Cinco Times Two (Equals Ten)

Ten years ago today, I set out with my friends on what remains one of the greatest adventures of my lifetime. I was still new to motorcycling (I did not start riding until March of 2004) and smack in the middle of a transition period in my life.

As I look back at my written re-cap of this trip, it’s very clear to see how not only my writing has grown, but also how I’ve grown as a person. In 2005, I did not maintain God as the focus of my life. I’ve come a long way since then, and I know I still have a long way to go. I thought about editing the more crude parts of my recap, but I decided not to so they will serve as a reminder of the immaturity and lack of tact that, I hope, the evolution of my writing has shed over the past decade.

Still, one thing from my summary of the trip holds true: Don’t be afraid to live your life. To quote myself, “it’s in learning from the misses that we score our biggest hits!”

I hope you enjoy. <click here to read the recap>

Key West 2005
Three wild and crazy guys.

Succinctly

Today has been a reflective day for me. Thoughts, like a steam train in my head, rolling and rambling non stop. I’ve been thinking about my life, my relationships, my kids, and what happens next. The movie in my head has been a series of flash-cut scenes full of memories, ideas, and wishes yet to be fulfilled.

2014 is a milestone year for me. The past ten years have been whirlwind and amazing. I found myself taking mental inventory of the key moments, and I thought I’d capture them as best I could using a simple phrase.

2004: My world came crumbling down.

2005: I was a complete and total idiot.

2006: I was introduced to the most amazing friends ever.

2007: I jumped out of a plane.

2008: I took the most amazing trip ever.

2009: My world was made complete.

2010: I learned to change my mind.

2011: I got to climb poles for a living.

2012: Music guided me.

2013: I was reborn.

2014: …… so far, so good.

Memory Lane

Called to Drink

It’s been my experience that life is found in the spontaneous moments.

“Dude. Whatcha’ doing right now.”

“Talking to you.”

“I mean …. do you have anything going on this afternoon.”

“No. Why?”

“Want to go get some beers?”

“Are you in the need for some beers?”

“Dude ….. I’m always in the need for some beers.”

“Let’s do it.”

As so ‘it’ happened, and so my buddy and I got together for some beer and some grub. Totally off diet, but totally worth it. There was no rhyme or reason. We weren’t planning anything. He didn’t need to give anything to me or I return anything to him. We just got together because we could.

And we got together because I told to do so.

I know a lot of people will roll their eyes at the notion that God speaks to them. Statements like those often lead to bizarre follow-up questions or awkward silence. So I can only imagine how it will be received as I tell you that God told me to go drink beer with my friend. “Dude. I turned water into wine at a party. Go share in some suds with you bud.” {As an aside, I love the notion of surfer-dude Jesus. Jesus calling out to the first disciples in their boat: “Sup, dudes. Catch anything? No? Try the other side, man.” Jesus telling Peter he will deny him three times: “Duuuuuuude. Before the rooster crows, you’re gonna like totally deny me three times. Bummer, I know.” This would make for an excellent play. Anyways….}

It wasn’t a voice. There was no sign. It was more of a feeling. At the moment I reached out to my friend, I felt a conviction there was nothing more important that I needed to be doing. It was the feeling of, “Go. Leave now. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.”

As it turns out, my friend had a lot on his mind. As a guy, I was someone to whom he could simply turn and just talk, vent, inquire, wonder, etc. By the end of the third beer, I could see his demeanor had changed. He was tight when I met up with him. As we headed home, he seemed more relaxed and a little more at ease.

Whatever the reason, be it divine intervention or simple random impulse, this evening meant a lot to me. I am quite sure it meant a lot to my buddy as well. At the end of the day, we don’t need a special occasion to make an occasion special. All we need is the motivation to reach out to each other and be to others the type of friend that makes a difference in someone’s life.

That and beer.

Beer

195/365 Reconnecting

Life has a way of making friendship meander to and fro. It had been years since I’d connected with a work buddy of mine, and through life’s crazy twists and turns, it turns out he’s practically my neighbor now and living in the community next to mine.

So, what else do you do when you haven’t seen someone in years? Go out for dinner and drinks, of course. And tonight was pretty awesome as Lee and I met up with my friend Bryan and his wife Elizabeth at Stonewood Tavern. From there, we meandered over to World of Beer for a couple of cold ones.

It was really great to get reconnected with my long-time friend, and also to see Lee and Elizabeth hit it off so well. I know we’ll be getting together again very soon.