I am 38 years old and little by little, I feel like my life has been pulling back the curtains on the different paths to my life. I feel like I’ve been dormant for a very long time and just now, I’ve discovered things that most would have discovered in their teens.
I lived in San Francisco so I never really had the need to learn how to drive. Went to college and I always stayed near school. I got to Mexico City and you’d be insane to have a car, with all the parking and the trouble of trying to find a spot. So I only learned how to drive at 36. The first time I had anyone in the vehicle as a legal driver was my mom in a golf cart.
The second time was a 25-mile drive in a BMW.
I had been a fan of BBC’s Top Gear from before and coupled with driving those 25 miles on a freeway, I knew that I would have to take my driving to another level. I don’t have the reckless attitude nor the nonchalance I would have had in high school. And thinking about that now, if I had liked then all the things I am beginning to like now, I believe I would have dug myself a very early grave.
And I say this because I watched a segment on Ayrton Senna, Brazilian F1 driver who is highly regarded in the sport and was killed while racing in Imola.
I have no intention of trying my hand at F1. I couldn’t do it. But I mention Senna because there is a movie coming out in September 2013 called “Rush,” directed by Ron Howard, about the rivalry and the friendship between F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The latter suffered severe injury and had nearly died in a crash that brought those two men closer together as friends.
Lauda looked to Senna as his hero. And the man Lauda coaches now, Lewis Hamilton, also holds Senna in high regard.
When I was a kid, I never understood the fascination with Formula 1. After watching these two segments, I can’t wait to get close to that world. To feel the grip of the road. To understand that dance with tarmac and rubber.
I’m too old to be a Formula 1 driver. But I am too young to say I never tried.
I am 38 and will not be beaten.