Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

As I write this I’m on a plane bound for Portland. I’m on my way home. When I left on this crazy adventure two months ago, I was curious what I’d be feeling at this very moment. Would I have made it? Would I have entered the next chapter of my life and be doing what I love or would I have failed miserably and already be home? Praise God its not the later. While I am going home, it’s only for a short break to visit friends and family and then its back to continue working and serving in this new life God has brought before me.

Christmas is different this year. It’s going to be small. My brother and his wife are unable to make it back to Dufur and my mom is going to come visit. Christmas for us will be myself, my mom, my dad and his wife Linda. I’m excited for the time with my family. Because of the situations we all seem to find ourselves in, Christmas revolves around thankfulness and time together this year. I guess it’s a good reminder since that’s what it should be about anyways. I’m kinda glad for it. Because of my current job status, buying gifts for people is pretty much out of the question. Though I’ve managed to pull a couple things off…A gift card for mom, a T-shirt for my dad autographed by the winning team of this years Baja 1000 and an autographed picture for my step mom. Its not much but its all I can do this year and in some way I feel it will remind them of the crazy adventure I’m on, and in some ways, they are on with me. So on the note of thankfulness, here’s a few new things since I last wrote that I’m thankful for…

1.Continued support and God’s provision from wonderful friends who want to see me continue to serve here. Without your giving I would not be where I am and I’m so thankful for your partnership in this ministry.
2. My family at Life Church. I had coffee with Pastor John again recently and he continues to be excited about my eagerness and enthusiasm for this ministry. We are scheming ways to put on events that will allow me to share my faith and my passion for motorsports with young people. I even had the director of our AWANA’s program ask me when I’m going to put on a show for the kids…I can’t wait for that!
3. I continue to work with the youth at life church and am now helping out, on some level, with both Jr and Sr high. Its truly amazing! The kids are fun and I get the chance to make fun of myself twice a week. We had a Christmas party last week that was off the hook. I’ll try to get some video of a skit that I put together…
4. New relationships that continue to grow. I’ve been spending some time with a couple of younger married couples within our church and having a blast. I help Derek, when I can, on construction of his “man cave” (garage lounge area) and Alex and I continue to hang out and enjoy this place in life we find ourselves. Lesley and Lindsay, their gracious wives, have opened up their homes and fed me on multiple occasions and been more than kind to the stranger sleeping on their living room couch. It’s a funny place I find myself in life right now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

5. Continued connections. I mentioned that I had an opportunity to go riding in the desert with one of the founding fathers of freestyle motocross and it was quite honestly one of the coolest rides of my life. A group of about 15 of us took off like a wild fire across the desert and somehow fell into line as we snaked through the mud hills of Ocotillo Wells. I was the only quad in this group of dirtbike riders so I was a little nervous about being able to keep up. After a few miles and actually passing a couple guys, they all seemed to welcome me to the group with open arms, many expressing their amazement at my ability to keep up. It was a good day! ☺ We stopped multiple times for photos and I was able to lend my services to the group by shooting pictures of anything and everything. I’m hoping for more opportunities to work with Metz as there is a lot in store for his team in the coming year and I’d love to be apart of it in any way I can.

Lastly, I’m thankful for this opportunity to be going home. To visit with friends and family and share about the exciting adventure I’ve been on. To tell stories and catch up on life. It’s only been two months, but I feel like I’ve experienced more in that time than I had ever dreamed I would in a lifetime. God continues to pour out blessing and I’m overwhelmed daily by the opportunities I have before me!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sorry for the delay!

God has been pouring out His favor like never before. It would seem as each day brings something new and most often that “newness” is something I never dreamed I would experience. Hanging out back stage at the Vegas show, the whole Baja 1000 experience and now, an opportunity to film an event with yet ANOTHER one of my heroes from growing up Mike Metzger. I continue to be amazed at seeing how God has pulled so much together. “All the days ordained to me were written in your book before any of them came to pass.” Psalm 139:16 God has gone before me and is continuing to do so.

I met Metz through a couple of mutual acquaintances and the all powerful facebook. We have yet to meet in person but we’ve spoken on the phone and are working to pull together a few details for me to film this even that he is hosting at world renown free ride spot Ocotillo Wells. I’m pumped for the opportunity and looking forward to what comes of it.

