Pre NFR- Dec, 1st, 2017. 2:52am
I literally just finished watching Racers Edge’s exclusive interview with 2017’s Rookie of the year, Taci Bettis. The interview got me fired up, maybe like many of you I’m sure, but the fire inside me wasn’t of barrel racing.
I was lit by the example served to barrel racers and many others across the nation who watched the interview. There are principals to success like we’ve talked about in What Separates Good Barrel Racers From Great but this is beyond comparison.
The barrel racing industry has been changed. There is no better story or example of success principles than Taci Bettis. Below I’ve ordered them in what I believe to be most important. First, lets better understand the demands of success.
Yeah, it sucks! People think success is fun. They think it’s luxurious and pleasant with no reciprocated demands. Maybe even some believe it’s where happiness lies, what I think people would define as freedom from responsibility. Success is none of these.
Success is painful, visceral, and crude. What hurts most, it’s lonely. It’s lonely because great success is a tremendous responsibility, beyond the masses understanding. This is why very few walk the road.
The majority of people aren’t willing to bare the demands of success once they rationalize what’s asked of them. The simple yet pivotal difference between us and Taci is she was willing.
Taci said herself in the interview “It was an adjustment for both of us, I was homesick, I didn’t realize I was so home bodied and he was taking care of our whole place and his job, and worrying about me being out there on the road”
Lupe Zepeda, Taci’s mother, went on to add “If she really knew how Jeremy actually felt inside, because, he didn’t have to tell me, I saw it and I knew she was homesick herself”
And again, Taci finished with “I started wanting to come home but each week I kept hitting big and kept climbing and climbing and climbing”
Success is not comfortable. It is uncomfortable. If you want the heightened achievement, you’re going to have to sit in a pool of discomfort, or an ice bath. Whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional or all the above, success demands it. Taci was willing to sit in that ice bath, and she didn’t do it alone.
The War Room
I follow someone who repeatedly says to make war with a multitude of counselors. Have generals and admirals to base your decisions on. In short, have a team.
I talked with a father back in October about his daughter looking into rodeo colleges. He’s a fan of teaching his kids to pay and fund everything themselves, to be independent. I value these teachings myself, but no one in the barrel racing industry, or any industry, has ever made it alone.
I told this father “look at John Bacon over there for example. Sure, they’ve been riding here a long time, know a thing or two, but tell me, why after all this time are they still here?” He didn’t comment as he contemplated.
“John Bacon is knowledgeable and has friends, but doesn’t have a team” Pretty darn sure that conversation is what convinced him to assist buying a horse for his kid, haha! #SCORE!
This is exactly what Taci had, a team. Jeremy, Lupe, BJ and probably many others, all contributed to getting Taci where she is today. To think part of what separates her is love and support of a mother and husband. This is what lone wolfs will never know.
Taci had a support system encouraging her to sit in the ice bath. She also had a coach. Someone too pushed her limits, too redefined comfort while sitting in the ice bath, Tammy Fischer.
Look at all the greats known in our current society and world history. Mark Zuckerburg, Jeff Bezos, Gary Vaynerchuck, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs, all the way to Napoleon, Alexander The Great too even Marcus Aralias.
You probably don’t think there’s a legitimate comparison between them and Taci, but oh there is. Every name listed above had a mentor. They had a teacher, or a giant to learn from.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton
Taci mentioned multiple times in her Racer’s Edge Interview that she wouldn’t be anybody if it weren’t for Tammy Fischer. Near the beginning of the interview, she said “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. She’s still showing me all the ropes. You can’t learn this in one year. She’s a blessing of my life. Just everything from learning the road to the arenas, from at home to here”
Taci again at the end said “I could not have done this without Tammy. If I had been out there as a rookie, I would’ve been lost everywhere. She showed me the odds and ends, she’s still teaching me how she enters. I couldn’t have done any of this. She’s been there every step of the way”
Many people believe the only way to learn is to make mistakes, but nobody said they had to be your mistakes. In Richard Dawkins’s, The Selfish Gene, he says “organisms who can only learn through their own trial and error lose to organisms that can learn through other’s trial’s an error’s”. Point: find a mentor.
Ten Dark Years
There once was a man who locked himself in a room to solve a problem. The tale says he didn’t leave this room until the problem was solved. He slept and ate in this room as he slowly chipped away at the problem as if he were building a sculpture you’d see in Rome.
This man stayed in this room for ten straight years. Throughout his twenties, he worked to solve a problem that in turn would change the way the entire world would communicate, work, learn and connect in ways he was unaware of himself. He made the computer universal, where all you have to do is press those buttons on a keyboard. His name is Bill Gates.
“So, I’ve always been obsessed with horses. When I was three, I got a pony, and I just fell in love with it, did whatever” – Taci
“Taci started coming here probably when she was about fifteen” – Tammy Fischer
Taci is still in her twenties. After doing my researching for this article, I know she’s put in her dark years. Imagine where or what she’ll be doing in another ten? 2017’s NFR is only the beginning of Taci Bettis.
It’s talked about a lot but rarely practiced. Of all principles, Taci exemplifies, this is the cherry. What good would the other principles be if Taci didn’t first try? She didn’t know what would happen, she didn’t have expectations, didn’t know how, and might as well say she didn’t know anything.
Half of success is showing up. This is what I love most about Taci. She was, and possibly multiple times, an impulsive decision away from loading up the trailer to go home. But she didn’t.
Taci stayed on the road and figured things out on the way. She jumped off a cliff and solved problems on the way down. She showed up.
I love this because Taci shows us we don’t need to know all the answers. Answers are in the process. Look at any highly successful person. This understanding is what I believe makes them fearless and willing to try new things.
Post NFR – Dec, 16th, 2017, 11:48pm
The constant challenge for any and every professional athlete is keeping their head straight. Specifically, with the NFR, imagine all the mental quirks that could distract a competitor. There’s ceremonies, signings, interviews and I don’t believe being in Vegas in of itself helps either, depending on how you look at it, haha.
All of this can affect a competitor, especially a rookie. You can’t compare rookies to veterans, that’s why their called rookies to begin with. A competitor is someone who finishes stronger than they start. A no time in round one to a 13.54 in round ten is admirable.
If Smash can run a 13.54, then he can run a 13.44. If he can run a 13.44, then he can run a 13.34 and so on. Point being, I have a good feeling about this one.