Lot of emotions kicked into high gear during the final stages of winter, leading to conflicts and new levels of confidence of getting my brand launched, hoping it’ll lead to greater things in my road of “Getting Over” and live the dream on a regular basis.
Man! I’m going to be honest with you guys, it was a long and enduring winter. Went through a lot of highs and lows just to realize how hard it truly is to get my platform and name out there. It’s not easy and while I love doing this, openly giving you updates on how my life is, sometimes I wonder if documenting it is worthwhile. Here’s why:
This winter was one of the hardest I’ve endured. Whether it’s me realizing that my silence is harming me from opening up towards people I care about or not doing a great job promoting myself without being perceived as a “try hard.”
Over a week removed from experiencing what felt like a lifetime at Daytona Beach, I do understand that “trying too hard” is going to hurt me. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way when I choked (not “8 Mile” levels of choking, but it just didn’t came out like I would’ve wanted) on a question that was towards none other than the legend himself, Mr. Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr.
Safe to say that was embarrassing for my own little ego and unless I knew exactly what to say without rambling (needed to be clear and specific), I took a backseat from asking any questions for the remainder of the afternoon. I’ve had my chances the previous days, so I decided to focus on writing. By the way, it took place the day of the 61st Daytona 500. Yeah.
Other than that, it was strictly business and hard work. Writing, interviewing drivers, taking photos at certain areas that I’m allowed since I didn’t got photo credentials (hope that changes at Texas and Long Beach) and time management. Safe to say, I was very proud of my efforts at Daytona and just happy I was able to make Motorsports Tribune proud and hope it’s the first of many trips to Daytona in the future.
Outside of the racing world, it was weird. I took a chance of going to Fife, WA and go to a live concert and take photos. I also spoke about my goals at a podcast before going to Florida. Those instances were such a huge confidence booster and really loved how they turned out, especially the Lewd and Crued ones. It’s certainly the first of many different photos I’ll be setting my eyes on shooting, and you’ll hear about it in the coming months.
Additionally, I went out of my way of deciding that I’m going to launch my brand this month, where people can share their stories and provide an outlet for people to collaborate with me such as podcasts, columns, video and photography.
The letter isn’t just to be fancy, the brand is meant to be pursued and once spring rolls along, you’ll be seeing a lot more content on my website, which leads me to this following statement:
I WILL BUY A DOMAIN AND/OR SWITCH TO ANOTHER SITE BUILDER BEFORE APRIL!
Felt the need of putting it in all caps because it’s a self-reminder that it must be priority. However, I must take care of a couple of financial stuff beforehand, such as some bills, loans and finalize my plans for Texas and Long Beach. Then I should be able to make my site more presentable and mobile friendly because that’s what matters to me most, that my outlet is easy to navigate and easy to add my works.
Overall, this winter wasn’t kind to me all across the board, but the fact I got to cover my first Daytona 500 and willing to try new things made it worth the struggles.
I can’t thank everyone enough who have supported me and to those I’ve tagged, you guys thrive me to succeed in some capacity over the past two months. When I was at Daytona, I thought about you guys because without the support, this vision wouldn’t be possible. Sure, I had to motivate myself to do some of the tasks, but it never hurts to have other people’s back that gets my vision.
This journey has just begun, so without further ado, here’s my progress as of February 25, 2019:
Promise No. 1: 500 Miles (Completed)
Caption from 2/17/19: A warm February morning unleash its inner monster. The high bankings will tell another tale and could bite at any moment. The 61st Daytona 500 is today and that monster will prowl once 40 brave men accept the challenge and fight for the biggest prize in NASCAR.
I’ve already explained the biggest event that happened to me in my introduction, but covering the Daytona 500 was a huge learning experience, not just as a young journalist, but I can forever say that I got to witness “The Great American Race” in person.
The fact I was able to write about 17-20 articles, all in a span of a week without any logistical issues is what I’ll take away from being at Daytona. Some interviews were so close to each other, especially Thursday, that I had knew I had to come prepared and be flexible. Both traits (except for the Foyt question) are my strongest characteristics, and it glowed bright that week.
It shall be said that being the only one without a hard card was a bit lonesome, but as my editor-in-chief said to me, I should take view it as a positive because the track allowed me to be in the deadline room, surrounded with the elite writers (and some wannabes in my eye) in the biggest race of the season. Once I understood what he meant, I took it with pride but come 2020, I’ll have to work my damnest to reach their status and see where it’ll lead me as it pertains to my journalism career.
With that being said, you haven’t seen my photo gallery on the MT site, give it a look because it’s the first installment of “Race In Pictures” since 2017, and there’ll be more of it in the coming months.
Here’s one a few people really loved. It’s the remains of Daniel Suarez’s No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang, with the main grandstands in the background. Someone jokingly said it should be renamed as the “World Center of Wrecking” because this was taken after he and 20 other drivers were involved in the Big One on Lap 191.
