I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it in this blog but I love Formula One and Indycar open wheel auto racing. My two racing heroes, Aryton Senna and Michael Andretti, actually tell you a lot about me and how I approach life and work.
Michael drove the wheels off of race cars, sometimes literally, because as a driver he only knew one speed……full throttle. He still holds the record for leading the most laps of the Indy 500 without ever winning the race. If he would have taken better care of his cars, he might have won multiple Indy 500s but my, my, my he was wicked fast (until his cars blew up). Watch the following clip from the 1992 Indy 500 and you’ll l see what I mean. (The start of the race is about 17 minutes into the clip.) Michael qualified 6th (on the outside of the second row) and if you watch closely you will see him go from the outside to the inside and around the leader by the first turn. Absolutely amazing. I was there to see it in person and it was a performance I’ll never forget…….
Michael ended up leading 160 laps of that race but his car broke 10 laps before the end. Like I said….wicked fast as long as his car was running.
Aryton Senna was arguably the greatest race car driver of all time. He was, is, and always will be a hero for me. The man was incredible in a race car and an absolute magician in the rain. Watch this clip from the 1993 Formula One race at Donnington Park. In wet conditions that were absolutely atrocious you can observe Senna go from fifth to first within a few corners into the race. This first lap performance may be the best single race lap of all time.
Senna won the race and had lapped all but the second place car by the end of it. It was a stunning performance but only one of many similar performance in his career.
You are probably asking yourself what’s the link between me and these racing legends? The answer is that in life I only know one speed….full throttle. I firmly believe that if something is worth doing it’s worth throwing yourself into 110%. I work hard, harder than just about anyone that I know. Not bragging, it’s just a fact. My equipment (in this case it’s my body and not a race car) might wear out before the natural end of my race but by God I’m running full throttle until that happens.
Two of my musical heroes produced songs that helped shape my approach to life. To close out this post let me share those songs with you.
First up, Born to Run, by Bruce Springsteen. The message of this song is pretty self evident so let’s listen to it without any further explanation.
Next up, My My Hey Hey (both the Out of the Blue and the Into the Black versions), by Neil Young. The two versions of this song are absolutely brilliant and capture the way I feel about life in a couple of key lines:
It’s better to burn out than to fade away
It’s better to burn out that to rust
It’s better to burn out cause rust never sleeps
I firmly believe that if I move fast enough the rust will never catch me……burning out, well that’s probably something that can’t be avoided. Let’s listen to both versions…..