Not Broke, Not Even Broken...
A blog about...a motorcycle trip from North America to the tip of South America, but about So much more....Life! If you are between age 45-whatever and you thought the financial chips would fall in a different, more lucrative way, then you just may find this enriching, refreshing and inspiring!
It is about how to define or redefine our sense of “purpose”, “happiness”. In our world, when things appear to be upside down, even twisted; there is a great “purpose” for each and every one of us. Our “purpose” and “happiness” is needed!
As I’m sitting here on a Sunday afternoon watching NFL Football, I’m realizing that most all of the players wear gloves. So you’re thinking, “ya so what, what’s so interesting about that?” We’ll here’s what is so interesting about that…when I played high school football, we had a guy named Kevin McCarter who came out for the team. Kevin was the last guy I would have expected to suit up. Kevin was a very talented Mozart type of guy. He was a very pale ginger with a beautiful voice in choir, a talented composer and could make the ivories dance! But something none of us realized was, Kevin was a trend setter…he wore gloves! Nobody wore gloves back then! But something we “athletes” admired and quietly respected about Kevin he was/is true to himself. He didn’t care how he came across or what things looked like.
He didn’t wear the gloves to better catch the ball, but to better protect his piano hands. The ONE guy on that football team, who was least expected to be out there, turned out to be a TREND SETTER…before his time!
I salute Brandon Marchall, Chicago Bears receiver! This is the way Brandon characterized the latest Dolphin locker room controversy…
“Look at it from this standpoint,” Marshall said. “Take a little boy and a little girl. A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up, shake it off. You’ll be OK. Don’t cry.’ A little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we’re teaching our men to mask their feelings, to not show their emotions. And it’s that times 100 with football players. You can’t show that your hurt, can’t show any pain. So for a guy to come into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, that’s a problem.
"That’s what I mean by the culture of the NFL. And that’s what we have to change. So what’s going on in Miami goes on in every locker room. But it’s time for us to start talking. Maybe have some group sessions where guys sit down and maybe talk about what’s going on off the field or what’s going on in the building and not mask everything. Because the (longer) it goes untreated, the worse it gets.”
This is not the 50’s anymore where men bury their emotions. I played college football and can tell you the game is all about emotions. It’s physical, it’s hot and humid, it’s hard hitting, it takes one to their limits, not only physically, but emotionally too. Jonathan Martin might be 6’5” 312 lbs, started all four years at Stanford and was an All American…he is only 24. He is just a young guy getting out in the real world or maybe not the real world. The NFL is hardly the real world. When you are physically and mentally worn out from the day to day, two a day workouts and on top of that, you have a Richie Incognito hammering slurs at you, I can see where it would wear one down.
Disrespecting, demeaning or degrading a guy has ZERO room in our world. I don’t, nor do any of us know all of the details and we probably never will, but no matter, Richie Incognito crossed a few lines and needs to make a few adjustments…personal growth. I hope that both can get the assistance to heal and I hope we, as the public, will afford them the room to grow and open the doors for them to walk back into the NFL and play ball!
WHAT IS WORLD PEACE TO ME?
To me, the whole premise of why we don’t have world peace comes down to fear. A fear that there is a lack of good and then that is followed by greed. But wait, it’s not on a national or government level. It’s so easy for us to point our finger at different countries and say they shouldn’t be that way. We all do this! If were on the highway and someone cuts us off, we drive up next to them and give them a piece of our mind or finger. Instead of backing off, forgiving and letting it go.
So what is the answer? We all need to individually grow up, learn what REAL grace is and then eventually that will reflect on a national and world level. I don’t want to limit the potential for good, so I won’t venture to say how long this will take. All I know is it has to start with ME.
Below was a response to a friend in Portugal.
Yes, I think that if we are excelling and breaking barriers in life, we will always come up against prejudices, rules, old thought, wanting to hold us down. I think even more so in your part of the world, where thought is not as liberated, especially for women.
I have always tried to educate my children to just know that when they are breaking barriers…doing something new, innovative, wild, crazy, creative; things that haven’t been done before…you will ALWAYS face resistance, envy, jealousy, etc. But we need to be confident, willing to be unusual, different, unique and willing to stand alone. It’s lonely by yourself, but if we love ourselves, then we don’t mind our company, because we appreciate our passion and individuality. Because after all, we were made to express our individuality…So isn’t that our point!?!
The following was written by an 18 year old as he pedaled his ten-speed in 1974 from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Keith Jackson was a fellow classmate of mine. He tragically passed on a few years after this incredible journey. What a privilege to have known Keith. I really feel Keith’s writings need to be made into a movie so that all can enjoy and feel just 1% of what Keith endured and witnessed.