In other news I’ve begun doing some marketing for the company I’m working with H-Bomb Films. I created a face book page and have begun adding and interacting with fans. If you’re on face book you had better add us!!! Additionally I’m working on some plans that I hope will help bridge the gap between the “superstars” of the industry and other up and comers or weekend warriors like me. I’m excited to see where that goes.

In terms of working, I’ve been spending much more time with the youth at Life Church and am absolutely loving it. I help out in various ways but my main task is to emcee games for both the jr and sr high groups and make a fool of myself as I do. It's been a ton of fun working with the students. The pastor is looking to submit a plan to the church board that would pay me a small salary (just enough to cover the few bills that I have) and possibly provide me with a cell phone. This will be SO helpful however it won’t happen until mid to late January as the board does not meet until then.

In the mean time, I sent out another support letter, further explaining the ministry I am involved with here and my plans for the future. The response I’ve gotten thus far has been amazing. Friends and acquaintances from various periods in my life have expressed a desire to support me and I am so blessed by that. On that note, things continue to move forward at lightening speed and I’m now working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes towards possibly starting an FCA motocross group here in southern California. I’m excited to see how that would come together.

Thank you all for your continued prayer and support! More to come.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Psalm 37:23

“The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” I continue to be amazed at Gods attention to detail. I spoke at GC the spring of my senior year on the evidence of Gods might and power that we can see in creation. I feel that I’m experiencing that same evidence now in the details that God continues to unfold. Tonight my thoughts are in a million different places but these are a few of the things mulling around in my mind right now…

I continue to be impressed with and excited about Walker, my new friend from Montana. He’s got a fire and excitement inside of him that is contagious, he just needs some guidance and a little time to channel that in the right direction. I met a couple high school students yesterday and was able to share with them about my journey thus far and my plans for the future. They were intrigued and both shared with me some of their own passions. I had a great opportunity to offer some incite and I opened the door to help them out by shooting photos and video for them in the future as they pursue their goals.

I had a blessed day at church today. I’m continuing to work with the youth at Life Church and today my task was to emcee the game we played. It was basically random useless trivia but we all had a great time and I’m excited for the opportunity to do things like that again. The kids seem to enjoy me making fun of myself. Things like this just seem to affirm my desire to speak, share and invest in young people.

Tonight at Starbucks I was sitting here with my Bible open working on this entry and a gentleman walked by and mentioned that it was good to see me reading my Bible. He asked where I was reading from and I mentioned Job. He gave me one of his cards and mentioned that he’s a Christian author and speaker. I laughed, amazed at the people God continues to bring into my life, and told him I’m an aspiring author and speaker. I visited with he and his family for a few minutes, we exchanged contact info and I look forward to seeing what might come of it. You just never know when or how God will bring people across your path or for what purpose.

That brings me to now…I don’t know what tomorrow or the next week will bring. I know I’m going home on Dec 24, that’s my next solidified plan. I have about 3 weeks until then and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in that time. I’m still looking for a job and praying for opportunities to remain within the industry to continue serving where I’m at. Thank you SO much to those who have supported me prayerfully and financially. Your giving has enabled me to keep my focus on the goal at hand, to serve at church and hopefully impact lives like Walkers and the other young guys I’ve been talking to. The photo that I attached to this blog is one I showed when I spoke at college. Its a picture of MT hood and I feel like it is a prime picture of Gods might and Power. I shared that if God can mold and sculpt that magnificent mountain in all of its glory, what could he do with my life if I live completely surrendered to him? What could he do with yours?

Friday, December 4, 2009

What its all about

So I’ve got a new mission. What Kess did with football, I want to do with the motorsports industry. For those of you who don’t know, Scotty Kessler (Kess) was my college football coach my freshman year and the sole reason I attended Greenville College. From the beginning Kess told me that football was merely a tool to teach young men about life. “If after playing under me, these guys don’t grow up to be good husbands, fathers, and can’t keep a job, then I didn’t do my job.” That statement is what got me and now I hope to pass on Kess’s fire to the motorsports community.

Yesterday this new guy Walker, whom I now address as “Texas Ranger” or Chuck ☺ showed up in a beat up pickup with more atv parts hanging out of it than Tucker Rocky on clearance day. His story is almost identical to mine. He loaded his truck and came here from Montana in hopes of getting involved in the industry. Walker’s end goal is not necessarily to do freestyle, he simply wants to immerse himself in the industry and partake in all of the goings on here at H-Bomb Films.

