Generally speaking, I’m afraid to dream.
Letdowns are a letdown for me, so refusing to dream means less disappointment in life. Right or wrong, I feel safer that way. Ironically, my wife is a good dreamer. At 10, she dreamed of marrying her future husband. At 15, she dreamed of being a Landscape Architect. At 20, she dreamed of taking a year off to travel the world.
Needless to say, non-dreamers benefit immensely by sticking close to dreamers.
If you know me, you probably didn’t know I’ve dreamed of driving a race car. That’s because I didn’t know either. There weren’t any exotic car pics on my bedroom wall growing up. I don’t really know how engines work. I didn’t know a single exotic car model by name before this week.
Last week here in Italy, Lamborghini offered my friend Michael and me the chance to participate in their 2012 Driving Academy. I woke up from a nap in the peaceful city-center of Bologna to the news. Shutup! I thought my wife was pulling my leg.
A few days later, I found myself standing in the pit at a Formula One race track in Imola, Italy.
Without having driven over 80 mph in a car, without having stepped foot in a Lamborghini, without having been on a race track, I was given the keys first to a Gallardo and then to a 2012 Aventador, with 700 horsepower capable of 350 km/h.
I reached 200 km/h on my first lap.
Sweat. Screams. Swearwords. Prayer.
Is this something I’ve always wanted? Yes. I realized that sometime in the past, in the deep recesses of my mind, a dream seed had been planted. No one really knew except Bethany, because I don’t entertain most dreams. Nevertheless, it was there.
If the Aventador could talk, it would tell you how scared I was, how I didn’t trust it at first, how I learned to trust it later, and how I finally surrendered to instinct and drove.
It would tell you that I realized my dream in 24 laps on the race track that day.
Sometimes, we don’t know our dreams until they come true.
Thanks for reading our series from Emilia-Romagna: A region of Northern Italy ripe for exploration. And thank you especially to Lamborghini for hosting us at their 2012 Driving Academy. If you’d enjoy coming along for the ride, follow us on Twitter (@twoOregonians), like our Facebook page, and stay tuned for more photos and stories from the racetrack and behind the wheel.