Monday, November 21, 2011

Doing what I love.

I had a tough night last night.  Totally unexpected.

Lynn returned from a few days away in New York.  It was great to get her back.  Us boys had had a good time while she was away, but we'd not even left the house.  We just played, watched movies, built lego and played some more.  Lynn was exhausted so she went to bed at 8pm - same time as our boys.

So I completed my epic full season view of Moto GP racing.  I have an on-off relationship with Moto GP.  I love it, but I no longer know anyone nearby that shares this interest.  So I sort of forget about it, whilst my DVR thankfully does not.  Also, luckily, Moto GP doesn't get the news coverage of other sports, so I stay totally blissfully unaware of the season's results.

Last night I watched the Sepang Moto GP and had no idea I was going to watch the death of Marco Simoncelli.  Over previous evenings I had watched him develop through the season, getting faster and smoother and more controlled.  I'd enjoyed his flair and was getting excited every time I saw him race.  He was 24.

The crash caused the race to be red flagged and I immediately grabbed my laptop.  The crash was so horrific I feared he wouldn't recover and the internet confirmed my fears.  In the end the race was abandoned, but clearly fans and riders spent a grueling time waiting for news and wondering what would happen next.  I was spared that ordeal, but not so his girlfriend or parents.

Almost immediately, I watched the next race, the final one of the season, from Valencia.  Lets face it, what else was I going to do.  There was no way I could sleep yet.  The coverage was respectful to Marco and frankly moving.   But that old cliche emerged, "He died doing what he loved."  Thankfully it was only mentioned once.

I remember when I was in my early 20's, I had this weird feeling that I was going to die young.  Surprisingly, it wasn't particularly worrying to me at that time.  I think it's only once you've assembled your life, and filled it with your loves, that mortality is scary.

Then I had an accident.  I fell off a mountain bike.  Top tip here:  Don't drink vodka and then try to get a buzz by cycling as fast as you can.  I was bored at a party and thought it might be fun.  I didn't tell anyone what I was doing and I didn't wear a helmet.  Stupid, eh?  I'm still not certain if I was knocked unconscious, and if so for how long, but I know that when I returned to the party, people had started to wonder where I'd gone.... but then, as I said, the party was quite dull.  ;-)

That accident, however, seemed to totally remove my foreboding feeling.  Of course, it didn't make me more careful.  And it didn't make me wear a helmet when I was cycling.  No, it took my children to make me wear a helmet.  Just as I'm pretty sure that it was me, who made my dad start to wear a seat belt.

I love my wife, my children and my friends.  I love my life.  I hope that I will die doing what I love, but I really hope it won't be soon.  You see Lynn and I have this pact, that once we're 75 we can start smoking and experimenting with all the illicit substances that we were, and are, too scared to even consider trying... so I need to stay alive for that party!

RIP Marco