It was more than a decade ago, but I remember it like it was last week. I was sitting on an old cement stoop chatting with my grandfather. It was a humid June day in upstate New York and I had just graduated college a week prior. With ice cold longnecks in hand we shot the shit about everything from the weather, to the Yankees, and those “goddman Dandelions” in the front lawn. My life was changing fast and I was looking for a little advice from the patriarch of the family. If there was one lesson that I learned growing up, it’s that these old timers know stuff. When they talk, you shut up and listen.
The conversation on that day shaped my life more than he ever realized. One particular piece of advice has stuck with me to this day:
Always work hard and be the best at what you do. But remember that no man on his death bed ever said “Damn, I wish I worked more overtime”. You could have all the money in the world but if you don’t have time to spend it on good food, good friends, and good travel… YOU ARE POOR
This advice has helped me appreciate the simplest things in life. Things like great old friends, new friends, and even people who I just met. That perfect tomato from a farm stand in summer or fresh ceviche on a beach in Mexico. The way dirt kicks up off of a brand new front tire or the way my old grips are worn in (not worn out) just right. Even the way sleeping in the dirt in the desert can be just as cool as passing out in a recliner in the middle of Vermont.
Dirtbag Fitz and Semi-Rad Brendan are a couple of talented guys who are pretty damn good at expressing this appreciation. This video they put together has very little to do with riding bikes, but everything to do with living life. It’s 5 minutes and 17 seconds of your life not wasted.
Damn, I’m feeling pretty rich right now.by