Yet another reason why I venerate, respect, and love Alex Zanardi

  • Date: November 4, 2007
  • Category: leading


Today Alex Zanardi placed 4th out of 53 competitors in the hand cycle class of today’s New York Marathon.  Not bad for a guy who not only didn’t train for the marathon, but who died several times on the way to the hospital after losing his legs six years ago.

I love and respect Zanardi because he’s such a racer.  Run a marathon?  No problem, let’s do it.  Get back in the saddle and race the bejeezus out of touring cars (in a BMW, natch!)?  No problem, let’s do it.  Write some inspiring books about your life and times?  No problem, let’s do it.

In a world where negative whining often poses as concrete action, it’s great to see someone who just gets on with it.  I have the distinct pleasure of hanging out with some people who make a living carving amazing things out of aluminum, wood, steel, and plastic.  Their job is really hard, because there is no bullshit factor due to the inherent tangibility of their medium; unlike a glossy PowerPoint deck, a milled piece of aluminum is either it, or is not.  They have a saying they roll out when someone is paralyzed by the prospect of  something new, something that might lead to failure, loss of status, or pain: Just F****** Do It.  JFDI.

Zanardi is a JFDI kind of guy.  In other words, a racer.  Racers are innovators.