On Schumi Dreams, Vettel, Mick, And The (Racing) Ties That Bind.

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I’ve always been a vivid dreamer.

A few days ago, I had a dream about Michael Schumacher. I was outside a sunny race paddock when all of a sudden, there he was, in his signature Ferrari racing overalls and cap, riding his scooter. I remember calling him and asking for a photo with him, a request he happily granted. As I wrapped my arm around his waist while the photo was being taken, I remember thinking, “This is fantastic! But too perfect. I wish this was really happening.”

See, even in my dream I had a semblance of awareness that what I was experiencing at that moment wasn’t real. Even in my dream I “knew” that Schumi couldn’t possibly be a Ferrari driver anymore and that he is currently in no condition to ride a scooter. Even so, in that moment I was happy. So very happy I almost wished that dream wouldn’t end. But of course I had to wake up some time and accept the fact it was all in my subconscious.

After Schumi’s life-altering accident, watching F1 has never been quite the same for me. Of course I still immensely enjoy it, but there is now more than a scintilla of sadness when I watch the races. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, Sebastian Vettel’s move to Ferrari this season has, in a way, helped me to deal with the sadness, although conversely, his presence in the team and his similarities with Michael also become a glaring reminder of just how much I miss Schumi.

The day after the dream, I saw on Twitter that Vettel has become a patron of the ADAC Formula 4, the motorsport series he competed in as a youngster and the same series that Michael’s son Mick will be participating in this season. Quite fitting. While it may be a practical decision on his part, the sentimental fool in me found it quite a sweet gesture from the German. Michael Schumacher used to be the benchmark for Vettel and his fellow racers back then, and now that he has achieved a big part of his F1 dreams, Vettel is now the one who is giving back to the youngsters who want to follow in his and Schumi’s racing footsteps (or should that be tyre marks?).

Vettel himself has admitted that he is missing his mentor Schumacher’s advice when it comes to F1 and beyond. Spare a thought (or two) for young Mick Schumacher who will start a new chapter in his motorsport career finally bearing that surname, but without his father cheering from the sidelines. We can only surmise on how much pressure he is under—if any at all—but sometimes when I look at the Schumacher children I feel an overwhelming sense of protectiveness and I just want to give them both a big hug and tell them to stay strong and that everything will be alright.

I hope that Seb extends his help to Mick in whichever way he can, just like what Michael has so unselfishly done with him throughout the years.

This weekend, Mick formally started his ADAC Formula 4 adventure and promptly registered his 1st win in the series’ 3rd race. Words just weren’t enough to describe the happiness and pride I felt when I saw the words, “P1 M SCHUMACHER” and Mick standing on the top step of the podium while the German anthem played. This is the start of something amazing. I just know it.

To say I’m immeasurably excited for what the future holds for Mick would be an understatement. If we only had live coverage of the F4 races then I’d gladly watch, but for now I can only offer my unequivocal support from this side of the pond.

As for my dream, well, I firmly believe that dreams can be a sign of things to come. He may not be able to become a Ferrari driver once more but in my heart, there is still hope that we will see Schumi happily riding his scooter yet again.

Image via f1-memes.tumblr.com

Image via f1-memes.tumblr.com

You Gotta Have Faith.

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To be perfectly honest, this piece wasn’t particularly easy for me to write. However, I felt that I should at least make a decent attempt at it, for the sake of having my convoluted thoughts put on record for whatever purpose it may serve.

It’s been nearly eight months since that fateful day in Switzerland, and apart from some musings on Twitter, I’ve deliberately avoided writing about Michael Schumacher’s accident here on my blog for quite a number of reasons. It was a blow of epic proportions to my heart. I still literally feel physical pain at the mere thought of that accident. I didn’t want to write about him in uncertain terms. Reading tributes and heartfelt get-well messages have been helpful but they were but a temporary salve to my shattered heart that was desperately struggling to fight fear. I swore to myself that I would only open up about it once something positive came up. Amidst the sea of panic and instability, I chose not to read the damning articles prophesizing the worst, and the influx of negativity that came with them. Schumacher fans have subsequently been called ignorant, in denial, naive, and other worse things, but I simply did not care. Wallowing in alarm and speculation won’t do any good. I needed to step back and prioritize.

To quote one of my favourite shows, The X Files: I want to believe. So, why do we choose to believe? Why do I choose to believe? Faith, while it may come as easy as breathing, is also something that is difficult to explain. Faith is laying your heart on the line and trusting that you will become a far stronger person no matter what the outcome may be. Faith, at times, defies logic. Faith is that valuable, intangible something that you hold on to. Where there is love and hope, there is faith. Call it The Secret, positive affirmation, claiming it, or whatever, but as a true-blue, ride-or-die Michael Schumacher fan, I simply refuse to roll over and give up when the going gets tough. As one of his most famous quotes go, “I’ve always believed you should never give up. You should always keep fighting even when there’s only a small chance.” Amen, Schumi. We all have different coping mechanisms in times of trouble. Mine is to meditate and to pray. I talked and begged and badgered God and all the saints that would listen. I want him to get better. I need him to get better. Please. If I could somehow transport all of my positive energy towards him just to make him wake up and recover, I would’ve done so in a blink of an eye. Believe me, I’ve tried. This wasn’t just for my own selfish agenda, I am just one of the millions of fans who want nothing more than to hear something positive about a man who, in his own way, has inspired, influenced, and changed their lives. Finally, it happened. A few days after my birthday, I found out through Twitter that Schumi has come out of his coma and has been discharged from the Grenoble hospital. Call it dramatic or even cheesy, but I couldn’t help but shed tears at that moment. I was too overwhelmed by joy and gratitude, and I thought that it was the best birthday gift that I got this year, full stop. I wish I could put this more eloquently, but that moment was proof that the world is full of miracles, and we need to celebrate them as much as possible. While a part of me is eager to know more about his current state and progress, a bigger part of me is content to let Michael and his family have the privacy that they’ve valued and wanted for so long. If no news implies good news, then so be it. And without an iota of doubt in my heart, I believe that Michael Schumacher—the legendary racer, the son, the brother, the husband, the father, the friend, the man—has already won the fight. Everything else will just be a bonus.

That, is the power of faith.

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Forza Schumi.