Thursday, June 27, 2013

What is My Legacy?

This is going to be a somewhat obscure post, but it does relate to bicycle riding. I don't have any product reviews, posts about new builds or new events I've attended to blabber about (well, I do, but that will be later) - but the legacy question is something I've been pondering lately and thought it would be cathartic to put into outer-space.

So, if you don't like such things... I don't mind if you just X-out this tab and move on to MTBR or The Come Up (I don't blame you), but if you're interested, please make yourself comfortable and help me dig a little.

I am 1 1/2 years shy of my 40th birthday. While for some, that may be considered "young" I truly I thought I'd be in a different place by now. I mean, career is going well, I'm married, etc., etc., but one of the things I thought I'd definitely be by now is a Dad. There are certain things (medically) with me that reduces (to nearly zero) the chance of ever being able to conceive a child with my wife. Adoption is financially prohibitive.

To me, being a husband and a father is the ultimate sacrifice a man can give. I have the utmost respect for all my friends who balance play, work and fatherly duties. These men, if all goes well, will leave behind a legacy. Big or small - it is still a legacy. Their name, their memory... will continue on. Sure, there are douchebags out there - but let's put it into perspective - most men who are fathers want to do the best they can to provide.

So, I ask the question: How will I be remembered when I am gone? What will be my legacy? Will I have left any lasting impression on this world for the positive? Was I a good man? A good person to others? Was I a good husband?

When we die, there are two numbers: your birth date and your death date... with a "-" in between. That "-" represents everything you were during your life. So, I will ask myself, when the time comes: Did I make that "-" count?

Bike riding has become such an integral part of my life it is where I place my identity. Many men my age will talk about their work, career, family... I talk about bikes. BMX and MTB's are my true passions - these are the activities that keep me drooling over the thought of the upcoming weekend on a Monday morning. It's what I talk about with my friends, my family, coworkers... I probably can get pretty annoying with it (I apologize to my wife!). 

Ultimately, me doing something on my bike isn't what drives me. Rather, it is the trials and tribulations of other riders that inspire me to want to keep going with it. I want to be there when they shine.

Nothing gets me more amped than my friends getting on podiums at races, a fellow BMX'er doing a trick that we all thought was impossible or hitting an obstacle that is frightening to most. Seeing somebody overcoming obesity or soldiers healing themselves through the therapeutic act of pedaling a bike.

I love it when I see somebody crest over a hill they thought was going to kill them, or seeing children progress on 18" BMX bikes in 2 years what took us 8 back in the day.

I love it when I see my wife get PR's and the occasional QOM's on Strava. She pedals her ass off. I'm so proud of her.

Watching companies and bike shops not only survive, but succeed. See innovations come out that solves problems.

Seeing the most incredible pieces of bike related digital film and artwork for free. All the heart, sweat and passion into projects and edits done - for the labor of love for bikes.

I love the groms. The crack me up and they remind me when I was a young BMX'er with nowhere to go but up. These boys and girls are the future superstars.

I love hugging my friends when they do well, sharing a brew or even a puff. I love the handshake-fist-bump acquaintances I've met along the way and all you on the web who have interacted with me through picture sharing and forums.

To most, I am an internet ghost, Instagram goof and blogger - and most likely we will never meet in person. But to those who I get to spend those bright days and dark nights, spinning wheels, grinding ledges, jumping things, mashing trails and and falling down to do it over - I can only hope this will be my legacy - as I really have nothing else to offer but my passion for bikes and for the people that ride them. The connections we've made are all very dear to me.

I will probably be cursed with a very long life (longevity runs in my family), but before those years add up and creep in, and my ability to pedal a bike, do a BMX trick or rail singletrack is gone, I feel I needed to put this into cyberspace while it was weighing so deeply on me.

Thank you all for sharing the passion with me. You are the reason why I ride.

-Dion

3 comments:

  1. You can have my kid. Just kidding. Dion, come ride with me sometime in the East Bay. I can take you on Diablo or my local rides nearby. That way we can exchange fist bumps etc, and you don't have to be an internet ghost to me. Just don't expect me to be fast or skilled (even though I have been riding about 10 years). I am going on 44, and my main riding buddy is 9 years older.

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  2. Dion

    Thought provoking post. I'm thinking some similar thoughts (legacy, purpose) while working on finding a second career. I've got teenage kids, and there's no question seeing them develop and having confidence that they'll leapfrog their parents is legacy enough. If you and your wife aren't likely to raise a set, look for opportunities to extend the kind of mentoring you do now around bikes - help a kid/kids in need, whether what you give them is bike related or not.

    Good luck. love your blog.

    bikefixe@fea.st

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  3. You just wrote a piece that hits all the points I wanted to express but has not been able to on my blog coherently. Its like a mirror image in so many ways like my life but 1/2 the world away.

    Been riding 30+ years and while mainly on mtb,I never am far from my BMX roots.. Still trying to clear a 2 foot high on my 6" bikes ;) Life pretty much revolves around talking, building and riding bikes on any normal day.

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