September 8, 2009
Last Friday, Scott and I were in Atlanta for the 10th annual ride along event with the Coca-Cola Racing Family. Every year, members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, a group of NASCAR’s top drivers, head to Atlanta Motor Speedway to give a few fans the ride of a lifetime: 160 MPH, in a REAL stock car, with a REAL race car driver at a REAL race track.
Fifteen lucky fans and a few members of the media took a spin with Racing Family members, including ABC/ESPN’s Brent Musburger and Lisa Salter who were in town to cover the Alabama vs. Virginia Tech game at the Georgia Dome. It’s a rare opportunity to get strapped into a car to ride shotgun with an actual race car driver, and is something that few people will ever be able to experience.
While I didn’t get to ride along (some of us have to work!), I thought about some of the once in a lifetime opportunities I’ve been fortunate to experience. Sailing and swimming with the fishies in the Whitsunday Islands; being asked to open for some of the world’s top DJ’s and producers; finishing a triathlon without drowning; hearing then-Presidential hopeful Barack Obama speak to a crowd of 20,000 strong while on the campaign trail here in Minneapolis.
Funny how, for some people, hearing the President of the United States is considered an opportunity of a lifetime.
Funny how some people were up in arms about their children hearing a message from the President even before he opened his mouth to speak.
Funny how multiple past Presidents on both sides of the political spectrum have also given speeches to students to kick-off the school year.
Funny how the people who considered his speech an imposition on young, impressionable minds, probably haven’t bothered to read “Dreams from My Father” to understand how our President’s journey can truly serve as a motivational story for young people everywhere, regardless of political affiliation or beliefs.
Funny how people failed to see what an opportunity it is for their children to learn from someone who has lived a dream deeply rooted in education (not just the family tree).
Funny how a random tangent from stock car racing to the President of the United States can actually have a point.
The connection: not everyone is a NASCAR fan, but if given the chance, who wouldn’t want to experience a 160 MPH ride? Riding along might not make you a race fan, but you’ll no doubt develop a different appreciation for it and perhaps see it in a different light.
Go for a ride!