Live Life Like a NASCAR Driver

Mark Arsenault rounding turn 2 in NASCAR number 5It’s a fact that everyone’s life will come to an end. It’s just a matter of time. So why do so many people go through life without going after what Darren Hardy calls “those big fat hairy audacious goals?” Life’s too damned short not to accomplish something great, to experience exhilaration and joy, and to live a full life.

A few weeks ago, for my birthday, my wife surprised me with a fantastic birthday present. She took me to the Stockton 99 Raceway to the Race With Rusty NASCAR Experience. I got the full treatment, complete with a short racing class, suited up in the fire suit and helmet, and got (tightly) buckled into a 3,000 pound rocket on wheels.

This was the first time in my life I’d ever been inside a bonafide, NASCAR spec late model racing car. There’s so much to know out on the track: what the different colored flags mean, what to do (and not do) in an emergency, where the track lights are and what they mean, and so on. The neck brace and head stabilizer made it almost impossible to turn your head to look at anything except the front windshield.

Mark Arsenault sitting on NASCAR number 5“That’s okay. All you have to worry about is what’s in front of you,” I was told. “The spotter will take watch out for what’s behind you.” I have to tell you, I have a whole new respect for professional drivers.

To be honest with you, the moment the crewman walked away from my car and I gave a big thumbs up out the window, I started to get very anxious. What if I lose control of the car? What if I hit a wall? Why am I here? In fact, for just a second I thought maybe I should get out of the car and call it off.

Then common sense took hold of me. Why in the world would I want to miss the opportunity of a lifetime? To skip on a chance to drive on an actual NASCAR racetrack?! So I stayed. I stayed not because I wasn’t nervous. I was still nervous. I stayed because of how I knew I would feel after it was over. Flowing with adrenaline and happy as hell that I had the memory!

That’s how we should live life. Not without caution but with a longing to experience things we’ve never experienced before. To be able to look back and say, “Boy, I’m glad I did it.” We should live life like a NASCAR driver.

Check out this video I put together of my day at the track. I gotta tell you, I’m glad I did it.


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