It was a cold ride today in Colorado. When I took off my boots today after my two-wheeled jaunt, I half expected my toes to have fallen off. Luckily they remained on my feet, right where I left them. I did not even notice how cold my feet were till I got to my destination. Once the cycles engine stopped purring, I was like “wow, I’m freezing”. It’s funny because I did not notice till the ride was finished. Our minds are a powerful force and have an innate ability to filter out all sorts of environmental feedback to keep us progressing forward. My mind today was thinking that I really needed to be out riding on my cycle, so it did not recognize I was cold until the ride was done.
I love the quote from Act 2, Scene 2 of Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” As much as our minds can filter out the negative noise they can also do the same for positive thoughts and perspectives from our environment. It seems to be a two-way street and it’s up to us to somehow manipulate our brain’s filter, so we can maintain a positive world perspective. In life we can easily slip down a dark negative pattern of thought and when this occurs, it can be hard to train your brain to look at the bright side of life.
By no means am I a psychologist but I did learn a trick early in life that can help with controlling negative thoughts in our minds. Back in the military when I was going through tough times and I wanted to quit, I used a visualization technique to help control these negative feelings. When I thought of a negative feeling or idea, I would actually visualize the negative thought. In my mind, I would then visualize Squashing the Negative Feeling/Thought with my Foot. I was actively telling my subconscious that those negative ideas would not be tolerated. For example, after a few dozen times of thinking about quitting and Squashing the Negative Idea in my mind, I eventually stopped thinking of giving up and began to focus on ways to succeed.
This technique got me through a lot of tough situations and gave me the ability to endure when I wanted to quit.
My quest continues to run a marathon. It’s slow going but there is definitive progress. I’ve been mixing daily gym trips with good eating habits. I have been soda/junk food free for 19 days. The amazing thing is that I feel 40 pounds lighter even know I have only lost a total of seven pounds. I really could care less about losing weight, it’s about protecting my knees and achieving a proper fitness level so that my body can carry me 26 miles. I figure I want to get down another 28 pounds to give my body a fighting chance to run the distance. I am just going to keep focused on baby steps. My first goal is to run 20 minutes without walking, then after that, celebrate my success and increase my fitness goals.
Being Able to See is Over Rated, this Helmet Rocks
Coca-Cola has been an addiction of mine for as long as I could remember. In the Army I would easily go through a 12 pack of coke a day. Back then, I preferred my coke in cold cans. Don’t ask me how I found soda in the desert. My platoon had no showers, air conditioning, toilets or hot food but I always found a way to guzzle down cokes. In college, I switched from the 12 oz. cans to the 20 oz. plastic bottles. For the last 10 years of my life, I have had at least two 20 oz. bottles of coke a day. On many days, I would consume much more than that. Once I discovered Coca-Cola in the 20 oz. plastic bottles, I could never go back to drinking coke out of the can. The taste between the can and plastic bottle was unmistakable. I am what one may call a “SODA SNOB”. I drank soda like water and it has made me slow and soft. In an effort to achieve my goal of running a marathon, I decided to give up my habit of ingesting soda. Being 43 years old and grossly overweight, it’s just not prudent for me to be running like Forest Gump with a Santa Belly and thighs that rub together like two pieces of sand paper. If I am going to achieve my overall goal, I must eat in a healthy manner. I also need to lose weight so that my knees don’t implode due to unmanageable stress.
I have been Soda free for 8 days now and have only drank water or skim milk since my last coke. This has not been easy. For the first 5 days without coke, I was rude, mean and nasty. The crankiness that ensued was real, profound and ugly. I would rather get kicked in the giblets rather than quit drinking soda again. After 5 days, the crankiness wavered and I became depressed. I guess I was just sad that I could not taste that fuzzy acidic goodness that I so much desired. On my eighth day without soda, I feel somewhat normalized. I am not craving Coca-Cola every second and I’m back to my normal quirky self.
I also joined a gym and began a running program. I’m starting slow using the “Learn How to Run App” on my phone. It’s been an interesting 8 days but I dropped 4 pounds and began to jog in a slow docile way. It’s all about the baby steps and celebrating the little things. I can tell you that I feel better than I did 8 days ago so that is a big plus…….
