Start small

“Go big or go home.”  I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered those words.  If you grew up in the nineties where the X Games and Mountain Dew reigned supreme you know what I mean.  It was this quest to do things bigger and better than those before us.  I remember being glued to the TV as I watched Tony Hawk attempt to land the 900 for the first time.  Attempt after failed attempt he got closer and closer.  It was like everything was standing still and then he landed it. It was crazy and I was awe struck at what he had accomplished.  The idea of being the first person to ever do something was mind blowing.

What you don’t see is the years he spent learning how to skateboard.  The hours spent repeating the same tricks over and over until they could be done in his sleep.  There was a day when an ollie was a big deal for him.  Then maybe when he got really good at that he tried a kickflip.  Today I can picture in my mind this gradual progression that started from some kid with a skateboard to a history making moment.  That’s when I look at my own goals and ideas and take a step back.  I need to start small.

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Monday afternoon thoughts

Today I ran across a song by Andy Mineo called Honest 2 God that just really touched my heart.  I am a big fan of his and have seen him perform on a few different occasions and really enjoy his work.  It’s easy to just assume that he’s doing big things and working on new projects and life is good.  I hear his music and even when he raps about struggles it seems they are from times past and not something he still deals with.

When I heard this song and he made mention of how he’s questioned his beliefs and dealt with depression in December 2016 it was almost shocking.  I had seen him the previous spring and had such a good time at his concert.  For the finale I helped him balance on the railing in front of the stage as he rapped “You can’t stop me” and felt like it was just such a hyped show.  He had some new songs drop over the summer and hinted at a new tour with the Social Club Misfits (another favorite of mine).  I would have guess things were going great.  I mean, I follow him on Instagram and Twitter and it was awesome.  At least it seemed awesome.

To hear the word depression was almost shocking.  It’s a word that most people won’t use.  It’s almost taboo to do so.  Depression seems like something that only affects people with dark lives and no hope.  So often depression is associated with suicide and the two are never something people want to acknowledge.  I could picture him at his breakfast table, cereal getting soggy and just breaking down.  The pressure of life just becoming too much to hold in any longer and his emotion just taking over.

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Scheduling is important

I’ve never been real good at keeping a schedule.  Now let me clarify for a moment.  That doesn’t mean I’m not on time it just means that I don’t keep a schedule.  When I think of a schedule I think of some sort of planner with every minute of my day mapped out.  To me that suffocating.  I keep track of the stuff I have to do like work, a doctor visit or a kids game.  That’s easy.  It’s important.  It’s the other time that I don’t plan for.  I sort of just let it happen.

What I’m finding is that time is either spent or lost.  Well, maybe it’s just always spent.  Sometimes on something worthwhile and other times on nothing.  Time is my greatest asset right now.  I have just as much as everyone else.  That’s a crazy concept right?  Bill Gates may have more money but you have the same 24 hours in the day.  What you choose to spend those 24 hours is probably a bigger difference maker than the money you don’t have.

In fact I would go so far as to say that if you invest your time in something or someone you’ll have some sort of return.  Actually, I guarantee it.  If you pick any pursuit or idea and invest time in it you will see a return.  I don’t know how big that return will be and I suppose that depends on how efficient you are with that investment.

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Push to start

Seems like a lot of new cars have push to start now.  You don’t even have to take the key out of your pocket.  You just hop in and push the button and you’re on your way.  It’s cool.  It’s novel.  It’s a sign of class and refinement.  It’s also easy.  If you’ve ever ridden a dirt bike you’ll know you don’t always get push to start.  In fact, more often than not it’s kick start.

Kick starting a dirt bike is not always easy but it can be.  If your bike is well cared for with fresh spark plugs, good gas and oiled with care then it shouldn’t be too bad.  Even with all the proper steps starting a cold bike, especially on a cold day, can be tough.  Several kicks might be needed.  Open the choke, give it a little gas but not too much.  Older bikes can be even harder especially if it’s been a long time since they ran.

With every kick you can hear the motor trying to ignite itself.  With every kick you create activity that can lead to combustion.  The sound changes as you get closer and you might even get a sputter before the last kick that gets everything going.  The sound of the exhaust and the puff of smoke that erupts from the tail pipe are like magic.  As the idle of the motor settles down you are ready for your next journey.

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Am I a good provider

“We have to wait on them to fix everything and everyday they feel like they are failing us.” – Lucille Gould (Cinderella Man)

I wish I could give my wife everything her heart desired.  I wish there were no limits to what I could provide but there are.  I think this is something that is common to all men.  Deep within us is a drive to be the hero to our families.  We want to save the day and be there to deliver them from disappointment, fear or pain.  If we aren’t able to do this in some capacity, real or perceived, we feel useless.  It’s a blessing and a curse but something that will always hang over our head.

I clearly remember staring into my wife’s eyes on our wedding day as we stood holding hands about to jump into the uncertain void of adulthood.  I was 20 years old and had ignored the half hearted attempts by my parents requesting that we wait.  I had a confidence that I would be able to meet any and every want and desire my wife could ever come up with.  Her eyes looked back into mine without a shimmer of doubt that I was going to be someone she could place her full faith in.

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