"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

.....Never Give Up.....

Monday 5 Things…..Never Give Up…..

He had an F1 seat from 1991 to 1994 and then again in 1999. By the time he was 34 years old, he had won CART championships in 1997 and 1998. In the 2001 CART race at Lausitzring in Germany, he lost both legs at the knees in a horrific crash when another car cut his car in half. For most, this would have been the end of a life’s passion, but he had a different perspective. As he recuperated and came to terms with how his life had changed in a split second, he designed his own prosthetic legs that would allow him to race again. In 2003, just two years after the accident, he climbed back into a specially modified car and was back to racing full time. He won F1A World Touring Championship races in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009. He “retired” from car racing in 2009 and moved on to competitive hand-cycling. That year, after only a month of training, he took 4th place in the NY City Marathon hand-cycle division.  He won gold in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. In 2016 at the Rio Paralympic Games, he won gold again, 15 years to the day of his crash in Germany. As to retiring from car racing, in January 2019 he once again took the driver’s seat of a specially modified BMW for the Rolex 24 Hour race at Daytona. Just over a week ago in Italy during the Obiettivo Ticolore relay race, he lost control of his hand-bike, crashing head on into a truck. He sustained serious head and facial injuries and remains in a medically induced coma. At 53 years of age, Alex Zanardi is again fighting for his life. We all have those moments in life when we feel like we want to give up. Today’s M5T simply lets the inspiring words of Alex Zanardi speak as a man who has never given up.

1. A perfect life.

“The perfect life is the combination of great moments and bad ones, and under that point of view, my life is fantastic, because I’ve certainly hit more than one bump.”

2. Opportunites.

“I want to do something with this life of mine. I want to take my life as a great opportunity that I can’t waste.”

3. Raising your game.

“When you pass 40, the clock is ticking, you hear it louder. I decided to raise my game. I said, ‘I’m going to see if, in spite of my age, I can take the level of my game so high that I can qualify for the Olympic Games and enjoy a moment of glory and personal satisfaction.’”

4. Perspective.

“Once you put everything in the right perspective, even bad times can be an opportunity to refresh your appetite, your desire”.

5. Surprises.

“We all have expectations but sometimes the greatest thing is to be surprised with what happens and to find out that it is quite different from the way you imagined it. I try to, pardon the expression, stay with my feet on the ground.”

Here’s to Alex’s recovery, and to a week that we refuse to give up on any challenges that we may face.

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com