I’m stoked to have him around because I see so much myself in him. He doesn’t even know what he wants to do, he just knows he wants to be here. I’ve been able to coach him to some extent however and explain the things that I’ve learned since I got here almost two months ago. I spent much of yesterday and almost all of today with him and I really think he has what it takes. His passion is there, he just needs direction. As I’ve learned very quickly, people just don’t move to California and become ATV super stars. You kinda have to have a niche. Thankfully I’m working towards freestyle as a goal, but I also have my media connections so that I’m being productive in the mean time.

Walker is young and energetic but just not sure how to focus his energies to make the most good. He’s had a string of bad luck with some life stuff but I’m convinced he has the heart and desire to succeed. It would take me a long time to explain our entire conversation, but basically I told him that I would sponsor him through my website and various media outlets if he would agree to going back home and taking care of those life issues he’s working on. He seems content to do that. I’ve stressed to him that making a wise decision now, will only set him up for greater success in the future whereas taking a gamble right now could end his chances forever.

I think he’s getting it. He’s stoked about the idea and I’m excited to see what this kid could do in the next six months to a year. Maybe some day my little site will actually be something worthwhile. I’d love to use it as a networking site to help the “little guys” like me get a shot at doing what they love.

In other news I had my “tryout” here with the bomb squad and it went amazing. Our team manager BC was pleased with my skill level and the progress that I’ve made. The next step will be to make the switch over to the team bikes and begin getting up to speed on those. My goal is to be riding and doing shows come January. Perhaps a lofty goal but as each and every day I’m here proves, with God all things are possible!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We Win!!!

So most recently I returned from Ensenada Mexico where I was blessed to be a part of the race team that won the Pro Quad class for the 2nd consecutive year. I probably sound like a broken record but I continue to be amazed at the things I'm getting to experience. I remember reading about Team Matlock taking the win last year after several years of hardships and always coming up short. Never in a million years did I think that I would be standing in the winners circle when they crossed the finish line and thats exactly where I was. Well more off to the side really as I was filming the event, but I quickly made my way to the circle to join in the celebration. It was a crazy awesome experience and I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity.

The Matlock racing crew is basically just a family crazy about racing ATV's. Wayne and his wife Kristen brought their 8 week old son along for the entire week of Baja. That's dedication. I told Grandma Cathy that I was took me 24 years to get there! When I say family I mean family. Grandparents, moms, dads, wives and kids all turn up for the event and its truly a family affair. The night before the race we all settled in around a big table between a couple RV's for a feast that would rival many Thanksgiving dinners. I hardly slept a wink that night as I kept waking up wondering if it was time for the race to begin. I really think I get more sleep on Christmas eve than I did the night before Baja. Call me Crazy. The whole Baja experience was amazing and I'm already excited to head back next year.

Another neat deal, I got to share my story with a gal at Starbucks last night. I needed power for my computer so I asked if I could share her table next to the outlet. We visited a little and I found out she’s a multi media major. We had lots to talk about between photography, film and such and as I was telling her about what I’m doing down here she expressed that I’m living her dream. I chuckled and told her that I’m finally getting to live my dream but that it took eight years for me to get here. I shared my thoughts on spending your life doing something you love and I smiled inside as I felt like “this is what it’s about,” showing people and encouraging people to pursue that little thing in their heart that they’ve always longed for. Believer or not I believe that is placed there by God and it just takes time for HIM to develop that in us. In the mean time, we face hardships or get sidetracked with immediate gratification and for many people that dream gets lost. Thank God none of the rabbit trails I’ve chased in the last 8 years worked out. I know that I surely wouldn’t be where I am today.

There is a saying “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that. What the world needs is more people to come alive.”

People that are alive about what they do are contagious. It takes discipline, perseverance and the drive to not give up when things get tough. What I’ve found for me personally is that the victories I’m experiencing since moving here wouldn’t be near as sweet without the hardships I’ve faced over the last year and a half. I say hardships as if my life was a wreck. People certainly deal with harder situations than I’ve ever had to deal with but for me, my situation at home was so suffocating before I left that I felt like I had no hope for enjoying life. Life is called a journey for a reason. We walk through valleys and over mountains to stand at the peak and behold the glory of what we’ve persevered to get there. I tend to find that if I were on the mountaintop all the time, I would have less of a need for God’s presence. “Give me only my daily bread or else I will have too much and disown you.” (Prov. 30:8) God knows what we can handle, how much pressure we can take before we snap, and how much reward we can handle without squandering it. I believe if we ask Him to, he will take the reigns of our lives and only hand us control when we are ready for it. I feel like it's taken 8 years but God is starting to hand me the reigns....and I can't wait to see where we go next!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Go Chargers

So I'm a bit perturbed...I wrote a fantastic update and failed to save my draft so here is round 2...

