Lessons from the Show Ring
While I’m still young, and certainly have a lot of life lessons yet to learn, being a showman is providing me with some of the best experiences to grow in virtue and become a confident young adult. Here are three lessons I am learning more about with each passing year.
- Trust your heart, your hard work, and don’t worry about the crowd around you.
When I think back to my first few years of showing, all I can remember is seeing lots of people and desperately searching for the familiar faces of my parents when I was in the show ring. I also remember the countless times they told me to work with my lambs, and in frustration I stomped to the barns, often giving up when they were stubborn. Through showing, I have learned to focus on the judge and my lamb and let the rest of the world fade away. This has come through hours of hard work that I wanted to put in. No longer did my parents have to ask or tell me to do it. I wanted the win and I knew I had to pave my own way. It took a great deal of learning to believe in myself, even if I failed. Although I’m only 15, I think this applies to life. We must believe that our hard work means we do our best regardless of the reward. If we’ve done our best, we won’t need anyone else’s approval. A true champion is measured by their heart. If giving my best, I have led with my heart.
- Ribbons fade and trophies gather dust, but the memories made by spending time with family and friends will last forever.
I have come in dead last and I have won Overall Grand Champion Showman. I have earned the fanciest of ribbons, the largest of trophies, and I’ve also come home empty-handed. While those awards always make me smile and remind me of the reward of hard work, it is the memories tied to those trophies that I see when I look at them. This is an important lesson to remember as I grow older. Not to have my eyes so fixed on the prize (promotion, money, awards) that I don’t take time to enjoy every moment with the people (family, friends, community) and the experiences along the way.
- Whether we win or lose, empathy, gratitude, and humility should be the virtues that shine.
I remember the year I first won Grand Champion Showman, and it was the showman who came in second that taught me a valuable life lesson. He turned to me, happy for my victory, and smiling, shook my hand. In that moment I knew that was the kind of showman I wanted to be. I want to accept the goodness that comes my way with a heart of gratitude, humility, and with empathy for the rest of the showman that enter the ring. I also want to accept defeat in the same way. This will prepare me to respond in goodness to my family, future co-workers, and friends as I move through life.
Like I said, I may be young, but I sure do hope that my time in the show ring continues to prepare me for the greatest show of all…LIFE!
Logan is a homeschooled high schooler, vice-president of the Monroe County Fair Junior Livestock Association, avid sheep showman, and barrel racer. When she has free time from school, she can often be found riding horses, helping with all the animals on their farm, or playing with her two sisters and little brother. The first year of selling her lambs at the fair auction, upon returning home to an empty pasture, her family decided to try their hand at raising their own 4-H lambs. Birthing and raising these lambs have provided many valuable life lessons. Next to God, Logan’s great love is riding her horse. She hopes to work hard and pursue her dream of becoming a World Champion Barrel Racer.