How To Re-Focus Your Life After a Devastating Crash - Alex Zanardi
By Tom Hasker, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
Every day someone somewhere feels as if their life has been turned upside down; perhaps they broke up with their girlfriend or boyfriend, they didn't get the exam results they wanted, they were fired from their job or they realised something about their character that they really didn't like...
Imagine though for a moment, that you were racing in a car as you had done all your career and then you were hit by another car at 200 mph, and to save your life, the doctors had to amputate both your legs.
This is precisely what happened to former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi 15 years ago in September 2001. Driving in the American Memorial 500 Cart race, he was T-Boned by a fellow driver in a terrible crash and needed to be airlifted to hospital.
Given what happened, most people would have understood if Mr Zanardi decided to retire from sport completely and live a quiet life. He had already achieved a great deal in motorsport.
However, as he explains in this interview with the BBC;
"When you find yourself in a certain situation you have to identify where you want to go and focus on what you can achieve on that given day.
"Whether it is a small thing or big one, step-by-step you can make things happen."
By focusing on what he can do, beginning with the smallest of things, like going to the toilet, Alex Zanardi built up his abilities to the point where he took up hand cycling and competed at Paralympic level. This week, almost 15 years to the day after his accident, he has won a gold medal at his second Paralympics at the Rio games.
Legends know that they are in control of their life and they are capable of deciding the outcome that they want, regardless of where they are right now. As Mr Zanardi says later in this article from the Express;
“I was very lucky to be helped by wonderful people. Nobody does anything alone in life.”
This video really sums up what drives and motivates Alex Zanardi and leave us with a great question to ask ourselves, how happy are we?
Watch Channel 4 Alex Brooker share how Alex Zanardi has inspired him to find hope in his own disability...