The Little Engine That Could

//The Little Engine That Could

The Little Engine That Could

The core theme in Cowboy Cody will help kids understand the power of grit and determination when they are working toward achieving their goals.

A similar message is brilliantly presented in one of my favorite children’s books, written nearly 100 years ago. The Little Engine That Could reveals themes of strength and optimism in such a beautiful way. Books like this demonstrate the power of children’s literature to teach us lessons that stay with us throughout our lives.

Before The Law of Attraction, Zig Ziglar and Internet Meme’s…there was The Little Engine That Could. If you have never read it, it goes something like this. If you say “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” and try hard enough…pretty soon you will say, “I did it!”

The adage “Little Engines Can Do Big Things”, describes my little firecracker of a God-daughter perfectly. Keely was another great inspiration for Cowboy Cody.

Keely Wamsteeker was born and raised near the northern Alberta town of Sexsmith.

Keely is a cowgirl, who happened to be born into a hockey family. Her older brothers, Corey and Joel are both extremely talented hockey players. As a tiny little girl, this blonde spit-fire was determined that she was a cowgirl.

At first, it was just a horse she wanted. Although not ‘horse people’, Keely’s parents are no strangers to the western lifestyle. AJ and Debbie both have strong backgrounds in farming and ranching. Keely’s father AJ, is also a hunting guide, so he brought home a pack horses for his little blonde cowgirl to ride during the off-season. Keely happily rode her horse around and all was well…for a while!

Pleasure riding wasn’t fast-paced enough for Keely and soon changed to a short-lived desire to be a Barrel Racer. This lasted until the first time Keely watched a Trick Riding Performance. Right then and there, ‘Boots’, the sturdy black pack horse her dad brought home was transformed into a trick riding horse. Keely has never turned back.

Debbie knew it was time to start looking for a trick riding saddle when she walked outside and saw that her daughter had an assortment of dog collars and ropes affixed to her western saddle. This homemade trick saddle made it possible for Keely to practice the tricks she had been obsessively watching on YouTube. I smiled and giggled a little as I watched the transformation of my dear friend Debbie during those years. Prior to Keely, Debbie was a little bit afraid of horses, and not really a huge fan of hauling trailers. Keely relentlessly “encouraged” her mom face those fears. Debbie spent countless hours helping Keely practice and traveling with her to clinics and competitions.

Keely has always been relentless in the pursuit of the life that was authentic to her. These days, nearly 19 year old Keely can be seen performing at rodeos and events across northern Alberta. Keely has never let anyone tell her that her goals were unrealistic, even though she knew it wouldn’t be easy.

Keely is persistent and not afraid to get off her caboose, move forward, pull herself up the hills and enjoy the heck out of the ride down!

I totally had to end with a train reference, right?

So you see…Keely is Cody.

Keely 2


By |2017-05-04T00:11:41+00:00May 4th, 2017|

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