By Becky ShadowensJanuary 22, 2008
DENVER (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2008) - Eight seconds may not seem like a long span of time - unless you are riding a 2,000-pound tornado with horns - then it feels like an eternity.
That's how Staff Sgt. David Green, an Army recruiter in Denver and a professional bull rider in three associations, describes the rodeo experience for him in a nutshell.
"The most exciting moment for me is every time I step over the chute gate," he said.
Even after bull riding for eight years, his favorite part is the feeling he gets right before he nods for the gate to open.
"After that, you hold on tight and make sure you don't slap the bull with your free hand for eight seconds," said Green.
While a wild bull is a wild bull no matter where you ride it, the most exciting chapter of Green's rodeo career has just opened as he prepares for his first Professional Bull Riders association rodeo - the Salina Invitational Discovery Tour in Salina, Kan., as an Army-sponsored rider.
"This is it," he said. "This is what I've been dreaming of my whole life."
Green has ridden in more than 30 rodeos and also currently rides for the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Team Bull Riders.
"The only awards I have won are a few bucks," he said, although it's hard to tell which kind of 'buck' he is referring to.
And, a price he paid was having his forearm break in half during one ride.
"The bull jumped on his front end and I leaned over...when I did my arm went down on my thigh and I snapped it in half," he said. "The doctors had to put a rod through the middle of it and a screw on each end."
But, being a Soldier, he didn't let that get in his way.
"He's one of the craziest people I know," said Staff Sgt. Jerome Davis, a recruiter who works with Green and has been to several of his rides. "You see what they go through, and it's wild."
Being a Soldier also helps Green with bull riding "because all the physical training we do helps to us stay in shape and keeps us flexible," he said.
The camaraderie of being in the Army has spurred him on too.
"My company and station have raised money for me to ride in a couple of events so people around our area can see that the Army does have a rodeo team," he said.
A couple of Soldiers in Green's station in Denver on the Auraria Campus go out of their way to make it to all of his events, he said - "others just say I'm crazy."
(Becky Shadowens is an advertising and public affairs specialist at the Denver Recruiting Battalion.)