Cowboy Diaries: Nick Guy -- Doesn't Want to Break a Leg, in the Literal Sense, Again

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Steve Jansen
Nick Guy, steer wrestling
True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on his boots to call himself a cowboy -- and mean it.

Name: Nick Guy Age: 27 Hometown: La Crosse, Wisconsin Event: Steer Wrestling

I broke my leg in October, so this is actually my first rodeo back. I've been spending the winter in Cave Creek, Arizona. I'm telling you, it's a lot easier to rehab my leg out there than it is in Wisconsin. My girlfriend is in Arizona getting her master's degree in epidemiology. She's a lot smarter than I am.

I've been rodeoing since I was 13 or 14. I went to little britches rodeos and high school rodeos. Did college rodeo for four years and then took the next step up. I've pretty much been rodeoing full-time for the last three years.

This is my third trip to Houston. It's always been good to me. Two years ago I won about $5,000 and this last year I won $8,000. They take care of you here.

My favorite part about rodeoing is hanging out with the guys and getting to see the country. We travel all over the United States, so I get to meet a lot of people and make connections.

When I'm not rodeoing, I like to deer hunt and bow hunt. I actually grew up playing hockey -- my position was center -- so that was my number one sport. After I graduated from high school, I played junior hockey for a year. I actually thought about hanging up the cowboy boots, but we played about 80 games a year so I really got burnt out. Hockey is a sport that's 24-7. There's no time for anything else. I switched to rodeo in college and got hooked on it.

I see similarities in rodeo and hockey. In hockey, you need to have a lot of strength in your thighs and balance. Bulldogging is the same way with lower body strength and balance.

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