I wrote a blog post a few months back about staying in touch with your dreams. It was a post from my heart and really did exhibit all that I felt when I wrote it. It has been a re-occurring theme in my life to feel an intense amount of passion regarding my theories and philosophies but at times, I tend to lack a certain amount of conviction to see my passions to fruition. Since I have last posted my diatribe on Keeping Ones Dreams Alive, I have done nothing at all to follow through on my own goals. When I was 17 years old, I made a bucket list. In my youth, I never thought I would live to see 40, so I worked that Bucket List down with a fervid conviction. I am proud to say that I only have 3 unmet objectives from my original bucket list. One of them is to run and finish a marathon. This dream is truly far off from a reality for me. I am about 40 pounds overweight and have not exercised in about a year. I get tired walking my dog and have not met an ice cream cone I won’t eat. I am the strict definition of “The Guy Who Has Let Himself Go”. Now in my own defense, I am not inherently lazy, I just have put my heart and soul into my work over the last decade and any free time was devoted to my family or to motorcycling. My workaholic tendencies and a blatant disregard for my own health has wreaked havoc on physical conditioning. I kind of feel like one of those guys on “Biggest Loser” who used to be healthy but finds themselves to be a mound of jello.
It’s about focusing my will on something I cared about when I was 17 and still care about today. It’s about not just thinking about my dreams but acting upon them with a quest to fulfill the moment before the moment is gone. The days of wasted time will be no more, it’s time to complete a marathon or go down trying. It won’t happen overnight. Given my health, I will set my initial time-table at a year to get it done.
I will use my blog to track my progress so feel free to keep me honest and I apologize to diverge from my normal theme of motorcycling. Well now that I think about it, motorcycling brought me to my last post of keeping ones dreams alive which has transgressed to today’s post on how one MUST ACT Upon his dreams. So in reality, I can thank my love of motorcycling for the journey I am about to begin.
I took a wondrous journey on my cycle to Central City Colorado. It’s a great curvaceous route from Golden, CO filled with twisty turns up a rocky canyon. Follow the river through the never-ending blissful curves and dream of simpler, more dangerous times of the old west. Not all that much has changed in this canyon with the exception of the blacktop and one can easily imagine the threat of wild Indian attacks, train robberies and chasing the dream of finding the mother lode in the gold rush. During my journey I thought of those settlers following their dreams into a very dangerous environment but despite the hazards they chased their dreams anyway.
When were young we constantly dwell on our dreams. This is a truly positive phenomena which provides a thoughtful reflection of the possibilities of life. Our youthful brains focus on our never waning potential; it’s too bad our adult brains lack the same focus.
Sometimes our dreams become a reality. Unfortunately some dreams are left unfilled or even worst, lost. As we age, dreams tend to become less of an emphasis in our minds. Life’s burdens manifest themselves in our subconscious and slowly we lose touch with those prized imaginings that propelled us forward through our youth.
A true travesty in life is a dream lost. When we lose our dreams we tend to lose who we are and what we want to be. Through our dreams we are able to change reality as we know it. They are powerful intangible motivators that spur our spirits into wondrous actions. When we lose touch with our dreams, we lose a part of ourselves. Without dreams, we can be led down a path of becoming that lost soul, just endlessly going through the drudgery of life. The divine spark no longer fires and life’s burdens become our only reality. You know the people whom I’m talking about, they are just empty vessels.
I have chased down my dreams without remorse in the past but lately I have become complacent. Over the last 5 years I have forgotten to dwell upon my aspirations of the unreachable. It’s the hope to achieve those unobtainable goals that separate us from the norm and add texture to our lives. When we work towards our objectives, one day we find that the unreachable suddenly becomes feasible. A dream is only a few actions beyond our reach and with every action the dream is that much more a plausible reality.
I actively need to aspire to some sort of goal. Set some high objective to work towards and don’t rest till its obtained. This is what is missing in my life and without a dream, we all tend to waiver or regress. We all need something to work on, I have an infinite list of things to improve upon but the most important is to get in touch with my dreams.
It’s funny what one may think about during a pleasant journey on two wheels.
Have you noticed there are just too many types of cycles out there? I am not even going to try to list all the different niche bikes there are on the market today. I love the fact that there is a diverse selection of rides to choose from but it bothers me that we categorize them in different sects like some sort of evil Anthropology experiment. At the end of the day we have a motor and two wheels and that is enough for me.