Accomplished: Covering the entire Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.
Promise No. 2: Profiling with the Videoscope (Didn’t Work Out Right Away)
Ever since I graduated from college, one of my goals was to cover “Media Day.”
To some, it’s no big deal, but to me it always has been and I was thrilled when I found out that I was gong to cover Daytona 500 Media Day. Right away, I had these great ideas to expand MT to the next level, and while some came into fruition such as providing audio from Media Day that was tweeted on my personal and MT’s Twitter. There was some that didn’t happen, and that was rather than recording my interviews via audio, I wanted to do video interviews.
However, rather than push my buttons where I shouldn’t, I had to scrap the idea and also had to scrap the stand-in reporting after every race that took place. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t get that accomplished, due in most part of time constraints, not having a hard card to kind of get away with it, and avoid any issues with NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway.
In the coming months, hope the other race weekends I can learn more about the ins and outs on how to produce video content that would benefit my resume and Motorsports Tribune. I have the equipment, and it’s going to be utilized this year.
I did capture the sunrise when I visited the shores of Daytona Beach the morning of the Gander RV Duels. Such a beautiful site, and I said to myself: ‘You know, I’m going to bring the video camera for Long Beach and create some content in some shape or form. I may be on vacation afterwards anyways.’
If it’s just scenic shots to start off, then that’s fine by me. If I get to the point of doing race reports after each race, then that’s also fine by me.
The biggest goal is to do human profiles, where they tell their stories or do profile videos that goes beyond b-rolls. My options are endless, but until I get people to get behind me and willing to have their stories told from the videoscope, it’s just a vision and I don’t want it to be that way much longer.
I know it won’t be long, and it’s going to be one of my biggest goals throughout the year, so stay tune for those updates.
Promise No. 3: Eastbound and Down (Completed)
At last, I escaped the West Coast and it couldn’t have happened at a perfect time because it almost wouldn’t have happened.
It’s a nice, beautiful Monday afternoon. A definite far cry from what it was a couple of weeks ago, when a series of snowstorms almost ended my dreams of covering the Daytona 500.
As Speedweeks was near, it dawned on me that there’s no way I would’ve made it to Florida if I’m still in Washington, so I called an audible and decided to head to San Jose, CA for the first time since 2016, just to assure I’ll make it to my destination.
I had to cancel my plans of watching a gymnastics event featuring Washington and UCLA, to get to California on Sunday, February 10th. The audible was done the day prior.
When it comes down to it, I was in three different states in three days. Sunday was leaving Washington to get to California. Monday was a full-day in California and then on Tuesday, I left California and headed to Florida.
That’s the life of a wrestler if you asked me, bouncing from state-to-state in a short span of time and it also took me back when I covered high school football, college football and volleyball in a span of 24 hours in 2016. Great times.
Once I finally arrived to Florida, I finally said that I’ve made it to the East Coast. Took me over 24 years to leave the West, but it was a great feeling. Felt awkward all week adapting to the Eastern Standard Timing, but got used to it a few days into the madness that was Speedweeks.
The Florida sunset swept me away and won’t deny that I indeed played a Jerry Reed record when I arrived. The name of the promise is a giveaway as to which Reed record I played.
Sunset after Daytona 500 Media Day, looks like something out of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, not because it’s Florida, but it just gave me that scenic vibe.
What’s next for me on the East Coast? I honestly have no clue, but it was a vibe seeing a different culture.
Accomplished: Going to Florida from February 12-18
Promise No. 4: SoCal Vibes (In Progress)
I’m currently finalizing those plans and I’ll have a concrete idea as what my plans are this spring.
As I’ve said, this has been almost seven years in the making since I last visited in 2012, and like Daytona, why not start big on the IndyCar side with none other than the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach?
It’s the biggest race on the West Coast and a track I’ve always found fascinating that stands out than most other street circuits. It’ll be a busy race weekend, but there will be some time for me to explore the SoCal scene in greater detail.
Whether its before or after, likely after, I do need some time away outside of racing and my mundane job. Do it now before the summer stretch kicks in and I do know there’s some baseball happening, so the explorations is wide open.
Now that racing season is back, it’s gong to be a hectic, busy but satisfying couple of months for me, and what I’ve covered at Daytona is just the beginning.
Promise No. 5: Autism Awareness (Upcoming Priority)
In the coming weeks, this will become the most important promise I’d like to accomplish.
I won’t let this one slip away and hope to spend a few days figuring out what I really want to do with this promise that’ll make my message strong and clear.
It’s a passionate subject of mine and while I have something saved up from last year, there’s always room for improvement. There will be time, and I’ll be focusing on it more than any other promises in the month of March, just to get it out there on Autism Awareness Day 2019, which is April 2nd.
Promise No. 6: Last Note of Freedom
These next couple of promises are going to be short and simple since I’ve yet to start making moves, such as this one.
