Seven years ago on November 18th, 2008, I stopped to fill up Sharka’s tank. Gas was below $2, which was a first in many years. Sharka posed in front of the sign and I snapped a pic.
The next morning, this happened. It was a bad day for the little striped car.
Seven years ago. Seems like longer. Seems like a lifetime.
In many ways, Sharka’s destruction was the best day of my life. It didn’t feel great at the time, but it proved to be something I needed very badly. I came close – not that close, but a little bit close – to death. If not for a bit of the right type of foam on my rollbar, I’d not be typing this. I’d be fertilizer or a veggie-rev. $20 in padding let me walk away. And thanks to that rollbar, the truck that hit me didn’t come into the cabin.
I discovered a lot about myself that day.
I discovered I really loved life and wanted to live it. That’s what I got out of taking that huge freeway hit. It wasn’t that I was suicidal before the hit or anything. I just… didn’t LOVE life. I felt very blah about everything. I had things I enjoyed, but I was just going through the motions. I was sleepwalking my life away.
I wasn’t living each day to the best of my ability. I wasn’t living.
Sharka’s destruction and my small brush with mortality brought life into focus. The important things in life were immediately brought to the front of my mind. I grabbed them and didn’t let go. The things that were not so important fell to the side.
I transformed that day.
I think about that photo in front of the gas station sign fairly often and the day that followed it. Every time gas falls below two bucks, I think about posing again and recreating it. That original shot has developed into a bit of a stigma in my mind… I’ll not lie – I’ve been more than a little afraid of retaking it.
Pure terror really.
Mostly just irrational fear that Sharka would go away again if I recreated the shot… That I’d have to rebuild again.
So much work. So much time.
But… You know what? So what.
If it happens again, I’ll fix him up again. Sharka is my soul in physical form. A rolling, four wheeled part of myself. I’ll build him again. I’ll rebuild as many times as I need to.
When I snapped the photo this evening, I felt free.
Bring it on Tomorrow.
Rock on, Adam.
What impresses me most is that it seems like original Sharka never left. Almost like he’s the same car he was before the accident. Most builds change from car to car, but not Sharka. You picked up right where you left off. It’s seamless. I can only hope that when the day comes I can do the same thing with Kimi.
Here’s to another 7+ years of Sharka. *cheers*
Thanks Chris!!! I used to think about the 97 being different from the 95. That’s kinda faded. It all seems like one continuous story in my mind. Glad that others see that as well.
Beautiful post Adam. As usual. Hopefully this Sharka is here to stay, but if anything ever happens, you know who to call.
If anything happens, I’ll just do it all over again. 🙂
This post resonates with me a LOT Adam. The mid-2000’s were a rather strange ride for me, and I found myself at that edge a few times. I learned back then that while I had some strong innate driving skills, that all it would take would be one little thing to send me to my death.
But you know what? I’d never felt more alive than during those canyon runs. It certainly left an imprint on me, and it seems I can relate to your situation in a way. I just chose to focus on the Supra to express myself, while enjoying the Miata, learning the Miata, seeing how far I can push myself as a driver, without modifying that car. Surprisingly, Supras are a lot like bigger, heavier Miatas, in their own way.
Sorry for the rambling, been up for 18 hours at this point. =P
There’s something extremely peaceful about pushing everything to the limit on a track or mountain road, isn’t there? Even though it’s chaos outside and death is a throttle blip away, it’s… so peaceful. Total surrender. Being in the moment, nothing to worry about… just driving.
Yeah. I know what you’re saying.
Fantastic. Just discovered you, and glad that that foam was there.
It goes without saying how glad I am you’re here and to be able to call you a friend. And, wow. I can’t believe it has been seven years… Unreal.
I LOVE that hood. So much that I think I might want to snag one myself. Besides hitting the intake isolator box, did you have any other fitment issues? I’d be afraid of the scoop hitting the radiator or the hoses.
After looking around a bit, apparently you can get them here: http://miataroadster.com/garage-vary/garage-vary-hoods/gvhoodtype2/i-547274.aspx There are two, one with the “intake” and one without. I’m assuming the one you got is the one without the second smaller scoop?
This post is put perfectly to words. Life as it is and as it can be. Lately i feel the same about just going thru life day to day, my lifes very much a schedule. Though there are things i do enjoy in life especially my daughter who is 4.5 and i have soul primary custody and of course my lil smurf. But besides those two i just go to work each day come home each night take advantage of the night by spending close time with my daughter than go wrench on the miata after bed. Life seems to pass by, so i understand your feeling you mention i know it well. Your Sharka is more than just a car even to us readers, seeing wat you’ve done with that car I know gives hope to me and mine and im sure others that truly appreciate the bond.
You just stared back at death again and dropped the f bomb. I know what you mean about feeling blah after an accident. I had a concusion from one… a subject of which I have new found respect for. It can be rough. But theres a happy ending for sure..
my biggest fear is getting hit in my NA. what is this padding you refer to and do you have any other safety pointers from your own experiences?
I swapped my racing seats out for stock and have no stock seat belts. its driving me nuts. I was kind of rigging the racing belts for a while but IDK I’m not comfortable. I ended up putting generic universal lap belts in since I can’t seem to find any stock NA belts for cheap anywhere…
happened to my nc too i reared end into a challenger, tried to swerve, so it made it worst hitting the side frame completely destroyed my fender into the frame. Didnt told the insurance how bad was it, kept the car accidently found someone selling the front frame on ebay and 2 years later its back on the road. btw this is the 2rd time i totaled it XwX