I surely did not notice how gargantuan my back side has grown while sitting on the couch over the last few years. Once I started exercising this week, I quickly noticed that my butt has laid the world’s largest anchor and wherever I go, it drags around behind me displacing anything in its path. Seriously, I can feel its mass holding be back while I endeavor to propel myself forward. It’s like my butt knows that with every step, its rotund form will reduce, along with its menacing supremacy. The influence of the ass does not stop there; it has also formulated a highly turbulent odorous gas, that has increased in secretion since I began to eat healthier and workout. The whiffs of gaseous toxic vapor are meant to be a surprise occurrence, and normally hit during a pre-training stretch. These surprise fume attacks are devastating in nature and can often render one lifeless as they lose consciousness from the lack of breathable air. My body is doing all that it can to stop this healthy life style before it begins, but with fortitude and vigor, I must press on.
Along with toxic flatulence and cellulite infested anchors, a general pain has festered within my body. My feet hurt from having to carry an over laden physique. My muscles twitch and cramp from anxiety and over use and my fat just kind of jingles with glee as it sits there, along for the ride. Dam you Isaac Newton and your First Law of Motion (Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest), its science working against me.
As you reflect upon the memories of yesterday’s triumphs, do you find that these achievements were meticulously planned or spontaneous in nature? This is a question, that I have been contemplating for some time. I do not think that a miraculous achievement must be a result of a long-term strategical plan but will venture to say that most self-fulfilled triumphs fall under this category. An accomplished goal, by its very nature is motivated by a sense of purpose and is powered by conviction and effort. These fundamental forces formulate a pathway that leads to a successful fulfillment of the ultimate objective.
Less frequent in nature, an achievement may be rendered with little planning and even less strategizing. Often these acts are based less on internal fortitude but have more to do with impulsive action that leads to heroic pivotal acts that become something more than intended. These accomplishments may be short sighted in planning but may have profound affects that permeate through history.
This leads to a question that has been perplexing me for some time; is a pre-planned execution of a long-term objective more worthy then a spur-of-the-moment valiant act? Both are worthy and have their own merits. Given that I never worked a long-term goal through resolution, I have no authority to even attempt to originate a response.
I reflect on my life lived and find that there have been no real long-term goals achieved by me. Now this may sound self-loathing in nature but that is not the case. I have accomplished a ton and proud to be the person I am, but all I have done was accomplished with little to no long-term plan or objective in mind. I always lived the way I did mostly because I thought it was right thing to be doing at the time. My life has been filled with adventure, hard work and smiles and for that I am thankful. Today, I find myself at a cross roads. I am not yet dead but not fully awake. I find that I am drifting, but really going nowhere quick.
This has been a long time in the making but I believe that a paradigm shift is needed and now is the time to make it happen. There is a goal I would like to plan on achieving and have a suspicious feeling that if I don’t act now, it soon will be too late. I would like to complete a marathon.
At age 47, my health has been depleted by lack of exercise, stress and an inherent love of sugar, carbohydrates and red meat. I resemble a jelly doughnut with pudgy legs and a triple chin. My respiratory system is overwhelmed by the most minimal of activities. So, I can truthfully say, that I do not know if this is a realistic goal and having this aim, may not be the best way to start my new “Goal Oriented Life Style”.
So, I guess, I will break down my goal into 3 separate distinct parts:
First Run a 5K
Second Run/walk a 10K (Run is preferred)
Third Run/Walk/Roll in a Marathon (Run is preferred)
My body hurts now walking up the stairs, so I needed to be realistic. I literally do not know what abuse my body can take. So, all goals must be realistic, hence the reason why I added walking to the 10K and Walking and Rolling (bike or wheel chair) to the Marathon. By adding some flexibility to the goal, it provides an uplift that the goal can be achieved in the form of hope.
So, this old Motorcycle Blog, just turned into a Motorcycle/FAT Man Going to Wreck Himself Running a Marathon Blog. If nothing else, it just may be entertaining. I will be brutality honest in my posts while highlighting future victories and failures. The goal will be to at least post once a week which will serve as a self-journal and exploration into the art of pain and failure. Let the hurt commence.
