Listen! Did you hear that? Wait. There it is again. Did you hear that rumble? Look over there. Did you see that mound of dirt move? Accompanied with much creaking and groaning, the pile of dirt slowly gives way to the figure of a man. Rising up out of the ground he sits up and looks around. Finally he stands. What's revealed is a man in a rumpled 'Stich with a motorcycle helmet tucked under one arm. A little worse for wear. Buried, but alive.
That has been my life, lately. This blog has been sorely neglected. It cannot be totally ignored, however. Like a cat rubbing against your ankle, the blog demands attention. Or, in my case, like a 14 month old blond haired blue eyed cherub who chases me around and lifts his arms up for me to hold him.
And so I return.
I heard a saying recently.
"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough!"
If that is true than I am near escape velocity.
This has been a common sight in my life, lately. Corporate has decided I should be be sent around the country for management and leadership training. Up the proverbial ladder a vacancy will open next year. I am heir apparent. I'm leaving my options open but preparing as if it were to take place.
Connecticut, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Tennessee have been on my itinerary. Yes, Nevada included Vegas. I was one of several held captive for a week in Vegas. Sounds like a great time. We were told that what happens in Vegas would not happen with us. To increase the odds of compliance we were tasked from 6:30 AM until 10 PM.
This is from the window of my hotel room. I was on the 19th floor of Planet Hollywood.
Which was pretty much my entire view of Vegas. Why plan the training in Vegas if they didn't want people on the streets?
We did get out one night. Our handlers took us to see the Blue Man Group. Which was a stimulus rich experience.
I did decide to walk back from the theater so I got an hour or so to see the sights.
One great thing was getting to meet Dick Vermeil. He spoke to our group for a little over an hour and then we got to mix socially. Dick is still a very dynamic person at 74 years young.
As if there isn't enough going on already, I'm going to start the book I've been threatening to write forever. Krysta keeps kindly offering to help me edit the thing and I may take her up on it. She's certainly been a motivating factor in keeping the idea alive. There are a lot of interesting and funny stories from the years of training. It will be fun to relive them as I work on the book.
I'm also chasing a modified RV around the Pacific Northwest. The corporation I work for is an industry leader in developing electronic security products for the commercial door world. The RV has been converted into a mobile showroom. Rather than one large event, the plan is make a lot of stops and hold smaller show and tell sessions.
Besides being busy as all get out, one of the reasons I let the blog rest is that I felt I may no longer have much of value to share. I don't want the blog to become a newsletter of my life. I know blogging is a great way for people separated by long distances to keep in touch. I totally applaud that. Personally, I don' want to take up space without there being value added.
Interestingly, as we age our perspectives keep changing. Sometimes it's like getting a bad stain on a shirt and letting repeated washes set it in real good. On the other hand, a lot of times it's for the better as we gain wisdom. We also find new ways to apply the things we've already learned. This is what has happened for me with what seems like an accelerated pace lately. I find myself brimming with new insights. All the time on a plane has provided a lot of opportunity for reading and reflection.
In addition to all the training I've been to, I've also had the chance to spend some time with other people who have shared their insights with me. As my view of the world expands I have found much of value that applies to motorcycling that I would like to share.
As you may remember, my grandmother had her right leg amputated above the knee due to cancer. She is 91 years old. During her recovery and physical therapy she has been in a care center. I've spent a lot of time there with her. At 91 she's learning to walk with a prothesis. She has taken it in stride, no pun intended. Got to admire her courage. She has made friends in this place.
I am a big hit with the very elderly women. I mean, what's not to like? I'm male, not all the way to ugly, ambulatory, and alive. Besides, sometimes I make chocolate chip cookies and bring them along.
It's been enlightening to ask these people to share their insights, regrets, and wisdom with me. They're looking down the barrel at their last years on this planet. It's a unique perspective. One older guy named Del lived in this facility with his wife for many years. They had been married 70 years. Del shared a lot with me in the past month. Last week he passed away. Some of his soul will live on with me.
One thing I am bringing to motorcycling is that our motivations for riding have a lot to do with our attitude towards rider training. As well as influencing the decisions we make while riding. I'll share more later.
Speaking of training and riding, as I've reflected on training riders I've come to realize that there are four steps to competence. I'm looking forward to writing about these steps. The fourth step is critical for successful riding. I've counseled many of my students on getting to the fourth step without really realizing it was the fourth step in a process. Now I know and it won't sound so confusing next time!
Something else I've become very aware of is how cognitive dissonance affects our lives in so many ways. Both in how we deal with other people and how we react to events that unfold while we're riding.
Miles and smiles,