Stephanie Pearce: Volunteers give it their best shot
Volunteers are the most important part of most many functions that our kids are involved in. These volunteers sometimes don’t know much about the event they are helping with but are more than willing to get out there and try. Sometimes, they need a little more direction even if they have watched the event, and they may not know the inner workings of the occasion. I was definitely one of those volunteers a couple of weekends ago at the high school rodeo.
I was charged with helping with some of the gates, the first being for poles. For poles, I had people standing right there giving me instruction and making sure I did the job correctly. One of them said to watch him and don’t open it until he tells me all is clear. I didn’t do too badly with that one. I feel confident that I could run a gate for poles again without worrying about if I’m doing it correctly.
The other gates we helped with were the ones for calves and steers when the competitors were done with each of their runs with them. This one was more of a challenge. It was me, my husband (who has participated in high school rodeo but was a bronc rider) and my daughter (who knew what she was doing).
There was a mean little bull that came through in the team roping. It kept trying to hook the horse of the ropers. When it came back to where we were running the gates, I somehow got stuck in the small pen area with it. I saw how mean he was and asked the person running the back gate to let me out. He was worried the bull would get out if he opened the gate.
If I were skinny, I would have hurried up the fence, but with my butt being as big as it is, I figured that would be more entertaining and maybe more painful than what I knew was about to happen. The bull turned and looked at me. He put his head down, and I got a good look at his horns. I was told that I had a smile on my face the whole time, and I even laughed when he launched me into the back gate (which now came open so I could escape), but before he hit me, I also was told I held my hand out and said, “No no no no no!” — which, apparently, he didn’t listen to at all.
Luckily, I was raised on a ranch. There, I grew up tough and have survived more than one bovine launching me in the air. Although I was really embarrassed, I survived without getting hurt. I also came back the next day to do it all again.
When I think of people volunteering, I will remember this moment and be thankful that even though some volunteers don’t have much training, they give it their best shot. Sometimes they get a beating, but they keep coming back.