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I used to be a RODEO COWGIRL!
Yep you heard me right…the wrangler wearin’, cowboy lovin’, barrel racin’, calf ropin’, country song lovin’ cowgirl!
{This is my senior picture}

{notice the belt buckle}
My senior year I quit rodeo…like dead, over, gone, QUIT!
If you know me at all you know that I’m not a quitter…in fact I am some what of an overachiever.
No, I am not tooting my own horn I am just stating a fact. I was involved with basketball, volleyball, softball, rodeo, 4-H, 4-H government, choir, student government, honor society, SOS (singers on stage) and renaissance on and off throughout junior high and high school. When I first found rodeo it was like a new found love! I couldn’t get enough of it.

All I wanted to do was rodeo! I practically lived at the arena.
At night I had a notebook by my bed where I would write down all my goals for the next day. Rope the dummy 50 times, practice my tie 25 times, ride all my horses for an hour, etc.
My senior year came…I had gone to state the year before, was Wrangler All-star team captain (I know you don’t know what that is but it’s a big deal) and had worked hard…expecting to go to state in all the events again I was sitting pretty for a great year! It wasn’t only about being good it was about my love for it. The smell of the fresh raked dirt in the arena, the feel of the reins in my hands, the chills I got on the back of my neck right before I entered the arena.
The exhausted, accomplished, successful feeling I got when I laid my head on my pillow after a long hard days work. I could go on forever…

I have waited a really long time to publish this post.
Because it’s just plain hard to talk about it.
It makes me look weak but maybe just maybe if I talk about it…I won’t be as weak as I seem.
To be frank and down to the point…I made some bad decisions during high school.
It was no one’s fault but mine.
I became someone that I’m not…someone that lied to their parents and wasn’t doing what was right.
When I had finally hit the last straw.
 I was broken, defeated and ruined.
I knew the only thing left to do was change.
I knew I had to be forgiven.
But it wasn’t going to be easy.

I had to completely change my life.
I knew I had to quit rodeo…
But first I had to tell my parents…I needed their help.
If I was truly going to change they needed to guide and help me through.
They were shocked and mortified when I sat them down and told them everything.
I wasn’t their overachieving little girl anymore…
I needed help.
So we set rules and I told my dad I wanted to quit rodeo…
I told him that I HAD to…
that I wasn’t strong enough…
He cried
I cried
Rodeo was OUR thing…when we didn’t have blood to bond us…rodeo did.
I’ll never forget what he said to me,
“If I promise to be with you at every rodeo at every event…be at your side…will you reconsider?”
I didn’t even think about it…
I had made my mind up.
Somewhere, something inside me told me it was easier to just quit.
When I think back all I had ever wanted was for him to be there every step of the way.
And when I had the opportunity to make that happen I threw it away.
That was the beginning of the roughest road of my life.
It was time to share this with my friends…
I had to let them know that I wouldn’t be there for the first rodeo of the season.
BUT yet again I wasn’t strong enough and instead of owning up to MY decision…
I told all my friends and rodeo coaches and colleges that it was my parents decision and that they were MAKING me quit.
It was an easy way out.
I didn’t have to explain why I literally HAD to quit for my own well being.
If there was one thing I would take back about my life it would have been that act!
Not quitting,
but blaming it on my parents.
I’m not really sure why I thought I could get away with it.
The second I told my roping coach she was on the phone with them desperately trying to plead my case.
She loved me…like all the rest of my friends in rodeo.
When I sat with my parents that night my world turned upside down.
Not only had I lied to all that cared about me but I lied to the only 2 people that could comfort me and strengthen me when everyone else was gone.
They were betrayed by their daughter.
They were there for love and support…turning away everything else in their lives to be there for me and I threw it right back in their face.
I remember crying in the living room as my dad told me he couldn’t believe what I had done.
Then I remember him standing up, coming over to me and saying…
“You can’t just cry…this is real life…you’re messing with real lives.”
He was right…
crying and acting innocence wasn’t going to change what I did…
from that day one my life has never been the same.
Those friends and colleges felt betrayed and ridiculed by me.
Like my parents did.
They didn’t talk or call me.
Rumors spread like wildfire that I had quit because…
I was pregnant 
I was weak
I couldn’t handle the pressure
I wasn’t good enough
I found myself alone because I had burned bridges too big to rebuild.
I literally dug myself in a hole so deep that no one could help me out of…even if they had tried.
I remember my dear friend Hannah being confused and overwhelmed by everything…she was being torn by me and by everyone else…
She told me that the first rodeo of the season I was up in barrels…
The announcer called my name once
three times 
then said
“We’ll miss you Sadie.”
and that was that…
She tried to be there for me and tried to understand what I needed but she couldn’t help.
No one could…
I had to face this on my own.

