the car junkie daily magazine.


Barnstormin’: Men of Action

Barnstormin’: Men of Action

If the wacky events of last week have showed me anything it’s that the collective populace at this site are a group of  doers. Case in point is this trans-continental towing relay to bring DF’s bizarre-world, dirt-track-racer AMC Javelin all the way from Los Angeles back to my place in Boston so that myself and a couple of the guys can try to get it up fitted to go ice racing in the near future.

Triggered by a simple comment, the wheels were set in motion and within two days a group of guys had stepped forth to volunteer their trucks, trailers, and time to move the car over one of several legs across the country. While verifying our mutual insanity, it is also the sign of just how great this hobby is, and our group in particular.

Doers are fun people to be around. In my life I have been lucky enough to know and learn from several, my dad being the first and closest influence on taking action if the situation warrants it.

When I was a kid playing soccer and the league wasn’t running all that well, he was voted president and straightened the deal up. Growing up seeing his commitment to running a successful small business and about a zillion other things cemented my outlook on a many things in this world. He is a “you can do anything if you put your mind to it” type of guy and he may have been regretting that when I pulled my band of merry men together in high school to construct our “race car” (I use that term loosely).

Another guy who had a fairly profound effect on me after spending some time with him was Keith Turk. Thank goodness that Turk uses his powers for good and not evil because under the right circumstances he could be a really effective cult leader. In his case, the list of things he has accomplished and the personal goals he has achieved serve as inspiration, but more importantly his ability, in the most sincere and low-key way, has a lasting effect. As crazy as it may sound, I actually run a mental “Turk test” on stuff that I want to do and think I can’t, and 95 percent of the time I analyze each hurdle and figure a way over, under, or around it.

Doers get crap from people because so many people are not doers. We’re forced to justify stuff that seems natural to us, but to them seems insane, not worth it, or just plain stupid. How often have you had a conversation with someone about a project, or trip, or anything that you’ve set your mind to accomplish, only to leave with frustration or questioning yourself spending too much time with a doubting Thomas. I feel badly for people who give up so easily on things. They’ll never know the feeling of accomplishing a long-term or seemingly impossible goal.

There will be many more people mystified as to why a band of guys would pull together to move a car between two people they (for the most part) have never met or been in direct communication with. I wish I could explain it in a way that makes sense to those people, because it makes perfect sense to me. I’d be driving the first leg if the car was headed East to West, as I know most of you would do the same thing if the car was leaving from your home town.

Being part of something larger than yourself gives us human beings feelings that I’m not smart or talented enough to summarize in written words. This whole “Red Ball Express” will be full of those feelings for the entire cadre of drivers pulling the car on their respective legs. Being counted on by others, or even having to count on your own self, is something we doers like. Lots of people shrink in the face of such situations but we rise to them and relish them.

Do yourself a favor. Write down the biggest craziest, stupidest, goal you can think of. Something that on its face is just so out of reach that you’d never be able to do it in a million years. Work backwards on how to get there and do it in baby steps. If you truly want it, you’ll find a way to make it happen. That sounds incredibly cheesy, but at the same time nothing is closer to the truth.

Sorry to get all sappy on you this week, but this Javelin deal has had me thinking a lot and it’s all good thoughts. I just wanted to share.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.

Ice-Race Javelin

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