MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Lance Cpl. Julio J. Rodriguez started riding motorcycles when he was 17 years old.
The sense of adrenaline is what first attracted Rodriguez, a field wireman with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, to learn how to ride. The freedom that comes with riding is why he says he’ll continue to do it for the rest of his life.
In this interview, he tells us how riding not only serves as a way to release stress, but also helps him with all aspects of life.
Q: What inspired you to become a Marine?
A: I always wanted to be a Marine. My grandfather was a Marine. Ever since I was four or five years old, he would always tell me little stories about the Corps. I loved hearing them, so ever since then I wanted to join the Corps.
Q: What do you do as a field wireman?
A: What I do is I set up phone systems for field operations and deployments so the people in charge can make operational phone calls. We can also make it so Marines can call home. When you’re away from family that little phone call home helps out a lot to keep you going.
Q: How long have you been riding a motorcycle for?
A: I learned how to ride when I was 17 years old. I got my bike about two or three months ago and I’ve been riding every day.
Q: What kind of bike do you ride?
A: I ride a 2001 Honda F4i. My bike is actually pretty loud. I feel very comfortable with it.
Q: How do you apply riding to your job?
A: You can definitely apply things that you’ve learned from riding. Not necessarily how to start a bike, move it or turn it, but thinking about those situations or scenarios. Thinking ahead and planning ahead, stuff like that can be applied not just to my job, but all areas of life.
Q: What do you love about riding?
A: Riding is freedom. When you’re in a car you can’t really get a sense of it all. It doesn’t feel right to me anymore. I don’t even drive my car anymore. I just ride my bike everywhere. It’s more comfortable. You can smell everything better than you could in your car. You can smell all the flowers, restaurants cooking food, and you just enjoy the ride better than you would in a car. It really is just great. I love everything about it.
Q: How do you feel when you ride?
A: When I’m riding my bike, I don’t think about anything else. It really relieves stresses from any job or home. When I’m riding, I don’t think about anything but riding. As soon as I’m getting ready to ride, I just can’t wait to get out there.
Q: What’s it like riding in heavy traffic, and are you ever worried about being in an accident?
A: One hundred percent of the time, when you’re riding, you’re on the lookout for other drivers. You play out every situation possible and how to avoid any potential mishaps.
Q: What kind of bond do you share with other riders in your unit?
A: It’s awesome. When we ride, we’re all just moving through the road together. It’s kind of like a school of fish; when one moves, they all move. We’re all in it together, almost connected.
Q: How long do you plan on riding for?
A: The rest of my life, hands down. I plan on riding the rest of my life.
For the Warrior Wednesday video on Rodriguez, visit our YouTube page at: http://youtu.be/Bxw4J8UurDs