- Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:53
The blog title today is a quote attributed to an ex-girlfriend of mine from many years past, in reference to fulfilling any latent desires. Today I revisit the notion as a culmination of a three week journey that began in the Amazon as an adventure/writing assignment, continued forward to a stay in the beautiful mountain city of Manizales, Colombia, and finally a week-long stay in Medellin where I played three restaurant gigs with a local band.
As I am on the cusp of collecting my first Social Security check next year, the thought to start this edition rings emphatically true. Last night in my hotel room I flipped on the TV and landed on a movie I first saw about 10 years ago. The protagonist of the film is Burt Munro, played brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins in “The World’s Fastest Indian.” Based on a true story, Munro was a man of 68 who refused to sit and decay his life away.
He broke the mold of beliefs about aging by setting the world’s land speed record with his aging motorcycle. An endearingly eccentric, cash strapped, but resourceful backyard mechanic, Munro tinkered in the garage with his 1920s contraption for several decades, improvising mechanical parts as he steadily upgraded his “sickle” to a culminating triumph on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah in 1967.
His simple, steadfast, and single-minded determination enrolled others in his adventure that took him from his modest rural home in New Zealand half way around the world to America. Upon arrival at “Speedweek” in the Nevada Salt Flats, he was initially turned away because he didn’t pre-register; then, rejected when his bike and protective gear didn’t pass inspection. However, his charm and resolve inspired the officials to tinker with the rules, and the rest is history as he blew away the sleek contemporary competltion.
Munro had a sense of urgency that I can relate to. My sense of adventure had subsided in my 30s and 40s. Now almost 61, adventure has reincarnated as my experience heightens for how rapidly life speeds by, as if I was riding Burt Munro’s motorcycle.
QUIRKY QUOTES ABOUT AGING
“I’m not as old as I used to be.” Terry Braverman
“At my age, I get standing ovations for just standing.” George Burns
“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” Kurt Vonnegut
"A midlife crisis is that moment when you realize your children and your clothes are about the same age." Bill Tammeus
“You know you’re getting old, when you walk past a cemetery, and two guys chase you down the street with shovels.” Rodney Dangerfield