Thursday, March 8, 2012

When I was a rodeo clown...

I looked just like this...

So, you have heard about my famous days as Frosty the Snowman and your aware of the notoriety regarding the sock and my toe, but did you know I was a rodeo clown too? I know you are sitting back right now in amazement at the story, that is my life. You’re probably thinking, “How did one person have so many great experiences in life?” 
Well, being a rodeo clown is not all it’s cut out to be, and for the record, I only did it once…
This post carries on with my animal theme this week...look at this one, that one and this other one for examples…or this one here, or finally here too...
When I was in my first year of college, I worked at a ranch for the summer, as part of the year. I was a team leader and had several guys under me that were counselors in dorms. We worked with junior age children and had a blast. 
As part of the camp, each week there was a rodeo and one week, I was asked to be one of the rodeo clowns. I had to dress up like a cowboy and a clown (there are lots of cowboys and clowns from Canada, so I figured I would fit right in). I was supposed to do a few silly games, take care of the huge bulls (we really just had calves) and clean up some messes - we won’t go to the specifics on that topic. I also had to have clown makeup on for that afternoon.
I learned several lessons:
Being a clown is easy when you’re not wearing makeup. I can act silly and do crazy things in front of people, but I sweat, and we didn’t have professional makeup that doesn’t run into your eyes and all over your face, looking like a two year old that got into their mom’s makeup bag.
Calves are not easy to follow, lead or get out of the way of (bad grammar, but you get my point). They can move and turn way quick and, even in my prime, I couldn't keep up with them. I fell many times and really got into the rodeo clown role well. Their hooves hurt too.
Dust is not my friend. I didn’t realize that dust and makeup in your eyes hurt so badly...for days, not just when it first got in there. The dust created mud-balls in my eyes that just seemed to keep growing and caused me to weep. For 3-4 days after, I had little mud drops running down my face (like those teardrop tattoos that some folks have).
A child’s laughter is one of the most enjoyable things to watch, ever! I didn’t really enjoy being a rodeo clown. I didn’t like being bruised and beaten by the dirt and calves. I hated the dust and makeup. I wasn’t really that good at the entire role, but the children didn’t know it. They laughed at the water balloon toss, the buckets of pretend (and real) water we threw at them. They liked all of the crazy stunts that were done. Maybe, just maybe, I was able to brighten one of their days with something they had not been able to do before. It was well worth it! Their bright eyes and glowing loud laughs make any day worthwhile.
Lessons Learned: When your in the midst of a time of being down, look at who your impacting and realize how your trial can be someone else’s joy.
Thoughts: Why do I continue to volunteer for things like I do? Have you ever had dust and makeup in your eyes?

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