A crowd favorite at the rodeo is the Mutton Bustin competition. Sandwiched between Bareback Bronc Riding and Bull Riding, Mutton Bustin has a little tyke hang on for dear life while a jittery sheep launches out of a chute. Joining the Mullen family at the Strathmore Rodeo I got a lesson in how to handle our challenging times. My teachers were Colby (the 6-year old Mutton Buster), Gunnar (the 10-year old Mutton Bustin coach) and Cary (Colby’s dad).
Cary Mullen is an Olympian, speaker and real estate developer. Since I’ve known Cary he has wanted to find the ideal spot to build a world-class resort on the ocean. He found perfect weather, location and economic factors in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. A few years ago he locked up the land and proceeded with his Vivo Resort dream. As he progressed with his plans, the outside world had other Mutton Bustin ideas.
First the recession hit, then H1N1 flu in Mexico got significant press, then the drug cartel wars got even worse press. The fact is, the drug wars and flu epidemic are non-issues in Puerto Escondido. This bad press had to be throwing Cary off his plans. But talk to him and you immediately get a sense that everything, even the struggling economy really isn’t a factor. “People still want to retire at an affordable price in a safe, luxurious environment,” says Cary in his affable way.
How does he make progress while three obstacles seem to stand in his way?
Allow me to introduce you to Colby. Colby is a rambunctious six-year old who marches to his own drum. Colby’s nerves about his rodeo ride were calmed by his older cousin Gunnar who said the following:
"It's okay to be scared. I still get scared, but it'll be okay. If he goes left, then just go with him. If he goes right then just go with him. Squeeze him with your legs. Stick your chest out. If you’re falling to the side just hang on. Don't let go. Just hang on."
When the chute opened the sheep’s speed surprised Colby and laid him flat out while he still hung on. Then Colby slipped 90 degrees to the galloping sheep. Colby still hung on until the sheep fell over after running out of room. Colby scored a 93.5 from the judges and won the 2009 Strathmore Mutton Bustin buckle.
Gunnar’s advice hit home with more than Colby’s triumph and Cary regarding Vivo Resorts. You and I would be well served to remember this wisdom as we face our own day-to-day challenges.
"It's okay to be scared. I still get scared, but it'll be okay. If he goes left, then just go with him. If he goes right then just go with him. Squeeze him with you legs. Stick your chest out. If you’re falling to the side just hang on. Don't let go. Just hang on."