Almost 40 years later, my adventure motorcycle trip essentially follows Keith’s route from the U.S. through Mexico to Central America and to South America. Even though I am basically retracing by motorcycle Keith’s route, I feel like I am cheating a bit, because I have an engine between my legs, instead of a chain. As I read Keith’s book, I know these places and, almost 40 years later I feel his pain and delights. I also realize people have not changed…both good and bad. Keith was a gifted writer and to think these thoughts came out of an 18-19 year old, just shows what a gifted “old soul” I had the privilege of knowing…truly an honor! Excerpts of Keith’s writings are all throughout my book I am writing, “Not Broke, Not Even Broken”.
“I feel as though I must be one of the very few who experience the sensation of a dream unfolding into reality.”
“Each day I live I see a reason to live one hundred more. There is much to learn and much to see. How will I ever be content? My eyes are tireless to see the wonders about me, my mind always questioning.”
“Traveling about the United States and Canada, I thought I had seen the world. I now know that I have only begun……my feelings sound childish and simple. I do not claim my manhood. My mind is virgin to many things.”
You know how fb has the question, “What’s on your mind?” Well this morning it particularly begged me. Let me share with you what is on my mind. It is Sunday morning and a beautiful day.
I am reading an inspiring book by a former high school classmate, Keith Jackson and brother of Harry Jackson Lawrence. The book is of Keith (and Keith Klehm another classmate who rode from Alaska to San Francisco with Keith Jackson) riding from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina in 1974. He accomplished this in 9 months, but the most impressive part is he crossed The Darien Gap…300 miles of dense snake, bug, swamp, and drug cartel infested jungle. Keith is the only cyclist known to have not flown or boated around the jungle. Keith is the youngest person known to accomplish this trip alone. The trip was done in the shortest time period known. At the time Keith’s 18,000 miles, was the longest solo bicycle trip ever! No GPS, no internet, no high tech moisture absorbing clothing, no light weight carbon fiber bike, but heavy metal. This trip makes my Oregon to Delaware U.S. crossing in 1972 look like an afternoon kindergarten class, complete with a mat nap and snack with juice. What Keith accomplished is nothing shy of remarkable and mind blowing! This should absolutely be made into a movie for all to see and feel.
Some quotes from Keith Jackson:
These quotes were written when Keith was in the jungles of The Darien Gap.
"Forced to hustle simply to survive, on finds the streets of Panama uneasy and unpleasant. One is constantly on guard; there is little trust. I am moved by this struggle and find it consistent throughout Central America. I appreciate our desire for democracy much more. In the States we have much to be grateful for but it is so often that we want more. I acknowledge that our country suffers many wrongs, but nowhere that I know of does the individual have such freedom.
Here we sleep on board mattresses in a thatched-roof hut without walls. I use the term “we” as I am made to feel easy. I am accepted simply as I am. These are not the Panamanians I knew from the city. These men are honest and open. They come from all walks of life and different countries; yet, there is no open prejudice or hostility.
I once referred to my mind as a virgin to so much. At times it is raped by the blunt harshness of human survival. Often times it is moved by the humility and goodness, the generosity and selflessness of those who have so little, the openness with which I am accepted - there is no question why. It simply is. My gratitude is immense.”
The other “What’s on your mind” thing is I am heading into new territory I have never been to before. I have been working on a few projects expecting one will turn into a money producing job. But many times things take longer than one expects. Today I am down to $80. Two twenty dollar bills in my left pocket and $40 in my bank account. But that being said, I am not afraid. I am not mesmerized by this. I am of the mind set of …bring it on! Practically I need to create income and from an emotional hunger, I can’t wait to be producing and contributing. My kickstarter.com campaign, “Not Broke, Not Even Broken” for my South American motorcycle adventure doesn’t look too promising. There are only 18 days left on that. As I have always felt, “the darkest hour is before dawn”. Some I know, may feel this is a very pollyanna attitude and it may be, but I answer this with a question. Do you have any suggestions? I have picked up small jobs here and there. And then there is the corporate route, but then I get reminded of my age or “you don’t know the difference between a sock and a shoe”. Upon hearing stuff like this, I think this will just make me more successful on my own. Whenever I hear the attitude of negativity or limitation or you can’t do this, it makes me internally say, “oh ya…watch me! I have NEVER given in to limitation. $80 doesn’t define me, nor will by bank account EVER be my barometer for my happiness!
Anthony Weiner and me on the highlines!
EXPLOITING MY WRITING TALENTS…what do you think?