30 Minutes on the Treadmill walking this morning, its a good start for a 259 pound couch potato world champion.
One gets the sense that the Ghosts of yesterday, Keep the Dreams of Tomorrow Alive in Jerome, Arizona. Sitting at 5000 feet, the small town is literally built into Cleopatra Hill and overlooks the Verde Valley in Northern, Arizona.
The town was once a thriving mining community which excavated gold, silver and copper from the bowels of the earth below it. The community grew quickly as many followed the money to the mountain town. As it goes with many boom towns, history dictates a quick rise and early fall to the community. In the early 1900s, Jerome was a thriving city made up of several churches, hotels, saloons, miscellaneous businesses and gambling halls. At its height, Jerome once supported a population of more than 14,000 residents. Mining operations began to decline in the area in the 1920s and by the 1950’s, no more than 100 individuals called Jerome home.
With conviction a town once dead can discover new life. The fires, sink holes and industrial economic upheaval could not ruin the Town of Jerome, and from the ashes rose an eclectic renaissance where the community now thrives. Tourism, artistic endeavors, and ghost hunting is now the basis of commerce in Jerome.
What is most interesting about Jerome, is that the City does not hide from its tumultuous decline. The remnants of brick buildings once burnt down now serve as landscape for recently completed artwork; their masonry shells protecting and showcasing individual skills of those who now reside in the area. If you’re in the vicinity, it worth visit. If the reported ghosts that haunt the town don’t get you, the winding mountain roads and scenery surely will.
This time a year I dwell upon those American Colonials who took up arms against the British Empire which represented the greatest military of that age. What courage, what valor, what vicious tenacity it took our forbear’s to wage a war against such overwhelming odds. Our Colonial ancestors stood against tyranny but by doing so they put their very lives upon a gauntlet of death for an idea of Freedom. It was this Idea of Freedom that was eventually summarized into our Declaration of Independence which still stands as a testimony of what those brave souls fought for so many years ago.
Our Country is not perfect but Freedom still reigns true in the United States and I am so very Thankful for all those that have stood for and continue to defend the ideals of our Declaration of Independence.
Incredible Museums should be cherished and loved; Motorcycle Museums should be memorialized. I would call Barber Motorsports Museum a Two Wheeled Shrine of epic proportions. Plan a trip there if feasible and make it a priority.
I knew that it would be another tough day at the office filed with turbulence and strife. My commute is about an hour and felt a profound satisfaction that my hectic work day would start and end on my motorcycle. During my ride, I dwelled upon the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.
As the sun peaks over the horizon and shares its warm vibrant rays, I realize that winter has retreated north. The scent of new life has permeated through the plains and mountains and one can almost smell the land coming alive from a winter’s desolate exile. The rivers are more vibrant, fed by melting snow and the birds chatter among the trees in an epic devotional of the miracles of spring. For motorcyclist living in a multifaceted climate, this time of year represents an open door to freedom which removes limitations to our ability to ride. The warm air and gentle breeze call us from afar to find new paths to places rarely visited.
Motorcycling in spring is like waking up to find that one’s awe-inspiring fantasy has indeed become a reality. Seize the moment and ride. Find a new adventure, research the wonders of history in your backyard, visit a friend long-lost, and cherish the majestic environment that only spring can display. We are our own leading restraint in finding happiness in this world; don’t let any obstacle get in your way. Now is the time to leave the chaos of life behind and chase smiles and grins on black top covered dreams.
We live a life of risk and rewards. Every day may be the last day but we are always planning for tomorrow. It’s a life of balance and one must never lose touch with rationale thought but an occasional jaunt living on the edge builds character. Find time to live and breathe the fresh air of an uncluttered mind. Focus on the Ride and let the road be your long-lost muse.
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn” – Hal Borland
A few days ago, I got my cycle out for a short jaunt. It was a sunny February day and the snow had melted and there was no ice on the roads, it felt safe to ride. Given the melancholy bleakness of winter, it felt like a hot summer August day. Weather can be a matter of perspective. I went to school in Buffalo, NY where it rained and or snowed 6 days of the week. Snow drifts the size of houses are a normal occurrence in Western, NY and the snow will last from November through March. This Sunny February day felt like the Bahamas but the reality was that it was about 40 degrees.
