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It happens to everyone. At some point it dawns on you that you’re getting older. Yeah, it usually happens on your birthday, but I recently had a different kind of a reminder.
Recently, a good friend of mine and I were towing his race car, when we started discussing how we got into our hobbies. At first, it seemed like a random topic, especially since it feels like this is all I’ve ever known. Then the age thing hit me; over my lifetime, I’ve been into everything from being active in football, running track, and waterskiing to riding dirt bikes, mountain bikes, and karts. However, of all the things I’ve tried and been involved in, I’ve never strayed from cars.
The more we started talking, the more it began to set off a wild series of flashbacks: my first hot rod, my first trip to the dragstrip, my first cruise night, my first ticket, and even my first pass down the tarmac. Oh and of course, we’ve all been there, but I’ll never forget the first time I blew up my engine; that was a fun one to try and explain to my dad.
Maybe it started with toy cars, you know, pretending to jump them over books, the couch, and even the coffee table for that matter. Then all those late nights, begging to stay up so I could watch The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, even The A-Team (at the time I thought that van was pretty cool).
Was I molded by my surroundings? It’s possible. I have always found myself around other gearheads and still do. Most of my close friends are car folks who are either in the industry or just big time enthusiasts.
Digging back, I guess it amuses me because I distinctly remember people claiming it was only a phase and that I would eventually grow up or out of it. Only, I never did. I guess in a long-winded way, I just found it interesting that one question ended up sparking up so many fun memories.
It was then I also realized that over the years my current position has given me the ability to travel all across the country. Whether I’m checking out car shows or races, it’s also given me the opportunity to meet great folks, get an inside look at things to come, and walk around some incredible manufacturing facilities.
All things considered, I do know one thing; I doubt I’ll ever be ready to grow out of the gearhead phase, and I’m perfectly OK with that.