I am writing this on the 2nd of February, 2022. I am a full month into my retirement and I have adjusted well. As I moved closer to the big day I worried that I would become a couch potato. I have almost always been in a situation which required that I hit the road early and one thing I know for certain is that once I get started I can get things done. All I have to do is have a reason to get started! I didn’t choose the early to bed, early to rise lifestyle. It began in high school. I was fortunate enough to get to go to Fordham Prep, which was in the Bronx. I took the train to school. The station was about a mile from home, about a 20 minute walk. I had to catch a 6:15 train, and my life as an early bird just continued through my various career stops. For the last decade I needed to arrive at work at 6:30, which means 6:15 when you are the boss. Just before Covid hit I read a book titled “Younger Next Year” and I decide to follow the advice of the author, and change my diet and for the first time in my life I began to exercise pretty much daily. That meant the routine changed and I began getting up at 4:30 instead of 5:15. Even though I had to stop going when Covid restrictions forced the gym to close and I didn’t go back until things settled down. It has been over a year since I restarted working out and I am better off for it. I had been very consistent in making it to the gym 4 days a week at a minimum while I was still working. With 50 plus years of getting up before the sun rose I realized that I would need to come up with a routine that got me going or I would quickly run out of old westerns on the Grit channel. I am gradually acclimating and developing a daily routine because I want to enjoy my retirement and to be able to destroy my bucket list.
Keeping myself healthy is going to be at the top of my list. I have the recent habit of exercising at the gym and I try to eat a healthy diet. For the last dozen years I have ridden about 2,000 road cycling miles. Those three things should carry me a long way toward my goal, but there is no guarantee that good health will continue. I view retirement as my time to do the things I have been unable to do while working for a living. I have always wanted to ride my bicycle across the country and I am preparing to embark on an epic cycling trip, some 2250 miles over 2 months. Checking things off the bucket list starts with this ride.
My family insisted that I move beyond the occasional Facebook post about family, road cycling and Triumph sports cars and get set up on Snapchat and Instagram, so that I could stay in touch for the two months I would be stealth camping my way from home in Central Texas back up and over to the New York metro area where I grew up. My kids also suggested that I should blog about my trip, giving updates and photographs along the way, and I do think this is a good idea, but I am not as tech savvy as I would like to be. I am more than a little intimidated by all that I have to learn. Case in point, I am the proud owner of a couple of Go Pro cameras. I’ve used them to record vintage races in the TR race car but I have not yet figured out how to cut down the raw video into watchable highlight reels in anything short of a full afternoon. I am retired now, no more 60 hour work weeks and I have no more excuses. It is time to learn.Having accepted the challenge I decided to resurrect my web page name back from the early days on the internet when I first had a Prodigy.com and then a FlashNet email address. OneMoreTriumph.com came back to life with more than little assistance from my son Andrew. Okay, he did it all and I just have to learn how to use WordPress. It is best for me to take baby steps with this technology. Back the origins of the webpage. I bought my first Triumph when I was in college as cheap transportation. I quickly destroyed the first one, bending it around a big tree. I used the parts to fix up the second only to get offered a price I couldn’t pass up. The third one bought from the proceeds took me through college, to the church on wedding day, followed me to Texas and finally expired when a van driver crushed the front end. The search for the replacement Triumph was the beginning of the One More Triumph saga as I ended up with 3 TR6’s, all three needing work.
By then I had started a Triumph club in Austin and as President and Newsletter editor I got all the leads for free and cheap cars. They started to pile up! Then the race car happened. With 3 kid’s and all those Triumphs to feed, it was crazy, but I was able to buy a TR3A racecar from a club member for $6,000.00; $2,500.00 down and monthly payments of $500.00. Racers love to talk and share stories. It just made sense to document my cars so I created a little webpage, with one page for each of my Triumphs and making the bold statement that there was always room for one more Triumph. We had moved to two acres, waterfront on Lake Travis near Austin and in fact, the old boat shed proved that it could store up to 8 of the little buggers.
The webpage ran for a couple of years and I had scanned in a lot of the history of my racecars. In the interim I had sold the TR3A to guy in my racing club (for a small profit*) in order to generate the funds to restore a TR4A I had come across that had significant racing history. I had traded a TR6 for the rusty 4A hulk. It was very rusty but also very complete and had a bunch or period correct parts. I had purchased the trade bait TR6 for $500.00 and had already sold the hardtop it came with for $500.00; making the race car free to me. Yeah right! In the end it cost me $25,000.00 to restore the TR4A, and took a lot longer then I figured. After a couple of years delay, I purchased a TR4 racecar so I could keep my Competition license active. Fours years later I sold the TR4 (for a big profit*) and then raced my 4A for nine more years until someone offered me more than I thought it was worth (another big profit*). True to form I already had another TR4 racecar so I let it go.
All of these cars were documented in the OneMoreTriumph web pages and all of that work was lost when the hosting company folded up. It wasn’t their fault, there was time for me to move it to a new hosting service but I didn’t act quickly and it faded. I have all the data saved and It is my intention to reproduce most of it here on these pages. So that is the origin of the One More Triumph theme, but as life progressed I have realized that living a fruitful, maybe better said as a worthwhile life, means that an individual becomes the sum total of all of their triumphs (and losses) and I intend to talk about my Triumphs and some of the not so good stuff that I have added up to become who I am, and prepare me for my next Triumph.
I spent most of my working career in management and business ownership roles. I am proud to have worked with segments of society that had to work, physically work, for a living. My career spans from managing teenagers at McDonald’s beginning when I was still a teen myself, college students and animal lovers of all ages for a dozen years of pet store ownership, and then the full spectrum of dealership folks in the construction equipment industry. In all of these industries I saw a lot of people that took pride in everything they accomplished and I also saw others that were punching the clock. The challenge was to get them to understand that wherever they were on their path in life, what they were doing was making them who they were. It all adds up. If you get used to losing you become a loser. The opposite is also true. I often told a story, one that I made up, about climbing a mountain, with no peak in sight. The goal is to get to the top. In different variations the top is achieving a goal but in reality, in life, it is to get to heaven. Each day we trudge as far as we can, along the best path we can determine, with all the tools we have and all that we can see. We don’t have all the tools or knowledge we need and can’t see it all. We just do our level best. The next day we get up, assess where we ended up yesterday and start our quest to the top all over again. The reality is that sometimes, in the light of the morning, we realize that there is an insurmountable cliff wall ahead of us and we must back track and find another way. Sometimes we trip and fall, and other times we slide down the hill. Sometimes we back track with purpose, but always we get up, assess and start again, sewing the triumphs we achieve along the path, into the tapestry that is who we are. Boldly I say to you, that as we go along in life, we seek one more triumph, and then another, and again, and again.
- As for those asterisks, “*for a profit”; the definition being what I sold it, plus major improvements, less what I paid for it. Blown engines, tires, etc. are racing expenses and therefore do not count!