The Road to Portland is near, and I’m having some doubles. Slow month of making progress, but I have learned a lot on how purchasing a house is no joke and simply saying, ‘GO FOR IT’ in two categories.

After listening to Avril Lavigne’s cover of “Fuel” by Metallica (which was wimpy), it’s a perfect time to update you guys on my goals before heading to Portland this Labor Day Weekend.

Let me get this out of the way, it’s not a Summer of Love 2.0 story. I’m not in a relationship or becoming a father! It won’t happen until I’m 35 (joking on the age)! Seems like it has spiked in all of my social media feeds since July, so there you go!

I did got a new laptop, so I don’t look like a damn fool come race day:

I’ve had this laptop since 2013, but the screen issue has been super sensitive for about two years now. It sucked because I had to make the text super small to write the articles. Thank the lord I don’t have to put up with it this weekend.

Now back to the real shit.

With my daily work (that puts funding into making upcoming and future trips possible) taking a toll on my body, getting sick in the month of July, fearing a friendship has unintentionally fallen apart, and plans not coming into fruition because of personal insecurity, I didn’t have the best string of weeks to accomplish any remaining promises.

However, some progress has been made to check one, two, maybe three off in the coming weeks. More likely than not, it’ll be two (Photoshoot and Video Profiles) because one (New Home) is no joke.

It’s a tough and rigorous progress of not just finding a home, but figuring out when to buy it. Felt like going to college once again, learning how the system works and social media does hide the progress. I’ve seen people post that stuff with ease, but when my time comes, I’ll remember the hurdles that made it possible.

Just recently, I’ve said to myself, ‘GO FOR IT!’

The greatest solution is finding the courage of asking others and get a glance on schedules to figure out what event I’ll freelance, what subject matter I’ll focus on camera, and finding an extraordinary story.

If I have all those components in mind, my motivation increases and that’s my personal goal over the next two months because it’s the last chance I got to get as many promises accomplished before the cruel winter beckons the Pacific Northwest.

This upcoming trip to Portland will test my brain, my body, and career because it’s going to be a huge stepping stone in my life. I’m thrilled of going to an IndyCar weekend for the first time, but business is business, I have to kick ass!

It’s one thing with covering a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Evergreen Aug. 11, but IndyCar is a different animal. That to me is the big time or as I used to say in high school, my “NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.”

Before running down my promises, I’d love it if you guys support me throughout my weekend trip to Portland by checking out Facebook (Motorsports Tribune), Twitter (@TheLTFiles), and Instagram (luisdtorres94). As the Godfather will roam Portlandia (#GodfatherRoamsPortlandia)!

Now, let’s dive into my progress as of August 27, 2018.

Promise No. 1: Travel to Learn New Things (Accomplished)

It’ll be my first trip to Portland since Spring 2010 when me and a few others spent the weekend down “Portlandia” for a yearbook convention. For the record, I’m certain it’ll be a busy time, so the learning aspect in this travel may not come into true effect.

Other place I’ve thought of traveling were Spokane, which fell through because of timing constraints and work. The other is visiting Moscow, ID in October for this 120th anniversary event related to The Argonaut. Not sure if I’ll even bother going because of personal views I’ve had for almost two years. It’s not CM Punk levels of bad, but I have my reservations since graduating in December 2016.

Accomplished: Traveling to Sonoma, CA in June (I’ll make my return in September for the final IndyCar race at that venue and a champion will be crowned as well)

Promise No. 2: Serve Others About Life (A Lost Cause)

Last month, I said goodbye to guest services under my terms. That ship has sailed and it was time to call it a day at CenturyLink Field. I won’t go into the full details as to why I left, but I needed to focus on my daily job, career and livelihood.

I don’t know what it takes to serve others these days. I still have the fire of making a difference in people’s lives (students in particular), and I felt like I couldn’t do it as a guest servant. I’ll figure it out, but it’s a lost cause.

Promise No. 3: Belongingness (Doubtful)

The script is still sitting on my laptop, collecting virtual dust. It’s gotta look damn good before publishing it for the world to see. This is a form of art that cannot be rushed.

Promise No. 4: Media Outlet (Accomplished)

Still on the grind and providing stories on a weekly basis, which I’m proud of. The racing season is winding down, but it doesn’t mean once it is, time off. Nope! Off season will keep me busy and I have that feeling that will see more changes and announcements before 2019 rolls along.

Accomplished: Writing for the Tribune and having a gig at Angel of the Winds Arena before Summer of Love 2.0 had started.

Promise No. 5: Motorsports Weekend (Accomplished)

Two more weekend trips at the race track, both focusing on IndyCar including this weekend and two weeks later at Sonoma.

I did end up covering the K&N race in Monroe, WA, but just the events on Saturday. It was a mind boggling learning curve because Mother Nature wasn’t nice to the circuit (threat of lightning surrounded the area, and had to go inside a hauler to avoid potential death). I was writing and taking photos solo, and yes, captured a pit road confrontation (NSFW and not a good capture) that I had to shut down because I was a bit moody, and felt confronting a crew member wouldn’t go well.

Turned out to be a long day, but as a reporter, I’d say I fulfilled my role like a boss.

This is probably my favorite photo I’ve taken this year. Totally random and happened to be at the right place, and right time capturing Hailie Deegan camera bombing NBCSN reporter Heather DeBeaux, as she was doing multiple takes during the rain delay. The race itself was on a Saturday, but televised on four days later.

Let’s see how the final two IndyCar goes for me.

Accomplished: Covering the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway in June.

Promise No. 6: Driving (In Progress)

Up until the past three weeks, I had a few more driving practices and felt more comfortable than ever. A bit of an escape from work and a sign of confidence going forward. Hell, I’ve even parked better than my father. Again, with work, it’s eating up time to get this one fulfilled, and it has to be done before Winter!

