Home Stretch

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

I’m hoping for the Finals. I’m eager to hold my daughter. And I’m trying to remember to breathe.

by Kyle Irwin

My wife was due to give birth nine whole days ago. At first it was a little comical, the craziness of it all. It felt a bit like a movie—the pregnant rodeo wife sitting at home while her man, trying to qualify for the NFR, waits on the call to catch the plane so he can race home to witness the birth of his daughter.

My wife no longer thinks it’s funny.

Randa is very, very pregnant. Florida is really hot. And my unborn daughter seems comfortable where she’s at.

During the past nine days, I went to Amarillo, Texarkana, Springhill and Pasadena. I didn’t win a dime.

I flew home Sunday for a few days. Coming home brings me a piece of mind. I was worried and anxious on the road, but when I got home that all melted away.

I look at my beautiful, understanding wife, and I am glad she is who she is. Rodeo wives are tough.

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

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I leave again tomorrow (Wednesday) for the slack at Kansas City, MO. From there, it’s on to Omaha, NE; Apache, OK; and Stephenville, TX. I’ve already talked to my traveling partner, Tyler, about a game plan. When I get that call, I’ll drop everything and go. Period. Tyler will take care of the horses and get them home. Luckily, these next four rodeos are all near a major airport.

Once I’m back on the road, I know I’ll worry again, not only for my family and our future, but also because of the NFR. I’m still fourteenth, and there’s just under three thousand between me and the guy in fifteenth. Any one of a handful guys behind me could make a move. It’s still anyone’s game. This week feels like one of the most competitive weeks of the year. Everyone is trying to win money. Everyone is pulling out all the stops so they can to make it to Vegas.

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All I can do it just take it one rodeo at a time, knowing I might not make the next rodeo for one very important reason. It’s out of my control, but God has it handled. That helps me remember to take the pressure off myself. It’s gonna be alright!

Mostly, I’m anxious for it to all be over. I’m hoping for the Finals. I’m eager to hold my daughter. And I’m trying to remember to breathe.

Read more about the CINCH JEANS and Classic Equine athletes fighting to make the NFR. Follow #theCjHASE

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen


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