dwrigsby

Live Out Your Story

Category: Live out Your Story

Living a Happier Life as a Pirate

happier-life

You want to be happier? Maybe even content? How about feeling an abundance of joy?

I know, I know. You say you can’t but it’s not true. You see that picture of me, and my wife. Do we look happy? Are we smiling? Of course we are – we are having a blast! We just finished running a 5K Pirate run with about a hundred or more other people. We didn’t take first place, we didn’t take second place, we didn’t even get close to third place but we are happy. We are having a great time.

So you want to be happier? The first thing I’m going to tell you is to get out, and start doing something. Anything! Stop sitting around your television. Stop sticking your nose into your mobile phone for crying out loud. Get a life will you! Don’t get upset with me. I use my phone too, but it’s not my life, this website is not my life, writing books and trying to sell those on Amazon is not my life, and my work is not my life.

Life is what you make it.

I recall my wife and I sitting around and being bored. Yes, bored people are dumb people. We do the same thing over and over and we expect a different result. Our conversations would start like this:

“So what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know. ” There would be a short pause. “Want to go to the movies?”

“No.”

Followed by another short pause.

“Want do go out to eat?”

“No.”

Then there’s a longer pause as we try to figure out what can we do until one of us comes up  with an idea.

“Want to watch American Ninja Warrior?”

“Sure.”

By the way we love American Ninja Warrior, but that’s not my point.

That’s basically how things went. Our bored lives were uneventful lives. The “I don’t know? What do you want to do routine”, drove me mad. Years, and years of this back and forth. It was draining. On top of that doing weekly repeats of the movies or to grab a bite to eat lost its appeal. So, what did we do differently? Did we suddenly become pirates?

I decided to go hiking one day. I was hiking nearly everyday for several months. I decided to get out and walk the trails at the nearby state park. I bought a pass so I wouldn’t’ have to pay $5 bucks each time I entered the park. I got a veteran’s discount too…cool.  I didn’t know why I needed this and I didn’t see what was coming next. I just got off my ass and said to myself “put down the work, put down the writing, and go for a hike.” And I did.

I made myself do it. I didn’t degrade myself, I didn’t demean myself at all. I just told myself to go and do it. Get out. Get some air. Walk. Do something outside of your work, your house, the television, the phone, that freaking social media site that sucks the life out of you ever second you check the dam thing. Just get out. There’s life. It’s out there. Go and find it.

The remarkable thing that happened after I had been walking, and hiking on my own for a while was my wife started to join me. My sons, started to join me. We were hiking together after school, after work, and always when the sun was lower because let’s face it , it’s freaking hot in Florida in the summer, and the spring, and the fall. Hell even our winters can be hot sometimes. They call it the sunshine state for a reason.

After we had been hiking for a month or so, Lydia, my wife, had decided to sign up to run a half marathon at Disney World. I wrote about it in another blog. We started to run together, and we built up our stamina and now we run a 5K every weekend. We have a group we ran with this last nine weeks, training together. It’s really a lot of fun, you start to run into the same people, and even get to know a few folks. We cheer each other on, we clap, we yell, we have a great time.

I’m sure some people at the Pirate run were wondering who I was when I ran by them in my pirate outfit holding up a gold coin and saying “I’m running for me goooold”.

If they read this blog, they’ll know.

The Pirate run was just pure fun. It was better then going to the movies, better then going out to eat. The people we’ve spent time with the past nine weeks has been great. I can also say that the food at the end of the run was the best food I’d had in a while – it almost always is when you’re sweaty, tired, and hungry.

So, now you it’s your turn. Get out and start living a happier life as a pirate! Arrr!

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

MacGyver Mode – What did I use this for?

MacGyver

Before bike week in Daytona, my motorcycle was giving me some issues. Basically, it wouldn’t start. Every time I would turn the ignition it would sputter, start, but when I increased the throttle it would choke out.  Something was wrong – and so I started with the carburetor.  I did some research and found the problem might be the pilot jet. It’s job is to feed fuel to the engine, just enough, so when you give it more throttle the main jet takes over without choking out the engine.

I pulled the pilot jet out of the carburetor. It was clogged. When you hold the pilot jet pin up against light, you are supposed to see that light come through. It wasn’t. I cleaned the pin with a cleaner, and a small needle. Once the eyelet was cleared, I put the pilot jet back into the carburetor, and closed it back up.  When I went to start the engine it roared.

This past weekend I decided to jump on my KLR-650 Enduro, and take a ride to the rear entrance of Lake Louisa State Park.  It hummed right along just fine. I parked in the dirt lot, no one else around. Some walkers, joggers came through doing an event – looked like the last leg of it and the last of them.  I locked up my gear, and went for a hike.

I was chugging along on the sand path just taking in the beauty of nature and feeling the very hot sun above. I’d brought with me two Dansani bottles of water, some almonds, a book, my phone, and IPod.  Along the way I got to talk for a while with my life long friend Chris from Ohio on the phone.  Time passed and I was close to being on the trail for two or more hours. I decided to turn back not knowing if I could circle around and from the looks on my GPS, I couldn’t.  So, I hiked back, slow, steady, and a little tired.

