Depression: The World’s Most Popular Endurance Race

DepbrainThis post has unusually somber tone for my blog. Depending on your reaction, I apologize, or fuck you, it’s my blog.

You can sort out who’s who.

Some, but not all of you know that I’ve been wrestling with bout of severe depression for the past several years. While I’ve received support from the most unlikely of places, I have also received counter-support from even unlikelier sources. I didn’t write this post as a means of whingeing about my state, but as a means for people to understand exactly what all sufferers of depression experience, and how we go through our daily lives.

I know a lot of people won’t get it. I know a lot of people will say, “Come on, stop being such a pussy and snap out of it.” or “Well, that’s life. Get over it.” or “Stop complaining! There are so many people who have it worse than you do.” or “Oh, come on, everyone gets depressed. You just need to put things in perspective.”

I envy those people. I envy them because they don’t understand. I envy them because they’ve never experienced true depression.

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Yellow Bird Flies Through The Green Hell

Chances are, you think that when I say “Yellow Bird”  I mean an actual bird, a canary perhaps.

You’d be wrong.

What I do mean is the 1987 RUF CTR “Yellowbird”. But first things first.

The Nürburgring.

“For a quick lap at the Nürburgring, you’ve probably experienced more in seven minutes…than most people have experienced in all their life in the way of fear, in the way of tension, in the way of animosity towards machinery and to a racetrack.” —Sir Jackie Stewart

Welcome to Hell.

Welcome to Hell.

The Nürburgring-Nordschleife (as it’s properly known) is the toughest, scariest, longest, most challenging, most dangerous, most intense and most insane race track in the world. It’s 23km long (14 mi). It has more than 100  corners (numbers vary from 98 up to 147, depending on who you ask). It’s so large, entire towns are contained within it. Since opening in 1927, Nordschleife has claimed more than 200 lives and collects between 3 and 12 more every year. Famed race driver Niki Lauda was badly burned after crashing his Ferrari at the left-hand kink just before the Bergwerk carousel. It’s so infamous that Sir Jackie Stewart dubbed it  “The Green Hell”, partly for its level of danger, partly for its verdant scenery. It is so iconic that it has been featured in almost every console car-racing game since 1998.

So it would seem virtual suicide to take one of the fastest, most powerful, most wrongly-designed cars ever and put it on the Nürburgring.

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