Let’s be honest: I was in some need of some serious motivation to get back on the road again yesterday. The feeling I had was the same one I had at mile 10 during the half-marathon – the “there’s no way I can make it for another 3 miles” feeling, but instead it was the “there’s no way I can make it for another 3,000 miles” feeling. Between the crap, car accidents, and crazies of the past week, I was not especially anxious to leave my locked hotel room.
So I channeled Vince Lombardi. Whenever I’m in need of a get-your-rear-in-gear pep talk I look no further than Coach. In no uncertain terms, he told me the following:
“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in awhile…you do them right all the time.”
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
So I hit the road. (Not without the recollection of road-memories-past, since I wince every time I look at the van now. It’s not unlike the seeing other half of Harvey Dent’s face at the end of The Dark Knight. One side looks great; the other is scraped bare to the bone.) I went to Whole Foods, fueled myself on a great lunch, and sought out even more inspiration from a slightly different but equally reliable source: the Bible.
All of this motivation and inspiration came in handy when I hit the main highways of Dallas. I’ve driven in my fair share of populated cities: Boston, Chicago, San Diego, and the queen of them all, New York City, among others. I’m the first to admit that I’m not a seasoned city driver, but so far I’ve held my own reasonably well.
However, none of the places I’ve been can hold a candle to Dallas, a city in a state where I’ve already been involved in one accident and feared I would be involved in several others by day’s end. The lack of a right side mirror hindered me. The fact that I was taking turn by turn directions from my errant cell phone caused my life to flash before my eyes several times. I don’t know where all of Dallas is heading, but they are getting there in record time.
When I arrived at the farm I was immediately whisked away to a dinner adventure with Marie, the sole owner, manager, and worker on the farm. On the way we picked up Susan, a local beekeeper. We went to visit Susan’s hives on the top of a hotel in Dallas and to a restaurant that supports both farms. The chef had us stay for dinner and sent out all of the house specials – goat cheese deviled eggs, portabello fries, southern fried okra salad (the words fried and salad could only be combined in Texas), lobster BLT’s, and a double decker dessert – half peach cobbler, half chocolate bomb. It was amazing.
Later that night when we returned I was introduced to my sleeping quarters, located in a rustic private house next door to the farmhouse. It was at this time that I was also introduced to Texas water bugs, which are essentially cockroaches on steroids.
And now I’m channeling memories of Thailand. And the Orkin Man.