Mechanical Bull vs Church Lady

For a while now, I have had on my bucket list: ride a mechanical bull. Unfortunately, the only place I could think of riding one was at bars – probably the kind of bar that solely played country music. Being somewhat close to Nashville, I knew I could easily find a bar or an event where I could unleash my desire to ride one of these things; but the thought of riding a bull, with my top heavy self, in a bar with men, as a 3rd grade Sunday school teacher, just didn’t sit quiet right with me. So I looked elsewhere.

My bright idea was to rent one for our annual church women’s Christmas party. I felt I could “let loose” a little more, not having to worry about being a stumbling block to any males because there is a sensuousness to riding a bull. After being a bit disappointed at the super expensive quotes I got, I finally found a reasonable one. (If you live in the Western Kentucky area, I highly recommend them! They were great and super friendly and accommodated all my theatrical whims. Click here for their website.) I told the owner my plight and whispered – because that is what church ladies do – “I need a bull for women. Because – you know- men.” He chuckled at my modesty and affirmed me he had actually done a couple of events at some churches and he completely understood since he’s also a pastor! I gasped! He gasped! But I knew he would turn his eyes the other way if things got a little too sexy on the bull, up at the church lady’s Christmas party! So he e-mailed me the contract, I signed and returned it with a check. The date was scheduled, but as fate would have it, it rained the day of our event and rain and mechanical bull don’t mix well. I would have to wait to check off “mechanical bull riding” off of my bucket list. We rescheduled for my daughter’s birthday party, but alas, it rained again. I was discouraged. Distraught. It was as if this would never happen. But it did!

Every year our church has a fall festival INSIDE a large convention center and we have all kinds of games, prizes, food, hay rides and even a petting zoo. I called up Ethan (bull guy) again and re-rescheduled him one more time. I told him that this event is indoors and even if did rain, it wouldn’t matter. So again, we set up a date.

The only problem though, was that I face paint at our fall festival, and I face paint A LOT of little cute faces. And I don’t take a break from face painting because I just don’t have the heart to tell an adorable little bumble bee to wait while I make a fool of myself on a mechanical bull. So I just painted along. We had hundreds of visitors come to our festival, and a lot of people enjoyed the mechanical bull. I guess I would just have to sacrifice my whimsical bucket list item, for the kingdom of God. And in reality, it really wasn’t that difficult.

But, as our event was ending and there were no more faces to paint, I went up to Aaron (the bull guy’s helper) and gave him permission to end the bull riding. (Going over our allotted time would cost me more money, and I didn’t want to go over!) He asked me if I wanted to get on. I looked around and there was mostly just church people there! “Oh yes please!”

I got on the inflatable and raised my leg to mount the bull. But I couldn’t get on! You know when your mind thinks it can do something, but your body just doesn’t respond? That is what was happening here. Oh no! I tried by putting both hands on the bull and hoisting myself up! As if I had that kind of upper body strength! Finally, Aaron told me he could help me. Thankfully he’s a pretty tough guy, but how was he going to help me? What if I killed him? Thankfully, I am sure of it, Aaron has dealt with bigger women trying to mount a mechanical bull at a church event. He got on a knee and told me to use his other knee as a stool to get up on the bull. I huffed, I heaved and I got on.

What happened next was the most anti-climatic thing that has ever happened to me. I got on the bull ready for him to buck me off. Ready to prevail in the battle between woman and machine! Ready for my hair to fling one way and then another! I was ready! So I clutched the rope, steeled my back and then the mechanical bull moved ever so slightly and I remembered that I have no core muscles. None. I quickly then bear-hugged the hunk of bull and slowly, every so very slowly melted off the bull. Have you ever baked bread? You know when you knead the dough, form it into a ball and then set it in a greased bowl to let it rise? And then you punch said dough and “pour” it onto a floured surface for shaping. That is how it looked like. The pouring part of the dough. And that is kinda how I felt. A turned over, punched, ball of dough ready for shaping. I laid there in my shame realizing that my mind is so much more fun than my reality. I log rolled a little away from my victorious foe and got out of the inflatable arena. Two more deacons went after me and I just walked to my face painting table flushed and defeated. No, deflated would be a better word to describe myself.

                                   Some of the church ladies wedding dress shopping.

I checked off “mechanical bull riding” off of my bucket list. But it wasn’t an assertive check, but in the end that really didn’t matter. I did have fun laughing, mostly at my lack of athletic ability. A lot of people did have fun and like we always do at these events, we shared the Gospel and God’s love to the people in our community.

I don’t think I will ever have the opportunity to ride on a mechanical bull again, but it’s okay. After all, life is made up of memories, not fantasies.


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