I am gonna live life to the fullest! What can I do different today? What is something new I can try? Sometimes thoughts fall by the wayside because going through the motions of life cause you to press pause on the soundtrack of thought. We don’t bother to think about it because we’re facing depression, stress, or some other pointless mental feeling. Then, every once in a while, life gets put into perspective very quickly.
This happened to me over the last week. My world got turned upside down. I had plans to visit Arkansas over the weekend. You’re probably be thinking to yourself, ‘Why? WTF is in Arkansas besides razorbacks and flyover country?’
I had a friend who Iived life in the fast lane and never had a boring moment. He called me one day saying, “I bought into this RV-4 stunt plane. Do you want to come flying?” Without hesitation, I said “YES!” We set a date, but he wanted to make sure his flying technique was “tight.” He already was an accomplished C-130 pilot instructor with thousands of logged flight hours. Not being used to a maneuverable aircraft was his assumed downfall. On his first solo flight, he perished.
He has always wanted to go out having fun, which is a similar mentality to action sports athlete #199, Travis Pastrana. Travis is a world-renowned motocross rider, professional risk taker, and co-founder of the Nitro Circus.
The circus was founded in 2003 by Travis and Gregg Godfrey. It’s not your typical circus filled with bearded ladies and elephants. It is a compilation of professional motocross, BMX (bicycle motocross), ski/snowboard, and other action sports athletes known for pushing the limits of risk-taking and breaking boundaries for innovation, adventure, and inspiration. Travis is the ringmaster.
The circus arrived in town Wednesday (October 3rd) at the Target Center as part of the “You Got This” tour. The high-flying action and energy never slowed. The show is based around a variety of typical moto freestyle jumps and two mega ramps similar to what you see at the X-Games, but the tricks are bigger, faster, and you’re closer to the action.
The vehicle of transportation is endless. Nothing is off limits and the rule is “ if you drive it in, you have to jump it.” In a normal competition, you may see one or two big tricks. Not here. Each jam session will have you screaming to the point of exhaustion.
So much so that some people left early because they got tired of watching quadruple tail whips and triple backflips, each revolutionizing the mind by cabbashing barriers.
No one did it more for me than Bruce Cook. He is a motocross rider who, in 2014, went for the first ever double front flip in Hamilton, Ontario. The trick left him paralyzed. Less than 9 months later he was back riding a modified dirt bike, and, against all odds, setting the world record for being first paralyzed rider to backflip a motorcycle. There is no limit at the Nitro Circus.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote it best: “Life don’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints, it takes and it takes, and it takes. And we keep lovin anyway.” This is how the crew of the circus does it for their late friend Eric Roner, by sharing the moments using #livelikeroner. I personally will continue to live life at speed because no day is guaranteed. I will continue to rock out to the soundtrack of life and avoid hitting pause.