thats important, it’s not everything. The difference between the guys who rope good and the guy’s who rope great, is attitude. They think they can, and they do. I was proud of my own mental toughness. Overcoming a bad schedule, lack of sleep, riding different horses, and overcoming tons of pressure. I’m going to keep on this path and see where it takes me.

Till next time- TW


7 Responses to “Tucson – Houston”
  1. Patty says:

    I couldnt express enough how reading this has changed my day. It really snapped me right back to where I needed to be. Thanks for sharing it…and keep up the good work! 🙂

  2. I’m glad you said that. I had some second thoughts on talking that intimately about my thoughts. It seems like everybody wants to talk about fundamental things, and not a lot about mental toughness. Seems strange beings its the most important thing when it comes to winning. Glad you liked it and I’ll keep it up! Hopefully I’ll do them more often. -TW

  3. Doug says:


    Great words, you are your father’s son! Your thoughts hit home after my poor showing this weekend at the LA USTRC. Thanks for the reminders to stay positive, never give up, and be aggressive. Continued good luck throughout the season.

    P.S. I have looked for you and Walt on FB, are you on it ?

  4. Laura says:

    Great quote….I love it – and your exactly correct about your attitiude. My grandpa had a quote typed on his desk that he read everyday and when I visited him there as a little girl, I would read it everytime as well. Now being an adult I am understanding how many great meanings are behind those three little words……”Attitiude determines Altitude”

  5. Thank you guys for reading my blog. I’m glad you liked it! I love the “Attitiude Determines Attitude” quote. I’m kind of a quote junkie, so feel free to post all the quotes you like. And yes, Doug I am on Facebook. Look me up, I’m under Travis Woodard.

  6. Wade says:

    I too enjoyed your quote from “Rocky”. It does directly parallel you and your fathers situation. I think you are on the right track.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It is where Indiana is thinking back to his childhood and about losing the Cross of Coronado to the bad guys, but the bad guy tells him “You lost today kid, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.” I don’t know why but that one has always stuck with me.

    I am enjoying your blogs about life on the road.


  7. Chip Hoffman says:


    I’ve always looked forward to reading your “Pops” articles on living, lifes lessons and being a winner at it. He’s been one of my Hero’s for almost 35 years. No doubt about the apple not falling far from the tree! Thanks for the blogs Trav….Awesome, Awesome stuff!

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