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  • Writer's pictureTanya Mathison

Fatal Accident to Race Car Driver

The journey from a devastating car crash to finding joy and freedom behind the wheel after 14 years is a true testament to me of the resilience the human spirit is. It's truly incredible how life can lead us down unexpected paths, especially in the face of immense grief and trauma.

The weight of responsibility from the unbearable loss of a loved one can make even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. I remember the overwhelming fear and guilt that consumed me after the accident, feeling as though I could never bring myself to drive again. The thought of being behind the wheel, the vivid memories of that tragic day, and the paralyzing fear of putting my children at risk, again, made the road ahead seem impassable.

Every drive toward healing and reclaiming my life  behind the wheel felt like an uphill battle of fear and panic. It took immense courage to confront these fears, to sit in the driver's seat, and to navigate the road once more. The journey back to driving has been filled with many moments of doubt, anxiety, tears and so many prayers.  But it has also come with small victories and the gentle patience & support of my husband and children.

From a shattered driver to embracing the open road with a newfound passion didn't happen overnight. It was a been such a gradual process of facing the fears, seeking comfort in the familiar, and slowly expanding my boundaries outside my comfort zone.

I remember the first time I drove with my children in the car again after the accident with my son, it was a monumental milestone mixed of bittersweet and determination. Over these 14 years, the fear began to loosen its grip, and the healing power of resilience started to take root.

Today, as I reflect on being a Race Car Driver, I find myself in awe of the remarkable evolution that Grief has sparked within me. The once daunting act of driving has become a symbol of possibilities and an unexpected source of joy. The metamorphosis from a hesitant driver to piloting a Lamborghini around a race track at 130 mph is a testament to me of the transformative power from healing and growth.

After 7 laps, my Guide asked me how my experience was, all I could get out was,  “It was exhilarating.“ To experience the wind rushing past, the pulse-quickening speed, the road beneath me was no longer shaky but sturdy. While grief may shatter us, it also has the incredible ability to reshape us into something extraordinary.

Today, as I sit behind the wheel, I am not just a driver, but from the broken pieces I have emerged with a newfound love of driving with a profound appreciation for the beauty of life's unexpected twists and turns.

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