One World, All OGRE

Back when we started batting the idea of OGRE around, we really didn’t have a plan, it was more of nebulous idea. Over the last year, that idea has begun to coalesce into something more. What exactly “more” constitutes is something that we are really just now putting into action, but the ideas, well, it is time to share.

In the beginning, OGRE was just a place for the brothers to share their racing escapades, bike, swim, run and motorcycle. At first, OGRE was Old Guys Racing Enterprises. The problem was that really didn’t fit for long. As we really started to realize that, for us, OGRE was less about us, and more about the people we hope to influence, inspire and encourage, things changed. Somewhere along the way, that “Eureka!” moment occurred.

With OGRE, we really are not looking to just publish about our “Epic Adventures” but to use the adventures to learn, to teach and to encourage. All of the sudden, it was not Racing, but Random, because these things are crossing boundaries that simply are not just racing. For example, we run to run, not just to race. We love to bike yet we really don’t race bikes. It also leads to something that we are seriously looking into to go step further, an OGRE Jump Start program that is the equivalent of a Couch to 5k program designed for getting started on a bicycle.

But there is more. Remember that Eureka! moment? Yep, that one.

OGRE is not just us. Not even close. OGRE is a philosophy, a movement about movement. It might even be a religion, because to us, it is. Being OGRE defines who and what we are about more than anything else. It is founded on some very basic concepts.

  • Live right
  • Love others
  • Respect yourself
  • Don’t be a jerk
  • Don’t be a selfish jerk
  • Don’t preach what you don’t live

Sounds simple right? It isn’t. Far from it, this is really hard to do in practice, especially since these concepts are pretty broad concepts, so I guess we need to look at them a little more closely.

Live Right

Ultimately, all of the others fall under this broad one, but we leave it here because in many ways, this one idea applies to every decision we make on the path of life. What does it mean though? It means that when an OGRE looks at a situation and chooses the option that is the “right” one, where right is defined as the one that doesn’t make them a selfish jerk, and best benefits everyone involved.

Love Others

Something that is often forgotten along the way is that we have to love the people around us in order to truly learn to love ourselves and our lives. All too often, we get so mired in our own problems, that we forget that we are not islands. What we do, and how we behave directly impacts those around us. When we fail to love and respect them, we fail ourselves. Part of this means forgetting that things like race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion or even food choices exists. These are not things that should ever matter.

Seriously, living the OGRE lifestyle means forgetting those biases even exist, and simply learning to appreciate others for who and what they are. If it helps, keep in mind our namesakes. We are not princes and princesses. We are the ugly, the fat, the swamp dwellers, and we are not only fine with it, we have embraced it. We are OGREs.

Respect Yourself

This one should not even need to be mentioned, but really, it has become one of the most important reminders. Along the path of life, most of us have been worn down. We have had every flaw exposed, diagnosed and those flaws have come to be a part of our identities. We have our warts, and in all of that ugliness, we have come to respect the people that have torn us town more than we respect ourselves. As OGREs, we have learned that we have to respect ourselves. From that respect, we can grow and rediscover our true selves, peeling away the layers of shame and ugliness that we have allowed others to cocoon us with.

Don’t Be a Jerk

Curiously, with self respect sometimes comes an arrogance that leads us to be jerks to others. Part of the OGRE way is to find the path to respect and confidence without being a jerk. Sounds easy, but in practice, not being a jerk is situational. You have to understand the people around you and temper your behavior and decisions around how your actions will be received by them. It is the little things.

In a household of all men, leaving the toilet seat up is a courtesy. Other men don’t want to sit on a pee splash seat, but at the same time, don’t want to have to flip it up to pee. On the flip side, in a household of women, that seat should always be put down after use. Again, courtesy that when applied in a reasonable manner is the very soul of not being a jerk.

Don’t Be a Selfish Jerk

In so many ways, this one, more than any of the others is the one that challenges most of us in out daily lives. We do a hundred little selfish things every single day. We don’t even realize them. No where does this show more than when we get behind the wheel of a car. Racing up, weaving through traffic, camping in the left lane. Pushing stop lights, rolling stop signs, and other behaviors are all actions deeply rooted in our selfish desires to reach our destinations quicker. The fact that most of these actions slow down those around us only makes them even more selfish.

However, things get even more complex when we start telling or worse, enforcing, our opinions onto others. Think about the times we are driving in our cars, get angry at the behavior of a selfish driver and then we enforce our unhappiness upon the next driver that does that thing. You know, waiting in line to turn and that other driver whips past the line cutting in at the last minute, so you close the gaps to keep the next one from doing it? I see it every single day when I am driving around town.

Don’t Preach What You Don’t Live

Seriously, how hard is this? You would think it would be easy, but it seems that this is the single hardest concept for most people. This very post has been written and deleted a dozen times in the last year, simply because it is preaching a lifestyle that we choose to live, but we really don’t like preaching it to others. That simply isn’t the OGRE way. You can choose to follow suit, but that is your choice, but it also means that you don’t preach it, you live it.