The sport of rallying has brought so much value into my life through really important lessons on subjects like perseverance, problem-solving, how to set and follow through on goals, teamwork and respect, and rising to a challenge through a blend of intelligence, experience, and sheer force of will.
For the first time in at least a decade, I won’t be at Rallye Perce-Neige. In fact, I won’t be at any rally events this year, as I have decided to retire from the sport, and all motorsport work. It’s a decision that took time to make, and even when I was certain it was the best choice, a fair bit of time to setup my exit. After 18 years in the sport, it’s a big change, one that will reach further than I can probably realize right now – the weight of our choices never seems so heavy at first.
So it is with the state of our planet. The weight of our way of life has driven ecological systems to the brink of breakdown, and in some ways, over that edge. We have packed so much into our lives without really understanding the impact of our behaviour. The science has been clear for decades, but collectively we have been able to hold the cognitive dissonance of scientific reality against our preferred lifestyle relatively easily, and have carried on.
For me, that cognitive dissonance has become too heavy to continue. I have been unable to reconcile my claims of being an environmentalist with the work of promoting motorsport.
This decision is a step I’ve been shy to take but is a step in the right direction on my own path forward. I do not mean it as a passing of judgement for friends who continue to race. I was right there with you for nearly two decades, I understand the thrill that comes from striving to be faster and better.
Now, I am turning my focus to new goals. I am working deliberately to spend more time encouraging people to build stronger relationships to the natural environment through human-powered activities. It will require all my perseverance, problem-solving, teamwork and respect, intelligence, experience and sheer force of will to set and follow through on new goals. It’s a thrilling prospect and I’m loving this new challenge.
I chose to write this letter in part to offer an explanation for the change, and because I know that my voice carries weight. I encourage you to think about what brings the most into your life and focus your energies in that place. Take risks, live differently, and whether literally or figuratively, hang it out sideways.