Momentary thrill; Lifetime regret

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lifetime regretI’m totally with you. I love it, too.

Few things in life beat the thrill of speed. For me, it’s on the water, in an airboat slicing through the Everglades or in a fishing boat shooting out from the Keys.

The wind blasts in your face, the sound wraps around you and you feel so alive!

It’s still fun in cars, though somewhat muted even with the windows down. Still, I had the opportunity to get onto the Gator Speedway back when I went to school at UF. I had a car worthy of being on the track and, though I’ve never been a true “wild man” in any car, I pushed it above my comfort zone that day.

Of course, all the above examples have one crucial common element: none of those areas are the least bit crowded.

After yet another near-brush with death on my morning walk, I wondered again at the impulse (or simple lack of awareness) people have for speeding in their cars.

When I say near-brush and death, I don’t exaggerate. If I had not been more alert than the drivers on those days, I would, without question, be far beyond typing this blog…ever.

Regardless of the “need for speed” on the highways, I find the most dangerous encounters actually take place on the side streets or cul de sacs around the neighborhood. Paradoxically, that’s where the “need for speed”, either in time or pleasure, will have the least value, due to the shortness of the “track”.

I’m sure you agree that careless or reckless drivers should be punished. Probably with the same conviction that you know you are not one of them. I have to say, that’s rubbish. We’re all capable (and likely, guilty) of having a momentary lapse of concentration or distraction from what’s in front of us. We’ve all had that day when we have no time to get from point A to point B.

My fertile imagination is a blessing and a curse. I can “see” grieving family members of the person I might hit. I can imagine the dismayed and disappointed looks of my friends and family at my possibly injuring, let alone killing, a pedestrian. I can “feel” my horror and regret at having caused such pain.

And that’s without ever having done anything. Yet.

Yes, I’m being preachy. Yes, I might even come off as sanctimonious. But try it anyway. Give your imagination a whirl on the idea and see if that momentary thrill of speed is worth the possible lifetime of regret.

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