My gracious aunt whom I rarely have the opportunity to visit offered to take me to a San Diego Chargers game this past weekend for my birthday. What an experience it was! Chargers fans are serious about tailgating. As our bus approached the stadium the air was teaming with the smell of bratwurst. Auntie Ina (I still have difficulty calling her Ina) spared no expense on this adventure and we found ourselves in line for some of the finest Qualcom cuisine moments after entering the stadium. Our seats were 6th row, corner of the end zone, the perfect vantage point to view my boy, Antonio Gates, mowing over the pesky Philadelphia eagles players. The game was an awesome time and our team won to boot! Thanks for an awesome birthday present Auntie Ina!

In other news, I'm still looking for work but I have a couple leads. I'm working with the church on possibly becoming a Jr youth intern. I've been volunteering with them on Wednesday's and Sundays as is and they were already working to hire for this position anyway. Additionally, Jake and Margaret connected me with the director at Project Walk who informed me that they are in need of a media/film/PR person. After discussing the possibility we both felt that I bring a lot to the table even if only part time but Tim and I are working to put that together. Both opportunities look promising, but I really need something to come together as an income is becoming VERY necessary. On that note, I got my health insurance taken care of and I'm on COBRA till 12/1 and then my new health care plan kicks in.

God has been doing some amazing things in the meantime as I wait for these work scenarios to pan out. As many of you may know, I sent out a support letter and I've been very blessed by the response. I've received a few checks and am told I have a few more on the way. Another cool deal is that my college football coach forwarded my letter on to another coach whom I've seen only a handful of times since my freshman year. He wrote me and said that he was excited to see me going for something that I love and that he and his wife wanted to support me in it! What an awesome example of Gods provision, and yet another reminder that I am right where I'm suppose to be. Money seems to always be an area that I've had to give to God. Maybe its because I'm an anal retentive accounting major but throughout college and countless other experiences, God always seems to wait until the last minute to provide. Call it a test of patience which seems to be the other area God is always working on in me.

That brings us to today. I got up this morning with a bit of a pit in my stomach as I rolled out to the compound to go ride. My last session didn't go so well as I was having trouble seeing the ramp through the plume cloud of dust and managed to over jump the landing on my first hit. I bent my lower a-arms and cut my chin open upon impact. (Yes Mom and Linda, I was wearing my mouth piece...teeth are ok) Thankfully the bike is fine, it was just frustrating because things were going so well. Today I managed to solve the dust problem by laying carpet out on the runway and was able to put in the best session of my life. I rode for about an hour, threw some new, bigger tricks than I ever have before and didn't want to quit riding. I don't have any photos of the bigger tricks, but I hope to get someone out to film very soon.

I guess that's all for now. In theory I'm suppose to take off for the Baja 1000 tomorrow and hang out with the team that won it all last year. I'm so excited for the opportunity because experiencing Baja has been on my list of to do's for a long long time. I'll be taking a LOT of photos with my new camera (thanks Farg Daddy) and be sure and post them here. I'll leave you with a photo of my playground :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where to begin

Based upon recent events and so much excitement I think I'm gong to spread this update out between a couple posts. The biggest news is that I finally began riding!!! I rode for about 20 minutes on Tuesday which was just enough to get comfortable on the ramp and go through my bag of tricks. Wednesday I went back out and put in the best session yet and I'm SO ready to get back out there tomorrow. I cannot explain the relief/joy that I feel now that I'm riding and riding well. The landing here is so smooth that my bone stock quad doesn't even bottom out at all. I'm so excited to ride again tomorrow.

Other good news, my dad sprung for a new camera to replace the old one. I got a two year warranty for this one should I decide to tussle with my quad again. Thanks Farg Daddy!!!
So be on the lookout for some new photos in the coming days. I'll try to talk someone into taking some ride shots of me in the coming days so you can see what I'm actually doing here.

In other news, I may be traveling with the gang to the Baja 1000 next week. Wes Miller, the owner of the company I'm working with, was a member of the winning team last year for the Pro Quad class and he is out to defend his title. It looks like I'll be joining the team next Wednesday and hopefully aiding Harlen Foley of with coverage of the event. I continue to be amazed at the opportunities that God is dumping in my lap. I've wanted to attend Baja for as long as I can remember. I've never really been sure if I wanted to race it or just attend, but at the very least experience all that Baja has to offer and it looks like I'm going to have that opportunity.

