Planes. Buses. Ubers.
My husband and I went to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix back in October and the logistics were frankly dizzying. So dizzying, at least to me, that as I packed my bags the night before the trip, I had the fleeting thought of just staying home. Even as I boarded the plane, I was unsure if my choice to venture into the wild world of motorsports had been the right one.
My husband and I aren’t exactly sports people, much less motorsport people. But last December, we had a baby. And I’m sure you’re wondering what that has to do with this. But stick with me. We had a beautiful baby boy who, for better or worse, liked to be up all hours of the day and night. Enter Netflix.
During one of those long nights (or maybe it was the daytime), we discovered Drive to Survive. For those, perhaps, without a Netflix subscription, Drive to Survive is a show about the 20 fastest men in the world: the Formula 1 drivers. These men have reached the peak of motorsport and are fighting to stay there.
I’m sure you’re wondering why two people who admittedly don’t care for sports would switch on a show about none other than sports. Well, all I can say is that we love drama. And this show delivers.
So, in an effort to get as close as possible to these men to whom we have grown attached, we booked overpriced flights, hotels and tickets for the event just outside of Austin, Texas. And after a day of grueling travel, we made it to the racetrack.
Once I was sitting in the Texas sun, drink in hand, I realized I had been a fool to doubt that the travel would be worth the event. And, looking back, I now realize that I go through these same motions every holiday season.
I love Christmas—much more than sports, I might add. But once December rolls around, all I feel is stress. The stress of giving the right gifts, decorating the house perfectly and, most of all, pulling together a truly magical month for my family. It makes me want to just stay home.
But, without sounding ridiculous, I think I learned something when I saw those men flying past at over 200 miles per hour. The logistics were worth it. And, if we’re being honest, they were enjoyable. I was with my husband, away from my email, just enjoying our time together.
So who cares what the security line looks like? Or how far away the Uber is. Or that a shuttle bus is required. Once you decide to enjoy the ride, it all slows down.
This holiday season, I’ll be fighting—just as hard as those 20 drivers are on the track—to remember that. The logistics, however challenging, are almost always worth it in the end.
I was listening to a podcast on the way back from the Grand Prix, and Mercedes F1 driver George Russell said that his goal is to stop and enjoy himself. And if a man going that fast can slow down, so can I.