Tag Archives: Alex Zanardi

7 years…

I debated on whether or not to blog on this day… about this day, but in a weird indirect way it’s because of that day, that week actually… that I blog at all.

I remember everything about that morning.
I remember the irony of it all.

See, I was coming off of a couple of personally tumultuous months, both physically and emotionally. The night before I had decided that enough was enough. It was time to shake it off and get back into the swing of things. I got up early that morning (an oddity as I worked mostly nights at that time) & prepared to put on a happy face and go out and conquer the world. An hour later the world conquered me.

As a Canadian I had always felt misguidedly safe and distanced from violence and terrorism on any significant level. That would be the last time I felt that way. All of a sudden it wasn’t just random strangers under attack in some far off place, but rather my friends and loved ones. This wasn’t something that was happening to “them” but rather to “us”. For the first time, I was truly afraid and convinced that I, living in Toronto, was in danger.

I remember the eerie silence in the skies later that day. I remember the heart stopping terror I felt at the sound of the first planes flying over head a few days later. Mostly I remember the tears of joy streaming down my face when I finally heard from my friends in New York. (one who worked across the street from the towers)

I remember my birthday passing quietly a few days later with no fanfare by choice. I remember making a huge decision about the direction my life would take from that day forward. And I remember, on the 15th, sitting down to take my mind off the horrors of life and all the evil in the world, to selfishly lose myself in the joy of racing… I remember wondering a few hours later if I would ever know joy again.

I didn’t think my heart could break anymore than it already had that week, but it did.
The trembling, the tears, and a new fear took over.
How? Why? When would this madness stop?

My days and nights in the coming days, weeks, months would be consumed with finding answers about anything and everything. Part of my searching was of course to find updates on Alex, which lead me to discover the world of motorsports forums. The rest as they say… is history.

Odd that out of so much tragedy and sadness and loss, both physically and spiritually, would come clarity and a new life path.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
– George Bernard Shaw

A passion reborn, a hobby flourished, a career redirected.

Never forget…
but never lose hope either…

The events of that week changed the world forever. Changed me forever.

“In life… when you find something that you love so much, as much as I did love motor racing, and as I still love motor racing, you will find in yourself the determination to go out and really bring the best out of yourself.”
– Alessandro Zanardi

enjoying the hiatus…

Much like the drivers and teams, I too am enjoying a little down time this week. Enjoying the lull in the action, the slowed activity in my inbox, and the uncramping of my fingers/forearms from the constant typing. (last weekend damn near killed me)

I’ve been catching up on emails, catching up on reading what everyone else has been writing, and apparently losing out in last minute negotiations for none other than p-dog! (funny dude that guy!)

I’ve also been taking advantage of the down time to clean out some of the massive folders of crap on my computer. (the “start up disk is full” errors prompted that one… ) You know you are in trouble when you have not one but 4 folders labeled with the word “junk”, too many to even name with racing themes…

Anyhoo… in one of those racing folders I found the following:

I guess I had taken a screenshot of the timing/scoring chart and saved it.

What an amazing day and moment in time.

What an amazing man.

*picture credit Champ Car World Series*

Class & inspiration personified…

Buon Compleanno Alessandro!!!

And good luck in November!

NEW YORK (AFP) — Alex Zanardi, the former motor racing driver who lost both his legs in a 2001 crash, will compete in the New York City Marathon on November 4, organizers said Wednesday.

The 40-year-old Italian, a former Formula One and Champ Car driver, will use a handcycle in his first 26.2 mile road race.

Zanardi won the Champ Car crown twice, drove for F1 teams Minardi and Lotus between 1991-94 and Williams in 1999.

He lost both his legs in an accident in 2001 while racing Champ Cars in Germany. Fitted with prosthetic limbs, he now competes in the BMW World Touring Car Championship.

Zanardi is also set to address a pre-race pasta dinner, sponsored by Barilla, one of his personal sponsors, on the eve of the New York race to speak to around 15,000 runners about his rehabilitation and his return to racing.

“I have done a lot of crazy things before and always eat and train like an athlete,” Zanardi said. “I feel like saying that I won’t only cross the start line, but the finish line too.

“I hope I can make it to the end in good condition and in a good trim. My goal is to finish in less than two hours. I have one month for training and I will take it very seriously.”