Still struggling to find that freedom, but got tons of days in 2019 to sort all of that out. It’s arguably my hardest, but could be the easiest if I allow myself to find it and I’ll know my freedom is alive and well when I see drastic changes in my life.
Promise No. 7: Driving at Last
With my mundane job, it’s hard to manage a strong time frame as to when I’m finally going to take lessons and get that elusive driver’s license. I know this, it won’t be until my work location is close to home which it isn’t right now.
Also, it has to be done before the month of August. That’s my number-one motivation! Get my license before August! No more exceptions! It’s set in stone and I will motivate myself to make it happen!
Promise No. 8: Bi-Monthly Reports (In Progress)
Outside of the shot I took at Portland, this is no doubt my favorite action shot I’ve captured to date. Tight three-wide battle during practice involving Korbin Forrister (7), Brett Moffitt (24) and Matt Crafton (88) at Daytona.
Covering the Daytona 500 kickstarted the road, where I’m hoping to cover at least one race weekend every other month. As I’ve said, the goal is to do four NASCAR and four IndyCar races in 2019.
It may feel like every month, but hey, that’s the life a journalist trying to make it in the world of motorsports media.
Promise No. 9: Photography Expansion (In Progress)
When I captured this captivating shot at Fife, it sort of brought me back to the high school days when I would try capturing moments like this. There’s some action and rather being the guy who took “posing” photos, I was more interested in those shots.
Last year was sort of a start on expanding my photography horizons. This year, I do plan of going all in, and last month in Fife, I decided to start off my expansion by taking concert photos of multiple acts.
As I’ve stated already in this blog, it was a fun show to capture multiple shots and ready to try different things. Fingers cross that more photoshoots will come to be throughout the year, but when time also permits, I’ll be doing a lot more concerts and different events involving people I know or heard of from a far.
Promise No. 10: Belongingness
Still undergoing growing pains as it pertains whether or not I belong in certain parts of society, let alone making a video as to what I think “belogningness” truly is about.
I won’t really know until June or July if my vision for this video project is different than what I had in mind over the past two years.
Promise No. 11: Building a Connecting Audience
My 2019 Star Nursery 100 hype video, highlighting the upcoming NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season opener that’s set to take place this Thursday live on Fanschoice.tv (7:30pm PST)
It’s funny how sharing details over a NASCAR/YouTube “purge” gained me some followers before covering the Daytona 500, but not my hard work. That’s just my luck for the better part of my Twitter life.
Anyways, I’ve been trying different things to see if it’s the one that would get me to new avenues. The video above is one of those ideas that I hope leads to something because I’m not giving up “getting over” the hard way. So far, it’s been a bust, but it’s one video. I have 12-13 more of those I’ll be doing and see if it gains a following.
I’ve been pushing my social media outlets because it’s how everyone’s been doing it and worked to a tee. You’ll never hear me say the same shit everyone else says on YouTube, but I do it very subtle like displaying my outlets. No need to say it, just see the screen or read the information below. Reading is important!
If all else fails, I don’t know what I’ll do but my time will arrive if I keep up the hard work. Just watch!
Promise No. 12: Pitch Memoir Project
You know, this has been a complete afterthought two months into 2019. It won’t be an easy task to persuade people to look into my story and see what I’ve been through. Not just in 2018, but beforehand that’s led to my current lifestyle.
Not having anyone that has major ties with authors that focuses on autobiographies, it will be hard but I hope to find a way to pitch my life story sometime this year.
Promise No. 13: Securing a Home
Still at limbo with this one, but my goal is to get out of the hellhole before summer rolls along and it’ll be a huge leap towards an even stronger year. I’m tired of being in the place I am, and there’s no reason for me to get out of there and have a proper property to actually be more alive, more free and more open of trying daring and creative projects.
My little “podcast” on YouTube could grow more than just be bear bones like I have it right now. It will get better, and I’ll do my damnest to make it happen where my voice can reach out towards hundreds of people. That’s my goal, get to an average of 100 per episode which I’ve yet to accomplish.
Once I get some guests on my show, then I’ll be open to share it because I’d like to talk about other things than just racing. I have “West Coast Wednesdays” to discuss about it in an exclusive manner. However, it can’t be fully done without having a true home that’s for sure.
Promise No. 14: Knowing My Worth (In Progress)
You’ve seen my progress in this blog as we’re pushing spring time. I know what I’m worth, and I’ll continue to fight to get to the top of the world of media! At least in my mind.
I won’t let the dream die and after what I’ve done so far by covering the Daytona 500 and going to Fife (60+ miles away) for a concert, it’s going to be alive and I can’t wait to share more stories. Once I revamp my site elsewhere and get that domain, it’s put up or shut up time for me as a guy trying to make it in my profession.
Sure the winter period sucked, but it’s almost over. As long as I’m happy doing what I love and eager to do more projects and collaborations, that’s part of living the dream.
For now, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.