Brandon Dunn - Fighter

Categories: Inspiration, Overcoming
Date: 23 Dec 2014 14:56

THE FIGHT - By Dee Ann Littlefield
Brandon Dunn is a fighter.

In fact, he made a career of it. Throughout his teens and 20’s Brandon was a professional bull fighter. He started out fighting high school and college rodeos, and then worked his way into the PRCA ranks and as a bull fighter in the PBR arena.

“Ever since I was really little, all I ever wanted to do was fight bulls,” the Byers, Texas native says. “It was just part of who I am.”
Brandon was being cheered on at home by his wife, B.J. and daughters Haley and Laramie.

In April of 2003 their lives would be changed forever. Brandon’s uncle Rex was critically injured by one of his fighting bulls on his ranch and was air lifted to the ICU unit at the hospital in Wichita Falls. Brandon, B.J., Haley and Laramie all went to go visit Rex in the hospital. Halfway through their 25 mile trip home that night, a drunk driver crossed the dividing line on the highway and hit the Dunn family head on. 

The driver of the other car was killed instantly. Brandon, in the driver’s seat, was thought to be dead. B.J. was conscious but severely injured. In the backseat 4-year-old Laramie was suffering from internal wounds. Beside her, 7-year-old Haley was afflicted with fatal wounds. 

Uncle Rex was released from the hospital after several weeks. B.J. was released from the hospital after three weeks and has since undergone multiple surgeries for crash related injuries. While his back and leg was broken, his hip torn out of socket and the ball of his hip broken off, Brandon’s most severe injury was a perineal tear that split his body in half from his legs upwards. He had multiple surgeries to pin his body back together. He spent three weeks in the hospital before being transferred to a rehab unit. After two months Brandon was finally released to go home.

Brandon and B.J. both continued to recover from their injuries. In 2004 Brandon was provided the opportunity to start his own church, Western Heritage Christian Church in Dean, Texas.

“I was really thankful for the chance to share my love for God,” Brandon says of the position. “I knew he put me there for a reason and even through the wreck and recovery and everything, I never lost faith in him. Some things were really, really hard to understand, but I always had faith He was there for me.”
In 2004, Brandon and B.J. were miraculously blessed with the birth of a son, Brendall, who proved to be such a bright spot in an otherwise dark time. However, as time went on Brandon started to realize that while he was recovering from his physical injuries, he was not emotionally recovering well at all.

Then, in the spring of 2014 he decided he needed to change. He needed to change his heart and his mind.
“I don’t know if it was because I was turning 40 or what, but I just looked at myself and said, ‘Brandon – what have you done for the last 11 years of your life? It has been filled with a bunch of ‘I can’ts.’” he says. “I had so many goals I had set early on in my 20s that I wanted to accomplish when I was in my 30s and I hadn’t touched any of them. An opportunity would come up, but I would say I couldn’t do it because my body wasn’t physically capable, because I couldn’t make time, or whatever excuse I could come up with. I started looking around and so many people were accomplishing MY goals. Why wasn’t I doing that? I tried to blame God, but really, I knew I was the obstacle in the way of my success.”

Brandon’s mind, which he used to train to stay sharp and focused to overcome obstacles before him, had become his own worst enemy.
“I decided it was time to take my life back.”

Brandon was ready to take the bull by the horns again. He set a goal for himself to fight one more bull.
“This isn’t even about the bull, but rather all the bull represents to me personally,” Brandon says. “I lost my daughter and my career. I want to fight all of that anger and frustration in one battle – one on one with a bull. After I fight that one bull – I’m done. I’m leaving it all in the arena after that fight.”
B.J. was very supportive of his goals and all he was doing to accomplish them. “She has been my number one cheerleader,” he says. 
He started training his body and his mind to be in top condition in every possible way. He worked out every day with professional trainer’s guidance. He runs, he lifts weights, he does every kind of workout imaginable, from pulling a tractor tire across an arena to sprinting 40 meter dashes with professional football players. 

“From the kind of music I listened to, to the television programs we watched at home, we only feed ourselves positive things,” he says. “I might not be so strict about it someday, but for now, we are training our thought processes and we don’t want any negative influence. 

Brandon will face his challenge on Saturday night, September 20 during his hometown rodeo, Clay County Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo.
Through his intense training process and seeking positive influences in his life, Brandon came across the website The Say i Won’t company’s motto has been running through Brandon’s mind: “Tell me that I can’t do it. Tell me that I shouldn’t even try. Tell me it’s impossible. Tell me the risk is too high, the challenge too much or the feat too tough. Tell me that I won’t do it…and I WILL.”

He says that SAYiWON’T means “to resolve within yourself the courage and discipline to rise above the adversity.” 
“That says it all right there. I’m tired of the I can’t and I wont’s. Say I won’t and I will. That’s me. That’s where I’m at right now,” he says with a confident, content smile across his face.

“I honestly feel like I am in better physical condition now than I ever was in my 20s,” he relates. “I feel so good – inside and out. 

“God has just revealed so much to me about myself,” he continues. “It has been an amazing journey, and I feel closer to God, my wife, my kids and my church family now than I ever have.” 

Brandon has no intention to fight another bull after September 20; he will be too busy working on other goals he has set for himself. 

When asked to describe himself in one word, Brandon replied, “FIGHTER”. SAY I WON’T!


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