“All of us have been dying, hour by hour, since the moment we were born. Realizing this, let all things be placed in their proper perspective. . . Remember, it is always later than you think.”
– Og Mandino
So there I was car surfing on my friends sweet maroon, Toyota Camry when it became imminently clear that I was about to wipe the eff out!!!
Okay, hold up! Let me back up a minute… it was Friday night and like most Friday nights back in the day, the four of us were starting the night out by “shoulder tapping!”
This, if you don’t know, is getting someone to buy your underage ass some beer before they head into the store. In our case, we were quite the alcoholics back then, so we were at the ABC store scoring a half-gallon of Jim Beam.
Our MO was to buy four 20 oz. bottles of Coke, dump out half or more of the soda and then refill them back up with good ol’ Kentucky Bourbon.
After which we would pound those back like the young drunkards we were.
Such was life in Fayetteville, North Carolina… which many locals simply refer to as “Fayettenam!” It is a military town after all – home to both Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base.
Sometime later, we’re driving around the neighborhood and heading to our rendezvous spot a.k.a. “the boat ramp” to meet up with some more friends.
To our surprise, they suddenly pulled up right behind us.
I began hanging out the window upon the realization that it was them. Hey, downing excessive amounts of bourbon in relatively short periods of time will make you do some strange stuff.
That’s when I got THE BRIGHT IDEA… “Surf’s up, dude!”
If you’ve ever seen the old movie “Teen Wolf” starring Michael J. Fox, then you know where this is headed. And naturally I blame this movie for everything that ensued that night! 😉
The bad thing was, I’m not Michael J. Fox and I definitely was not as cool as Teen Wolf! Haha… but I digress.
We were only going about thirty-five miles per hour, which doesn’t seem like very fast.
Even so, thirty-five miles per hour is fast enough when you’re standing on top of a moving car and definitely fast enough to get you killed if thrown from said car.
Since I grew up skateboarding, I had the balance (despite my inebriation) to pull it off pretty well. As I remember it, I was kicking some serious car surfing ass!
That was until my friend decided to join in on the fun by climbing out on the roof with me.
Let me put it this way: two drunk idiots on top of a car = not a good thing!
Heck, one sober idiot on top of a moving car is not a good thing! And thus this brings us back to where this post began…
“There I was car surfing on my friends sweet maroon, Toyota Camry when it became imminently clear that I was about to wipe the eff out!!!”
Luckily for me, I knew that it was coming, as my downed knee slipped closer and closer to the edge of the roof.
I just couldn’t hold my friend up any longer as he stood open armed to the air like it was a scene from the frickin’ Titanic or something.
“I’m the king of the world!” – He might as well have said it! 😛
Unfortunately, his weight and the wind resistance pushing him back into me was more than I could handle and he wasn’t responding to my panicked warning cries!
Finally it was every man for himself and I went into self-preservation mode as we plummeted from the top of the vehicle.
At that moment, I could hear that silly Beach Boys song echoing into the night… ‘Wa, wa, wa, wipeout!’
Again, luckily for me I was wearing a leather biker’s jacket! My friend, on the other hand, was in a thin T-shirt. His new nick name for the next month would appropriately become “Road Rash!”
As I hit the asphalt, my head smacked hard against the road and I tumbled down the street over and over. Finally, coming to a stop, I got up… walked across the street mumbling and crying and then collapsed to the ground in pain.
Dazed and confused from the head trauma, I asked my friends if I was okay or if they thought I needed to go to the hospital.
In spite of the blood oozing from the chunk of my now missing scalp, they concluded that I’d be alright.
It made complete sense at the time, as I was in no mood for spending the rest of the night in the ER. Besides dealing with all that would entail by following that course of action seemed rather unpleasant.
I seriously wish that was the end of the craziness that was that night, but sadly our evening was just beginning!
This little stunt would be followed by a brief encounter with the police, a bloody gas station sink, a parking lot throw down, my friend’s mom as sit in nurse, and concluded with an impromptu church attendance the following morning… to thank the lord for my improbable survival!
I wasn’t always this classy! 🙂
The Moral of the Story…
Looking back through the eyes of my now wiser more enlightened self… car surfing was an unnecessary risk that could have led to the early demise of both me and my friend; and for what… a few, short-lived moments of fun.
Car surfing was stupid and irresponsible! Not to mention our infraction of several other laws such as underage drinking, driving and fighting.
“Let me be very clear that in NO WAY do I condone or recommend car surfing… or any of the other insanity that went down that night!”
I used to do some crazy, stupid shit! Even though I’ve personally gotten a lot smarter, I’ve since learned that many kids are still being severely injured and even killed by car surfing every year.
It has actually become a “cool” trend among thrill-seeking teenagers and a serious problem that is on the rise. Some kids even post their stuff on Youtube for their fifteen minutes of fame.
