IN­NER STRENGTH

Sourc­ing In­spi­ra­tion.

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Departments - with Levi Simp­son

0 y con­fi­dence has al­ways come from my prepa­ra­tion—know­ing I’ve spent the time in the prac­tice pen be­fore I head out on the road, know­ing my horses are work­ing;, and know­ing my swing is in the right spot.

But con­fi­dence and in­spi­ra­tion are two dif­fer­ent things, and my in­spi­ra­tion comes di­rectly from my two lit­tle girls—An­nie, who is 2-anda-half; and Hope, who was born June 19—and my wife, Re­becca.

In 2009, Re­becca gave me cards with a say­ing on them be­fore the start of the Cana­dian Fi­nals Rodeo. I would put those cards in my shirt pocket, and I’d pull them out and read them two teams be­fore I rode into the box. She did that ev­ery year, and be­fore I rode into the box at my first Wran- gler Na­tional Fi­nals Rodeo, I looked at those cards. Ear­lier that year, we had our lit­tle girl, and Re­becca put An­nie’s pic­ture on the cards with a say­ing, too.

When I ride in the box, I’ve al­ready pre­pared my­self for my run or rop­ing. The rest, you spend your en­tire life pre­par­ing for. There’s noth­ing I’m go­ing to change phys­i­cally be­tween the time I spent in the prac­tice pen and when I make my rodeo run. I keep my mind clear think­ing of my fam­ily, be­cause I do ev­ery­thing to sup­port them.

I carry around zero pres­sure from hav­ing won a gold buckle in 2016. There was no pres­sure to win one be­fore I did it, and there’s no pres­sure to win one now. I just know that I’ve got my girls, and I’ve got a rop­ing part­ner who I count on as a friend who wants to win as much as I do, and who is work­ing as hard as, or harder than, I am. Jeremy has the same drive and wants to win as much I as do, and I’m never hav­ing to sec­ond-guess any­thing about that.

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