Yesterday, Kenny the Car Guy Walters and his 3Balls Racing pals zoomed around the race track at Waterford Hills, gunning their engines in the gray and steady rain, to feel that exhilaration of being alive.

When I said I was nervous about riding shotgun in one of the race cars (and my daughter was there, so it wasn’t a good day to try it), Kenny said, “That’s what life is all about. You try something that scares you and see where it takes you.”

That message is everywhere these days. Push your edge, test your limits, see what you can do that you never thought you could. 

The guys at 3Balls are down-to-earth, nice guys who come together for an interest in speed and an attempt to infuse their life with more now-ness. They are so in the moment. Head Ball Ken Grulich is steering the group toward raising money for melanoma research at Karmanos later this summer – to help others and celebrate his own success at beating the Big C.

The last weekend of July, anyone of us – you, me, the most nervous of the bunch – can make a donation pledge to hop into a race car and feel that thrill. There are so many ways to test yourself, see where the edge of the cliff is. If we don’t, if we stay the safe course and trod a carefully painted line down the center of the road, hands at 10 and 2, what do we miss? 

I’m not saying be reckless. Hell, I have 4 kids – there is no being reckless ever again. Even Kenny is Mr. Family. “I used to ride motorcycles but then the kids came,” he says, always smiling, always smiling. I’m saying live life to the fullest – and you know you haven’t even come close.

“The reason why some people love to engage in dangerous activities, such as mountain climbing, car racing, and so on, although they may not be aware of it, is that it forces them into the Now – that intensely alive state that is free of time, free of problems, free of thinking, free of the burden of the personality,” says Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now.

I went to the track because Kenny is a client and I wanted to know more about him and what makes him tick to better pitch him to the media. But now I like him even more than I already did – he is so alive, so full of personality, so caring – to see him among his friends, nurturing beginner racers, building a community around speed and exhilaration – I admire him so fully.

It’s imperative in the work I do not to just do a job but rather, to find the passion that my clients have and mirror that when I try to get them exposure. I’m so glad Kenny has trusted me with the task of getting him out there. I think everyone should know him and take their cars to him for service. I think he is a great example of a stand-up guy, one who lives hard and plays hard and makes the most of this life.

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