When I finally got back to my motorcycle I was beat, hungry and thirsty. I had drank all my water, and ate all my almonds. It was time to go. I suited up, started the motorcycle and shifted it into first gear.  I went forward through some dirt, but it ended up being more like mud. My rear tire sank and I gunned it to get out.  Wet dirt flung out from the rear, and I weaved and spun my way out of the rut and onto the dirt road. Suddenly the engine stalled. Strong scent of gas fumes filled the air. At first I thought maybe I busted a line. Then I thought about where my fuel line runs and it didn’t make sense to me. I tried to start the engine and it all but sputtered. It started a few times, but quickly died again once I hit the throttle. I was stranded.

Three young ladies in their twenties, wearing bikinis had come walking down the wooden bridge that leads from beach on the lake to the where I was.  One asked me if they needed to call 911. I sort of chuckled to myself as I didn’t feel I was in any immediate danger. I quickly thanked her, then stated I had AAA and would call them if I couldn’t get the motorcycle running.

As I worked on the motorcycle the ladies asked me if I knew what was wrong. I told them I thought it was the pilot jet – that it was probably clogged again and that I had taken the carburetor apart and cleaned it about a month ago. They seemed a bit perplexed and started to make jokes.

“How about just turn it off and back on,” one of them said.

“Yeah, I wish I could just reboot it. That would be great wouldn’t it,” I said.

“Maybe you can format the drive,” another said.

“Yeah, I don’t think that works on this model,” I said.

I think they were just trying to lighten things up making silly references to their phones, and computers.

I told them if I had the right tools with me, I could take the carburetor apart and see if the issue was the pilot jet and if so, I could clean it and get the motorcycle up and going.

The three ladies left eventually and I finally gave up on trying to start my motorcycle. I reluctantly called AAA.

“Hello, how may I help you,” a lady from AAA said.

“Hmm, my motorcycle is broke down. I need someone to come and tow it back to my house,” I said.

The AAA folks put me in touch with their dispatcher group, because my coverage only was for my cars. They said they’d call back in about 45 minutes.

I hung up the phone, which was setting at 25% power now and sat down. I thought for a moment – “forty five minutes. I can either wait or I can try and fix my engine with the tools I had on hand.”  I had already done an inventory but I decided to have another go at it.

I got up – walked over to an outside water spicket that was above my shoulders. Turned the water on and rinsed my hair, and face to cool off. I dried my hands on my shirt, and went back to the motorcycle.

I opened the back case on the rear of the motorcycle, and began to sort through it. I had a Philip screwdriver, a pair of  pliers, but I was certain I needed a flat head screwdriver. Oh, well – I’ll first see if I can get the bottom plate off the carburetor and then deal with the issue needing a flat head.

I used the Philips head screwdriver, loosened the clamps on the intake., took off the throttle cable, and then twisted the carburetor towards me.  I had replaced my Phillip screw heads in the carburetor previously with hex heads, because the cross heads had stripped on me and I had to drill them out.  Now with these hex heads in place, I took the pliers, clamped down on the heads one at time and worked them all off slowly.  I finally got all four of them, but it was not as easy as it could have been with a socket wrench.

I pulled the bottom plate off and there in the bottom of the carburetor was my pilot jet pin.  Now it all made sense.  Somehow when I was in that rut, coming up out of it, the pin finally vibrated completely loose and fell out.  I took the pin, held it up to the sun and could see the light shining through the pin hole. That was a good sign. Apparently when I put the pilot jet back in after cleaning it a month ago, I had backed it out too far.  You are supposed to tighten it down all the way, then back it off one and half turns.

So now is the fun part of it all. AAA still has not called me, and I’m thinking if I had a flat head screwdriver I could fix this and be on my way. I called my brother. left a message and hoped he would call back and bring one to me.

But I didn’t wait. I went into MacGyver mode.  MacGyver is an old 80’s TV show where Angus MacGyver can get out of anything with  a Swiss Army Knife, a paper clip and duct tape.

I searched my case again, looking for anything I could use to manufacture a flat head screwdriver. Then it popped into my head. My knife. I could use it. I took out my pocket knife, inserted the pin into the carburetor and tried to use the knife to feed it back in, but it was no use. The knife was too large to go into the small cylinder the pilot jet had to go into.   So, I searched again for something to use.

I found my air gauge, and on the side of it is a clip. I took the clip off, then using my knife bent the tip some, then used my pliers to flatten it out. And would you know, I had a flat head.

I took the clip, fed the pin up into the carburetor and used the clip to tighten it all the way down, then I backed it off one and half turns.

I was so excited now. I checked my phone and there were no missed calls.

I buttoned up the carburetor and started the engine. VAAAOOOMMMM. It revived up. Now I was in business.

My back ached, my legs were sore, I was overheated, hungry and ready to get home. My brother called – he could hear the engine in the background.  I told him I was headed home and if I had any troubles I’d call him back.