It felt good to ride again. I recently did a bunch of maintenance on my ride and she felt nimble and ready to pounce. As I was rounding a corner, I saw a golf course sprinkler system watering the greens. There was a brisk westerly wind pushing tiny droplets of water away from the golf course and onto the road. I automatically knew that given the temperature outside that the mist accumulating on cold tarmac would translate into a caustic situation. The fact that I was riding on a brand new front tire did not help the situation (Always Be Careful on New Tires). I was already in the curve and without thinking, I tried to upright my bike before going into the wet pavement because I felt that it may be ice. I am not right often but this time I was, that golf course sprinkler mist turned that corner into black ice carnage.
As soon as I hit the patch of water, I felt my tires sliding out of control and that is when my brain went into slow motion. It’s like you’re thinking in normal speed but everything in your environment is moving at a snail pace. This has not happened to me since Iraq. In combat situations, sometimes things just slow down. Do you remember in the movie Saving Private Ryan when Tom Hanks is on Omaha Beach on D-Day and everything just goes in slow motion, that is what it was like.
The funny thing is the first thought in my mind was the safety of my new Bell Helmet. It’s such a gorgeous helmet and the thought of it bouncing off the road chipping paint was just to horrific to contemplate. Then I thought of wanting steak and eggs with white toast, eggs done over easy fashion. Then I pondered my wife’s reaction, she would be so angry at me. I imagined being in a coma and having my wife lecture me for 43 hours straight on the dangers of motorcycling. Trapped in a coma listening to anti motorcycling propaganda sounded almost as bad as damaging my new slick painted retro lid. My last thought I remembered was hoping the dogs would be ok outside if I did not make it home till my kids got back from school. The beasts are inside dogs and it was a little chilly and hoped they would not be cold.
Then as soon as it happened the cycle righted its self and I was off the ice driving safely forward. The moment lasted less than a second but it felt like 4 minutes.
After further reflection, I am not sure about my contemplative priorities while getting ready to crash on the motorway. Luckily the crash never happened but it makes me think that we could all be only one second away from a life changing moment. Cherish the time you have on two wheels when you can get it and always let your loved ones know how much you care for them.
I don’t fear crashing as much as I fear not being able to ride.
It got above freezing last week so I took the opportunity to go for a ride. It is rare this time of year that there are no ice patches on the roads. If you have a chance to exploit Old Man Winters grip on this place then you need to take it. As I drove my Honda along, I smelled a scent reminiscent of a winter’s hike up Mt. Evens in Colorado that I trekked more than decade ago. A strange déjà vu kind of moment struck me which was brought upon by this snowy scent. Physically I was on my bike but mentally I was transported from my motorcycle directly into the memory of a winter hike up a mountain which I took a long time ago. Then as quickly as the recollection came, it was over and I was back on of my motorcycle scanning west along the mountains. This is the third time in my life that a smell has caused such a dramatic mental recollection. It’s like certain scents have the ability to directly “Main Line” your conscious to a specific memory from ones past. Along with the reminiscence of the moment come the feelings associated with that memory which make the memory that much more dramatic and fresh. For that split second I was there and back again. It was a rather surreal refection on a specific moment from my past and I am thankful for its recall. As I write this short blog, I am reminded that it’s great to remember the past but I never want to lose focus upon the creation of new memories and adventures which will occur in the future. Hopefully all of you find all that you’re looking for in 2017. Keep Safe, Ride Hard and Be Well!
Picture a line of motorcycles heading west into the mountainous landscape armed with fuel, tents, sleeping bags and marshmallows. A combination of adrenaline enhanced twisties and moonlight campfires. It smells like peace on two wheels.The quest begins with a thought. It does not matter what cycle you ride, it only matters that your heart beats for the adventure that awaits. So find that tent, that sleeping bag and favorite marshmallow stick and begin to dream of stratospheric scenic views compounded with wilderness wonders that reside beyond the horizon.
“Motorcycle adventures are the perfect antidote to middle age.”
― Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe