Huge confidence booster after completing several major tasks, and covering a historic event. However, with just two months remaining, there’s still other goals yet to be accomplished.
What a eventful and chaotic past two months.
I’ve went through several phases since my last bi-monthly entry, covering the last two IndyCar races, a historic NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race. Not only that, I’ve done a photoshoot and finally made a video this year.
By far my proudest moments in a long time because not only I got to do what I love, and that’s write, shoot and take photos, but I’m slowing becoming a respectable multimedia personnel, and signs says it’ll only go up from here.
I won’t go into greater detail quite yet, but if things turn out financially well on multiple parties, I’ll have an opportunity beyond my imagination and perhaps kick start a platform for a specific entity. Fingers crossed.
While the past eight weeks have been life changing in my career, my personal side was a bit difficult. Struggling to find a new home and having to postpone my well-overdue aspirations of driving because of inconsistent scheduling with my mundane weekly job, and not having a clear time frame as to when I can finally dedicate time onto driving.
The housing deal has taken a lot of my time, and it has created some personal friction because I don’t get how its easy for others to get a property like Thanos killing off the Spider-Man and Drax with the snap of a finger.
Both positives and negatives in mind, it had me thinking of continuing this ritual of having 14 promises to thrive for. No matter how many I’ll end up accomplishing, whether its six (where I stand right now) or more, it’s been a mesmerizing concept and come 2019, I’ll have a new list.
Please show some love to this tweet. Who knows, a brand new opportunity may happen if more people see my work:
Before running down my promises, I’d love it if you guys support me by checking out Facebook (Motorsports Tribune), Twitter (@TheLTFiles), and Instagram (luisdtorres94). Even this website as I’ll continue polishing it until its finally presentable.
Now, let’s dive into my progress as of October 23, 2018.
Promise No. 1: Travel to Learn New Things (Accomplished 4x)
Over the past two months, I went to Portland and returned to Sonoma. In both of those trips, I learned a whole lot as as writer and as a person. I’ll save that for Promise No. 5 because it fits the Motorsports Weekend category, but I’ll tell you about my return to Idaho.
Days after coming home from Wine Country, I pondered as to how far is Meridian Speedway in Idaho from an airport. Lightning struck in a bottle, as it was a 15-minute ride from the Boise airport. I took a huge gamble by going back to Idaho and cover one more K&N West race.
My day at Meridian was both a privilege and awkward because it has been since last May I’ve stopped by the Gem State, and the first time ever being in Idaho that’s outside the Palouse. Not only that, we’re talking about Boise here. In the Palouse, that’s enemy territory, but I didn’t care because I got a race to cover.
The day started off with a near scare as Cole Rouse rode the Turn 3 wall, and I was about 6-7 feet away from the wreckage.
Call it a blessing in disguise because 10 minutes prior, the fencing hole in that turn wasn’t for photographers. How I knew that was because I saw an official come by and already knew what it was about, and acknowledged without saying a word. No big deal.
To be frank, the track photographer didn’t even told me about this. I don’t even think he knew the rule, but after he and a team photographer got what they needed, I was the only one there and got the memo.
I have a Nikon D3400 with a 70-300mm camera lens and when I captured a photo of Rouse’s crash, I wasn’t that close. I turned away and just clicked the button because that wreck wasn’t pretty and in the end, he only got right front damage. It did forced him to run a backup car.
Where this photographer from the Bill McAnally Racing squad was standing, that’s where I was. This is the only other photo I caught and quickly moved to the backstretch, where I stayed for the rest of the day. Meanwhile, Rouse got second as I’ll describe in just a second.
Once the race got going, I faced multiple issues. One, there wasn’t a media booth to write about the K&N Race. In fact, I wrote my qualifying report next to the concession stands as they had a picnic table I could eat and write. Two, I was crowded with spotters and loved ones to live tweet. As you’re about to see, this photo didn’t turned out to my liking, but it was otherwise, a Kodak moment.
Entering Turn 1, Hailie Deegan bumped her teammate Cole Rouse on the final lap, and went on to win her first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory, leading just one lap in the 67 minute contest. Gotta love quarter-mile circuits.
Deegan became the first female to win a major sanctioned NASCAR race since Shawna Robinson at Myrtle Beach in 1989, when she scored her third and final Dash Series win.
I knew what it meant. History was made, and knew the gamble paid off as a journalist. There’s a story to be told and that win was THE story and I was there to witness it.
After interviewing Deegan to get what I needed for my race report. Straight to Buffalo Wild Wings I went and spent an hour writing the article. Had a Blue Moon, water and a burger because dammit, that’s what journalists do after an event, right?
When I left Meridian, I knew my race trips for 2018 was over. That was it for me and now I have my eyes set on next year.
Quiet Track: Meridian Speedway – A night I’ll certainly won’t forget as a now 24-year-old who’s slowly climbing the ladder. By the way, the start/finish line felt sticky before the race even began.
Accomplished: Traveling to Sonoma, CA in June. An additional three took place in Portland, a return to Sonoma two weeks later, and visiting the Meridian/Boise area three weeks after.
Promise No. 2: Serve Others About Life (I Got Nothing)
I got nothing. I don’t know what will it take to serve others if I don’t have a great platform that people would care about. If I had a platform to tell my story that’ll grab people’s attention and learn from my journey, it has to be verbal, not what I’m doing right now. I’ve seen my numbers, no one cares which is unfortunate.
Promise No. 3: Belongingness (Doubtful)
I already have this as one of my top goals for 2019. I got like 30+ promises, but I must narrow it down to 14 because to me, it’s a solid quantity. The script is still there, but the people I find ideal for this project are all over the place to even bother of asking.
I initially thought of putting this video under Promise No. 11 as an example of what I want to capture, but if you watch this video about Josef Newgarden, this is exactly what I’m eyeing to accomplish with this project.
Belongingness is a passionate subject that I battle, and when the day comes of expressing what that word means to me, it’ll be a huge step in the right direction.
Promise No. 4: Media Outlet (Accomplished)
The Tribune is what I’ve been focusing on as seen on Promise No. 1 and Promise No. 5 here shortly. What I know is that in 2019, I’ll look to return in the application grind and see if more opportunities arise.
What I’m proud is being able to write at least three articles on a weekly basis, despite going through multiple scheduling conflicts, errands and dealing with a mundane job. It’s what drives me to continue my career, and I’m far from done.
Now the arena gig has been stale except two Fridays ago. Even there, I see some sort of writing on the wall and for me to showcase what I can do, spotlights isn’t ideal. Better than nothing, but I don’t want to be that guy 9-12 months from now.
Accomplished: Writing for the Tribune and working part-time at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Promise No. 5: Motorsports Weekend (Accomplished 3x)
Portland was a roller coaster experience. It tested me both, physically, mentally and emotionally. Even had it took place in one single day.
For greater detail as to how that went, I wrote a columnas to why that weekend was rehashing my experience at the University of Idaho.
While it wasn’t the most ideal weekend of my young career, it’s what I needed because this field wasn’t easy of getting into, and it certainly won’t be an easy road while working in that field.
It was great having a major race in the Pacific Northwest, and ended up doing a fine job covering my first IndyCar race in person. Felt proud that I was able to kick ass once the frustrations were out of the way.
This photo has different stories. Solid crowd, the scenic illustrates PNW to a tee, and Pato O’Ward’s race-winning past over teammate and championship rival Colton Herta in the first of two Indy Lights races. O’Ward went on to win the Indy Lights championship as a result.
Takuma Sato used strategy to score his lone IndyCar Series victory of 2018 in the sport’s return to Portland, winning it from the 20th position. The previous record of the furthest driver to have won there was Mark Blundell in 1997 when he started 11th.
This led having a huge sense of urgency when I made my return to Sonoma for the IndyCar championship round.
I’ve learned how to adapt under pressure, and stuck with my gameplan of focusing on specific angles, and made sure to execute it with flair. It came out easy because I’m a guy who works once I got what I needed.
While I would’ve loved to capture Scott Dixon hoisting the trophy for a cool photo, I had two articles to cover which was Alexander Rossi’s failed bid of conquering Dixon, and a race recapfor the young debutants of Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta.
Once I got those written, I left Sonoma satisfied without any complaints. Cheers to more of those, whenever they may ever come.
This shot was taken after interviewing Herta, O’Ward and Brian Barnhart from the now rechristened Harding Steinbrenner Racing. I was heading to the media center to write the piece and two other articles before calling a valiant and picture perfect weekend a wrap.
Going forward, my goal is to covering a race weekend every other month and dream big as to what races I’d like to cover for Motorsports Tribune. Ideally, an oval race is a self-priority and traveling to the East Coast is a must. When I have my 2019 list ready, I’ll focus on that subject.
Accomplished: Covering the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway in June and the final two IndyCar Series races at Portland and Sonoma.
Promise No. 6: Driving (Postponed)
Working on a mundane job has really ruined any shot of getting my driver’s license, let alone learning how to drive. The locations vary and there’s no legit time when I can head home. Consequently, it’s prevented me from ending this misery and I’m afraid I have to wait until the spring to finally feel genuinely great.
I call myself a loser because of this. It must end soon! I still believe people will take me more seriously once this happens and I’ll laugh if it does.
Promise No. 7: Create a Film About My Favorite Places (Accomplished)
After debating as to whether or not my 15th Anniversary video of Mt. Triumph should count, I decided to myself a few days ago:
In the words of Kanye West shutting up the blood sucking mosquitoes at 4am, “Imma change all of this!”
For the first time since October 13, 2017, I recorded new material and to me, Friday Night Lights, Homecoming Style just right to end the drought.
Unlike last year’s Homecoming Game, my mission was to ONLY capture video of the game. It was South Whidbey vs. Granite Falls, and also unlike last year, there wasn’t a celebration as Granite Falls lost 19-14.
