Assets in Action: Saluting a local youth

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

This week, my column salutes local youth Clay Adams.

Adams is a sophomore this year and last school year, ignited a spark that changed his orbit.

In Asset language, a spark is a hobby or passion, the thing that makes your life worth living and brings you joy.

Last winter another local youth, Trae Randolph, taught Adams how to ride bulls — and so it began.

Adams traveled to rodeos with Randolph, riding when he could and spending time in Jal, N.M. with his father James, indulging in bull riding whenever he had the chance.

Adams utilized the help of his brother Clint, to bull his rope, adding to his skill set and learning as he went. 

As the family of a wrestler, one is accustomed to driving far, watching a very quick match and then sitting for a long period of time between matches. You just learn to cheer for everyone on the team or find some other way to pass the time.

In contrast, the family of a bull rider may have to sit in the blazing hot sun, hoping and praying for the rider to “cover the bull,” — that’s bull rider lingo meaning, to see the rider stay on for the full eight seconds.

The real hero on the bull riding circuit (other than the rider) is clearly the bull rider’s mother.

That eight seconds is a heart-stopping period of holding your breath, crossing your fingers — and if you are lucky, getting a photo or two to document the event.

The mother is the hero in that she will let her son follow his heart’s desire, even when a two-ton bull would like nothing better than to stomp him like a bug. 

Adams rode at the end of July in Santa Fe, which resulted in him falling off and the bull taking a pretty hefty swipe at him. That bull caught a piece of Adams, tearing a large gaping hole in his pants and taking off some skin in the process.

The good news was that he not only took home a cash prize, but also received the opportunity to appear in a televised ride, later next month.

This past weekend, Adams returned home to Los Alamos to ride at the local rodeo, in the novice bull category, pulling off those eight seconds on a bulky bruiser named, No Score.

While trying to document the event in pictures, I was also holding my breath, too. I wasn’t sure if it was the cheer of the crowd or the pounding of my heart that drowned out the buzzer that signifies a successful ride.

He took home a beautiful buckle for the first place finish in his age category. 

His mom can take home pride in her son for his success and pride in herself that she let him do it, in the first place.

That pride isn’t just about the win, but the ability to let a son follow his spark, even when that means he’s taking the bull by the horns.

 Have a wonderful school year everyone.