The start of a do over
Ok, so I am back to the original story at hand. Why/how did a suburban kid with smart, encouraging parents end up struggling away in the motorcycle industry? It all started with hate! That’s right, pure, nasty deep hatred. That may sound funny and odd right? Because you always “follow your dreams,” “do what you love,” “find your passion!” Yeah, those sayings look nice on a poster with a sunrise over an ocean filled with unicorns but my big do over came from hatred and a very dark period in my life.
I had found dirt bikes and fallen in love with them by this point but I had no intention to make a living using them in any way. I was a full time carpenter and had even started my own (albeit incredibly small) company in Gunnison. I was making pretty good money and everything was peachy from the outside. I was building decks, remodeling bathrooms and subcontracting for bigger builders. I had steady work and plenty of free time to ride dirt bikes and climb. I was even taking off to South America every couple years to guide climbing trips and we had a beautiful little bungalow in downtown Gunnison. Life was perfect right??? Not even close!
My marriage seemed great from the outside. Ruth and I shared recreation time together and we were young and healthy but there was something (or a lot) missing. We weren’t connecting. We weren’t connecting on a basic or an intimate level. We were like roommates more than spouses. It SUCKED!!! She reads this so this isn’t news to her. We had separate bank accounts, we never talked about anything important and we never fought. WAIT!! That's a good thing right? Nope! Couples who actually do marriage together will fight. That’s because they communicate and communication brings out the differences that you inherently have. So that facet of my life wasn’t going well. Then there was work.
Like I said, I was busy and I made good money but after about 3 years of being a full-time carpenter I started to notice how much I hated getting out of bed every morning. I mean HATED! I hated driving to the job, I hated unloading my tools, I even hated building beautiful things. I think I was like a lot of people and I just assumed that work was supposed to be like that. You just do what you have to do and you keep your mouth shut. But this life was killing me. I would come home in a bad mood, maybe go exercise or ride, then I would make a cocktail or 3 and ignore my beautiful wife and do it all over again. The only thing that was consistently good in my life was my dirt bike.
Then one Sunday (while the moto shops were closed) I got a flat right before a big ride I had planned. I was super bummed and limped it back home to park it and probably have another drink. But then a very small but very important thing happened. I called a friend who I knew worked on his bikes and asked him if he could help me fix the flat. (Quick aside: YES I was so clueless at this point that I didn’t even know how to fix a flat) He said “sure” and came right over. We built a stand out of wood (I could do that at least), he had the tools and he showed me how easy it was to change a tube and I was back at it. Some very tiny but very hot spark settled itself into my brain that day. I couldn’t even feel it and I had no idea it was there but it was embedded and growing slowly...
Going to keep this one short. Stay tuned and subscribe if you want to hear how much darker things got before they turned around and lead me to where I am today.
I hope you are enjoying this as much as I enjoy writing it. And if you fee so inclined, share it with your friends. Have a great day and as my wife says to our kids “Do something nice for someone!”