It’s strange how racers and racing fans alike are all well aware of the dangers and risks involved in motorsport, and yet during the actual race day, all of that are shoved to the back of our minds. It’s all going be to okay. Let’s hope the race is exciting.
This past weekend was pretty much just like any other normal race weekend–until it wasn’t. F4 as a series is not televised in my shores, but as majority of my Twitter following are fans of multiple racing series, I get to be updated whenever I check my timeline during race weekends. And when something major happens, it’s impossible to miss. As soon as I read that a big shunt has occurred in Donington Park, which involved young British racing driver Billy Monger, my mind went into automatic, “Oh dear, I hope he’s 100% okay”. I refused to watch any footage of the crash, as my timeline was still fretting over the length of time it was taking for the youngster to be extracted from his vehicle. Some hours have passed, and finally Billy was taken to the hospital, and for a while, Twitter finally got to breathe a sigh of relief.
But then the awful news broke that Billy Monger sustained such serious injuries from the crash which resulted in both of his lower legs being amputated. I am barely familiar with this kid prior to that fateful moment but I felt my heart shatter in a million pieces when I read that update. Imagine having your dream taken away from you in a blink of an eye. How do you recover from that…?
In a matter of hours, a crowdfunding page was set up to help Billy and his family cope with the impending financial stress brought about by the accident. It was at 16% of the total goal when I donated. I immediately shared the link to my Twitter timeline and asked my followers to help out if they can. It saddened me a little that I couldn’t donate more, but I crossed my fingers and hoped that the motorsport world and beyond will come through and reach the target.
(Link to the crowdfunding page:
And reach the target we all did–and beyond! As of writing, the crowdfunding page is at 245% and has nearly 16,000 supporters. That’s with 117 days to go until the deadline. Numerous motorsport personalities have donated and expressed their support, and the massive outpouring of love and concern from all over the world is just amazing.
However, what got me into writing this was this tweet:
I never anticipated just how much those three simple words could have such an effect on me.
Here was a kid, all but 17, who got thrown a massive curveball by Life, but he is already dusting himself off without missing a beat.
And then there’s this little girl named Millie Davis who stood out among the sea of support on his crowdfunding page:
Do you ever have one of those days (or weeks, or months, or years, or lives) when you feel lost and overwhelmed and you feel like the universe won’t ever give you a break and you have no idea how to be yourself again?
And then you read about people like Billy Monger and Millie Davis and you realize just how inconsequential some of your worries are, and how you’re wasting your energies on the wrong things.
They may still be children but boy, have they schooled me on Life well and proper.
I am humbled by Billy’s fortitude. His bravery is no less than inspirational. He is a complete stranger to me but I am already invested in his story–a story of triumph, hope, and optimism.
It is far from over yet, there will be more challenges in the chapters ahead but I am not worried about him. Do not, in any way, feel sorry for Billy. Underestimate him at your own peril. He will pull through. He will teach us how to find the strength within us when all seems lost. He has already scored a massive victory and he’ll only score more along the way.
Form is temporary. Class is permanent.
Survival is an art and we should all be so lucky to have an ounce of Billy’s character in us.
I cannot wait for the day when Billy Whizz takes the checquered flag yet again.
Bounce back soon, Billy. We are all behind you.