The number 13 really does get a bad rap, doesn’t it?
For me personally, the past year alone did have a lot dark times spread about throughout it, in and out of motorcycling. My motorcycling world was rocked by two personal street accidents on my bike – the most I’ve had to date on public streets in a single year – mixed with tragedies striking personal riding idols from the local scene, right up to the international level that in some fashion have affected me as a rider. But you know what, I refuse to think of 2013 as a bad year for motorcycling – I just can’t be all mad when the bad was simply packaged with the good. I feel as if I was simply being tested in every level, to see if I still had the resolve to continue in something that has always consumed me.
What 2013 became for me then, is pivotal.
I saw respected riders I know at a personal level and even icons I admire as a fan, be severely marred or lose their life from the very sport that we all have been so equally passionate about. Twice I found myself suffering the consequences of mistakes that may or may not be my doing, from something as little as an ill-placed rock on a road I frequent, or a car that failed to see me in one of my many morning commutes to work I do on my bike.
But all of these were simply lessons for me to learn, which if learned then makes them invaluable lessons. To be reminded of my mortality and fragility in a sport that otherwise makes me feel like nothing can trouble me is what ensures longevity. And I’ve long realized that I am in this for the long run.
I probably could’ve done without these trials – these tribulations that as a sport rider saw me hit the deck more than once, both emotionally and physically speaking, yet all equally taxing to my spirit. But the way I see it, I went toe-to-toe with 2013 for twelve full rounds, and while the year dealt some direct and heavy blows, I’m still standing, still here. Meanwhile, the year 2013 had to bow out, and exit the ring. Therefore, I win.
So as we should do on the road when changing lanes, a look over the shoulder is what I am giving the year of 2013. Because though it’s now passed, I need to be mindful of what I am moving on from to make sure nothing surprises me from behind, before I turn my head forward to focus on what’s laying ahead of me.
Bring it, Twenty Fourteen.