Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Behind Every Strength is a Great Weakness

30th Street, North Park, San Diego
Even though Sash and I were thousands of miles from home during our six-month road trip across the United States last year, we had dozens of friends and family following along through our blog and social media. Along the way, we picked up more readers and before we knew it, we found ourselves in the middle of a tight community of friends and fellow riders.

And why? It's not like we're the first to spend six months riding motorcycles.  Others have done longer trips, in harsher environments.

Wendi was someone that Sash and I met a few years ago when were into our diet and exercise regimen.  We were all working out with a couple of retired Marine Corp drill sergeants who decided to open up a fitness boot camp to supplement their incomes working security at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.  Imagine doing push ups with R. Lee Ermey crouching down into your face and screaming "beach body, beach body!"

So fast forward to now.  We we're not as slender and athletic as we used to be, but we have new perspectives on life.

Of course, having just gotten rid of all of our unneccessities, shoved everything else into storage, and traveled across the States with what we could fit on our bikes, it really changed our thinking on how much comfort we find in our material things.

And for Wendi, who had stayed home all her life, she found she had lost her own comfort zone after a string of deaths in her family.

"I'm in my 40s now", she said.  "I'm not married, I don't have kids, and I still haven't traveled anywhere."

Sash, Wendi, and myself, at Sipz Fusion Cafe, North Park
Sash and I felt touched that she contacted us via Facebook and asked to join us for lunch in our neighborhood.  She had been marveling at the places we went to and the people we met, and wanted to do the same.  She took the hour drive south down to meet us.

"This May I'm going to Alaska", she told us.  "And then in August, I'm going to Spain!"

And the thing is that Sash and I each grew up feeling insignificant and unworthy.  Low self-esteem sets in when the people who are supposed to love you and the people you are supposed to love, constantly point out your failures and wonder why you couldn't be like others.  After so much of it, you end up believing it.

Sash has trouble understanding how she could have inspired other women.

But often behind every strength, there is a weakness powering it.

I've known for my entire motorcycle riding life I've wanted to leave everything behind and live on the road.  What motorcycle rider hasn't?  But yet, are we really just embarking on a great endeavor to distance ourselves from some perceived weakness?  Is there something we're trying to prove to ourselves, to others?  Do we over extend ourselves as a way to fetch praise?

Or is it really just so innocent as a desire to explore the great outdoors?


  1. "All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name."

    So we ride motorcycles.

  2. Another good read. I am sure the two of you have inspired more people than you will ever know.

  3. Steve:

    I think the "net has opened up a lot of doors. We are not alone in our thinking. Most of us look at others and dream that they could do what some of us have done, ride great distance on our motorcycles and explore our great Country. They cannot due to time or financial constraints so they follow along and dream that they are with you and when they have a chance they will open up their hearts to take you in or share a meal so they live through us

    without the 'net you would just be two people riding around the country and no one would know.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Steve, the end of the day it's not all that important why you rode acorss the country...what's important is that you did. I'm sure there are lots of people, myself included, that dream of the day they can follow in your footsteps. Sadly, for many of us it will always be a dream. You guys are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy

  5. Years ago I was told by one of my college teachers that you never know how you will inspire someone. That even the most insignificant moment to you can be a life changing moment to that other person. The reverberations of our actions are felt for years and in ways that we can not yet imagine.

    We are not put on this Earth to see through each other, but to see each other through.

  6. I wish there was a way for me to send you an audio file of a tune I wrote called "When I'm Dust". It's about this very theme, overcoming the weakness you feel at being made to feel as if one is never good enough but through experience and the necessity to survive, finding a way to out grow that thinking and giving the world the middle finger as a response for having been put through it. All The Best TR (HWM)


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)