Lieback’s Lounge Motorcycle Commentary

The late nights turn to mornings. The full bottles drain. A song’s melody cease. The book’s pages end. The gas tank empties. The MotoGP ends. The mornings quickly turn into evenings.

Endings like these arrive; they’re inevitable. It’s how we deal and think about endings that truly matters. Let me explain.

After this year’s non-stop hospital/doctor visits due to my wife’s surgeries, and associated lack of mental clarity due to minimal motorcycling, I now think of everyday endings in life as suggestions and reminders to embrace everything that is new. This is something I’ve always done in motorcycling training and work/business, but failed to fully recognize in everyday life.

Lieback's Lounge | Newborn Travel - The New SurrealismBasically, every ending sets up a baseline for the next accomplishment, regardless of how challenging or relaxing that accomplishment may be.

Take motorcycles. I constantly train across various disciplines, from serious big-bike ADV riding to track riding and everyday street riding. Once you feel mastery in one skill, it sets a baseline and it’s time for the next ride’s challenge.

On and on we go, only to keep growing and never becoming complacent with anything. The same goes for business; once you’ve achieved one task, it sets a baseline for the next one.

Complacency in skill building/work life is death—pure and simple.

These thoughts endings didn’t quite translate over into everyday life until around Thanksgiving. I originally wanted 2017 to end as early as June when the wife and I decided to take preventive measure against cancer. At 36, she bravely began the ongoing surgery process for a double mastectomy. She was diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene, and had an 80+ percent chance of cancer, meaning my son Enzo could easily lose his mother, which happened to my wife when she just hit double digits.

I anticipated the end of something because I saw the challenges, and just wanted the year to end. And quickly.

Before June, I was putting 110 percent passion into everything, including the one that puts me in my proverbial place—riding motorcycles like mad, whether on the track, the trails, or the road, completing 30k+ miles yearly.

I was also comfortably playing music with friends for a change, something I had not done in at least a decade, as well as reading during chunks of late nights I blocked for “me time” to educate myself, whether continued business studies, or books on motorcycle history.

Once the wife’s ordeal occurred, I quickly realized much would be on hold, including my moto medicine that I use for clarity in life.

Here we are, though, in late November after the final surgery of 2017. Just like that, six months are gone. In between, I realized I had wasted so much time focusing on the end that I missed some opportunities to focus on the present, like my soon-to-be three-year-old son Enzo’s vocabulary that skyrocketed in the last few months, along with his height and love for green beans.

Regardless of how complicated the situations were, or how much motorcycling I missed, I was putting off focus on everyday life and only focusing on the end of all this. Sure, I’m happy all the surgeries are over, and I know I can’t—and don’t care to—change the past.

Going forward, I will never lose focus on everyday while anticipating the end of something. I don’t want to simply wake up one day and realize my son’s the Moto3 Champion without experiencing every step along the way.

Story from the December 2017 issue of Ultimate Motorcycling; subscribe for free.