The last "news" that many of you may already be familiar with is that I sent out a letter explaining what I'm doing down here and how you can support me in this adventure which is turning in to a ministry of sorts. I won't go into the details here but I highlighted in the letter my desire to maintain my freedom to jump at opportunities like the trip to Vegas and now Baja, in order to show these guys that I'm serious about working with them, as well as create opportunities to share my faith. If you believe in what I'm doing and would like me to send you a copy of the support letter please email me at God continues to show his faithfulness as I received a card from a dear friend in college containing a check and gift cards to KFC and Subway. Her words were "How better to help than fill your tummy!" God Bless!!!

More to come but I'll leave you with a few photos I rescued off the memory card of my smashed camera. They are in no particular order and I'm having trouble formatting this stinking with it! :)

A camp at Ocotillo. I've always wanted to be in one of those "wagon train esque" camps and I finally got my chance! Though this isn't it.

The unique terrain of Ocotillo Wells.

The outcome of our late night excursion.

Never have I met a more resourceful group of individuals...using a soldering iron and plastic shavings they successfully "welded" a cracked fuel tank...and it didn't leak a drop!!!

Lastly, I received a care package in the mail from a friend/
sponsor at Shift Racing. Some clean new threads, a couple ball caps and enough stickers to vandalize the city of LA.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friends and Family in So Cal

The other day I had a little bout of discouragement as I climbed into bed after arriving home from Vegas as I was unsure what the coming days would bring. To this point, I've had one event lead to the next without much time to sit and worry about the next step. I couldn't really put my finger on it but something just kinda had me down.

My dad always says your perspective changes 180 degrees after a good night's sleep. I'm confident that did the trick for me as I awoke Friday the 6th with an excitement for the day and weekend to come. I'm still not entirely sure why I was bumbed out but I'm chalking it up to the mere 4 hours of sleep I got the last night in Vegas.

I spent Friday morning cleaning up the bikes from the show and making countless phone calls to insurance companies as I'm continuing to fight the good fight to ensure I'm adequately covered. Friday afternoon I had the privilege of driving a mere 45 minutes down the road to visit my long time friend Jake French.

For those of you who don't know Jake, he and his family were a Godsend in my life in the 8th grade. My first few years at Dufur were a challenge to say the least as I was an outsider moving in from Portland and most of the class had been together since kindergarten. I just had a tough time fitting in and never really found anybody that I clicked with. Then along came Jake; the new kid that rode dirt bikes, loved hunting and fishing and seemingly every other crazy thing I did. "Jake is fast, Seth is slow" became our mantra and will forever echo through the halls of the Dufur Middle least in our minds.

Back to today. Jake was tragically injured in an unfortunate accident last December and has spent the last 11 months rehabilitating himself with the end goal of learning to walk. Please take a second to look at this video of what Jake has been through, where he's at and his long term goals.

Today Jake has been blessed with that opportunity to visit Project Walk and begin what we hope and pray is a journey to recovery. If you know Jake you know his zest for life is extraordinary. He continues to amaze therapists and doctors wherever he goes, both with his determination to succeed, as well as his outlook on life considering the circumstances. I was blessed to get to spend Friday and Saturday with Jake and his mom Margaret. It was truly a joy to walk through the doors of Project Walk and see two familiar faces. The quote of the evening echoing our table was "I can't believe we're all in California!"

Saturday we had the opportunity to attend a Freestyle Motocross demo and suffice to say, Jake makes friends fast. :) All in all it was a great day of entertainment and hanging with great friends from back home.

Today's events include a BBQ and birthday party for BC's son. I'm heading back south to meet up with Jake and we're going to cruise up to San Juan Capistrano for a BBQ and soccer game. Thanks again to all for your prayer and support. Each day is something new, and something different. I think I'm going to be able to start riding this week as well so I'll let you all know how that goes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vegas Baby

Once upon a time, I conquered the back flip on a trampoline. Some years later I witnessed my first motorcycle back flip and was truly amazed. Today I watched Caleb Moore pull back flip after back flip on an ATV and only one word came to mind; burly. What’s more is after a few attempts he started throwing flip variations. For those non-motocross readers, a variation means pulling an additional trick while in the midst of a back flip.