Give me a slow bike and I will ride it like it’s on the Salt Flat Time Trials. Give me a duel sport and I will tour with it like a Gold Wing. It took me 30 years to get my first cycle and have loved riding since day one on a cycle. One constant has remained true in my 12 years of riding; “I have not met a motorcycle, I did not like”.
I refuse to classify my ride as anything but a motorcycle b/c I plan to use it for any purpose my warped sense of judgment leads me. If that means it’s a dirt bike one day then so be it. If I go down on soft sand then that is life; it’s nothing a pair of knobby tires can’t fix.
Don’t Settle Into Conformity That Other Define. Be the Catalyst That Burns Down Those Barriers
Today I took my FJR up a dirt mountain pass in Colorado. Well to clarify, about 7 miles was hard gravel/dirt road, the rest was tarmac. In all reality, I wish I had a bike for every occasion but I am lucky to have one bike let alone 6 different rides. Make your bike whatever kind of bike you want and need it to be.
Get rid of brand allegiances and style snobbery and embrace all that is good about our lifestyle.
Whatever you ride, keep your passions vibrant, the wind in your face and let your smile linger as you cruise down life’s wondrous pathways.
I’m back living in Colorado after driving 32 hours straight across country with the exception of a 4 hour nap. It was a trip fueled by memories, dreams, worries, hope and coca cola. It was strange because I did not get sleepy during my thoughtful journey. I forced myself to nap based upon safety concerns more than exhaustion.
I remember back during the invasion of Iraq, we had 4 day long missions where one would be lucky to get 2-3 hours a day worth of shut-eye. No one from my squad complained about the lack of sleep. We just past out when we could and kept pushing forward. The complaints really did not begin until the bullets stopped flying. When life settled down we found ample time to realize we were miserable and than some of us began to travel down that slippery dark spiral of doubt. Dreams are crushed by doubt, so it must be controlled. Every emotion has its uses but some emotions can be a detriment to soul. We must be cautious in life and doubt can often be a tool that allows us to make rational decisions but when one has a mission or task to accomplish then doubt needs to be eliminated. I have battled doubt and other insecurities my whole life. It is a battle that will only be lost when one gives up. So the trick is to face each challenge head on even if doubt exists basically disregarding the negative influence of the emotion. You can also use ones insecurities to fuel your motivation to become better at the task needing to be achieved. Let it motivate you to greater heights. Doubt will always win if you let it keep you from doing what lies ahead.
I am sitting in the small town of Morrison, CO just west of Denver. There is a creek behind me and I listen to the splendid chorus which puts me a drift in a flotilla of peace. I spent 5 hours just riding my motorcycle today. There was no route nor destination, just the ride. I cannot tell you where I went but I can tell you that I felt thousands of wonderful nervous butterflies as I twisted through the most phenomenal mountain canyons. You don’t know how bad you had it till you ride some of these gorgeous highland roads.
By the end of my 5 hour jaunt, my brain was fried with curvaceous memories of twisting Bliss……………
Stoppies, Keeping Motorcycle Cops Cool Since 1952
I posted this photo a few days ago because I thought it was rather cool but while eating a bagel, I pondered the photo more in depth. Would it not be radical if a few Police Departments had a Motorcycle Stunt Team? Ok, the idea would seem like a blatant waste of money. Well maybe not. Police Departments combat many issues. High crime rates, bad morale within the department and community relation issues. There are ton of reasons why people distrust the cops and some are valid and some are not. I guess what is important to me, is that the streets are safe. The streets will not be safe if the community does not have a positive relationship with its Police Department. That fact cannot be argued.
So use the Motorcycle Police Stunt Team as a Community Relationship Program. There is nothing that brings the community and police together like having Officer Sgt. Tackleberry jump his Harley through a Ring of Fire. There is no end to the zany antics our Police Officers could do involving their policy department issued cycles. One thought would be “Police Officer Jousting” on bikes. Kind of like combining The Middle Ages with Evil Knievel Motorcycle Depravity.
I’m just saying as a lover of everything motorcycles, I would trust The Police a bunch more if I saw them doing Stoppies, Wheelies and Death Loops every once in a while. It would make the Policy Officer seem more human and yes, more cool. But then again, I have the emotional maturity of a 7-year-old and have never met a motorcycle I did not like. So my judgment may be truly flawed.