Making The Eight

This drooling, violent but magnificent competitor holds the key to Cody Heffernan's dreams. Into the fray, 'by the horns' as they say...


The gate opens.

24 years ago I rode my first calf and here I am beneath the lights of a PBR arena. I've been on three bulls tonight and while my body is aching and my mind exhausted, my soul is hungry. Let's do this dance.


Three times in my life, I've asked myself "What am I doing here - until you win, you don't earn". I gave away relationships, a stable career and owning a home to chase my dream, my 'Atlantis'. All that matters is the dream. There's no time for doubt now.


My failure in Vegas reminded me that 99.9% isn't enough. My goal slipped through my fingers and that hurts more than all the broken bones. It took me a month to remember what I was fighting for - I came back stronger. You learn to live away from home. It's hard. I've got this.

"This isn't just a bull. He's a gladiator, a worthy adversary and a remarkable athlete."


It's getting tough now. Remember the wins: In California, I did the unthinkable and rode the bull that couldn't be ridden, Shepherd Hills Trapper. We rode. I rode. I won then. I can win now. I will win now.


My family is watching, god, I love them. From my first day in this to my last, they'll stand by me. But I'm not here to make anyone proud: I'm here to win. Focus Cody.


This isn't just a bull. He's a gladiator, a worthy adversary and a remarkable athlete. While the bull stands between me and my dreams, I can't help but respect him.


The bull breaks over. Hold on now. I'll either win or I'll learn, but I can't lose. My old injuries ache. The bull is spinning, jumping and this second lasts an eternity. One more second and the financial strain, the arguments, the struggles at home; they all become worth it.


I'm in the dirt - that familiar thud.

I made the eight. I won.

In the end, the bull will always 'win', but I'll never stop. The definition of insanity? Maybe. Or maybe a refusal to quit on a dream, no matter the odds.


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