2014 has been an interesting year, to say the least. My father passed away at the end of January. In February, I took a road-trip down South with my teammate to get on some racetracks. My racing team, Threshold Racing, got off the ground. I finally won a competitive race in my SCCA class. Most importantly, I did a lot of soul searching. Here are some things I learned this year.

Surround Yourself with People That Believe What You Believe

Whether you are in a sports team, a corporation, or a romantic relationship, I’ve found it is necessary to be with people that believe what you believe. That sounds esoteric, so let me explain. In my opinion, the greatest collaborations and successes are a result of people working together that believe in a common purpose, share common interests, and ascribe value to commonly held beliefs. For me, this year included sharing my life with my awesome wife who supports my passions and lifts me up when I need it. It also included working with my racing teammate Chris Rallo, who helped me push myself to go much faster than I thought I was capable of and has helped me to lay the foundation of a competitive team. It included my friends that understood the impact of my father’s death and supported me in happiness and despair. Whether racing, or personal matters, I am privileged to be surrounded by people that share my beliefs in what matters in life and how to grow as a person.

Gorgeous Barber Motorsports Park, near Birmingham, AlabamaGorgeous Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go South!

It amazes me when I think of what my Ford F-150 has managed to accomplish. No worries, this is not a Ford ad, I’m sure a RAM, or Silverado could accomplish the same. In February of 2014, my teammate Chris Rallo and I managed to haul our trailer through the mountains of Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee in blinding, full-scale, blizzard conditions. Incredibly, my EcoBoost F-150 with 4X4 managed to get through whiteout conditions for almost two days. Some highlights include sending my wife a Valentine’s card from a frozen mountain pass in Virginia. You should have seen the look on the Post Office workers face! Surviving Southern drivers in the snow is no minor accomplishment. Most notably, towing in the worst of the blizzard with my teammate telling me, “Don’t worry, as long as you see all white you’re good. If you’re going to hit anything, it won’t be white. Stay on the throttle.” Yes, that seemed perfectly rational… We did manage to get to Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, AL in one piece, I think… I could be a ghost, and not know it. The ride, really, is a symbol of me beginning to let go, and believe in myself.

A convertible GMC school bus! Nothing says safety for children like this... on I75A convertible GMC school bus?! Spotted off of I-75 in Georgia.

It’s a Wonderful Life, Usually…

Be with people that believe in what you believe. Be with people that support you. Be around positive people that lift your spirit. Life is short. Life should be fun, while teaching us. Your fortitude will be tried. Your patience will run out. Yet you will prevail. It’s a wonderful life, usually… Spend it wisely.

"Ariella" STi at dusk. Photo taken at Barber Motorsports Park by Chris RalloAriella STi at Barber. Photo by Chris Rallo.

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