I really was alone…

I decided I wasn’t even worthy enough to have friends so I cut out everyone else, I did what I had to do.
I made it through the rest of my senior year with regrets in my heart and emptiness on my face.
That summer I joined my sister and her husband in a town north of mine and worked as a horse guide an hour away.
I spent many nights and days on my knees.
I spent hours in bed, in the shower, in the car crying…just crying.
I took the time on the drive up and back from Island Park to ponder and search in my heart to try and find the reasoning behind the actions I had been doing the last year.
I read the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball
I rode horses in the woods with tears running down my sun burnt cheeks…
desperately pleading to have everything go away.
I didn’t talk to friends.
I didn’t date.
I didn’t go out.
For 3 months I lived virtually alone with my Savior as I tried to right the wrongs I had committed.
I went through my own ‘hell’.
I was fragile and damaged.
Then the end of the 3 months came and the weight had been lifted.
I had been forgiven.
I was becoming whole again…
I was getting to the point that I could feel strong enough to confront those people that I had hurt.
My sweet, loving parents forgave me 
and I made amends with some of my friends.
But to this day there are a few that I have yet to talk to.
I didn’t go to a rodeo for years.
I was too embarrassed and ashamed.
I finally went to one to watch my friend Hannah and found that is wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be.
People were kind and I gave a hug to a friend that I had missed.
Time is healing the wounds that I thought would never scar.
Last summer, 
for the first time since that day I told my parents everything,
I went to my trailer and cleaned it out.
It had been almost 6 years since I had touch that tack room door.
And as my tears splashed the dust away from my saddle I finally felt OK.
Jeff was there with me and although it was hard…
I was OK.
When Jeff hears me tell stories about rodeo he feels as if I am talking about another person.
Apart of me wishes he had known me back then.
He wants to see me ride.
He thinks it will help continue the mending.
It feels good to ride in front of him and show him what my life was all about for so long.
It isn’t painful to think about going back there anymore.
I can watch the NFR on TV now without getting flushed and embarrassed and switching the channel.
I can listen to country music.
I can go to rodeos.
Just a few months ago I even taught a girl how to goat tie.
Nothing could take back how I betrayed those that I loved.
Maybe that’s why I could never face them…
No amount of words or tears could express how deeply sorry I was…
I am.
And I hope someday they will know just how much they meant to me.
How much I love them.
How I really am sorry.
I wish that I had closed that chapter in my life with an ending instead of a battle.
Sure I wish I could take back what I had done to them…
I wish even more that I had never done those things to myself.
That I hadn’t put myself in vulnerable situations.
But SINCE I did what I did.
I CHOOSE to be a better person from it.
I CHOOSE to learn from it.
I CHOOSE to be strong.
I CHOOSE to help other struggling teens with the fight against the world.
I CHOOSE to keep it as a memory so I can remember how it felt to go through what I had to.
To ensure that it will never happen again.  

My love for rodeo will NEVER go away.
It’s time for me to stop associating rodeo with the things that I had done.
It’s hard to explain to people why I quit but maybe that’s OK.
No one will understand that struggle in my life but my Heavenly Father and I.
Just like I won’t understand what other people struggle with.
Struggling to find strength from our temptations is normal…
it’s learning to rise from the dust that makes someone exceptional.
I refuse to let the adversary win.
Someday that scar will disappear forever and the memories I hold onto will become like a stranger to me…part of a different life.
I will have horses again.
I may not compete again but maybe my children will.
I want that apart of my life.
Rodeo isn’t bad…it isn’t the reason why I fell…
so I will embrace it.
It will ALWAYS be there for me.
It’s apart of my blood and I am going to have that rodeo dirt deep in my bones for the rest of my life. 
Stand up and fight against that struggle that has been pushing you down.
Don’t let it win.
You are strong enough to defeat whatever trail comes your way.
I know that without a shadow of a doubt.
Because someday you will look at a picture like this and think…
How did I get so lucky?
Why do I deserve this?
and then you’ll know…
the spirit will confirm to you…
It’s because you fought.
It’s because YOU ARE FIGHTING.
Never stop striving to become the best you can be.
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Showing 25 comments
  • Truliescrumptious

    that was a beautiful post sadie. thanks so much for sharing your amazing story.. I learned how to rope forever ago and loved it! maybe someday you can teach me to rope and ride 😉 love ya girl!

  • Reply

    Hey Lady,

    I am for sure boohoo crying right now. I love this story – your story, it like you are EXCEPTIONAL.

    PS: My blog changed from the-sweetest-serendipity.blogspot.com

    NEW: one-crafty-momma.blogspot.com

    <3 Victoria xoxox

  • Vicki Sabin


  • Jake &Yessica

    Thanks for sharing Sadie! You are an amazing woman and this doesn’t make you weak in fact it shows just the contrary. Love you!

  • Amanda

    Thank you for your story Sadie. You are truly an amazing, sweet spirit. Thank you especially for the words toward the end of your post, they are exactly what I’ve been needing to hear. Much Love!

