A man wearing an "Indian Motorcycle" hate smiles with an epic view of Lake Louise behind him
"The message I want to convey along the way is one of hope."Image by: Aubhro Ghosh
A man wearing an "Indian Motorcycle" hate smiles with an epic view of Lake Louise behind him
A motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats
A motorcycle sits with an epic view of forest and mountains behind it
6 November 2023

Mo Your Own Way Inspiration with a coast-to-coast motorcycle ride

4 minutes read time

Doing it for men’s mental health

I did a coast-to-coast ride back in July for a pediatric brain tumor foundation. It was my second year doing it. The people I encountered along the way are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. It felt so good to give back, like on a molecular level, it felt good. At the end, I knew I wanted to do another ride, but for what cause? I wanted to do it for something that was close to my heart. The one thing that popped into my head was men’s mental health, because no one talks about it. I don’t quite know what it is – if we just don’t tend to open up, or if we don’t want to listen fully – but I’ve face it my whole life.

Getting through dark days together

I grew up with ADHD as a kid, which made it difficult for me to focus on school. By the time I got to senior year in high school, it had gotten pretty bad, and I ended up having to repeat my final year. This was a big setback for me at that point in my life. I felt like a failure, like Iife was gonna leave me behind, like all my friends were gonna leave me behind, and I was really depressed. It got to the point when I felt ready to end it.

That’s when my dad really showed up. He somehow evolved from being a dad to being a best friend. He said, “I’ll help you and I’ll fight with you, if you just decide to stay.” I was so lucky to have a dad as awesome as mine – to me he’s the greatest dad in the world – so, I want to use my voice to do for others what he did for me. When I’ve turned to other men for support – like during a bout of depression following my divorce -- the advice I’ve gotten was, “Move on. Man up.” “Don’t you think I’m trying?” is what I would think when I heard this. And therapy didn’t quite work for me. But what did work? Motorcycling. Motorcycling helped me through it.

Motorcycling as therapy

Back in my high school days, when I had thoughts of suicide, my escape from reality would be in my head. I would daydream that there’s going to be a day in my life, when I’m on a bike – all I see is open roads, valleys, and no one’s going to be bothering me and nothing’s going to bring me down. I’m just going to be riding.

Little did I know that in 20 years, I’d be riding coast-to-coast. Motorcycling has helped me to deal with many different difficulties in my life. Why? The answer is simple: mindfulness. When I’m riding my bike, I feel free from the past, free from the future, and am just present in the moment, free. They don’t call it wind therapy for nothing.

Coast-to-coast for Movember

Long distance riding is amazing. I love seeing the country, meeting new people, telling stories, hearing stories, and spreading the word. It’s just a journey of introspection and self-growth. For this Movember ride, I’m riding from North Carolina to California and back, 7,000 miles in 16 days – hitting 15 states, and stopping through Movember HQ, Joshua Tree, Death Valley part of the historic US Route 66 and many more along the way.

The message I want to convey along the way is one of hope. But we have to start talking about it. It doesn’t have to be on social media or with hundreds of people, just start talking about it with someone. I know it’s not easy – if you had asked me a year ago to share my story – I’m not sure I would have been able to. But what I know now is, the more we share, the more we can connect to other people. These connections can be life-changing. It’s a challenge, but let’s face it together.

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