In all honesty, the main reason for telling this story was to get a laugh out of you at my expense! Then segue into a more inspirational and motivational crescendo about being willing to take some risks in life!
Another crucial incentive, however, was to bring some awareness to the dangers of car surfing (if they’re not apparently obvious.)
“If sharing my epic fail can prevent just one young person from getting hurt or killed unnecessarily, then it was more than worth the effort of writing it all down.”
Now I’m not sure how many teenagers are reading this blog, so I leave it up to the reader whether they choose to discuss this topic with any of the cool kids in their lives.
Even though car surfing is fearless… it just isn’t worth the risk, man! Trust me.
Now on to the Cool, Epic Shit!
So hopefully I’ve made it clear that car surfing is “crazy, stupid shit” and NOT the type of “cool, epic shit” that I hope to encourage you to partake in with the rest of this article!
I took a risk that day and by chance lived with merely some scrapes, bruises and a big gash in my head (slightly revealing some skull) … and I’d be lying if I didn’t say a funny story to tell about it!
I guess I was lucky and at least smart enough to learn my lesson. The only surfing I’ve done since then… has been at the beach!
I don’t necessarily regret it at all, yet if given the chance I’d most assuredly make some smarter choices.
Unquestionably, if my friend or I would have died from the fall, I would be singing a different tune altogether.
“On your death bed, you won’t regret the things that you did… only the things that you didn’t do!”
Now this doesn’t mean throw all caution to the wind or put your life on the line like I did… I’m not encouraging you to risk your life here.
There’s nothing wrong with being bold and living a little dangerously!
As long as you truly understand the consequences of your actions and are willing to accept those risks.
Think skydiving, riding a motorcycle, climbing a mountain, race car driving or any other extreme sport or activity where death is a real possibility!
If you die doing something that you love, who’s to say that’s wrong? Death isn’t to be feared!
“A warrior accepts that death is an inevitable part of being born. He is not foolishly seeking it, yet he is not afraid to die.”
You also have to realize that your death could come at any time. You could be killed driving to work or as in the case of 9/11… simply showing up to work!
Besides, one can take a few intelligent precautions to lower the risk of these activities like getting the proper training, using the appropriate gear and equipment and continuing to develop your skill and proficiency.
I’ve learned that a little common sense goes a long way!
For example, this past summer I took the Basic Riders Course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation before hopping on my bike and heading out on the highway.
I also wear a full-faced helmet, a leather jacket, gloves, boots and Kevlar-lined riding pants.
Plus, I continue to practice the riding skills I’ve learned on an ongoing basis like scanning, cornering, swerving, quick stops and counter-steering.
Some people may think that’s “uncool”, but I like my skin and definitely don’t want to mess up my tats, son!
This doesn’t mean I’m bullet proof by any means. There’s still the probability that I could be killed riding my motorcycle. However, I’m not hanging it all out there either by riding wheelies down the interstate at 90 mph in shorts and a tank top.
“More specifically ‘doing some cool, epic shit’ means being willing to take some calculated risks in life, facing your fears and living your life to the fullest… before it’s too late!“
What terrifies me more than dying is playing it way too safe and never having really lived at all. Like William Wallace in Braveheart said;
“Every man dies, not every man really lives.”
The Life You Were Born to Live
Let me ask you something… person to person, heart to heart, soul to soul!
Are you living the life you were born to live?
Are you doing what you came here to do?
Are you completing your life’s mission and purpose?
Do even know what that is… for you?
Now a lot of people these days will tell you that this universe is one of chance and probability.
They’ll tell you that this is all some cosmic joke… an accident… and that we’re all just here to have our kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames. Alright!
And if that’s what they want to believe… well, then they are… all right! In the end, it’s our beliefs that shape our experience of reality.
They’re seeing things through the doors of their own perception!
Nothing against Jim… truth be told, I love The Door’s music and he expressed himself in a way that many of us are too afraid to do…
He called us all a bunch of slaves, trading our hours for a handful of dimes!
He became a legend and The Door’s music has inspired, entertained and impacted millions of people. Yet, when the music’s over he paid the ultimate price by not facing up to his demons!
We all have them and if we’re not careful they will take us down a dark, destructive path.
It doesn’t have to be that way or maybe it does… though I’ll tell you this… each of us makes our own choices in life! We choose what to believe, the actions we take and how we spend our time moment to moment.
The catch22 is we either choose this consciously or unconsciously.
“I choose to believe we manifested into this physical form to discover something, experience something, create something, change something, be something, and do something EPIC with our lives.”
What that epic something is… is up to you to figure out!
I propose that as an Awakened Warrior it should be something that’s going to benefit society and further our evolution of consciousness!
Why waste away in a cubicle, drinking cheap beer or watching mind-numbing TV day-in and day-out?