  • Reply

    This was beautiful. I read it and was riveted. I’m sure it was hard for you to write, but I hope someone reading really hears your message loud & clear.
    Much love!

  • jamie @ kreyv

    You’ve got me crying, girl! Thanks for posting, it must have taken a lot of courage. Sorry you went through some very difficult trials. You seem like such a strong person, and I’m sure that your past has something to do with who you are today and who you will teach your children to be…strong, humble, and forgiving (even if it’s of ourselves).

  • The Dark Family

    You’re amazing! Enough said!

  • Exuberant Chaos

    speachless… Thank you for the hope of peace. Big hugs on the courage you took to publish this post.

    Thank you is all I can say, for your sincere sharing of words.

  • McKenzie

    Wow. It sounds like we have pretty similar stories. Only mine was with softball. Being a teenager is so hard, but so worth the time because we need that growth. You are amazing Sadie.

  • Melanie

    I so feel ya sista! You just made my heart smile. I was once a true cowgirl as well. I guess I always will be, & proud of it! Thanks so much for this girly!

  • Nessa

    That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. Being strong enough to say you needed to make a change is huge. Being a teen and trying to do what is best and what is right is so hard – let alone trying to make up or the mistakes already made. Glad you are getting back to something that you love again.

  • Reply

    Have I told ya lately that you’re amazing?? Well, you are! Thank you for sharing that story. I remember the first time I met you- in Brother Black’s class. I thought you were so cool and confident and gorgeous. I wanted to be just like you. I still do. You’re seriously just inspiring! I love ya girl! Let us know if you ever come to Washington this summer, we would LOVE to see you three!

  • Dad

    Sadie, this is your other dad, the genetic one. Our journey’s were not meant to be easy. We don’t learn and grow during the easy times. We placed obstacles in our life to perfect ourselves. Your present is the sum total of your past experiences- and look where you are! Wife, mother, nurse, and fabulous homemaker- each accomplishment that you worked hard for. Millions choose paths of destruction and loose. You instead said I need to make a complete departure for now to be the person I want to be, and it worked. You succeeded. People don’t need to know the details of why you quit and what you did that brought you to that point. It was your decision, it is your life, and between you and our loving God. This most important blog to date will free others of their burdens. Bless you for being forthright in sharing your determination to face what could have destroyed you against what everyone was telling you. You and God knew the path you needed to take which in the end gave you what you have now. Each of our journeys are personal and when we include God, we will succeed with mission accomplished. I am so proud of my youngest daughter, who has accomplished so much so young. You always worried about living up to your older sisters. I think that is their worry now. Remember our secret- love you forever and always, Dad.

  • Amy

    That was really inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story! I really admire you for that because being so open with something so personal is hard to do. You’re definitely a great example for everyone!

  • Karri

    Beautiful post, Sadie. Thank you for sharing your story, as hard as it may have been.

  • *Alyssa*

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story of struggle with those that care about you. I am inspired by your determination. You are a wonderful person with a big heart and God loves you. Never forget that.

  • Jen Nelson

    I remember you talking about this at work once. Such a good story and heartfelt posting.

  • Morgan, Kayla & Deandra

    Wow!!! I mean really wow. I have only followed your blog for a couple of weeks. But from the moment I stumbled across it you have inspired me.
    I graduated nursing school in December of 2008. Was married January 2009. Moved to Alaska moved back to Texas. My husband deployed last June 2 weeks later found out I was pregnant.
    Through all of this I have yet to pass the nursing boards. But youhave inspired me to bot give up. To not let defeat claim me. Thank you for being so open and raw to us all. In sure it wasnt easy.

  • Joel and Brittany

    Thanks Sadie! I love you girl and I just think the world of you! You’re truly one of the sweetest, nicest & giving people I know. I know it’s b/c you went through that. I love you!

  • Mistakenly Misunderstood

    You are beautiful. Inside and out. Thank you for being such an inspiration!


  • Addy

    Sadie, you are exceptional… and your blog for all the strangers out there is just a window into the amazing life and person that you are… if they only knew how truly terrific you really are! LOVE YOU SISTA!!

  • Kendall

    Wow! I’m to in tears reading this. When I was younger I also made some bad choices although for me it was my passion for Hockey. When half my team went off to play University Hockey here in Canada and the US it was sad. I should have been with them! It took a number of years to be OK to walk into an Area. The smell would hit me like a tone of bricks( I know that my seem a bit weird but true,lol)
    Don’t forget what your passions are and what makes you tick inside. It’s a good thing!!!
    Be strong!!! Love your story!!!
    Thank You!!!

  • Libby

    Thanks for this blog today Sadie. I can relate to you in so many ways and want you to know what an inspiration you are to me daily. The struggles are so real and I feel like I would fail daily if it weren’t for people like you to strengthen and motivate me to take day by day and be strong! Thank you for reminding me today that I can be whoever I want to be and that God can help if I only include Him.

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