I know, everyone who is going to read this either already knows or never saw this coming… And by “this” I mean that I am running for the title of 2016 Miss Rodeo Oregon this upcoming august. I apologize for this but I think it’s time that I explain myself, I think everyone deserves that much at least.
I have decided to run for the title of 2016 Miss Rodeo Oregon.
- WHY? I am currently finishing up my second major at Oregon State University which means that I will be all done in the fall with a double major in Agricultural Business Management and New Media Communication with my specialty in PR, Media Management, and Control. What do I want to do next with my career? I believe that in today’s day in age, youth are more inclined to become “country” because, as history always repeats itself, wearing flannel, line dancing, and Patriotism are “cool” again. I want to use social media to help educate and instruct people about how they can become involved in agriculture, rodeo and the western way of life. I can use the connections and the resources as a state ambassador such as Miss Rodeo Oregon to learn more about the career that I want to go into while also networking for my perfect career after Miss Rodeo Oregon.
- BECOMING ROYAL. Now I’m sure a lot of you horse people out there have seen lots of posts on social media about this business called “Becoming Royal”. Becoming Royal is a private page that I started on Facebook on January 1st as my effort to use my education and my resources to educate myself further on the topics I would need to be successful at the Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant in August. Soon I had requests for other young ladies who were planning on or weren’t sure if they wanted to try out for a title; we welcomed them into our family. It wasn’t until I got an email from someone that I respect immensely in the state rodeo queen industry that I realized that maybe I was being selfish by keeping Becoming Royal all to myself and to just a few near and dear friends. He stated in his email (whch was originally about my speech that I was writing) that, “Becoming Royal has become the ‘go to place’ for everything you need to know in order to be prepared, educated and self-confident for competing in a rodeo queen pageant.” That’s when I decided that I needed to take Becoming Royal to the next level. I grabbed my most trusted family members and made board of people who have touched me with their goals of furthering the Miss Rodeo Oregon Incorportation motto of educating and leading; my sister, Leanna Steinke and my mom.
- RODEO QUEEN STEREOTYPES. Having always been in the back of the rodeo queen picture, meaning metaphorically not literally, I have been very familiar with the stereotypes that go long with rodeo queens. In fact, you could probably say that I stood the potential of becoming the Vine Sensation equivalent of Corbin Livingston and his mockery of barrel racers: There was just TOO much good fodder to be used. Stereotypes stem from somewhere and it wasn’t until I went to the Miss Rodeo America pageant that I realized the full scope of what these state queens are. I was entranced, like so many small children are, by not only the beauty and the grace of these young women but their self-confidence, their assuredness, these goals that they had for bettering the world that they were passionate about. This honestly surprised me at the time. I thought that rodeo queens were just the girls that weren’t good enough to ride in the rodeo, that just wanted to hang around the cowboys. Then I met these thirty or so young women who didn’t give a hoot if the hottest hand in the roping was single or not; they were about the Little Rascals Rodeo that was going on that night, they wanted to be with those special needs kids and help them have one of the most memorable days of their life. They were abouut providing a new form of fashion forward where more women could feel comfortable in their own clothes. I was amazed. Listening to them speak and literally perform in front of the audiences I was humbled. I had always just assumed that because I was a former all-around 4H and OHSET kid, that I was a Division I women’s basketball player for the Pac-12, that I was a representative for said team and networked with some of the most famous people in the industry, that I was better then them. I quickly realized that I was not and that I had so much to gain from them.
- WHAT BEING AN ATHLETE DOES TO YOU: Being a former athlete I am not very good at being less than something, less than an image of what I want to be. I don’t remember the whole last year of that first year of not playing basketball. Maybe some of my basketball friends would find this thought strange, they either knew best how hard it was for me to walk away or they had no idea. To the plain scenario, I walked away on my own. It wasn’t my choice though. I wanted to play college basketball more than anything else in the world. I wanted to change lives, spread the word of agriculture and my love of horses with people who didn’t understand it and I failed. I let my family, my community, my friends, and, most importantly, my self down on the biggest dream – the only dream – that I have ever wanted. I was numb for that whole first yar. I didn’t want any friends, I kept people at a superficial difference, and I hated my life. I wa completely lost. I think what made matters worst was that I couldn’t do anything physcial for a avery long time as I was battling a lot of knee and hip issues from IT bands that weren’t long enoug. I was afraid that I would never be able to be athletic again as running even just a hundred yards or so would leave me in a swollen, crippling pain. I turned to horseback riding. Just like when I had torn my shoulder a few years prior, I was very excited that I had legs that could run for me: those legs were my horses. Whether it was my paint horse Maddy or my quarter horse Holly, I had the opportunity to have the freedom that my body was failing to give me. Not just those two though, when I was finally able to start bringing my body back into shape, after a long sixteen months off or so, my miniature horse Dude was the trusty partner who would go for a short run once a week with me. The best running partner anyone could have because, when the going got to tough, he never complained once about me leaning on him to be able to finish. That athlete part of me knew that I wasn’t going to be able to just walk into a pageant like Miss Rodeo Oregon and think that I could be successful. That would be insulting to the organization. I considered running for the 2015 title but I didn’t think that I would be ready, nor was it the right time for me. Instead, I decided to take the energy that I put into potentially trying out for 2015 and continue it forward in my efforts for 2016. I have put so much time into working on my weaknesses; to recovering all the forgotten horse bowl information that I used to know so well, and perfecting my public speking.
