By: Dane Preston

Writing Prompt: No

Date: 3rd Sep 2021


The last week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. Thatís actually putting it mildly. From watching my friend and mentor get her throat stomped by another friend, to winning Toxic Tag alongside Joe Montuori of all people, having my head smashed into Joeís, to waking up to the news that my wife and Sahara had been abducted, to getting a talking to from a certain CowboyÖ But the last 4-5 months have me really questioning what Iím doing and who Iíve become.


I think back to when dad basically crawled into a bottle, never to come back out again. That kinda shit sticks with a kid. I made a promise to myself that I would grow up to be a better man and father than he ever was. Looking back, Dylan was the only father figure I had, and he was only 5 years older than me. He busted his ass to make sure we ate, the house was clean, our clothes were clean, and that we had a support system.


I still wanted to be a better father than even my big brother was to me. At nine years old, I thought I had it all figured out. I was going to grow up and be a superhero and a reporter, like Superman. But life had other plans. I wonder what that nine year old version would have to say to me right now. Would he be proud? Would he praise the things weíve done and who weíve grown into? Or would he be disappointed and ashamed?


I mean, five years in prison and recently cheating on my wife, those arenít exactly shining examples of who I am and what good I have to offer to the world. Iíve made dreams come true with some of the custom rods and restomods that have rolled out of my shop. Iíve trained middle school and high school age kids in self defense, and taught them to stand up for those who canít stand up for themselves.


I use my driving skills for good. I canít tell you how many times Iíve been called in by Phoenix Squad to drive extraction vehicles. Iíve helped save hostages, political refugees, targets of some of the top hitmen in the world. With my skills behind a steering wheel, Iíve saved Phoenix Squad so many times that each of them have sworn life debts to me multiple times over.


I own a custom car and motorcycle shop and I make millions from FIGHT!, my endorsements and real estate properties. Iíve made sure that should anything ever happen to me, that my family will be well cared for and will want for nothing. I have two beautiful children, I have a gorgeous wife, a beautiful girlfriend, and a life that the vast majority of people could only dream of.


I take pause, even though this is all taking place in my own mind, it feels as though Iím being a braggart, which is not the case. I just want my younger self to be proud and happy to know that life gets better, even after a few obstacles along the way. While I may not have grown up to become a superhero, Iíve become a Champion in a number of promotions along the way.


This isnít to say my life is perfect, not by any means. I have a lot of making up to do in regards to my infidelity, in the hopes of fixing my marriage. There is quite a lot of room for improvement in all of us, anyone who says no is either lying to you or theyíre selling something. Now, whether or not my younger self is proud of my current self, because I sure as hell am.