SALINAS, Calif. – Brady Sims bent down and began packing up his gear bag at the Salinas Sports Complex on Wednesday night and let out a deep sigh.
“My hand feels good, but my pride hurts,” Sims said.
Sims had just bucked off Holey Kat in the long round of the BlueDEF Velocity Tour event – his second event back since undergoing wrist surgery on May 28 – and explained that he hates standing around and having to watch the championship round at an event when he isn’t riding in it.
Still, the 21-year-old was happy that his black cast wasn’t affecting his riding ability.
Sims decided to finally undergo surgery on his right wrist (free hand) after first injuring the wrist shortly after his 19th birthday at the San Antonio Touring Pro Division event in September 2012.
“I got jerked down like a son of a gun on a bull (Mo Floyd) of J.D. Nix’s,” Sims recalled on Wednesday. “He was around the right and at about 5 seconds he just reared and dropped to one spot and jerked me down. I put my hand down for some reason and his head was on one side and my facemask was on the other and it just crushed it. I mean crushed it.”
The injury came shortly after one of Sims’ first major victories of his career – the 2012 Pendleton, Oregon, TPD event.
Sims would continue to ride through the fracture, but the injury never healed properly and over the course of this season the wrist had only worsened. It had gotten to a point where simple tasks such as holding a pair of pliers or opening the top of a bottle became painful.
Therefore, after meeting with Dr. Tandy Freeman, it was decided Sims would undergo surgery, which was performed by orthopedic hand surgeon Hugh ‘Bo’ Frederick.
“He had to take bone grafts from my forearm and put it down there and screw it all together and everything,” Sims said. “I broke a (navicular) bone in the wrist and one underneath it and one beside it was messed up.”
Sims had to take five weeks off before being cleared to start working out again with a new cast. That cast was eventually replaced by the one he wore in Salinas after three weeks, which he will then replace with a hard plastic cast later this month that he will have to ride with for at least a month when the Built Ford Tough Series resumes Aug. 7 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
He attempted two practice bulls at H.D. Page’s ranch two weeks ago before the Gonzales, Texas, TPD event. Though he has yet to record a qualified ride since the surgery, Sims said he is glad he can use the next few weeks to get his timing back in preparation for the BFTS.
However, the 32nd-ranked bull rider in the world standings is also aware that he can’t afford a slow start in Biloxi or fail to get a few points, as he only has a 95-point lead on No. 35 Dave Mason.
Sims has only gone 14-for-48 (29.17 percent) in 18 BFTS events. Last year, Sims set a career-high with 19 qualified rides, qualified for his first World Finals and finished 24th in the world standings.
The 5-foot-9-inch bull rider’s second year on the BFTS hasn’t gone exactly how he would have wanted, but he is confident that his training regimen at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas, this past month will pay off in the second half.
Sims has been training alongside various NFL players, including Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden, and has already seen benefits of the coaching he has received from MJP’s Drew Cuffee.
“All of those guys that were with me had the same mentality of busting their (butts) trying to make something of themselves. You are surrounded by people trying to achieve the same thing as you. Whenever you went there, you had a good attitude about it. You want to work hard. You want to do it. It has done nothing but help me, I can tell you that.”
Sims has focused on all areas of training with Cuffee. According to Sims, he has gone through various full-body workouts that have enhanced all areas of his physical fitness.
Most of all, the three-hour training regimens helped keep bull riding fresh on his mind while he was forced to sit out.
“I have seen a whole lot of results,” Sims said. “It kind of just clears your mind, your body. While you are there, the whole time you are thinking about what you want to achieve. You are thinking about bull riding. You are thinking about the Finals. You are thinking about winning the events.
“You are looking in the mirror and thinking, ‘I am going to be a champion. I am going to be a champion.’”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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