- TJHE JOURNERY NOT THE DESTINATION: You will be able to find more about this topic if you just scroll down through my blog but I think the most important part about these tryouts is that I need to be okay with the journey. When it came to basketball I flew through every little thing. It was always about the next level, it was never about the moment. I don’t remember a lot of basketball because it was all a blur; it was all in preparation for the next step. Then, when it was all said and done, I didn’t have anything to turn around and look back on. I didn’t have the fond memories because I didn’t make sure to keep the memories from that point in time. I think the best part is that I made a stronger effort to keep in touch with my former college teammates because, in all honestly, we had been to Hell and back together and nothing, no circumstance, not anything, could ever take that away from us. I remember the petty things I would get irritated with at them, nothing serious, always small, and now I just smile and think of the amazing times that we had traveling the world doing what we love. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. I also know that I have the strongest support system from all of those people as well as the alumni players and the boosters that were always there for us! Thinking of a world without Vicki, The Darcy’s, Merritt and so many others is a cold world that I don’t want to think of. I can’t wait to share this next adventure with them, as I know that they will be so happy that I am pursuing my dreams of promoting agriculture, rodeo and the western way of life, while also encouraging the empowerment of young women all over the world. Not many people get a second chance when it comes to their dreams. A lot of times, I see or hear about people who may have had an opportunity but, maybe because of fear, or some other reason, they just watched it fly by rather than go out and take it. I didn’t take the time to live in the moment when I played basketball. I nostalgically try to recollect as much as I can but I am so excited because I have promised myself that I am not going to let that happen. I have made more friends, learned so much more, and gotten a higher quality of life in my effort to truly cherish this try out process because, quite frankly, this may be all that I will have of this experience.
- PLAN B? Nope, there is no plan B and that’s a fact! I have always lived my life with one foot sticking slightly out of the door. Always having a back up plan, always having a way out. Not anymore. This is another thing that I desperately need to work on, I need to be able to commit 110% to what I am going to do. I am jumping out of the plane with full confidence in my parachute. And not that my parachute will work perfectly, but knowing that, one way or another, I am going to land on my feet okay. I have decided to not think about what I will do if I don’t win the title but I know that my platform has the full capabilities of being executed without the title. I would like the tile though because it will be a catalyst to reaching and inspiring even more people but I … whoa there, I almost came up with a Plan B. Stopping that right there. Tryouts it is!
- BECOMING ROYAL CLINIC. Now if you didn’t already know, I went to this awesome clinic that was going on near the end of May in Corvallis, Oregon. Becoming Royal partnered with my two favorite NPRA rodeos, the Benton County Fair and Rodo and the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo, to create a scholarship fundraiser for their two queens. I am excited because, seeing as how the only title I have tried out for and held is Benton County 4H Horse Court, I am a little nervous about the pageant. Who best to learn from then two of the most patient and loving rodeo queen advisors than my sister and Leanna. Obviously my sister and i fight, we have a lot of disagreements about things, but … she knows what she is talking about and she is really good at getting that information across to you in a multitude of different ways so that you can understand and apply those concepts to yourself. I love watching her work with the younger kids or the really nervous kids- seeing as how she grew up her whole life shy and timid (seriously, a little sister can get SO sick of ordering dessert at Burger King because your older sister turns into a mute in front of strangers) is awesome! It was fun getting to work with the two of them on the design of the clinic, meaning that I was able to tailor in those items that I was nervous about that I felt others like me who had never even considered trying out for a pageant would be able to get something out of. I can’t wait to watch all of you lovelies from the clinic at their respective pageants this summer as we all grow on this journey. I look forward to welcoming even more people with open arms into our “Royal Family” as we continue this Royal Movement of empowering and inspiring young women!
Just know that I love you all dearly and if you don’t believe in my decision for this then I kindly ask that you keep your comments polite. I can’t wait to answer any other questions that you guys may have, you can follow along here on my blogspot to catch up on more items as I get ready for pageant. As I am sure you guys are aware, this is all a learning experience and it’s been kind of cool in a strange way to watch myself as I push myself through my absolute fears of photographs, modeling, and .. leather dresses *gulp*.