On my dad’s 70th birthday he could proudly say he held two national records for a 1968 Kawasaki at Bonneville Salt Flats motorcycle speed trials. And the next year he went back and got two more, hitting almost 100mph. Because of his wild idea to race at the Salt Flats, he gave me the inspiration to also follow my dreams.
After my mom and dad had watched the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian”, my father got it in his head that he too could race at speed week. If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s an amazing story about a man with a dream. It’s the story of a New Zealander named Burt Munro who raced his home-built 1920 Indian motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1968. Burt was 68 years old when he set his record, which still stands to this day.
My father, being the man he is, never had a doubt he could race his motorcycle at 70. His own words were, “If you’re physically capable to ride a motorcycle you can do it”. I asked him if he worried he would fail? He responded, “Well if you fail, then you just discovered one more way that doesn’t work and you try again”. There are times I wish I was more like my dad in that respect. He thinks of things very factually, those lying fears most of us have don’t even seem to cross his mind. It’s because of that mentality that I was able to reach for my dreams at the age of 40. Imagine what we could do if we were all a little more like my dad?
We all know that it’s important for young boys to have a strong fatherly role model in the home, but what about little girls? I can say with complete confidence that yes, little girls need a strong man to look up to.
I’ve always said my dad should have been born in a different time. He is more like a dad from the 50’s. No, not like a saccharine sweet goody, goody dad’s from the sitcoms. More like the strong, moral, hard-working dads who came home from a hard days work to sit down to a home-cooked meal around the table with their family. And my dad always made sure we did sit around the table as a family for dinner. He was a pretty quiet guy, so when he did talk it always had more impact.
My father always helped me with school projects and homework. But he wouldn’t just give me the answers, which frustrated me to no end! He always gave me the tools to figure it out on my own, maybe that’s why I’m so good at research now. Dad wanted us kids, to learn for ourselves, but he was always there to help if we were really stuck. Because of this, I was always trying to make my dad proud of me. Not in a seeking of approval kind of way, more like, “see you helped me do this”!
As a little girl, it is vital to see a good example of how your father treats the women in his life. Having a dad like mine helped me to seek out better characteristics for the man I wanted to marry. And in a lot of ways Aaron has some of my dad’s strongest personality traits; hardworking, loving, and a good provider.
I was the first girl born in my family on both sides, even among my cousins. So that is kinda special. I think that’s why I was kinda a daddy’s girl. He never treated me like I was less capable than the boys. My dad always told me if I worked hard enough I could do anything I wanted. But he always expected me to act like a lady. At times I’m sure I drove him crazy, what with my ability to rush head first into whatever I was doing. One of the things he always said to me was, “Slow down”! Mostly because I had a habit of not thinking before acting. That’s why today one of my favorite bible verses is “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14”.
I guess my need to make my dad proud was what has driven me to try so many things. It’s not that I wasn’t afraid of failure, but more that I knew I was always trying to better myself. And if I was trying to better myself, that’s still a good thing. My failures may have been painful at the time, but they just pushed me to try harder the next.
So when my father successfully achieved a national record for racing his motorcycle at an age when most men start slowing down, it made me realize it’s never too late to try new things. I have always wanted to make writing a career, ever since I was a teen writing sappy poetry. But I honestly thought the only way you could make a reasonable living at it was to teach. And I really didn’t see myself as a teacher. So I just put that dream on the back burner and forgot about it.
It wasn’t until my father came back from the desert, a record holder, that I revisited the idea of writing for a living. My dad went after what he desired and didn’t even have a doubt, so why couldn’t I do the same? That was when I discovered blogging. I mean I have always known about blogging, but now I can actually see a future for myself in writing. And every day I love it even more. What’s really awesome is guess who stands behind me 100%? My Dad.
My Dad continues to inspire me every day to not give up on my dreams. The only failure in life is when you don’t even try. Hopefully, you can be inspired by his example and follow a dream you’ve been putting off for whatever lame reason. Cause let’s be honest the only type of excuses out there are lame ones.
If your father is like mine, or you have a male role model in your life who has inspired you, this Father’s Day let them know how much you appreciate them. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be Father’s Day, our good guys need to know that we appreciate what they do.
The men in our lives really need to know how amazing they are, especially with the culture we live in today.
The photo of my father at sunrise on the Salt Flats was taken by John Kennedy of Shot by JFK. You can find his work on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/SHOT-by-JFK-661781397250780/
Scooter Grubbs took the photo of my father racing in 2017. You can find his work at https://www.scootershoots.com/BUBMotorcycleSpeedTrials/2017-Bonneville-Motorcycle-Speed-Trials/i-Qxk4Cfv