Bucket lists are for people who think they can fulfill life’s desires in a finite amount of time. I prefer to call it my lifelong journey. This sounds cliche but at 48 years old I don’t just feel like a man half my age I lead a life of a man half my age in every sense. True, eating right and regular exersize as well as taking time for self play a large role but you also have to rage against society’s enduring factor of ageism.
For the first time in my life I’m at a stage where once people find out my age they look past my youthful looks and treat me like I’m ready to kill over next week–At first glance what I just said sounds vain but you have to understand I’ve dealt with the antithesis of traditional ageism for the majority of my adult life. Being mistaken for a teenager or at the very least being challenged by someone at a grocery store, restaurant or gas station when I ask for a glass of wine or buy a bottle of spirits.
“Oh, I don’t believe you,” until I point at the date on my driver’s license. Strangely it’s cute yet insulting at the same time because what follows, particularly with older people is “Oh you look just like a baby!” That’s neither cute nor flattering.
The point of this blogpost: Strapping down luggage to the back of a motorcycle and trekking aimlessly for thousands of miles to the lowest point of the United States of America is picking up where I left off previously in my life, not a bucket list item. As my Doctoral instructor once said: “Life happens.”
I had my first motorcycle back in high school. An 18-year-old kid with motorcycle capable of hitting 130mph is not a good combination. I never could resist getting on the interstate after school to race up and down central Alabama at speeds that had my helmet bobbling in the wind and turned automobiles into large metallic blurs. Ironically, I had my first accident while puttering around at a mere 30mph. An elderly man, who shouldn’t have been driving in the first place, executed a left turn in his cab.
30 years later, after aquiring an undergrad, masters degree, marriage, a long career in education, enlistment in the Army National Guard, a subsequent divorce, and experiencing the death of my mom and dad I decided it was time–Time to live for myself again. It’s time to not be concerned with what someone else feels or thinks I should do.
Cruising on a motorcycle is all those things other motorcyclists have bragged about. It’s therapeutic and addictive. It’s freedom. In only a month of ownership I’ve already traveled over 6000 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Key West, Florida and all points in between. 3000 of those miles was spent circling the state of Florida.
Nothing really appealed to me musically until I selected All Out 70’s on Spotify. While gazing at the countryside The Beetles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John and countless others elevated me to another dimension as the miles rolled by. I’m on the run.