Friday, March 22, 2013

After ten years and four months working at a factory job in four different departments, I felt I needed a change. I didn't really know what to do about it or what I wanted to do. I prayed about it, but was very unsure of my future. All I knew was that I was finding it hard to get out of bed every morning and dreading my current condition. Some people would have been very happy to be doing what I was doing for employment, but I felt I needed a serious change and it was affecting my health.  After much deep thought I decided if I didn't try to change my current condition, take action,  and do something with my life that I would be the only one to blame. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do something about it. I have many interest, but I couldn't muster the passion or energy to really enjoy those activities. One activity that I found myself always drawn to was the freedom of riding my bicycle and I also enjoyed fixing them. I never had the deep experience and knowledge to be a master bicycle mechanic, but I have always been driven to work with them. I had a few good tools and I was good at fixing most minor things, but I certainly had limitations. 

Wondering what to do, I was inspired to do something drastic and leave my job, my security, and enter the unknown. I have had many close friends pass away that were close to my age and I felt I needed to take action. I was inspired to do one of two things, go to school, or cross the United States on a bicycle. So to get the best out of both experiences, I decided to enroll in one of the best bicycle schools in the United States, if not the world, United Bicycle Institute. As the thoughts kept coming, I also decided that I could also do a mini bicycle tour after my bike school experience. So I planned a trip from Ashland, Oregon to Santa Rosa California. 

The entire plan required a great deal of effort and planning, acquiring my limited retirement, re-gearing my new Moots Vamoots road bike for touring, and training. The very act of making a decision and acting on it brought me back to life. Every day was living the dream. Though scared of going it alone, and the gamble of a new career, and being semi retired, or unemployed for a brief time was a big move to say the least. 

As of this writing, I will be flying to Ashland on Thursday the 28th of March and begin school on the 1st of April. I will be in school for three weeks living and breathing bicycle maintenance and bike shop operation. After my time in school, I will be heading out on a lone adventure over to the coast of Oregon and taking the Pacific Coastal Highway along the California coast on my faithful bicycle, Jugee. I will be riding through the Giant Redwood forest, and get to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. 

If nothing else, I will be living fully and I will get it out of my blood. If I didn't take this personal challenge, I don't believe I would be happy within my spirit.

This challenge has awakened my spirit and my love of photography and music to name a few things. I am able to sleep and feel like I am living. 

I will also be riding with the memories of my friends I have lost to cancer, and other life challenges. I will be traveling with the spirit of life and gratitude. By taking the challenge of living fully, I will in a better place to be of help to others.

Enthusiasm is a powerful virtue.