Yesterday, for the first time in three months, I managed to lower myself into the drivers side of my car and adjust the seat into a position I could drive in. I could now drive if I wanted to. Pressing the clutch was difficult, my back complained each time my leg had to work push the pedal away from me and into the floor. I realised that even if I did drive, I wouldn't be going very far. Nor would I be able to look over my shoulder. So no reversing for the time being. This is before you've factored in the discomfort I get going around corners and bump in the road. Taken slowly it's fine, but anything above brisk and my back simply can't handle it at the moment. I'm in dire need of a big comfortable Mercedes or something until I'm all healed, then I'll be wanting my hot hatch back.
None of that really matters though because above all else, there was a feeling I got when I sat behind the wheel. A feeling before I'd even adjusted the seating position. I can only really describe it as a sense of belonging or a feeling of 'coming home'.
When my girlfriend visited my family she was bombarded with stories from my family about how when I was a toddler I fell asleep whilst still playing with my toy cars on the floor. So i slept with my head on the floor, car(s) still in hand. Or the numerous occasions where at the age of 3 to 5 I walked down the street with my mother and named every car. Mother of course not believing me decided to check, and of course I was right. Of course I was, I was a car guy(kid).
Now, at the age of 26 recovering from what has been a really awful back injury, I am writing about cars for www.drivingspirit.com and of course you guys here on Opposite Lock. I'm working on a couple of projects from my comfortable prison that I am soon to break out from, and I am optimistic about the future.
I've written about myself a few times before and you're probably sick of hearing about it! If so, I'm sorry! But I want you guys to know that this sort of thing can be a catalyst for positive change. If this injury had not have happened. It's quite possible I would not have become a writer. But I have, and that all comes back around to a point. A toddler playing with cars. A 6 year old steering a car at Anglesey Circuit while his dad uses the pedals. A 17 year old kid learning how to drive. A 21 year old getting a loan to buy an Audi TT. A 24 year old driving to Paris solo without maps or sat navs. A 26 year old getting into his car after three months away and feeling a sense of belonging.
It's been inside me since my very beginnings. I'm sure it's inside a lot of you too. If it is, don't put it off. Go for it. If I can do it, so can you.