Sturgis & Nerves of Steel- Not Really!

Time provides experience and hopefully we gain wisdom from it. Every day allows us to learn something new not only about the world, but more importantly, about ourselves. I learned something about myself today; I’m crapping in my pants thinking about Sturgis.

It’s not what you think. I wrote in a prior blog titled “Got Jitters,” the “good type” of anxiety caused by riding a motorcycle. I wrote how motorcycle riding still gets us excited whether a short ride or a long trip. Basically, the good feeling of “butterflies in your stomach.” But with KSU 13 days away, my jitters has been replaced with panic mode!

The reason for this is simple: I am a workaholic. If I only put in 50 hours during the week, I’m losing my mind from boredom. Sixty hours isn’t bad, 70 hours is preferred. It is hard for me to sit around. If I’m not working, then I’ll do something else just to keep busy. A few days ago I was mentally exhausted and I said “okay, that’s it. I’m done working for today, I need to relax.” After ten minutes of relaxing, I got up and my girlfriend Anny asks “I thought you were going to relax?”

“I did,” I replied. And so I went outside to work on a wooden gazebo I am building. She just rolled her eyes and kept doing what she was doing knowing how I am.

Now, don’t get me wrong; as much as I believe that an idle mind is the devil’s playground, I love vacationing and take plenty of time off during the year. After much effort, I have been able to or at least try very hard to strike a balance between work & play. I even make it a point every day and night to give myself “quiet time” which could be from a few minutes to much longer. For example, sometimes I’ll walk my dogs 2-3 miles and that takes about an hour. It helps me decompress, puts the stresses of the day behind me, and it re-energizes me. However, when it comes to my upcoming motorcycle trip, this is going to be 21 days long or short, time will tell.

Being the boss is great but it has its downside as well, a concept most people just don’t get. For one, most business owners think of business all the time. I always ask other business owners what do they think of when they go pee at 4 a.m.? They always reply work. Most people think of nothing other than peeing. Such is the nature of the beast. The upside of course is I can take time off when I feel like it, including 3 weeks. I don’t have to put in notice, ask time for off, etc… But for a person that has never taken off more than 5 work days in a row, well, this is scary. By the way, it took almost ten years of practice before I had the courage to take off 5 work days.

Now, technology does afford us including myself, the opportunity to be away yet connected at the same time. For example, I will have my cell phone to call clients daily during my breaks from riding. I average 30-40 calls a day, so I’ll be very busy during my breaks. I’m also taking my laptop not only to blog, but return emails (about 50 a day) and even do paperwork if the situation arises. While vacationing in Blowing Rock, North Carolina earlier this year, I had to file an emergency bankruptcy and even though I was 1,000 miles away from my office, I didn’t skip a beat. But, I still can’t shake that feeling that I am going “off the grid” for 3 weeks. Trust me, a 5 day cruise with no cell phone or internet wasn’t easy. I had to work hard to distract myself. However, one the reasons we all enjoy riding is that even on short rides, we go “off the grid.” A motorcycle ride means our cell phones get put away. Riding provides us with a much needed break from this crazy, hectic, connected world we now live in.

Will my practice still be there when I get back? Sure. Will it be difficult to adjust to living life on the road in a tent for three weeks? Of course, especially that I have zero camping experience. Will anything change? Not likely. The more things change the more they stay the same. Will I have unforgettable memories? Absolutely!

There is nothing with wrong with having fear. The fact is, regardless of the adrenaline rush we felt the first time we rode a motorcycle, there was a little bit of fear. Having the feeling of fear just means you are normal. Fear is fine, just as long as you aren’t paralyzed by it.

On July 17, I will jump on my bike and begin the motorcycle trip of a life-time. As it is said, it is not the destination, but the journey. Twenty-days and 8,000 miles will give me the opportunity to reflect, re-energize, and learn more about myself.  One thing I have learned about myself, I have never feared failure, but I have always feared not trying.

See you in Sturgis.

MC Atty

 

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