Promise No. 7: Create a Film About My Favorite Places (Does It Count or It Has to be Original?)

This is a weird one because I don’t know if I should count it because the video consisted clips from three years ago. The subject matter was an ode to the 15th Anniversary of Mt. Triumph, with me narrating a well-crafted script that highlights the significance Cispus has on me and hundreds of people.

With some help from another person, I was able to blend the old and the new and pretty satisfied with the final product. However, I believe I could do WAY better and actually produce new content. Fortunately, football season is coming up, so I’ll be back on the video grind and bring new content on my website, which you might’ve noticed, has been upgraded.

If time permits, I’ll try to get some footage from my trip in Portland and Sonoma. Photos and articles (as it should) has been my dominant outlet this year, so I haven’t really dived into my love for videography.

At this point, I sound like a broken record, but here’s the list once again:

1) A week at Mt. Triumph Leadership Camp: Recaps and interviews of why this place was near and dear to my heart would be my angle.

2) Local racing drivers in the state of Washington: It’s not hard to find a motocross, sprint car and late model drivers around my neck of the woods. I want to give them some limelight and if I get the right equipment soon, I’m ready to make it possible.

3) Motorsports Weekend Recaps for the Tribune: I’ve had this vision once I was welcomed to the team, of course writing will be the bread and butter when I cover races, but a food for thought.

4) More High School Football games: I want to produce better football coverage. The equipment is there, and when fall arrives, you bet I’ll be there.

5) International Tales: I’ll admit, interviewing individuals with a compelling story when they traveled outside of America for school or their personal adventures are fascinating.

Promise No. 8: New Home (In Progress)

I’m proud that I’m working on this promise. As I mentioned earlier, this is no joke and it requires a lot of dedication to figure out who to work with, and what needs to be done before going forward into purchasing a home.

Lot of paperwork! Lot’s and lot’s of paperwork!

That’s what it is!

Promise No. 9: Autism Awareness (Consolation Prize)

Why does it say “Consolation Prize?”

While I didn’t accomplish this goal, I ended up writing a driver profile, focusing on K&N Pro Series driver Armani Williams of Detroit. He’s known as the first openly autistic driver in NASCAR, and when I arrived at Evergreen, it felt appropriate having an interview with him about an hour before practice.

Personally, it was a thrill understanding Williams’ goals and how autism hasn’t let him stop his dreams:

Williams before making his K&N Pro Series West debut. Good guy when I spoke with him and totally understand where he’s coming from, and wish him the best on his career. As far as the race goes, it ended early and had to settle for 15th.

Promise No. 10: Photoshoot (Early Stages)

Taking photos of race cars was a blast, and a huge learning curve. It has to look majestic (like this one of Molly Helmuth bottoming out in Turn 1 during qualifying) and stable for it to be a great photo in my book. I’m still teaching myself on taking photos after just getting back into it last year.

It’s almost Fall and find it hard to believe this promise has proven to be the most difficult because of my personal doubts. I’ve met many people in my life, but I don’t know what I want to get out of it. I’ve let a probably chance slip away, not it would’ve happened anyway based on recent interactions. Nor I think a super ideal one will pan out because of that very reason.

Fortunately, there’s one that’s currently in its early stages and when I make this site grow, this project I’m currently trying to sort out will be a nice launching path.

I’m generally open of any concept if my naive mind wants to go forward into this field. Photography has really grown on me, and would love to make it into something in the long run. Check out my multimedia page to see my works. I will warn you, I’m still learning how to make galleries navigation friendly.

Promise No. 11: Video Profiles on People (Maybe)

Maybe, just maybe, this may be done as well, but everything has to be materialized before thinking about doing both the photoshoot and video profile. Even if I don’t end up doing this one, I can still find other people to profile before the year’s done.

Promise No. 12: Dream Internship (Denied)

What I’ve learned over the past two months was even the gifted, talented and most qualified struggle of even getting phone calls. It seems unfair because I’ve been in that boat many times, and it does suck. The moral lesson was I’m not alone.

To this day, I struggle coping as to why its taking time to attract a hefty audience in social media. To use wrestling terms, I’m not “over” (building a rapport with the audience).

Never felt or even gotten “over” at Idaho! I know that, and it eats me up quite a bit. But hey, as long as I’m putting in the work, it’ll come naturally. I just need to be patient. Again, cannot rush certain artwork!

Denied: Rejected by the NASCAR Diversity Program early in the year, and a lackluster response from Mukilteo Beacon. Never got the meeting or conversation past “what day should we have coffee.”

Promise No. 13: Get a Support System (Accomplished)

It still amazes me how my photos has garnered great reactions, like the photo of Deegan and DeBeaux, even my picture of Alex Bowman’s “frowny car” at Sonoma got Brad Keselowski talking.

I don’t know what to think of it, I’m a 23-year-old fellow who’s trying to make it in the business I poured my blood, sweat and tears for so long. The photos are one thing, but some articles and even an on-assignment has sparked positive results and I’m flattered. Cheers to many more in the future.

Accomplished: Hired to be a part of the Angel of the Winds Arena video crew in June, which I’ll start doing more work in the Fall.

Promise No. 14: Memoir Project (In Progress)

Somehow, I haven’t missed a day of writing in my memoir focusing on 2018. The 15 or 30 minutes it takes to reflect on my day has had its good, bad, and ugly moments, but when I do make this project come to life, I’ll look back and say, ‘how in the world was I able to reflect on my day without losing interest?’

Summer is coming to a close, and Fall is near folks! So until we meet again, I have to get ready for my trip to Portland, and pack what’s necessary!

Doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.

Published by Luis Torres

I'm a graduate from the University of Idaho, currently pursuing the dream of becoming a motorsports media personnel.

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