November 26th, 1966. Means nothing to you does it? But today, 49-years ago I emerged into the world. Yes, as I write this I am entering into my 50th year. It’s a sobering thought. I remember my Dad’s 50th birthday and at the time thinking, wow, 50, it’s such a long way off for me.
But here I am writing and reflecting on 49-years.
Let me be clear here, this is no mid life crisis post and a writing about ‘what might have been’ or ‘if only…!’ No, I love my life for all its lows and highs and believe me, there has been plenty of them.
At times in my life I have hit some real low points. I have felt defeated, broken, sad and at the time I have thought, ‘that’s it!’ But each time I have picked myself up, dusted myself off and tried again. I look back on my 49-years and think of myself as a chameleon. I have adapted, changed and somehow managed to find a perfect place.
I love my job and what I do!
I have always been a photographer. I worked in a studio for years photographing cars, people, room sets, furniture, kitchen appliances and so on. My escape was sport and I guess in recent times I have looked back and reflected, (not in a sad way) at my life in sport.
We are all cars!
Way back in the day, I may never have been a F1 car but I sure as hell felt like it. I could get up at 5am, put on my cycling kit and head straight out the door. No warm up, no easing into things, I was ready! I would train for 2 to 3 hours and then arrive at work, shower, do an 8-12 hour day and then finish the day off with a bike ride, run or swim before heading home to the family.
I WAS a machine!
Come on, we have all been there haven’t we? You know exactly what I mean! Of course, if you are in your 20’s or 30’s and reading this, you still feel that way and have no idea what I am going on about. Don’t worry your time will come 😉
I was a new car straight off the forecourt. Immaculate, clean, finely tuned and ready for the miles ahead.
In recent years though, just like a car that has been running for years, I have needed to slow down and I have needed more trips to the garage:
- My suspension isn’t what it was!
- I don’t seem to get as far on the same amount of fuel!
- I need a regular MOT!
- There are hints of wear and tear appearing!
We are all cars!
I have to laugh at how the parallels with a new and old car reflect my life in sport. In recent years I am running less. It takes me longer to warm up and I just don’t seem to be able to go as far for fear of breaking down.
But you know what, I embrace it! I look around and think how lucky I am and I channel my efforts and my passions in my work. So today as I enter my 50th year I remind you of the car analogy and raise a glass to my 49-years and I thank all those who have supported me on the rollercoaster journey of life.
If my body was a car,
I’d trade it in for a newer model.
For I think I need a towbar,
From the dents I’ve endured in battle.
My paint job is a little dull,
My headlights are out of focus.
I’m no longer very mobile,
My body’s an old aged carcass.
My bodywork’s full of varicose scratches,
I’m in need of cosmetic work.
My brakes make nasty screeches,
That stops me with a jerk.
My traction is not as graceful,
I slip and slide and skid.
I have to drive quite careful,
Never mind what weather I’m in.
It takes me hours to reach a speed,
My fuel rate burns inefficiently.
I need some TLC to succeed,
And nice accessories that are costly.
Every time I sneeze or cough,
My radiator leaks.
My exhaust backfires a lot,
And my tires now tend to squeak.
Yes, if my body was a car,
I’d trade it in for sure.
I think I’d choose a jaguar,
With a body all slick and grandeur!
– Samantha Wallace