This is the adventure of a lifetime. I find myself saying that at least 10 times a day. This week’s excursion has been a trip to Las Vegas for the Kicker Big Air Bash at the Palms Hotel and Casino. I can’t believe I almost passed on this opportunity. The riders I’m with are part of the freestyle show and I came along for the experience as well as an opportunity to get some footage. I’d love to post some photos from the trip but if you read my last post you know why I haven’t.

Setup and practice are over with and I’ve now retreated to the sixth floor of the Palms Place Hotel, in quite possibly the most luxurious pool/lounge area I’ve ever witnessed. I am truly blessed and at the same time amazed at how out of place I am.

Three weeks ago I was “stuck” in a place I did not wish to be. Dufur was good to me for many years and will ALWAYS be home. I’m so thankful for all of the people that have poured into my life and encouraged me in my pursuit of this dream, I just felt it was weighing me down. I have no doubt that my 17 months there after graduating was a necessary season that God allowed both for personal growth and to deepen my faith. By no means do I have it figured out, but I can honestly say that the difficulties and hardships of the past year are beginning to pay off. I’m not where I want to be in terms of status (that sounds bad but it's the best fit) comfort or any number of other factors, but I’m certainly in the location and with the people that can help me reach most of those goals.

This has been the most eye opening experience of my life. I understand what so many have said about living in a bubble. Its safe to say my bubble has burst and I’m catching up on all the things I never saw or experienced before hand. Not that I’m doing things I shouldn't (that's for you mom) but mostly that I’m seeing what the real world is like for the first time. It's quite the experience.

I guess that’s all for now. Its nearing show time so I had better resume my post with my trusty video camera, ever ready to capture whatever chaos the night may bring. It's sure to be exciting and if I can figure out how, I’ll post some video from the event on here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Words can't describe

So...I was invited on a group riding trip to one of Southern California's most famous riding areas, Ocotillo Wells. I was pumped for the opportunity as I've heard good things and seen amazing photos from this freerider's paradise. It was to be a short trip as we were leaving Thursday night and coming back Saturday morning but I was excited none the less.

We rolled into camp around 10:30pm and my counterpart, BC, informed me we would be riding into the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere around midnight we geared up and caravan'd into the abyss. I blindly followed BC through the switch backs and cork screws that are Ocotillo, desperately trying to keep up which proved to be quite the task.

The evening culminated around 2:30 AM when one of our UTV patrons zigged when he should have zagged and careened down an embankment. Three cartwheels resulted in a blown rear tire, cracked fuel tank and a bent bumper which inhibited a front tire from rotating freely. After a few failed attempts at bending the bumper back someone took off for camp to find some tools and a spare tire. At least an hour later, after much debate and a failed attempt at removing the bumper, we finally returned to camp around 3:45am. I nestled myself into BC's luxurious travel trailer pondering the last time I had been awake at that hour and decided it must have been a lock in I attended sometime while in JR High. I've certainly been awake at that hour before, but it was beggining my day...not ending it.

The next day's events began around 10:30 (thank you Lord) with the master minds of camp working to patch the cracked fuel tank from the previous nights excitement. I am truly amazed at the resourcefulness of these guys. Not that they gave me any reason to doubt them, they were simply bound and determined to fix that tank with the supplies on hand. Using a soldering iron and plastic shavings from the fuel tank they were able to "weld" the cracked fuel tank and restore it to like new condition. Note: Previous attempts revealed that zip ties and shavings from the stock Rhino skid plate would not correctly adhere to the surface, resulting in a brittle and nonfunctional bead.

After finishing up the Rhino we geared up for another ride out into the wide open desert. Ocotillo Wells is some of the craziest and most scenic terrain I've ever ridden. If you're an offroader you must make it here sometime in your life.

If you've read this far considering there are no pictures to go along with my story, you have my thanks. The reason being I took a little spill while trailing BC through the sand and suffice to say my camera broke my fall. Though the debacle ended with me resting uncomfortably beneath my quad, I emerged mostly unscathed and thankfully my quad was still in tact. We pressed on and I survived the rest of the trip.

Upon arriving back at my truck this morning I discovered that someone had lovingly smashed my windshield and two other windows. Come to find out a worker at the restaurant where I had left it attempted to scare them off and had a wrench thrown at him in the process. Suffice to say Duke, the restaurant owner, is ready to form a posse to track down the culprits.

