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    Omaha (part 1)

           If Omaha, Nebraska wasn’t in Omaha, Nebraska, it would have a better reputation. Meaning, because it’s in the middle of the country, it gets a “country bumpkin” rap by those who live on the coastal United States. Which is to say, population wise, most of America. Talk Omaha to anybody living on the coast who hasn’t been there, and they most likely conjure up visions of a podunk, quasi-city with not a whole lot going on.
           The reality, however, is that Omaha is a vibrant little city. It’s got a hip area called the Old Market District, which is teaming with very cool shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The turn of the century brick architecture, well thought out and attractive storefronts, and wide, cobblestone streets give the Old Market District plenty of character. The University of Nebraska/Omaha, with it’s spacious, sightly campus, means a constant influx of youthful energy and fresh ideas.
           Granted, Omaha is nothing like New York or San Francisco or Boston. But it does have a very appealing vibe all it’s own, and for me, that’s what defines a city. Part of that vibe is a thriving music scene. Recently, I not only witnessed that scene, but serendipitously participated in it.
           I rolled into Omaha via Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, January 10, on my way from Boston to Colorado. Spending the winter writing my book, skiing, and gleefully galavanting all over the western United States, I expected my drive out here to be rather uneventful. I had five days to drive 2100 miles, and I was on the clock, because I had reservations in Colorado that began on Sunday, January 12. My plan was to get up early every morning, work out, and drive. That’s it. I wasn’t sure I would have time to do anything else.
           Before I left, though, it was clear to me that there was something else I wanted this trip to be about. I thought it could be a perfect opportunity to live the principles I write about in MuscleHeart, and then share my experiences that resulted from living those principles. After all, the book I’m penning on this trip is based on the concepts and approaches I’ve been writing about in my blog for the last five years. I knew there existed a synergy between my book and this trip.
           I’m traveling alone for over two months. It could get lonely. In fact, that’s a running fear that started even before I took off. If I don’t put myself out there, take risks, live as vibrantly and expressively as possible, organically seek connections, basically practice what I preach in this very blog, then I could end up singing the lonely boy blues. And, skiing and writing aside, I wouldn’t have much adventure on this adventure. Traveling alone effectively provides a sort of moving laboratory for what I’m writing about.
           I figured that experimental process would begin once I got to where I was going. It didn’t occur to me that it would actually begin the moment I got into my car and headed west. Because I didn’t envision anything at all happening on my five day drive.
           They say that life is what happens to you while your making other plans. I wasn’t so much making other plans as I was anticipating them. And, like it always does, life happened. In Omaha.
           Come back for part two.    

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, Muscleheart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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