Smithology: Then you do it in sandals | Hagerty Media
The last time I saw Rick Mears, he was wearing sandals. This is interesting mostly because he was also standing in the pits at Indianapolis next to a running Indy car. If there is one place that America's grand old temple of speed does not want bare toes, it is the hot pits, especially when a snarling open-wheeler is about to rip off into a 200-mph lap. https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/smithology/smithology-then-you-do-it-in-sandals/
Yo, Hagerty - why is this buried in the site instead of on the "front page" ? Smith is one of the most insightful, whole-life-experience, witty automotive writers around. As for the foot, and the effects of age on recuperation and physical prowess...as the esteemed philosopher and cable guy says, "git 'er done".
"It's not how old you are, it's how you feel"...the greatest lie and/or self deception ever! I don't 'feel' that much older, but my mind LIES to me! My mind says "You CAN do it!", but my body says "Be a FOOL if you want to!" LOL!!! 🙂
I always say “it’s the mileage not the years”. Unfortunately being a mechanic for a living and off hours as a hobby I’ve got high milage. But your right, keep moving and everything else is easier, park the car now and it just seizes up!
Sam, I can't tell you how much this piece affected me the more I read. As a guy who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease over eight years ago, I can certainly relate to your issues due to your foot injury and being able to do the things you want to do. Parkinson's is a very slowly progressing disease, but it never quits. Never lets up. Some day in the future Ill
From what I've been told, the best way to slow it down is to keep exercising. Also, a diet that gives you a surfeit of important nutrients and minimal junk is bound to help. And I hope they figure out how to stop it in its tracks--sooner rather than later.
At 22, I climbed the Cascades, the Rockies, the Whites, and the Greens, all in one bicycle trip. At your age, I could have done it again, though I might have taken 10-20% longer at it. At my current age, well beyond that of your editor--sans high tech add-ons--it would probably take twice as long, so when I make the quintessential American voyage once again--both directions this time--I'll be taking the car, and getting my exercise hiking along the way, rather than running, to reduce the chances of temporarily hobbling myself by falling on a kneecap, as happens occasionally when the dog and I run in the local woodland.
PS. The more you do, the more you can keep doing. My brother visited Tom Hornbein, our cousin who climbed Everest--the first to do so via the West Ridge--on the US expedition in '63. Then a fit 65, my brother said that hiking around in Estes Park, it was hard keeping up with Tom, who at the time was pushing 90.
I've been reading car magazines for more years than I'll admit to. And I've been reading Sam for probably as long as he's been published. I'm not really surprised he's written such a good article again. But, I'm still pleasantly amazed that Hagerty has attracted the best writers around. The best magazine, website and club. If the other magazines keep touting electric cars as the future, it will probably be the last magazine I subscribe to. I pray Hagerty doesn't fall prey to the false god of electrification, too. Really great article, Sam, and speedy recovery.
There's a great scene (one of many) in "This is Spinal Tap" where the band are gathered around Elvis' grave site when they try singing "Heartbreak Hotel." When they can't figure out the harmonies, one says "Puts things in perspective." David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) mutters, "Yeah, too much ****ing perspective." And, likewise, this article - too much ****ing perspective. My feet hurt, and my back reflects the fact I've had two surgeries in the last year. And, as a club racer like Sam, I think I may have lost half a step. But, it's important for me to keep trying. Keep moving. The difference for me now is all about gratitude. I'm just grateful to be at the track. I'm grateful for the help I get. And now I'm getting better about asking for help, and not getting bummed out because washing two cars might mean not getting out of bed the next day.
We die in pieces, old son, but not all of us have your ability to write so well about the doleful prospect. You also inspired some moving comments. I have friends who deal (or dealt) with Parkinson's; courage takes many forms. And props to the person who thinks you belong on the front page. We know there are others in the line with you, so we mostly keep our expectations realistic, but really! Anyway, coraggio, mi amico. I'm betting that you have true grit.