While this unfortunate event has thrown yet another hiccup into my adventure, it has allowed me a great blessing and an opportunity to get more acquainted with another couple from my church. I informed Alex (youth pastor at Life Church) of my predicament and asked for his assistance in some form that would enable me to make it to church this weekend. He and his wife Leslie graciously offered to lend me a car until my truck is fixed and what's more, I had the opportunity to spend the evening with them and their family. I am truly amazed at God's provision and guidance on this voyage and had a wonderful time chatting with them and hanging with their kids as they prepared for an evening of trick or treating. So Alex and Leslie, words cannot describe my thanks for the car and home cooked meal. The salmon was off the hook! (no pun intended) :)

That's all for now. I'm off to hang with my buddy Adrian and his girlfriend. Thanks to all for your prayers and support. This has been and continues to be the craziest and most incredible experience of my life. I'm not entirely sure where it's going but I could say I'm learning to embrace Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man charts his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Something new

What’s an adventure to be without a few hiccups? My trusty 1979 Chevy pickup made the entire 1200 plus mile trek without so much as a jot or tiddle however my radiator began leaking not long after I arrived. In my quest to remain alive and mobile I began looking at options for replacing it. Thankfully my new friend Adrian, who just happened to move into the guest house on the property around the same time I got here, is a master mechanic for anything with wheels and a motor. What’s more is that he is in the process of restoring a nearly identical truck and because of that he knows my truck inside and out. Upon mentioning my dilemma he told me where and what to get and this morning we installed a new radiator and my truck has never run better. Mad props Adrian!

I had lunch yesterday with Pastor John and Rob Coblentz from Life Church and we’re looking at opportunities for me to get involved. They are both excited about my background in worship music and feel that there are probably opportunities for me to get involved. Additionally John has inquired about me getting involved with the youth and Rob has extended the offer for me to help with AWANAS as he is the program director for the church. Lots of opportunities and I’m excited about them all, I’m just trying to get my feet settled a little bit before I dive in too far.

After finishing up the radiator today I headed off to meet John and a few others from his church to put in some laps on their own semi private course. I’m out of shape, that’s for sure! I’ve spent so much time pursuing the sport that I love over the last year that at times I feel like I’ve quite riding all together. Not even one lap into it, my legs were burning and I was out of breath. This kind of pain I’m more than happy to deal with however and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to get out and ride.

After our ride session Alex Hughes, yet another member of Life Church, invited me to come join him at Jr. High Youth group. Boy was that exciting! It’s certainly been a while for me but it was exciting to work with young minds after being so involved with college students for so long. We played some games and I had a chance to lead a discussion with about 4 of the guys. Alex and I are going to meet in the coming days to talk about opportunities to help out there as well.

So rounding out day number 13 I have yet to make any solid connections that will lead me to work opportunities within the industry, but I have countless leads and several folks working behind the scenes to get me plugged in. One never knows what tomorrow will bring and that is true to the umpteenth degree for me. My plans for the foreseeable future involve a trip to Ocotillo Wells offroad area and that’s all I know about that. Keep checking back for photos and updates as I continue on this crazy adventure!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Journey

So I started my blog about a year ago as a means of chronicling my pursuit of this dream of doing freestyle motocross for a living. Whether I lost interest or simply had nothing more to write about, the blog didn’t last long but I’m back at it now as I have recently moved to southern California in an attempt to further this dream.

October 9th was my last day with Columbia River Bank and the following Monday I headed out for Temecula California, the Mecca of freestyle motocross. Along the way I stopped off at Dumont Dunes California for some duning action with some of the greatest ATV freestyle riders in the world. That was a fun experience but not quite what I expected. I was able to take some photos of the various film shoots and now have some great photos from the trip.

From Dumont it was on to Temecula where I’ve been mostly hanging out for the last week. Ultimately the plan is to start riding freestyle around here and see if the guys I’m with think I have enough potential to join the team and ultimately start doing shows. A few obstacles have caused a slow down in the process, but I’m thankful for the opportunity non the less and enjoying being in sunny southern California.

