Race Car Driver Arie Luyendyk's FIGHT to the Finish

The world was spinning, literally. The engine was quiet. All I could hear was metal bending and breaking, the wind tearing through the truck as I rolled through the air. I came to a rest on all four tires and slowly the lights went out as I slipped in and out of consciousness. I woke up as I was being cut out of the truck.

A million thoughts ran through my head while I was on my way to the hospital. Months of hard work to get everything organized, countless hours in the gym, major budget spent on the race season... and all I could do was lie there. If I moved, the lights would fade again.  

I suffered a broken clavicle in a racing incident in front of my new sponsors and brand-new race team, just five laps into my first race of the season. I felt terrible. 

I was lucky to walk away with only a nasty break and no further damage, and I had surgery two days later.  Before I could even begin to get down on myself, in the mailbox was a gift:  a Giving Key. 

Having already been introduced to Giving Keys by my friend Kerrie, it was no surprise when I received a second key after my accident in April. The key was engraved with the word “FIGHT” and I wore it with pride. The day after surgery, I was in physical therapy. From that moment forward, I was hell-bent on making my next race, in just 18 days.

It felt good to have the key draped around my neck, sitting over my scar. I was inspired to prove to everyone that I could battle through this.  The word FIGHT on the key meant so much more than just a word. It ignited a fire inside of me.

I ended up racing 18 days later and finished a season-high third in only my second race in the 900HP TORC truck. It felt so good to climb back behind the wheel in front of my sponsor, GUNK, with 150 of their employees cheering me on from the stands.

The key had served its purpose and it was time to pass it on. 

At that same race, I had the privilege of meeting one of my fans, Gabrielle, and her mother, Cindi, a sweet woman who is currently battling cancer.  The dynamic duo has traveled thousands of miles to follow my racing schedule, from Louisiana to North Carolina, back to Louisiana, through Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and back to Louisiana again.  Our team has enjoyed getting to know them a little more at each race, to hear a little more about their travels, and to see how getting out and living life has been good for Cindi as she bravely battles on. 

While in Indiana, I took Gabrielle and Cindi to coffee and was inspired to give my FIGHT necklace to Cindi, who was exemplifying the definition of the word. She now wears it with pride and I’ve never felt better giving a gift. A Giving Key can be a powerful thing!

Inspiration comes in the most unlikely forms; sometimes a reminder of what you’re fighting for or seeking in life can be found right above your heart.

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