Bob Sweikert Lived Fast and Died Young

| May 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Could you imagine living an entire life doing the same, slow routine day in and day out?

Never pushing the limits of anything. Always staying below the speed limits. Going with the flow.

Bob Swikert 1955 cover Sports IllustratedImagine never making waves. Going with the flow. Never facing the wind or reaching for something that was just out of reach …

Wouldn’t that be a terrible waste ?

Imagine being the exact opposite –

What if you always pushed the limits ?

Going faster and faster. Pushing the limits of machinery. Never satisfied with pushing enough and going fast enough.

Always wanting to win. Always pushing to win.

As a result, after only 30 years on this Earth, the limits were pushed too far. Death comes during the act of pushing to win once again …

Would that be a terrible waste ?

Your answer would depend on how you are “hard wired” and what you are made of.

Americans always push boundaries and limits. We must do so in order to achieve. Most of us understand why going through hell will lead to heaven.
The US Senator who called for a ban of all auto racing because “it was murder” died a few years later of cirrhosis of the liver. In other words, he drank himself to death … Wouldn’t that be considered a terrible waste ???

Some know nothing of or will understand what it is to achieve, innovate and win.

One such story is the life of Bob Sweikert.

Racing driver and gifted mechanic who is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, the National Championship and the Midwest Sprint Car Championship all in the same season. This was in 1955.

Yet, one year later he would die doing what he loved best.

He was also competing against someone who he had been facing since a teenager on street races in Southern California. Perhaps this is why he was pushing the limits too far that time. Simple rivalry.

He was on the top of the world in his racing career. And that can be tragic for someone who wants to “do” rather than “have done” …
Professionals who achieve do so because they love doing what they do. To stop doing what they do would be like shutting off the oxygen tank on a diver who is exploring deep in the ocean.

Bob Sweikert lived his passion. He died in passion.

The best part of it was he lived as fully as he could achieve.

Sweikert had passion, not a death wish. Saying he was crazy to race cars or had a death wish because he lived to go faster would be the same as calling the pioneers who set off across the plains in covered wagons to settle the West to be crazy and have a death wish.

bob_sweikert_pitsThose who challenge limits and the elements are doing what it takes to endure in order to achieve. Something that US Senator could never understand and perhaps was the reason he did in fact destroy his life with alcohol in an attempt to deaden the pain of his own boredom.

The American Pioneers in their covered wagons heading west, the American Astronauts who landed on the moon, the racing drivers who went faster and won more all share the same heroic heart of action. They are cut from the same cloth.

We have the luxury of learning these stories and becoming inspired to make our own achievements in our own lives. No matter how small or large, they are important just the same.

Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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