My Son is Born!
Hey everyone, welcome back. I had a great Christmas with my family and got some much-needed sleep and desserts. I really like dessert! I hope you all had the same or at least got some rest. Christmas can be a really hard time for a lot of folks and I understand that completely. I used to hate the season and all it did was cause me stress. I remember numerous Christmases where Ruth and I would argue and be miserable the entire time. I hope against hope that wasn’t your experience this year. If it was then “chin up” next year can be better. Now on with the story!
So after flailing around in the California desert with my 6 fiddy, I knew I needed to do some serious training and riding. I came to respect the big girl in a completely new way. The rest of that winter in Gunni I spent as much time as possible working out and getting fit. I knew that, even though the Baja race course wasn’t going to be like that, it was going to be grueling and dancing with a 300-pound gorilla is still dancing but its WORK!
The spring, summer, and fall of 2006 were nothing but Moto for me. I didn’t do anything unless it had to do with riding. I prepped and prepped my Honda and raced everything I had time to race. I was laser focused… On the wrong thing! My amazing wife was becoming more and more pregnant every day and all I really cared about was the stupid Baja 1000. I didn’t completely neglect her of course but looking back on it, I could have been way more “present.” One of my major flaws is that when I become excited about something I drop everything else. It is good for getting things done but not so good for relationships. And when it comes down to it, relationships are the most important part of our lives. All of the trophies and accolades will fall by the wayside eventually and we will be left with our loved ones. My recommendation (from a guy who struggles really hard with this) is to think about shifting some focus towards the ones you love!
In August my amazing baby boy Thomas was born. He was perfect in every way. The delivery was long but went well and Ruth did it completely without drugs. All of you moms and (to a much lesser extent) dads out there know what a feat that is. This was just one more example of how incredibly tough my wife is. Ruth Spradling is a rock! It will become more and more evident how truly tough she is as this story continues to unfold. Both physically and emotionally! Thomas was amazing and we were so excited to have him in our lives. For a little while I even forgot about the race and focused on him and taking care of Ruth but that didn’t last as long as it should have if I am honest.
November crept closer and closer and I drifted back to the task at hand. I had everything ready and I got a call from Bob (my Baja mentor). He plainly told me that I needed to come down a week earlier than I was planning and pre-run with him and his friends. I explained that I couldn’t take that much time off of work and that I would just pre-run the first 100 miles or so and call it good. He made it very clear that was a bad idea and convinced me to make it down early. He also asked what bike I would be pre-running on. “Huh, my 650,” I said. “No, No, No, you can’t do that” Bob responded. He then told me that I must have another bike to pre-run on so that I don’t take a chance of screwing up the race bike right before the race. Uhh… "Ok, I will figure something out."
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have any extra money for a spare bike and my other bike was a 250 two-stroke motocross rig that wouldn’t be good for that. I racked my brain and called my friends. Fortunately one of my buddies offered up his XR400 without any hesitation. I couldn’t believe it. This guy was going to just hand over his bike for me to take to Mexico and ride it 1000 miles through the desert. Another mini miracle from God if you ask me. I picked up his bike and got it ready for the adventure too. Eventually, all of the prep was done and I had nothing left but to head South. A small band of brothers had committed to coming with me to help and we were all ready. I kissed my wife and baby boy goodbye and drove towards the border. All told we had 4 guys who had never been to Mexico, a couple dirt bikes and a ton of hope!
Thanks for coming back to this journey! I am really enjoying sharing this story with all of you. If you like it then share it with your friends. Maybe someone will find something interesting or touching. If you haven’t figured out yet, this is more about the human condition than dirt bikes. But dirt bikes are RAD too!
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Have a great day and don’t forget to write down the 3 things you are grateful for today. For me, they are, Coffee, Sunshine, My kids!