My Unfortunate Kickoff to the Month of May – An Open Letter to my Readers

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This is certainly not how I saw my Month of May unfolding. Bags are half-packed, car is empty, and this designer gown I’m currently wearing is a style from Diane Von Furstenberg, but it’s a clinical gown for patients of Cleveland Clinic hospitals… a far cry from the ones I get to wear to formal IndyCar events. 

Since October, I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious health issues. Unless you are family or a close friend of mine, you likely have no clue what I’ve been going through the past 7 months. I am not a big proponent of sharing personal or health-related issues on social media. I know it works for many as a way to cope and process, but I’m pretty private when it comes to my personal health. That said, I won’t be sharing a ton of details here either. I’ll just say that things got progressively worse and led me into the ER on Monday morning. Everything spiraled pretty fast from there… admitted immediately, a slew of pain meds, lots of tears, and an utter lack of relief until yesterday evening.

That’s because yesterday, I had spinal surgery. Because of that, you won’t be seeing me at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month. At least not for the next two weeks. My doc has reasonable hope however, that I can make it to Indiana in time for the 500. It’s not a certainty by any means but it is a great goal to keep me motivated. And trust me when I say, there is NO BETTER MOTIVATION for this broken blonde, than racecars.

So here I am, sitting in a chair for the first time in 73 hours, and doing what I love most – writing. I decided it would be easier to write something succinct rather than sending out hundreds of tweets, emails, and DMs. After all, this is my biggest platform so what better way to share?

Living full throttle isn’t about never stopping. It isn’t about pushing yourself to a breaking point (though, strangely enough, I kind of did). It’s about embracing life, the good and bad, ups and downs equally. And if memes have taught us anything through Google images, it’s that while you can’t control what happens to you, you can control your attitude and how you react to those situations. It’s cheesy, it’s been rephrased a million times, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

So I am going to continue living full throttle right here in Cleveland, Ohio for the time being, missing the heck out of each and every one of you. I’m going to miss watching our favorite cars on track in person this weekend and next. I’m going to miss the high fives and hugs, the press conferences and random run-ins. I’m going to miss the jokes, the tears, and the reunion vibe at the Cathedral of Speed. I’m going to miss root beer runs to Mug ‘n Bun, dinner at “Mom’s”, and the bacon at Charlie Brown’s.

That said, I’m going to cover as much as I can from a distance, write as often as I can with this IV in my left hand, and aim to be there with all of you in two weeks to enjoy the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. You are all my motivation and passion. Remember, this site’s tagline is Passion for Motorsports, Passion for Life… and I refuse to allow this speed-bump deter me from living out my personal passion for both.

See you at the track.

-SHAY-