In opening his weekly Podcast, nine-time World Champion Ty Murray admitted that Kody Lostroh was a rider who was "off the radar."
Since winning the title in 2009, Lostroh has battled a series of injuries that have kept the Colorado native from contending for a second gold buckle, and hadn't won a Built Ford Tough Series event since January of 2010.
This weekend, Lostroh rode three of four bulls and looked in rare form as he won the Express Classic in Tulsa, Okla. His 10th career event win comes two weeks after the birth of his daughter.
Lostroh and his wife, Candace, welcomed Sheridan on Friday, July 27.
"Having a child changes your whole life," Murray said, "and it makes you feel unbelievable and is a springboard for you."
Murray said it differs from one rider to the next when it comes to how fatherhood affects their professional career.
Lostroh seemed to have come alive and was inspired, in some ways, to win the first BFTS event since the summer break concluded.
On the hand, Murray said that during his own career he would not have been able to compete if he were to have been a father. He and his wife, Jewel, welcomed their first child a year ago July. In fact, Kase Townes Murray was born nearly nine years after Murray retired from the sport.
"You never know how that's going to affect a guy," Murray explained. "I know I waited until my career was over to have a child because I always felt like it would be hard to go to work every day and do the world's most dangerous job with a child at home.
"I always felt that it would affect me in a really negative way because when this is what you do for a living every day when you go to work a lot of times you get in a position that's very scary and very compromising and in order to succeed at this sport you (have) to be willing to gut your way through those really scary moments, those really dangerous moments.
"I never felt that would be something I could do," he continued, "when I knew I had a baby at home waiting on me to come back."
Two-time World ChampionJustin McBridesurprisingly retired in the prime of his career--largely to spend time with his wife and recently born daughter. Like Murray, McBride has said fatherhood changed his outlook on bull riding.
He now has two kids and has not reconsidered his 2008 decision.
Luke Snyder, who will marry his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Manna in November, has said he plans to wait until after his career to start a raising a family.
However, like Lostroh, plenty of riders have balanced the two.
Two-time World Champion Chris Shivers, who will retire at the conclusion of this season, is the father of two sons. Cody Nance is the father of one and his wife is expecting their second child. J.B. Mauney became a father last season and married earlier this year.
"We were talking just a second ago about how important focus is," Murray said, "and, I think, Kody Lostroh is as good at staying focused as anybody.
"He handles it very well."
"I waited until my career was over to have a child because I always felt like it would be hard to go to work every day and do the world's most dangerous job with a child at home." -Ty Murray
During his weekly conversation Murray opened with a discussion about the top contenders for the world title--Valdiron de Oliveira, 1; L.J. Jenkins, 2; Silvano Alves, 3; Guilherme Marchi, 4; and Mauney, 5--and closed by discussing several young guns--Stormy Wing, 12; Harve Stewart, 14; and Chase Outlaw, 19--on the verge of riding their way into the Top 10 of the world standings.
Murray's Podcast is recorded every week following the BFTS event.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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