The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo ends its 2020 run on Saturday. For the people who work the show, the three-week event is an exercise in stamina.
"This thing is definitely a marathon; 23 days in a row. You gotta take it easy. Gotta get a good night's sleep. Gotta eat well," said Mike Micallef, president of Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth.
During the stock show, he and his team run five restaurants on the grounds. Two are off-site versions of Reata, two are coffee shops and there's a Mexican-themed restaurant. Micallef makes the rounds checking on staff and customers. And, the steps add up, like the day he walked 11 miles.
Publicity manager Matt Brockman gets in the miles, too.
Between walking from his office to the grounds of Will Rogers to Dickies Arena and back again several times, there was a day he tracked more than 32,000 steps, or 14 miles, in a day.
And with Brockman, a cowboy through and through, he's most often making the rounds in cowboy boots.
Not Micallef, though.
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"As much as everybody loves cowboy boots, I walk too much to wear 'em. So I'm wearing some Solomon, Speed Cross 5. They're a little loud but they're great shoes to walk around the grounds," Micallef said.
And while the steps add up, the pounds drop.
"Usually, I lose five to 10 pounds during the Stock Show." Micallef smiled. "The other thing is I don't eat dinner because every night when it's dinner time, I'm visiting with our guests. So, I'm not eating, so that's another reason I'm losing a little bit of weight."
People often ask Micallef about all the walking. So, he's doing a little contest. Guess the number of steps he'll walk through the show, and he'll donate $200 to the winner's preferred charity.