I’m continuing to network with other FMX people in the area and am hoping to get connected with the Metal Mulisha. For you non FMX folks, the Metal Mulisha are the most metaled group of FMX riders in the world. They conquer the X-Games year after year as well as a host of other competitions around the world and were pretty much the founding fathers of the sport. I would love the opportunity to ride and train with them, but would be glad just for the opportunity to hang out, film, sell t-shirts at their demos or fill whatever other need they might have. My goal in being here is simply to immerse myself in the industry and then figure out which path I want to take. Or rather, how God wants to use me here. Yes my ultimate goal is to be making money riding, but I want much more than that. I enjoy the business side of things as well and would like to be involved in the marketing and promotions side of the sport. We shall see. All I know is that there is no bigger place for freestyle motocross in the world than Temecula California, and I’m right in the thick of it! ☺

Another exciting connection I’ve made is with a church called Life Church. In mentioning my little adventure to her church, my mom came to find out that one of her friends had family in the Temecula area. She connected me with Life Church and Pastor John Ruhlman. I was able to visit with John for a few minutes after the service and he seemed excited about my eagerness for the industry as well as using it as a tool for ministry. He and a few others I met from the church are avid motorcycle riders as well so that’s always good. I plan on returning to Life Church this weekend and continuing to get plugged into the body. I haven’t really met any young folks my age but hopefully that will come with getting involved in a church. I’m dying for an opportunity to go hang out with some people.

That’s pretty much it for now. I’ve just been trying to keep busy around here, doing little things to help out where I see a need. I applied with Temecula Motorsports yesterday and it looks like something could develop in the coming weeks. For now I kinda want to keep myself free in the event that an opportunity comes along, but sooner or later the money’s going to run out and I’m going to need to get back to work!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Relinquishing Control

At the moment I’m sitting here with a hole in my face and a cast on my hand. The outcome of pursuing a dream I feel like God has put within my heart. I hear people talk about Gods timing and his perfect plan. That should get me to relax and trust that I’ll bounce back and things will work out all in Gods time. However, all I can think about is getting back on my bike and doing all that I can to make what I think is Gods will for my life come to pass. That’s the problem.

When we think we know what Gods will is we try to make it happen. We work on our own to bring about what we feel should be the next step in Gods plan. If only we could learn to hand God the reigns and realize that each bump in the road is not a hindrance, merely a stumbling block along the path that God has placed before us. Those stumbling blocks can be put in our way by the devil and wreak all kinds of havoc on our pursuit of following God. They should not stop us, we know that God will never give us more than we can handle. But at times they can slow us down as they cause us to doubt, question, and look for other ways or opportunities to get where we think God wants us to be. If we could only learn to relinquish control, and trust that every bump on the road was allowed by God, perhaps for our growth, our safety or any number of other reasons. We would not get ahead of ourselves in thinking that we are bringing about the will of God.

If I could look into a crystal ball and see an end result for my life, be it marriage, a career or a specific accomplishment, I would automatically start doing everything I could to bring that about. I would rush right through the first open door that looks like it might be able to get me there, never paying attention as to whether that is God's specific plan. We tend to take it upon ourselves; "since we know this is God's plan this must be his way of getting us to that end result."

God in His infinite wisdom doesn't allow us to see that end result. Instead he places desires on our hearts and requires us to act in faith that where He is leading is where He wants us to go. I believe He gives us just enough to keep pursuing, keep moving forward, in His time, toward the end result that He has for us. We must learn to follow those "divine nudges" and even the desires in our hearts, but not be so zealous that we forget the one who gave us that desire. In the end it;s His plan four our lives and we must submit to His way of accomplishing whatever He wants to do through us.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I never liked to write. Had you asked me a year ago I would have placed writing at the top of my "things I do not enjoy" list. It wasn't until after a trip to a motorcycle show of all places that I discovered my passion for writing.

I attended the Indianapolis Dealer Expo in hopes of securing a job in the motorcycle industry and in the process managed to score an interview with the editor of my favorite magazine. I was fortunate enough to connect with he and the publisher and they gave me my first journalistic assignment. A week later while working with a group on a senior project I had the idea of publishing our findings in a Christian magazine. Amidst great opposition from my group mates, I finally convinced them that if the editor and publisher of the other magazine had faith in me maybe they could to. It worked. I wrote. They published and whats more...I got paid! And my group mates even let me keep the proceeds.

The most exciting thing about this whole process is that it unleashed within me a desire to put my thoughts into words. Thanks to the book Strength Quest, I learned in college that communication was a strength and not simply an irritating quality that I had adopted from my father. I have since begun to embrace my desire to share and have written other articles, blogs, and journals in an attempt to further this new found passion. I hope this blog is another outlet for me. Please feel free to respond, comment, agree or disagree. I simply wish to share my heart and what the Lord is teaching me as I continue on this faith journey.