Other Obsessions

By Laura Drake

If you’ve followed our blogs here at ENALR very long, you’ve seen that there’s a lot more to us than the stories we write. We all have other interests; Shawna is a new Mom, Cyndi’s decorating, a bunch of us have been traveling this summer. Well, not me, but I’m not bitter.

I’ve got other interests as well. The past months, I’ve written about bicycling (you can read it here,) motorcycling (here,) and fly fishing (here.) I realized I haven’t shared my biggest obsession. No, not food.

Pro Bull Riding!

Why? I’m not a country girl; I grew up in Detroit. I don’t much like country music — to me, a steel guitar sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. So how could I have gotten so wrapped up in a sport that I wrote a three book series set in that world?

  • I’m fascinated by young men who, through courage, craziness, or under the influence of large quantities of testosterone, get on the back of two thousand pounds of attitude that wants to  throw them in the dirt and dance on their dangly parts.
  • The athleticism. Bull riders have more in common with gymnasts than wrestlers. The mechanics require more balance than brute strength.
  • These aren’t media savvy, spoiled athletes. They’re mostly kids off farms, and ranches. Watching their wide-eyed interviews on camera, and talking to them in person, gives me hope for the future of America. They remind me with their gentlemanly “Ma’am’s” and “Sir’s” that mothers somewhere are still raising kids right.
  • I’ve watched this sport grow over the past ten years, and have enjoyed watching events that are real — not slickly orchestrated and Hollywood perfect.

These men represent the American Cowboy; a rare breed in today’s society of political correctness and metrosexuals. They still live by the belief that their handshake is a scared promise, and integrity isn’t what you talk about, it’s what you live. They live a code that they’re willing to die by. How many people do you know like that?

Do yourself a favor. Check out their website. Tune in to a PBR event some weekend (TV schedule is here.) I dare you not to get sucked into the drama. Maybe I’ll see you at the finals in Las Vegas some November!

Let ‘er buck!

Laura has written three books set in the world of Pro Bull Riding. The first, The Sweet Spot, is due out next May, from Grand Central.

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15 Responses

  1. For an eight second (or less) event, so much can happen! I LOVE the PBR, the cowboys, their athleticism, their manners. And you can’t forget the buckle bunnies! Love picking those out of the crowd. 🙂

    The third book in my Texas Montgomery Mavericks has an injured/forced retired bullrider. I’m looking forward to getting into his head.

  2. Laura,
    Looking forward to your series because even this post has given me somewhat of a new perspective. I’ve always refused to go to rodeos or watch them on tv because the bull-riding terrifies me. I’m sure I’m about to see someone get maimed or killed. Maybe living it vicariously through your books will help me with my phobia:-)

    • I’ve seen men hurt, sometimes badly. I’ve never understood how people can watch things like this, or car racing, waiting to see a wreck. I hate that.

      But the drama and the excitement – I can’t stop watching! They just got done with a two month break, and I went through serious withdrawal.

  3. I confess it’s not something I’ve ever had a driving interest in, in real life. But I can’t argue with any of your analysis, and I really do love reading romances set in cowboy-oriented worlds. Can’t wait to read yours, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get me so sucked in I’ll have to start watching PBR to keep me going between your books. 🙂

  4. Love going to the Houston Rodeo and watching the Bull Riding. Although at times, I admit I’m peeking through my fingers. LOL It really is exciting and terrifying all at the same time! Can’t wait for your series! 🙂

  5. Very cool Laura! I don’t mind going to a rodeo but the one that comes here is…usually about this time actually, but it’s so HOT outside still. I wish it was more like mid-October when it was cooler fall weather!

    I admit to not watchign the PBR too often, but just guessing it looks like PBR overlaps with football and that probably explains why! DH owns the tv during football season!

  6. PBR is something I know nothing about, but you’ve piqued my interest. I’m always worried about the riders and the animals getting hurt, but I might have to give it a look anyway. And I can at least read your books. Love your analysis!

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