Here at Worthy we like to go hard at what we love, whether it’s brewing beer, or growing hops, or baking pizzas or even pedaling a bike.
Insert all the usual clichés but it comes down to wanting to do well and whatever it is we’re doing. “Doing well” doesn’t at all equate with winning medals. Yes, as Worthy's Brewmaster Chad Kennedy has said, it’s certainly nice to be recognized by your peers for brewing podium worthy beers, but in the end our mission is to brew drink worthy beers that customers will keep coming back to.
Chances are if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re probably doing it well. I love riding my bike. Getting out for a spin is a great way to clear the cobwebs and connect the dots. For many years I raced bikes and did fairly well but retired last year to build Worthy Brewing.
For the past few months, here in Bend I’ve enjoyed riding the Tuesday Night Nationals and Saturday morning Worlds with all the gritty boyz and girlz. I started getting all those “go for the gold” juices flowing again so I called up my buddy in Orange County, Michael “MJ” Johnson, and asked him if he wanted to race the tandem bike at the Masters National Championships here in Bend.
MJ’s a powerful bike racer and a great friend. In another life, I’m an asbestos cancer lawyer. Although MJ and I for years had known each other as bike racers, our relationship grew closer when his father, John Johnson, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, and I had the privilege of representing the Johnson family against the asbestos companies who poisoned him.
We dedicated the race to our Dads: John Johnson and Punch Worthington, respectively, two victims of asbestos cancer, who despite heavy odds and unspeakable misery lived out their tragically shortened lives with honor and dignity. We won the race, set a course record, averaged over 30 mph for 25 miles, and created for ourselves a lasting moment that we will forever look back upon with pride and happiness.
My Dad, Punch Worthington, who was a boxer, U.S. Marine, Ph.d in Genetics (from Oregon State) and labor union organizer, taught me to go for the gold and give something back. His wise counsel has served me well, whether as an asbestos cancer trial lawyer, a bike racer, a hops merchant and now as the owner of Worthy Brewing Restaurant and Gardens.
Thanks for a great ride MJ. We doubled the guts, glory and gold. It hurt so good! I know our Dads were looking down with pride.
It’s no secret that to get anything right, whether it’s racing a bike or brewing great beer, you have to put in the time, take a few risks, overcome countless obstacles, sacrifice a little short term pain, get back up and when you stumble, and keep your eye on the prize. It also helps, I've learned, whether going uphill or downhill, with the wind or against it, to remind yourself you're doing this more for the fun than the medals. I might add that even on those not-so-fun days it helps to know that when you get home you've got a worthy beer waiting for you.
Go hard at what you love!
Above photos courtesy of Lasala Images