Sevi Torturo is a professional bull rider, climbing aboard at least 200 bulls a year who buck and twist and do everything they can to knock his butt off. He must ride for 8 seconds to be any kind of a winner at all- this is his JOB- It has broken broke his ankles, kneecaps, bunches of fingers, elbows, fractured his neck a few times and created a hernia. That’s OK. That’s part of the territory.
He told his 4th grade teacher that he didn’t need to learn that complicated math because he was going to be a bull rider for a living and so he began his career at the age of 12. He works out every day, stretches and slides in a yoga tape even on a daily basis (hear that all you “manly men “who think yoga is for sissies!). He can make over $100,000 a show!
It is a young man’s sport however, and as a 29 year old , he is already approaching his “autumal years” as a professional bull rider. Breaking colts is his side job, and will be his full time profession in the future. I had the delightful oportunity to interview this man for a story for Pennsylvania Magazine on Mountain Springs arena, where rodeos and the also very interesting Demolition Derbies have been held for nearly 40 years! (Sevi began riding here and is even marrying the owner’s daughter, all these years later!)
It is one of the great joys of my job to be able to get inside the heads and hearts of these folks, who could be far different than me, but whose life is powered by the same type of passion for living. Sevi says that there is NOTHING in the world equivalent to being in that shoot, giving the nod that you are ready, and careening out on that crazy wild bull. The adrenelin rush is out of this world. They say it is the most dangerous 8 seconds in the entire sports world.
Sevi says that there are so many unknowns–what kind of bull you will get, how he will behave, what kind of contorions your body will get twisted into, if you will “get in a wreck.” He hopes he has a few more years before calling it quits. But after that, he kind of has his eye on sky diving to get that adrenelin rush- a fellow bull rider of 15 years just tried it and said it’s pretty damn close.
An oh, just a few years back, that same math teacher from elementary school found Sevi, by following him on TV and in the professional circuit, and she told him, “You were right, you wouldn’t have needed that math!”