Nothing fundamentally wrong with any of those things… yet, I wouldn’t actually call them living epically!
When I look around, I see millions of people playing it too damn safe in life; unwilling to take any risks. Entire generations of sleepwalkers spending their whole lives seeking security above actually living an exciting, adventure of a life!
As Helen Keller reminds us, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
“We weren’t born on this planet to seek security, which is mostly an illusion anyway. We were born to live, laugh, love, grow, and evolve! Maybe that’s cliché… but WTF it’s true!”
And here’s the real kicker… despite my best efforts, somehow I had become one of them!
I never intended to become this corporate financial guy, stuck in an office all day, entering data into a computer and processing mutual fund trades for a living.
It’s not that I hate my job… this is the best job I’ve ever had! I’m very grateful for it and I have it pretty good too!
I work for a great company who treats their employees like a family and are very generous.
I owe a lot my current success to this firm and appreciate everything that they’ve done for me. We’re an impressive group of people who have come together as a team and are providing a valuable service to their clients and community.
In fact, I could work for this company my entire life and become even more successful in the process. So what the deal then?
The real issue, however, is that I am a creative, artistic person!
I feel most alive when I’m creating and expressing myself through music, writing, philosophy and ‘the art of expressing the human body’ through physical training and martial arts.
That’s what I feel called to do! That’s where my passions and my soul taunt me, beckon me and plead to be expressed.
Although I never really knew how to combine all of these things into an occupation where I could financially support myself.
I’ve tried and failed at my past attempts to do this and had to make a living somehow… The rock star thing sort of fell through the cracks, yo!
And so I find myself working for this awesome company, being successful and yet feeling unfulfilled at a deeper level of my being.
I fully accept where I am on my journey and realize there are lessons I’ve yet to learn.
I’m sure there’s thousands, if not millions of people out there who can relate to this and I know that I’m not alone.
One thing that differentiates me however, is that I’ve never given up!
I still sing, play my guitar and write songs, I still philosophize, I still train my body, mind and spirit and I’m obviously still writing as I type these words to you.
That’s why we’ve created this blog.
I believe this is the best medium through which I can create and express myself in a way that adds value back to society. It’s a way that I can share the hard lessons I’ve learned in the past and the ones I’ve yet to learn.
It’s a way to make a difference in the lives of other people!
It’s our way of doing something EPIC with our lives!
We have high hopes for this blog. We’ll do our best to create something that will benefit YOU and provide the method and means by which you can realize your ultimate potential in life.
We don’t want this for ourselves alone, We want this for you and anyone reading these words.
There are no limits, except for those we impose upon ourselves.
There are no constraints, except the shackles of our own fears, doubts and insecurities.
No matter what your current situation, no matter where you find yourself right now… you can continue to grow, evolve and live the life you were born to live!
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
– Eckhart Tolle
You’ve come to this site because you want to learn how to Unleash the Power of Your Ultimate Potential! There’s something deep within the hidden recesses of your own consciousness that is calling you to live at a higher capacity then you may be currently living.
It’s that same something that has inspired my brother and I to pour our hearts into this website. It’s that same something that inspires all of us to make our dreams a reality.
I don’t know what that is for you, but you do!
Maybe you can’t express it consciously yet, although it will become clear in time as you continue to follow your life’s journey and the Path of the Awakened Warriors.
You have the power to be, do and have anything you want in life!
You just need the courage, determination and strength to follow your heart’s calling and the wisdom, detachment and tranquility to embrace where you are now in it’s unfolding.
If we’re going to do some cool, epic shit with our lives… we can’t wait for it to happen, we have to make it happen.
Each of us has to begin somewhere and this moment is all that we’ll ever have!
The End… or Just the Beginning?
I know that this has been a long post and if you’ve made it all the way to the end, than I truly want to thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it’s inspired you, at least in some way, to live your dream and do something epic with your life!
“Our world is at a volatile place right now and we need everybody to step up and make a difference in whatever way they feel compelled.”
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this in the comment section below, so please feel free to leave us a comment.
As a bonus for making it to the end, I’d like to share an original song my brother and I wrote entitled “Ghosts in a Flame.”
You’re going to love my brother’s solo on this one!
Check it out and feel free to add it to your playlist.
Hope you enjoy it,
To download the mp3 file, click play and then right-click on “download mp3”, select “save link as” and choose where you want to save it.
[mp3-jplayer tracks=”Ghosts In A Flame@ghostinaflame.mp3″ dload=”y”]
Ghosts in a Flame
In essence, we walk like ghosts in a flame,
Like a face that I can’t recall.
Forever we are, forever we were,
All those things that they say we are.
Enlighten the way, through tears of deceit,
And remember just who we are.
And never succumb to the hate they may bring…
Don’t need that shit no more.
You know why? You know why!