Planning the Ride. Check.

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It’s been a few months since I’ve written anything for my blog. For whatever reason my head felt empty and for once, I was at a total loss for words. I know, right? So now that I’ve had a break, it’s time to get my thoughts together and prepare myself, and you, for what might be coming as the weather warms up here in the Midwest. It’s March, but little do we know, spring is right around the corner. Or, a couple of blocks down and around the corner. Either way, we’re close.

I have a few trips planned – some long, some short – to put those much need miles on my bike and to fill my head with tall-tales and wild stories of where I’ve been and the people I’m going to meet. And I will meet people. I’ve made this small promise to myself to actually ask someone their name as they tell me their life story. I’m really bad about that. Of course, most will tell me their name right up front so it isn’t a big problem, but nonetheless I will do my best to have a formal introduction. Check.

I’m hoping to do Sturgis again this year for a couple of reasons. First, I feel like there is some unfinished business. I went last year and I didn’t accomplish a few things I had set out to do. I felt a little out-of-sorts and it was just weird. This time I plan on taking the weirdness out of it (take the weirdness out of Sturgis?) and look at things a little differently.

Los Angeles on my motorcycle? Hopefully. Probably. Yep. Check. Maybe even another trip that direction. More to come on that.

Iron Butt. I’m putting some ideas down to achieve an Iron Butt. I know I’ve probably done a couple over the years, but I’ve never documented it to get a certificate – 1000 miles in 24 hours, 1500 miles in 36 hours and it goes on like so. Sounds easy enough. I just need to figure out a route and pick a weekend. Oh, and read the rules from the Iron Butt Association. I wouldn’t want to hammer out 1000 miles only to find I didn’t follow the rules.

It doesn’t hurt to have goals. Sure some can be lofty, but none are impossible. It also doesn’t hurt to have a plan, and I need to work on this. I have a habit of shooting from the hip and somehow it’s worked for me this long. Shoot from the hip – Check.

Hopefully this year will bring sunshine and light breezes but I know there will be rain and high winds somewhere along the way. That’s okay. I’m ready for whatever comes my way!

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Embrace the Uphill

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We’re a few days into a new year and I’m sure many of you have already broken free of those pesky restrictions of your New Year’s resolutions. This year I have convinced myself to set some lofty goals, and some “not so” lofty goals. Things I should be doing; taking better care of myself with exercise, drinking more water and eating less. It’s difficult to do the right things even though we know its best for us. Damn the slippery slope and the path of least resistance. Why does it have to be so hard to be better? Oh, that’s right – we have to want to.

I’ve always had a pretty positive attitude and a good outlook on life, so for me setting goals isn’t that hard. I automatically assume when I set my mind to something I’m going to make it happen. Again, it comes down to how bad you want it and what you’re willing to do to make it happen. Sometimes it’s just making your mind up and taking that first step, and I’m sure for many it can seem to be uphill both ways. Hey, no one said it would be easy, but more often than not it’s not as hard as we thought it would be. Go figure.

I’ve set a couple of personal goals this year. One is to get a little deeper into this motorcycle industry than I have ever been before. Making my living selling motorcycles is fine but I want to be involved in this industry on a much larger scale. Global? Can a small town boy from Kansas be global? Sure. Is that one of my goals? Lofty, but no. When you’re passionate about something it should come natural, and if you know me you know I’m passionate about motorcycles. Right now I’m not sure if this particular goal can be measured. Further into the industry can mean a lot of things I guess, but everything is measured in steps. So any step forward is one step closer to a goal – wherever that goal is.

I wish I had more definition on what this goal is. To give such a broad statement with expectations of hitting a goal without clear objectives can be difficult. I think when it happens (not if it happens) I will know that my goal has been achieved. Part of making and achieving goals is to push yourself to do something more than you would normally. Just as in exercising, if you don’t take that first step…I think you know where I’m going with this. A goal is the same thing no matter what it is. By just proclaiming your goals you’ve made that first step of recognizing you want more. But as in all things worth achieving, it takes work and determination, focus and a willingness to accept those “two steps back” moments and turn them into one step forward.

I have challenged myself and I challenge you to do the same. Embrace the uphill in whatever it is you want to achieve and the rewards will be worth it. I’m looking forward to it.

It Can Happen

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Never give up. Easy to say, but oh, so hard to do. The path of least resistance can become quite the habit for many, but for a few they will settle for nothing but the best. But what about an average guy like me? I can dream, can’t I? Sometimes it takes goals (lofty goals at that) for them to be reached. Why is that? Goals are the easy part, it’s the doing that takes the effort. And of course, never giving up.

It’s easy to say “maybe someday,” but to actually find yourself achieving a goal you put forth – goes to show you if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. How bad did I want this? Not as bad as you think. It seemed so far-fetched that it was more of a dream than an actual goal. This isn’t something I’ve been thinking about since I was a child, but only recently did I have the urge to put my thoughts into words. I think from a deeper sense, it was all the years of reading motorcycle publications over and over that put me in this spot. If it’s true “you are what you eat,” then surely you are what you read. And as luck would have it, I’m always hungry.

I could go all philosophical here and say it’s destiny – or that all things happen for a reason; and although I do believe in destiny and the whole ” happen for a reason” thing, I also believe you can make your own opportunities as you plug away through life. Slow and steady might get your there, but it has a lot to do with timing. Just the idea this could happen to a small town guy twenty-five years ago seems improbable without the help of the internet. As for my location, it isn’t in the heart of the motorcycle industry. The world is a much smaller place to me as an adult, but seemingly too big for a teenager with other things on his mind, to make the most of it. I’m not sure Mrs. Lawrenz in freshman typing class or Mr. Sweeney in English were convinced I was capable of putting my thoughts into words in 1977, but they should see me now – spelling my words all good (more better?) and using most of my fingers. They believed in me I’m sure, but I knew me as a freshman and, well… But that is exactly the point I’m trying to make here. You aren’t limited by the invisible boundaries we place around ourselves; we’re only limited to the boundaries of our dreams. The last time I checked, my dreams can be way out there.

I still have bigger goals I want to achieve, but even those seem like dreams at this point. Will I achieve them? To say “no” would undermine my own success, so I will plug away as I always do to make them a reality. It’s still a matter of timing and making your own opportunities, and it always helps if you have a dream to chase – and the support of friends, family and of course teachers!