I have wanted to ride a mechanical bull for my entire life. OK, not really for my entire life but definitely since I was thirteen. That is nearly thirty years of dreaming.
Since I used to ride horses, I have this completely unrealistic expectation that I will be an exceptional mechanical bull rider, or at least a better-than-average one. Now, that may have been true when I was thirteen, but let’s be honest—it’s is highly doubtful that it could possibly be true anymore. I know this. But deep, deep down in my heart, it feels true. I have this tiny voice that insists that I am most probably an excellent mechanical bull rider and have been missing out on what is likely a completely unprofitable career as a mechanical bull woman.
I got married (the second time) in Chicago. One of my bridesmaids discovered the location of a bar with a mechanical bull. I thought that I was going to finally actualize my dream. I was twenty-nine then, so I had only been pining for a mechanical bull experience for sixteen years, but it felt like forever. I was told by my fiancé that it was a terribly idea and would likely result in bruises and/or serious injury. The bachelorette bull riding party was scrapped in favor of patronizing a bar that encouraged women to dance on tables. It turned out, my bridesmaids wouldn’t actually let me dance on a table either. Is it any wonder that that marriage ended in divorce?
I spent a lot of years being pregnant and nursing and being pregnant again and nursing again. Bull riding—mechanical or otherwise—was not something I could even consider. And then the kids grew up a little bit and although I was no longer nursing I was spending all my time crawling around on the floor. I’m not sure why people who have toddlers even own couches, because at my house all it was used for was storing our Cheerios collection and sporadically as a laundry table on the rare occasions that I did laundry. We played on the floor. All day. Every day. In the living room. In the bedroom. In the hallway. Trains. Trucks. Zoo animals. Playmobile. You get the picture.
But now my kids are nine and nearly twelve, and it seems like risking a sprained wrist or broken ankle might be worth it if only I could ride a mechanical bull. If I am as exceptional as I secretly suspect I probably am, I could even graduate to riding—well, let’s be honest here. Riding a real bull is most definitely beyond my abilities. But maybe I could graduate to a donkey with an attitude problem or a very sturdy sheep.
Since I am going to be forty-four in a few short weeks, I realize that if I ever hope to ride a mechanical bull I need to step up my strength training, particularly on leg day. Leg day is my least favorite day, but I have a goal now. When I do my squats, lunges, and those evil side leg lift things, I am picturing a mechanical bull in a pit of super soft and cushy foamy stuff. If I ever encounter a mechanical bull, I want to be ready. It might not be practical. It might not make sense to anyone else, but I have a dream, damn it, and I’m not giving up yet.
Copyright © 2021 Lara Lillibridge
Public domain imagery courtesy of Snappygoat.com