Struck By Lightning, Cody cowgirl’s perspective on life changes after bolt hits her
Lindsay Adamson competes in the breakaway roping at the 2011 National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo. The Cody, Neb. cowgirl was struck by lightning in August of 2011. Photo by Stacey Adamson.
At Cody-Kilgore High, she’s competed in the Nebraska State High School Rodeo Association as a breakaway roper, team roper, goat tyer, and in the cutting. She’s lettered in volleyball, basketball, and track, and was Academic All-State and All-State Honorable Mention. She was in her school’s FFA program and won the regional level at the Academic Decathlon two years. She won the outstanding actress award in her school’s one act plays.
But it took a bolt of lightning to slow her down last fall.
The 18 year old from Cody was struck by lightning on August 7 of last year, and it changed her world.
She was coming home from visiting her grandparents, driving through the pastures of the Sandhills, when she got out to open a gate. Just as she touched the gate lever, she saw a huge flash. Minutes later, she woke up, ten feet from the gate, lying on the ground, with hands clenching and opening, and a shaking body.
She eventually made her way to the car and to the neighbors, and after a phone call to the hospital, she was told the storm was bad enough to stay put, so long as her pulse was normal. When she went for a checkup three days later, the doctor told her her muscle enzyme levels were the same level as someone who had suffered a heart attack.
But it was her senior year, and Lindsay didn’t want to slow down to allow her body to recover. She tried to play volleyball and rodeo, but after a bout of mono because of a weakened immune system, it slowed her down.
The lightning strike helped her become more mentally tough. After succeeding in so many disciplines in high school, life was a bit easy. “I had worked hard to accomplish what I had, and I had lost sight of why I loved rodeo in the first place,” she said. The strike gave her more perspective. “How I do at a specific rodeo doesn’t really matter, because I’m still alive. Honestly, I needed that, because it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I kind of forgot why I was rodeoing.”
Her focus may have shifted, but her work ethic and standards did not. The cowgirl was her class valedictorian and scored a 32 on her ACT. She will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall on a regent’s scholarship, and will continue her rodeo at the collegiate level. She may major in biology, with the possibility of becoming a chiropractor.
As of late May, she was in the top 15 in each of her three events, and headed to the state finals rodeo in
But the lightning strike has given her new hope. “I definitely know there’s a reason I’m here now. I just have to find it. There’s a purpose.”
Lindsay has two younger siblings, a brother, J.T., who is 14, and a sister, Sydney, who is 12. They are the children of Todd and Stacey Adamson.
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