Losing an Athlete to Extreme Sports

Author: Sheri Smith smith@smithprollc.com
Jan 20, 2019

The bull riding industry is in heavy mourning after the loss of one of the kindest men in the PBR, Mason Lowe.

Those of us here at Western Media and Sports knew Mason personally.  He always had a smile and was NEVER rude or arrogant in any way.  The fame and money never went to his head, but instead he stayed humble and respectful to those who had the honor of meeting him.

Bull riding is a dangerous sport. We often see the phrase, 

"The most dangerous sport on dirt"

shown across social media and advertisements.  Like many extreme sports, danger is part of the job and those who participate know exactly what they are getting into.

As one who has been around the sport for many years, the pain, injury, and risk are something that we get used to hearing about and seeing.  I represent, as an agent, a world champion bull rider.  I used to worry about my clients, but then over time, I stopped.  We have to accept their choice to do dangerous sports and that destiny is out of our hands.

It is similar to motocross, auto racing, down hill racing, and others in the sense that the inherent danger is understand by participants and fans alike.

But when tragedy strikes, we are all in shock. Knowing the risk, why is it such a surprise when one is lost doing these sports?

Why do people do these extreme sports when they know they could die?

My only answer is - it is something deep within their soul. It is part of who they are and unless you also have participated in an extreme sport, it is something you can't understand.

Extreme sports king, Travis Pastrana is quoted as saying,

“There's no such thing as boundaries only limits that get pushed further and further.

"Somewhere in the fear and chaos, there is a clarity that few will ever experience.”

“My strengths and weaknesses are the same: I've got the willingness and stupidity to try anything."

"I'm just competitive. Everybody always says, 'You've gotta be crazy to do what you do.' It's not really true. Everything I do is always about trying to out-do your friends. Trying to one-up, be a little faster, a little better, jump a little further."

Professional snow boarder icon Travis Rice,

"I wouldn't even call snowboarding a sport. For me it's just a way of life. It's a chance to finally shut your brain off, and live within the moment. And, for as long as I am able, I will ride until the day I die."

After an event family and friends worry, pray, and seek texts from these extreme sports athletes. They want to know the event went well and they are safe. But when the text doesn't come or the phone call comes from someone other than their loved one - the hurt and pain is beyond imaginable and they are left with the question of why.

It helps to realize that each person has a choice and sometimes that choice doesn't put them in safe situations. Letting go of the majority of the worry and praying instead has been the only way some can find peace. We all must appreciate the time we have with our loved ones knowing that that time is limited by choices, circumstance, and fate. Love each day given with those who do extreme sports and dangerous jobs. Military, law enforcement, EMS, fire fighters, miners, divers, and so many other careers have inherent danger that could cause their death. Knowing death isn't the end but a new beginning with God is truly the only way to peace.

My husband rode off road dirt bikes and ATVs for most of our marriage. I used to worry when he didn't make it back to the camper when I thought he should. I would pray, pace back and forth, and think about the worst case scenario. I would wonder, "what if he wrecked and our son rode up on him and saw his father dying?" or "what if he is lying hurt and we can't find him in time?"

Until one day, I realized that I had no control over the situation. I would enjoy my husband every day until the day he died. I would release him to be who he was and trust that

  God had me in His hands whether my husband was with me on earth or with Him in heaven. 

A peace came over me and a trust that it was going to be okay.

I went and bought a large life insurance policy, too. I told him I wouldn't be poor if he did die. He just smiled and agreed it was a good idea.

As a media outlet, friends, and fans of Mason Lowe - we would like to take time to honor him with media we have found in our archives.  Follow us on our social media to see more pics, video, and shares.  Facebook  Instagram  Twitter

The following video was taken by Bonnie Hay, reporter for Western Media and Sports. This was taken at the 2017 Iron Cowboy.

Bonnie - "I started working with Western Media & Sports and Western Sports Foundation formally Rider Relief Fund, in 2014. Along the way I’ve met so many amazing people. Interviewing a lot of athletes and volunteering raising money for those same athletes. Although I never had the privilege to interview Mason I did have the chance to meet him and visit.. He was such a humbled guy who loved this sport! My thoughts and prayers are with his precious wife and family. "