I went and did it again…
It’s kind of funny how social media has transformed information sharing and our lives. Even before The B.R.O.A.D. (TM) journey I used social media to organize and connect a community of motorcyclists in Illinois. I used social media for advertising my business, The Write Hand. And of course, I used social media to goof off with family and friends. We often hear, “How did we ever get along before computers?” Well, we did and life was good, but technology doesn’t stop so a great many of us joined the band of bloggers, Facebookers, Tweeters and the like.
During the original The B.R.O.A.D. (TM) journey my social media followers were all my family and friends. As folks began to share what I was doing with my life, the support grew considerably. It was super cool to get well wishes and notes of encouragement from folks around the world.
In an unfortunate turn of events my life changed dramatically just 6 months into The B.R.O.A.D. (TM) journey when I was hit head-on by a young man trying to pass a semi-truck in a deep curve. I only died for wee bit and though I lost part of my left leg, I can honestly say that if I had the choice of doing it again or keeping the leg; I’d do it all over again. After the crash the out-pouring of support went crazy on social media. Family and friends rallied together to support not only me but my son as well. Folks that loved me began a fundraiser which saved my butt during the early recovery period. Those funds were raised by folks known and unknown, by bikers and non-bikers. As you can imagine the folks that followed the journey grew immensely and during the recovery, the support never failed me.
During the recovery (which, recovery I use lightly, because it’s still not over) I began a series of videos with help from family. The series is on YouTube and called, “Doing It with The B.R.O.A.D.” That series shows everyday life missing a leg. This was before I was able to get a prosthetic so needless to say, things were very challenging and I was still learning how to cope.
Approximately 8 months from the time of the crash, I set off again to travel the country. I had to rebuild The Write Hand and I had to find another motorcycle. I lived in a 12′ x 7′ v-nose trailer converted by my Dad, my son, and me. I pulled it with a used pickup truck and set off for new adventures. Yes, I did find another Harley Davidson to suit me and took her along for the adventure. I was slowly beginning to feel like me again. That journey was physically, mentally, and financially exhausting. After 8 months I had sufficiently proved to myself that I could be happy again and continue my passion for riding motorcycles. All the while, social media followers laughed with me, prayed for me when I was struggling, and generally kept me company on the road. They learned a lot about what I have to go through as an amputee because I shared it all; the good, the bad, and the dorky. Folks would ask questions when they didn’t understand something specific and they gave me great kudos when I accomplished something cool. In an effort to begin a book, build up The Write Hand, and generally screw my head back on; I temporarily settled in the Nantahala National Forest – BUT – don’t think I sit still – the adventures and shenanigans keep going and I keep traveling (just not 24/7).
And so, much like the series, “Doing It with The B.R.O.A.D.“, I again thought that perhaps I could give back on a larger scale and take my life to a whole new level of sharing. The Amp’d Rider Project is truly a labor of love. Thus far I have spent over 130 hours in January communicating with participants to explain and ask for their involvement, conducting interviews, piecing together my not-so-professional videos, and gaining engagement on social media. The Amp’d Rider Project is a series of videos that will give folks a fun and communal means by which to absorb what it is like being an amputee, what it takes to get back to living our passions, and the professionals in many arenas that make their careers in helping us living a better quality of life.
I sort of figure it this way: If God let me stay here, I better make this life better than the last life. I hope you will subscribe to the Amp’d Rider Project on YouTube and/or my blog so that you can enjoy this fun and all-telling adventure.
This introductory episode of The Amp’d Rider Project is merely a kick-off that will give you a little background and tell you what you can look forward to. I have 5 other interviews ready to upload, 4 others recorded that I need to produce, 7 folks are scheduled for interviews, and a whole other list of potential participants. I know you all have lives and are busy folks and I know I am sure looking forward to riding season soon; so I will be posting one new episode per week until whenever…
Other than the interview participants that have spoken to me and sent me their pictures, these videos have all been produced by my hand, with the exception of one dude I really have to thank for my Intro and Exit recordings: Mr. Todd Ronczkowski – Love ya dude man.
Wishing you all Peace, Hugs, and Pipes that Rumble (TM)