Born to Ride: Sage Kimzey

Some people search their entire life to find that thing they love.  To find that passion that fills their heart and feeds their soul.  Then there are people like Sage Kimzey, who was born into the Cowboy life and has cherished every minute of it.  I find it fascinating to hear stories of how people discover the one thing they are meant to do in this world.  While I was driving through Houston, TX a couple weeks ago there was a massive Rodeo in town.  I went to the website for the Rodeo to learn more about the event and immediately saw Sage’s name.  I took notice that he was a world champion and he was only 22 years old.


  • 2016 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion Bull Rider
  • 2015 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion Bull Rider
  • 2014 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion Bull Rider
  • 2014 Championship Bull Riders World Champion
  • Only Bull Rider to have won World Titles in both his rookie and sophomore seasons.
  • Two times’ qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo

 


At the top of his sport at the age of 22, I needed to learn more.  I reached out to his Instagram account, not in high hopes as he has over 69k followers and I figured he gets inundated with messages from fans and people wanting to contact him.  I shared my Pursuit and what I was looking to do and within 24 hours I got a response.  His assistant who manages his account said that Sage loved my story and what my Pursuit of Passion was all about and that he would love to talk.  A few weeks later we were able to finally connect via phone and the conversation that we had was nothing short of passionate.

 

Sage was born and raised in Strong City, Oklahoma with deep roots in the Rodeo.  His father rode Horses and Bulls and was a professional Rodeo Barrelman for 30 years.  His mother was a professional Barrel Racer and both him, his brother, and sister were introduced to the Cowboy lifestyle living on a ranch and the rodeo lifestyle traveling to watch their parents at an early age.

“I just fell in love with the Cowboy Lifestyle and I always knew I wanted to be a Cowboy,” Sage stated. 

At 4 years old Sage started to compete in the Junior Rodeo and as he became older, around 13-14 years old, he started to see success riding bulls.  When he was about 16 years old, he realized that he had a chance of taking his passion and turning it into a career.

“People always say to take what you love and figure out how to make money with it.  I have been blessed that I was introduced and raised into a lifestyle that I knew I loved and one that has allowed me to travel and make great money in the process.” 

You can hear the Passion in his voice when he speaks about what he does and why he loves what he does.  When I asked him about why he loved being a cowboy and riding bulls, it got silent for a second as he thought and he said,

“It is so hard to put into words, there is just a feeling that I get.  There is something Romantic about the western people and the cowboy lifestyle.  I just feel like I am living a dream.  The rodeo is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle.  

Sage’s success has not come without sacrifices and injuries, which would have deterred many from pushing forward, but with his passion for bull riding they were just little bumps in the road.

“I remember when I was about 13 years old and I was transitioning onto bigger bulls.  I was pretty small for my age and I was competing against older/bigger boys.  I had a season when I broke my arm twice.  I remember laying in the hospital bed and thinking, is this really worth it?  I also remember going into school on crutches, bruised and beat up, and the other kids saying, why don’t you just give up that hobby.”   

“I just loved it so much that any doubt quickly went away quickly.  Now I look back and I would do it all over again 10x.”

As our conversation started to wind down I asked him “What is it that you are doing when you feel the most alive.”  I knew what answer I was going to get, but I just wanted to hear the fire in his voice and he shared how he feels when he gets on or off that bull.

When I get off a good/tough bull, had a great ride, I know I earned a lot of points, and there are 20k fans screaming as you stand back up.  It feels like the whole world just stands still.  After all of the chaos that happens during the ride, it feels like a slow motion of feelings.  It is really a moment of pure bliss. 

As we were about to say goodbye, I asked him if he had anything else he wanted to share or add.  He stated that in a sport like bull riding you have to rely on your faith when you are struggling and he had a favorite quote that he also goes back to when times get difficult.

2 Timothy 1:7

        “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 

Man, I personally need to hear that quote.  I have been chasing my passions my whole life I have been driven by fear of failure. Sometimes I would use this fear of failure to drive myself to work harder or compete harder, but often it would surface it’s ugly head whenever I felt like I was not enough.  I have always had this fear of not being enough of not succeeding and it is daunting on the heart, the mind, and the soul.  the idea that that fear is one that we create internally, but in our soul we have the power of love and the right to a sound mind.  That is what so much of this journey is about and a perfect quote to close an amazing conversation with a special cowboy.

After we hung up, I felt motivated and inspired by Sage’s passion for what he does and the life he lives.  I really believe that everyone has that thing in life that gives you that “pure bliss.”  Some of us find it and then it ends and this transition can feel like an impossible task, but I am choosing to believe that the passions we once had and have passed are really just vessels that can lead us to our true purpose.  As stated in the Alchemist, ” it can lead us to our Personal Legend.”  I started this trip with the idea that I was going to travel the United States, meet people, and figure out what that next passion could be.  What I am quickly learning is that we can’t force that passion, but instead all we can do is experience and explore and let our souls guide us to a place that will give us that peace.  Every time I have a conversation, like the one with Sage, I am filled with confidence that basketball was just my passion/vessel and my pure bliss/personal legend is out there some where waiting to be captured.  I am not looking to force that, but instead continue to explore and meeting inspiring people like Sage to find my true calling.

 

Follow Sage’s Journey:

  • Sage’s Website: 
  • Instagram: @sagekimzey
  • Twitter: @sagekimzey
  • Facebook: @sagekimzeybullrider

Watch Video of Sage on a Bull: 

 

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