When I got home, it took me a few hours to condense 45 minutes down to slightly over six minutes. I wasn’t really happy with the lighting of the thumbnail. How I know? The other three games I filmed last year looked way better. That’s how.
At least I didn’t have any rusts but right on top of my list, get a video camera! The DSLR isn’t ideal in the long for videos. Besides, my shoulders can use some work.
For now, hope I don’t have another drought in this category.
Without further ado, here’s my highlight video of Friday’s Homecoming Game:
Accomplished: Filming high school football and made a highlight video of the South Whidbey vs. Granite Falls football game on October 19th.
Promise No. 8: New Home (Huge Roadblock)
Finally, the paperwork were done early last week, but I faced a huge roadblock that killed any hope of confidence of finding some sort of freedom.
I’ll refrain the political and major details, but I have to find some land and hope it’ll get us some sort of new home. Not a fan of the concept whatsoever and makes wonder as to why it’s so easy for others and its taken me longer than others?
It’s a bad pet peeve I can’t live down quite yet because I’m not satisfied on a lot of things. Patience is aggravating, and simply want to make a huge leap into finding that freedom and feel like I’ve made and people take me seriously.
Finding land is now the main subject, but any shot of finding a nice home in 2018 is all but dead in the water.
Promise No. 9: Autism Awareness (Pondering If It Counts)
I’m still wondering if writing two articles focusing on autism should count as bringing awareness because both stories are inspiring in their own right.
The first one focused on a family gaming company, who’s co-owners both are on the autism spectrum. The other was about Armani Williams. Both great stories, but it left me pondering if it shall count as a promise that I accomplished.
For those that care, you be the judge.
Promise No. 10: Photoshoot (Accomplished)
Right out of the gate, taking workout and exercise photos was a huge learning curve, but you know what, that’s okay.
Last month, I spent an evening taking photos for a business called Bodies By Brooke with owner Brooke and fitness enthusiast Kayla. I thought of originally doing a blog about it, but had a writer’s block in the progress.
However, I learned a lot and going forward, I’d love to do more photoshoots on the side. The beautiful nature of doing different projects gives me strong confidence going forward. Whether its portrait shots, live action or even scenic material, photography has become a passion that I’d love to do frequently from now on.
I’m personally happy with how my shots came out and thrilled to have helped out.
It was a pleasure doing this project and help Brooke’s business out. Let alone, allowing time in her gym to do the photoshoot. Also, can’t thank Kayla enough for taking time to do this and excited to do more projects in the near future.
Accomplished: Bodies by Brooke photoshoot on September 20th
Promise No. 11: Video Profiles on People (Boderline)
I got the film project out of the way, but what about profiles?
Not a lot of time, and if this gets moved to the List of Promises II next year, it’ll be okay. This is one I really need a strong subject matter that serves a purpose. Especially, if I do end up traveling to different places next year.
Here’s some video examples of the things I’d love to do with this goal:
At the 42 second mark, this is the kind of profile shots. It works as b-roll when capturing a person in interviews. Look at Instagram videos for more examples, especially models. By the way, it shall be noted that music videos isn’t my foray, I did one and hated it back in 2014. No, I will never share it!
Now this is one helluva story. I’m amazed of how the flag has crossed the country for 15 years. This epitomizes what I’d like to accomplish because its profiling the Ol’ Crimson flag and its history of appearing on ESPN College GameDay from afar. Also, any Oregon loss, no matter which school in Washington does it, is always a great day.
Hope those two examples illustrates some of the visions I have and eager to do soon.
Promise No. 12: Dream Internship (Denied)
Currently taking a sabbatical from applying for other media jobs until 2019.
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’s humbling to see my photos and articles blow up from out of nowhere. Like the photo of Deegan when she got out of her car, it got people’s attention because those races are tape delayed. Even before that, my work is being appreciated which too is humbling because I’ve come a long way since Spring 2015.
I know when I do look back on this journey someday, it’ll be rewarding. Sure, it’s taking awhile but I’m a firm believer that I’ll reach the top if I continue this grind. Two more months left and far from done.
Accomplished: Hired to be a part of the Angel of the Winds Arena video crew in June. Probably my role will expand soon with another media entity.
Promise No. 14: Memoir Project (In Progress)
Still haven’t missed an entry and I’m open of continuing writing how my day has gone going into 2019 and beyond. It’s a nice ritual to let out my feelings of how one day went either great, boring or disastrous.
One day, this project may become something bigger and hope that someday, people see what I’m going through during the ups and downs. It’s quite a time period I’m living, and while I’m not living up to modern standards (ex. relationships) which I jokingly have 11 years to figure all that out, I’m pursuing my dream the best I can at the tender age of 24.
It’s the best time for me to do these kind of projects and envision ideas. This is what keeps me alive, and I’ll continue to fight and pursue. That’ll never go away.
The year is drawing to a close, but there’s time to accomplish more things like I did the past two months.
For now, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.