Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lewis again, six years on

Fifteen laps to go.

I'm sitting in a friend's apartment in the East Midlands of England, watching Lewis Hamilton cruise towards his second formula one championship, the TV showing the glitz and lights of an expensive, oil-funded, middle eastern circuit at dusk.

Nine laps to go.

Six years ago, I was sitting in a hotel room in Chicago. The conference I was presenting at, in the same hotel, had just started. Prensky was the keynote speaker. Despite it being on games, this wasn't the most attractive - for several reasons - of speakers to go downstairs to listen to. I passed, and followed the race - also in a distant and hot land - as best as I could from a hotel in the USA.

Seven laps to go.

That race, six years ago, was epic and tense. Lewis was in a position to lose, giving Massa the championship, until the last corner of the last lap when he overtook Glock. Lewis finished fifth. That was enough - just - to take the championship. I screamed. (Also, I won some money for an added edge).

Five laps to go.

It's now six years on. Lewis hasn't won the championship since, but is so close now. He's leading. Even if his car stops in the next - the last - five laps, he'll still probably win the championship as his only challenger, Rosberg, is struggling in a wounded car, too far back down the order.

Four laps to go.

Places, in order, I've lived in for at least a month during those six years:

The Outer Hebrides - Evesham - Detroit - Birmingham - Toledo - Birmingham - Ohio - Iowa - Birmingham (six different places) - Loughborough.

Rosberg is slowing down. He's in 13th place. It's as good as all over.

Three laps to go.

Relationships and family and friends and other people over those six years:

{thinks briefly} Yeah, let's not go there.

Two laps to go.

Things achieved over those six years:

{thinks briefly} That's not a long list, either. But, I have a notion of what I want to do, and what I can realistically do, and what I want to achieve in the short, medium and long term. And that is good enough.

One lap to go.

Rosberg's car is creeping home. It really is over.

I'm healthier, in mind at least. And partially in body. The older you get, the less you can do there - but you can still do things - and the more your body runs on a combination of things you subjected it to in the past (which you can't alter now), the health and exercise you do, the care you can give it and afford to give it, and sheer luck, good or bad.

The checkered flag.

Lewis wins. World champion again, the second time. Six years, and Chicago, seem a lifetime ago.

Well done, Lewis.