From the December 2018 Issue
How did you and Sage meet?
Sage and I met at National High School Finals in New Mexico. I asked him to float the river with us because my parents said they didn’t want me to go alone...Sage just so happened to be the first person that walked by, I didn’t know him but he looked nice. He was 14 and I had just turned 16.
What was it like to start traveling with him to rodeos and events across the country?
When we first started dating I didn’t really know what to do, I was usually interviewing these guys, so it was different to sit in the stands every now and then. I adapted though and I have been able to find a balance between being a journalist and his girlfriend. I try to go see him as much as I can and it’s usually only once a month. I love getting to watch him do what he loves because I see how much joy it brings him. We have been blessed to travel to so many unique places and each town has their own character. I love being able to learn more about each rodeos traditions. I feel like when we are traveling is when we are able to talk the most because we don’t listen to the radio, we tend to talk for the entire 6 hour trip (or more). That is one of the best parts, is that we make our trips fun.
How do you balance travel and your personal schedule? Do you have any tips and tricks?
I travel quite a bit for my job as well, so the travel aspect of dating Sage was easy to manage. I work wherever I am. In fact, I edited my entire book in Vegas, so I strive to adapt to whatever environment I am in. The best advice I have is plan ahead, when I visit Sage we are usually in his RV and I like to pack a lot of clothes. I’ve learned that it’s best to pack each outfit together so that you can easily access everything. I pack my jewelry in my pockets and I roll all of my clothes because I always want to bring more. It’s easier to plan ahead because then my outfits are the least of my worry. Also, ladies, for Vegas I strongly suggest you all invest in Zostrix Foot Pain Relief Cream, it will have your feet feeling great within seconds. That’s my secret to wearing heels everywhere.
What was your first experience at the NFR with Sage like?
It is so different when you have someone you love competing in the arena. I’ve been going to the NFR since a little girl and I had my stage show their for several years before we started dating, but the nerves you feel when the music came on for bull riding is unmatched. My first year everyone teased me that I might mess up his mojo and I was petrified that I would. A few rounds in, he told me that he had it. He ended up winning the World by round 7 or 8 I think, so it was neat to be their when he accomplished that. We are each other’s best friend, so to watch your best friend accomplish their dreams, it feels like your dreams are coming true to.
Are there any major differences from the first to the most recent NFR you’ve traveled to?
This will be our fourth NFR together and each year, I have become more content as I watch. Now, I feel like once I pray, I feel a sense of peace and I know that God put him in this position to use his talent to bring Him more glory and to me, that is the greatest thing to watch unfold. He works so hard all year and I get to see him in the less glamorous trials and it makes his success even more rewarding. Compared to my first NFR, I feel more excitement, than nerves.
What is a typical day like at the NFR for the both of you?
Oh goodness. Each day is so busy, so let’s just go with a Friday. I wake up at 7:30 and get ready for interviewing and I leave the MGM around 8:30-9:00ish, I kiss SK goodbye as he is signing autographs for MGM. I interview at the convention center for Wrangler Network until 2:00ish, when I get done, Sage is wrapping up his signing for Bloomer Trailers and I set up my table for my book signing that is from 2:00-3:45, Sage usually waits for me and then we end up getting out of the convention center around 4:15pm...Then we get back to the MGM and he will order room service and catch a quick nap, while I get ready for the round. At 5:00pm, we leave the MGM and finally have our moment on the way to the Thomas and Mack. We get to the Thomas and Mack around 5:30 and he goes to get ready and I go and try to relax before the rodeo starts. He usually rides around 8:45 and he will come out of the locker room around 9:15ish. We catch a ride back to MGM and my parents sometimes have food waiting for us, so we eat really quick and then head to the MGM Gold Buckle Zone and try to stay for an hour. I usually go to bed at 1:30pm in Vegas...That is actually a calm day for us...At one point last year, I changed four times before noon because I had different events. Sage tries to schedule two-three autograph signings a day and then he tries to relax and get ready for the round. I think Vegas is busier for us because we both have so much going on, but I don’t think I would know what to do if I had more off time in Vegas. My company also has several clients in Vegas, so I try to visit their booths throughout the NFR daily as well.
When getting ready for the performance, what are some of your outfit staples?
I change a few times a day during the NFR. I love the fashion aspect of the NFR, but I also realize that this is about the athletes, not what I’m wearing. My style is a lot different than most girls that go to the rodeo and I’ve accepted that. I like glamour and feminine looks, but I always try to tie in some form of Western jewelry into my outfits every night. I would say that you can almost bet I will always be in either black or gold and I will always have heels on. I’m cheesy and I like for my outfits to match Sage’s shirts...So usually, you will find us matching haha. I also will always be wearing my Shea Michelle pendent that is customized with his back number. You’ll usually see me in fur, heels and I’ll have that necklace on every night.
Do you have anything special planned for this year’s NFR?
This year will be different because I’ll be flying back to watch my little brother graduate, so I’ll leave after the round and then I’ll get to watch him walk and I’ll fly back. I will be doing book signings both Friday’s again and I’ll be interviewing everyday for Wrangler Network. I’m excited for the best two weeks in December!