Speed. I am speed.
*Insane flyby noises that made every kids jaw drop in the movie theater*.
One winner, forty two losers. I eat losers for breakfast.
*Sound of a tire rubbing hard against the asphalt*.
Breakfast – breaky could be good right? – no, no, no. Focus. Speed. I am speed.
Hey Lightning, you ready?
Ohhhh yeahhhhhhhhh, lightning ready.
*Real Gone by Sheryl Crow starts playing*
That’s it. The first 30 seconds of the movie Cars made by Pixar in 2005. You might ask, why did I recite that? Well, ever since I first saw the movie in theaters when I was a wee young lad, I have had those 30 seconds memorized. Cars was like drugs for me when I was a kid. I had the movie poster that they gave out with McDonald’s happy meals hanging on my bedroom door in our old apartment. I had all the cars that my parents were able to find in stores, because at that time, finding a Lightning McQueen toy was literally impossible, so I settled for my Mater (you know like Tow Mater, but without the Tuh) toy and folded up a Lightning McQueen that my dad printed at work so that it could be in colour. I even stole my god brother’s Lightning McQueen toy because I just wanted one so badly (I say stole, but in reality my god parents just gave it to me because my god brother never really played with it and they saw how obsessed I was with it, but I still felt bad).
Anyways, as you can see, I was obsessed with a red race car that had never even won the Piston Cup. Cars was that film that helped shape my childhood growing up. I learned from Doc Hudson that it’s not always about winning, it’s about being a good person and treating the people around you with respect. I learned from Mater that sometimes the best thing to do is forget about your worries in your life and just have fun, you don’t need to know where you’re going, just need to know where you’ve been. I learned from Ramone you need to ride low and slow from time to time and let’s not forget the most important thing that Guido and Luigo taught me, black walled tires are boring and they blend into the pavement, get those white walls so that you stand out.
So you could say that my parents were pleased with the life lessons that I had learned from the movie and its characters, and they also definitely did not mind me watching it over and over and over again, since it was actually a really well made film (might have lost to Happy Feet at the Academy Awards but it won in my heart). Moving on. My parents saw my obsession with the film begin to slowly fade as I grew older, and they began to let their guard down knowing that I was most certainly not going to become a Cars addict. It was done when it all went wrong. Well about 15 years after the release of the film that is.
While I may not be addicted to the film itself, one thing that it did make me addicted to is racing in itself. I went from toy cars, to sim racing wheels. From my film poster on my bedroom door to a poster of Le Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve (a racetrack in Montreal and the current home of the Canadian Grand Prix). I was no longer asking for toy cars and figures for Christmas but $700 tickets to watch the Canadian Grand Prix. I went from obsessively watching Cars over and over to watching Formula 1 races from literally any year, whenever possible. My Instagram is splattered with updates every race or whenever big news drops and I would rather watch an F1 race than spend time with people.
I am dependent on F1 and SIM racing and the thrill of going fast. Every time that I try to let go of it I stumble into a deeper and deeper depression that always brings me back to racing. I always need to set a faster lap time or watch another race, I live with no time for anything else in my life and it’s ruining me. The people around me see me as this helpless, broken man that just wants to watch Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost crash into each other at Suzuka 1990, is there anything wrong with that??? Is there??????
All I can say is that I don’t feel complete without racing, like the addict that I am, and that all I can do is blame Pixar for releasing that work of art in 2005 that forever changed my life. I would not have wanted it any other way.
It doesn’t matter if racing never changes, what matters is if we let racing change us.