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Lord, give us the courage to ride

Welcome to Mexico, welcome to jaripeo. Where jinetes defy time and pain

It’s deathly silent. The whole town holds its breath for me, for all the jinetes 1 who kneel in the sand.

The band and the sound of opening beer cans has fallen away. It’s so quiet I can hear my heart beating in my ears. Then there comes a voice. The crowd joins in prayer.

“Señor, nosotros los jinetes no te pedimos favores especiales, solamente nos des valor y destreza para realizar nuestras montas en cada uno de los jaripeos donde arries- gamos la vida. Señor, tu que fuiste jinete del Apocalipsis en esta vida, vida que quieres que vivamos, con el único fin de ganarnos el pan de cada día y divertir a tus hijos…”

Entertainers. That’s who we are, and that’s who we’ve been for five-hundred years. When the world is falling apart around us, we jinetes still ride. We jinetes shall ride until our legs and spurs loosen, and when our arms can no longer hold on, Lord, you will call us towards you, to where all our afternoons will be triumphant and glorious.

A baby cries. It knows, instinctively, the danger we are in. May we come home to our wives and children in one piece. There are far greater men who have not made it, but when the band plays deep into the night and the fireworks go up, we shall walk tall. We shall nurse our bulls and we shall nurse our bones. For now though, this jaripeo is all that exists, for us and for our townsfolk.

“…queremos pedirte humildemente que llegando el último e inevitable gran jaripeo para nosotros y cuando las piernas con todo y espuelas se aflojen y cuando nuestros brazos no soporten el chicoteo del último reparo y tú señor nos llames allá contigo, donde todas las tardes serán de triunfo y gloria para nosotros, nos digas: ¡Dale puertas, fuera capas! Vengan mis cabezales valientes, tu monta la he dado por buena”

I catch the eye of the closest bull. He stares back, dares me to look away. Five, six, seven seconds we remain like that. The only thing between us is the fence and the final line of prayer. I know this moment well, but it still gets me everytime. It’s adrenaline, it’s fire, it’s duty, it’s brotherhood, and now, it’s all starting.

ATHLETA MAGAZINE ISSUE 06

Credits

PH Rise Up Duo
TEXT Oliver Cable

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