TYLER, Texas — What do a bull and Lake Athens have in common? You'll find professional bull rider Dustin Boquet on both.
We spent a day fishing with Boquet to find out how riding a bull is like landing a lunker.
Eight seconds. Eight seconds for faith to win over fear. Few know that better than Bouquet.
“It ain’t just holding on for dear life, that's not the case", Boquet said, then changes his mind. "Well sometimes that is the case."
Faith over fear. If it’s fishing Lake Athens or riding a bull, Bouquet lives by that simple phrase and wears a bracelet on his wrist to remind him daily.
“I'm pretty heavy into my Christianity really and like I said I fail him a bunch but that's why he forgives us a lot too. And then faith over fears, shoot whenever you get in a situation that you want to give up, you just go back to faith instead of fear.”
If you want proof of how Boquet puts faith over fear, just look at the the scar on his left arm. It's from a surgery. Since last year, it's just one of many surgeries that have healed three broken bones in nine months.
Bouquet’s off the rodeo circuit this year but he's not giving up.
“It says in the Bible anything is possible as long as you believe in him, so we are going at it until he tells me all right, no more," said Boquet who is fishing Lake Athens as he waits for his left collarbone to heal. He's hoping to join the pro rodeo circuit again this fall.
“It keeps my mind off of things, I come out here relax, have a good time, try to catch fish, sometimes it’s called catching [and] sometimes it's straight up fishing," Boquet said.
The Louisiana native learned to fish, ride bulls and first discovered faith over fear as a teenager.
"I rode my first three out of four steers, won the series, won my first buckle and that was a wrap," Boquet recalls. "I thought it was the coolest thing ever.”
Boquet’s faith conquered fear when he moved to East Texas. There are more rodeos here than Louisiana. Last year, he worked his way up to 9th on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rankings before getting hurt.
He sees a connection between faith over fear, riding bulls, and reeling in fish.
"I mean fishing is the same thing like bull riding, if you ain't catching, you can't just get all upset and you got to stay confident, you got to stay humble." Boquet said. "You just gotta keep keep grinding it out. And that same thing bull riding, you fall off a 10 in a row. And you never know when that one's gonna come. And the sayin’ has always been, all it takes is one to turn it around.”
Faith over fear. That keeps Dustin Bouquet fishing and riding bulls.
“I’ve always had goals" Boquet said. "I mean all of us that rodeo we always have a goal to win a gold buckle and that’s what keeps driving me to keep doing it.”