I suited back up. Got onto the motorcycle, put it in gear and was waiting for it die on me, but it didn’t. I rode all the way home with no issues. Hurray!!

As soon as I got into the house, I went to the fridge cracked open a bottle of Angry Orchid Hard Cider and took a drink. It was so sweet, and perfect at that moment.

When I got home I had found my sister was trying to find me, my mom was worried about me, and that my brother was playing tricks saying I was lost in the woods, and Bigfoot was going to get me. lol.  Haha brother.

I realized a few things. Trying things on your own, even if you fail can help you later when you have an issue.  Also that without adversity, or struggle, the good things in life don’t seem as great. But when you have struggles and then those good things show up, like knowing people love you and want you to be safe, or the sweet taste of a hard cider just seems well, better.

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

 

Journal Entry 03232015 – LOYS

Fear

Everything we do begins in our mind.  Whether we like it or not. The mind is a powerful instrument and it can derail us if we let it. Have you ever had that same ole embarrassing scene playing in your head like a broken record?

Your office has an offsite event and everyone is showing up, to include all the managers. It’s going to be at Epcot, one of those cultural restaurants exotic cuisine.  You put on your best attire, as you want to impress. You have on  your wing tipped black shoes, your charcoal suite and a deep blue dress shirt. Of course it’s between 85-90 degrees outside but you go with it.

As you take the elevator down to the lobby and step out of the sliding doors, you feel good about yourself, but then you notice everyone is dressed in shorts, hats, sunglasses, even though the sun is going down, and some are even sporting Hawaiian shirts. You think to go and change because you are one of the few that live in Florida and have a wardrobe that fits quite well – the Hawaiian shirt, the Khaki shorts, your Birkenstocks, but it’s too late. Everyone coming out of the hotel are piling onto the buses to go to Epcot.

Of course you feel out of place and there’s nothing to be done but to try your best to enjoy the evening. As you step onto the bus and sit down next to your colleague, you get a strange look. You know it’s how you dressed but you try and keep your composure, but then fall into the trap of making excuses. “I thought we were supposed to dress up since it’s a dinner with the managers.” But none of the managers are dressed up. They’ve got ball caps on, t-shirts, shorts and look very comfortable.

After the dinner is over you go back to your hotel room, get undressed as quickly as possible to try distance yourself from the embarrassment of being overly dressed but it doesn’t go away. So for now on you play that same ole scene over and over again, ridiculing yourself. It’s this broken record that at times runs on and on without us even knowing. You’ll catch yourself playing it though you probably will not stop it, you’ll just go along with it.

It’s these thoughts that cripple us. Over and over we play the same scenes, the ones were we messed up, the ones where we made a fool of ourselves or the ones where we hurt someone else’s feelings. These thoughts keep you from growing and will keep you from Living Out Your Story – LOYS. You may think that last part is over-the-top.  Think about it. Is it really?

I’m on a journey. Today I’ve put all those negative thoughts on hold so I can focus on Living Out My Story – LOYS. I’m writing an epic science fiction called Tokus Numas. I plan to blog about my journey, to share with you how I’m learning to Live Out My Story. I hope this helps you to see who I am, to connect, and to maybe draw inspiration for your own story.

My journey is this – to write my book Tokus Numas. Each day I must fend off negative thought. Each day I must remind myself to carry forward. Each day I must visualize and realize the path that lay ahead. Each day I must take action towards my goal. Each day I will focus my energy while trying to keep balance in my daily life. Each day I will thank God.

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

Image Credit: Corona of the Sun during a Solar Eclipse by Smithsonian Institution

Copyright ©2015 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

Live out Your Story

 

Story

Ever wonder why so many of us go through life with disappointment?  I do, often.

I myself have been disappointed several times over.  I figured out how to move forward and stop living out a story that wasn’t mine.

There are two people who have swayed my outlook on life itself – John Eldredge and Earl Nightingale.

There is a common theme these two men possess, they both realize they must find the story they are in and what they must do to live it out.  They take different approaches, use different words to convey the idea but it’s there.

Earl talks about planting a seed in your mind, nurturing it, tending to it and letting it grow until the results are visible.

John talks about the heart, finding out what has been written on your heart and living by it.

Mind and heart, two different approaches, similar ideas but I know they both work together.

You must know what is on the heart to begin to live out your story, then plant it in the mind and tend it by taking actions to move you along until you see the results.  Both men are profound in how they approach life and both have done what they set out to do.  It shows in their lives, the results are there for millions to see.

So, why aren’t you living out your story?

I like to inspire others to see things in a different light through my writing and maybe this story of how I’m trying to live out my story will inspire someone too.

I have no magic to offer, no pill to swallow, no steps to get you to where you are going.

All I know is that I’m taking steps in my own story. I know that writing is on my heart which was the first step and it took me a  year to find this first step.  My next step was to write – I’m going on seven years now and I’m just beginning to break the surface.  Imagine being on the road for 7 years before finally reaching your destination only to find out there is more road ahead.

That is where I am.

So I tell you “Live out Your Story” as the road you travel is a unique experience only you can have.

Image credit: Story Road by umjanedoan

 

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

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