I’ve weathered many storms and traveled here and there. Listening to stories and tall tales from old friends and random people in these travels I got to thinking today. Those random people that create moments, like that guy that springs into your face for a few brief moments at a trade show to tell you about the latest Internet 3.1214 thing that will revolutionize your http experience, or while you’re standing in line to get a cup of coffee and the person ahead of you turns around and says something meaningless to you. Those moments that you didn’t ask for but it must have meant something to them so they offered a voice. Sometimes they’ll drop heavy knowledge about some immaterial moment in their life that will slip from your mind in seconds but you heard them say the words. And at that moment that you listened you may have made their day. That brief contact was perhaps all they needed to have happen to get their day working for them. What are these little connections? Clearly they’re not creating new relationships or reminding you of things that you could write down for future pondering, but, maybe these tiny karma nudges are what you need to push you into action. Today, I got that nudge and I called my friend.
Thinking back to the late 1980’s I used to see these cats riding Vespas around Fremont. I’d never seen or knew what a mod was but when I saw this crew scooting around I was instantly intrigued. As the next few years progressed I became an acquaintance of one of the scooter riders through a mutual friend. Soon I was riding my own scooter and when I found out there was scooter racing going on I quickly joined the ASRA (American Scooter Racing Association) and started flying around the track on my well used Jet 200 in 1993. The main instigator that got me into racing and then helped me to go fast was Mark Sheffield.
That’s Tony Simoni (Tony and I are a future post), me, and Mark at a cyclocross race in Bakersfield in 2012. We all raced cyclocross at that race but not against each other. Living miles and miles apart its hard to get together but social media has reconnected us. Recently Mark had a major health setback so I called him today. We discussed his challenges and future prognosis. While listening to Mark speak about the long hard road of recovery that he is on I started to think of the things we all take for granted. Walking into the store. Getting up and hopping in the shower. These things are easy, and never really thought about, until that moment comes when its a struggle to actually get up and out of bed without crutches. A new found realization crystallized and the focus became clear. Life is precious and it’s not guaranteed to anyone. Speaking with Mark today gave me pause. Pause to stop for a moment and be grateful for the the experiences I’ve had with people that aren’t my family. While we don’t see each other too often, but we still keep up with each other online and through our mutual bicycle passion, shows that life doesn’t wait around for us, but rather, life gives us the opportunity to fill in the minutes and hours with conversation and mutual understanding. If you don’t take the time to reach out and chat with someone life has this brutal habit of removing that chance from ever happening again. So pick up that cellphone in your hand and use the phone feature once in a while. Dialing is easy enough, and that, is true friendship no matter how long it’s been since the last conversation.