The thought has come to me, to exploit my writing talents and become a freelance writer. I mean I am curious if I can actually get paid to be a lousy writer, but do what I actually enjoy doing. I’ve come to the brilliant conclusion that it sure is a lot easier to write down a few words, than go do real men’s work…coal mining, underwater welding, branding cattle, driving a taxi, truck driving, climbing power lines, logging. I’ve actually done two of those jobs and they made me a more ambitious writer. Or I could have tried banking…white collar crime, or if I had honed my skills at lying, I could have had a career as a lawyer or better yet, a politician. Dang, I could have put in four years and then gotten paid the rest of my life and had an elitist health care plan. And I could have taken a few years off with my buddy Anthony Weiner (helped him change a few diapers…being the dedicated husband he is) and gone back at it….what was I thinking?
So what I have done is put together an introduction letter to send out to editors. I want you to read it and then give me your feedback. Try to restrain from using that silly “LIKE” button. I think fb should ad a “NOT SO HOT” button, but not until you have finished reading my letter. Thank you in advance!
I am a freelance writer, but I am not free, nor am I common. My writing style, as you will experience is extremely unique. I write with humor, integrity, and passion and sometimes all at once. I also enjoy writing about those common, everyday things or events we all do in life, but finding the ridiculous humor in them, kind of like that columnist who’s first name starts with a “D” and last name starts with a “B”.
I also love writing about people who are true to who they are and not guided by the narrow limits of “the norm”. I like finding the “IT” that makes them fire to their own timing chain of life, which develops creativity, individuality, soulfulness and spirituality.
My biggest passion is traveling this globe of ours on a BMW 1150GS Adventure Motorcycle. I believe this qualifies me as both an adventure rider and an adventure writer. I endear this way of travel, because it greatly helps in opening up foreign cultures and assists me in rarely running into a stranger. This adventure style opens up doors and many hearts of people I run across. Many times their stories are begging to be in print.
I have attached three different examples of my writing styles. Now hang on for an adventure ride of your life…
Donnie Mac Kenzie
Hey traveler, it's the guy you met in Guate at the Spamish school in Antigua. I have the xr650 that I'm planning on riding from Tennessee to panama. I've been enjoying you blog and I'm going to set one up when I ride down there later this year. I hope everything is going well at the moment and that you secure some funding for your clothing line.I'm getting some Kuhl pants as a result of your shameless plugs and I can't wait to see how they hold up. I gotta go but I'll stay in touch. Later dude!
Great to hear from you! Yes, I remember you! I know you will enjoy the comfort of those Kuhl Pants. Do me a favor…write the CEO of Kuhl, Kevin Boyle and tell him you are getting some pants (RYDR). His email is: kevin@ kuhl-usa.com. Enjoy your adventure let me know when you get your blog set up. Later Dude!
“When fear knocks, let faith answer the door”…Robin Roberts
“Use the platform we have been given, to give to others”…Arthur Ashe
I am going to make a not so politically correct statement, but a statement, I believe doesn’t need being politically correct, to be correct. “Many African Americans have a quality within their spirit, within their soul, that highlights my favorite attribute…GRACE and makes it glow”.
Now let me be quick to say that this is not limited to a particular race. People from all races and all parts of the world emulate this attribute I speak of, but as a whole I find this very common within this particular group of people. You might be thinking, what do you mean by this? And what makes you qualified to say something like this…you’re a white guy. Well let me first qualify myself. When I was in 6th grade my family moved to a Midwest inner city. It was at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and I found myself to be a lone white boy in my entire class and one of only 5 or 6 in my entire junior high. I then went on to a high school where my race made up only 14%. Personally I don’t associate myself with a particular race. I just think of myself and each of my fellow human race as…ONE. I don’t tell you these statistics for any other reason, than to let you know…I have been there from the very inner core.
Now what do I mean by this statement. I am hoping I can articulate my thoughts so I do this topic honor and justice. There is a quality, a grace that I have noticed within certain African Americans that runs deep. It is a quality, a grace that exemplifies and exudes a knowing that “ALL WILL BE WELL”. It is a faith that is seated deep within their souls. It is strong, it is unwavering and it is relentless. But it is not hard, nor is it rough; it has no edge to it. It is calm; it is buoyant; it is joyful and has a happy confidence about it. I find it a joyful attribute to be around and always feel so blessed in its presence and enriched.
Where does this “IT” come from? Experiences form who we are as individuals. But I also believe experiences form whom we are, as a collective group of people. I believe the hardships that the African Americans had to endure in the early stages of America, during slavery…formed, united, bonded; mutual determination of ups and downs…mostly downs. It was developed in those hot, humid, back-breaking days in the fields. The songs that were sang, the prayers that were said, created the attitude…”we did it together!” Your relatives, your people did it together! And I have such admiration for these people who were so unfairly put into bondage. But their resiliency and relentless determination is ever inspiring to me and carries with it a richness that is felt even today.
So when you walk down the street with one of your black brothers and he gets a nod from another brother, now you’ll know…the rest of the story.