Throughout my life I’ve been on a mission (but not quite the same kind of mission the Blues Brothers were on). Despite being pretty average in school, I’m actually a learning junkie. I’m addicted to it. Only, I have to learn in my own way, figuring things out in my own way. Writing is one of those ways.
So, this Substack is my way of learning, but also a way to share with you and others. That’s the other mission that I’ve been on for a very, very long time. I coached tennis in my teens, and started teaching, instructing, and coaching high-performance and race driving not long after that, along with actually doing a lot of that kind of driving. By writing about high-performance and race driving, I figure things out, and I help others learn from my figuring out.
When I’m asked by the person sitting next to me on a plane what I do for a living, I begin my response with a pause… then I hesitantly say, “I coach race car drivers.” That’s a hugely incomplete answer, but it’s the best I can do to respond with something that doesn’t require at least 20 minutes of explanation. However, once given that answer, unless I push my noise cancelling ear pieces further into my ears, I know it’s going to take at least 20 minutes to explain what “I coach race car drivers” means. I should have just said, “I’m a consultant” and turned to look out the window. :)
Why I always pause before answering is because I don’t know what it is exactly that I do for a living. I’d like to answer by saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out. See, I’m still on this journey through motorsport, taking lessons I learn from the sport, figuring things out by writing and talking about them, and sharing them with people like you.”
So, if you and I are sitting next to one another on a plane, and you ask me what I do for a living, don’t be surprised if I answer with, “I’m figuring that and other things out by writing.”
However, I've been tempted to reply by saying, "I’m a driving, Lotus, and learning junkie who loves to share what I’ve experienced with others; I get a kick out of making complicated driving stuff easy to understand - and even do. I find it fun to figure out how to put into words the subtleties of what we do and experience behind the wheel – the thing which gives us that magical feeling of being one with the car - in an educational and entertaining way. But really, I get paid to fly on airplanes.” But that’s way too many words!
Notice I keep talking about being on a plane. That's because I typically fly a couple hundred thousand miles a year, from race track to race track (with the odd stop at home to do laundry), spending most of time in the air writing.
With six decades of experience in motorsport, and having raced and coached at all levels of the sport, I have a few pieces of advice, the odd story, and some opinions that might interest you. I can’t guarantee that they all will(!!), but with a couple hundred thousand Speed Secrets books sold, half a million podcast downloads, many dozens of articles written for a variety of magazines, and tens of thousands of drivers trained and coached, I seem to have stumbled onto what I do best… and love the most.
I have a whole other website all about what I do when I’m not writing while sitting in a Starbucks or on a plane – or waiting at an airport to sit on a plane. You can learn more about that, if you’re interested, at SpeedSecrets.com.
Thanks for joining in on my “figuring out by writing” journey.
– Ross Bentley
What will I be writing about?
Speed Secrets: High-performance & race driving techniques, tips & advice
Coach's Life: What's happening in my life as a driving coach
Storytime: Miscellaneous stories, usually from the racing/driving world
Driving Ms Lotus: Stories about tuning, tweaking, and driving my 1969 Lotus Elan S4
Ask Ross: Ask me a question and I'll do my best to answer it here & on SpeedSecrets.com
Train the Trainer: Advice & tips for instructors & coaches
Resources: If I find something I think you might like, here’s where I’ll share it
Can't Wait to Get Home: Travel stories (note: life on the road is not all that glamorous at times)
It's a Sim Life: Thoughts & tips about Sim racing (the cars & tracks may not be real, but the racing is)
Driving Lessons: What I've learned from the track & driving about life, business, performance, and whatever else rattles around in my head
Racey Thoughts: My thoughts & opinions about recent (or not) races
Somewhere in the heading or title I’ll try to include one of these categories so you don’t waste your time on something you don’t want to waste your time on (although, sometimes a bit of time-wasting is good for the mind and soul).
Subscribing sounds so “inclusive,” doesn’t it?
When you subscribe, you’ll get full access to everything I write here with two options: a free subscription that you’ll continue to get with regular content at least every week or two, and a paid subscription where I’ll write something for you at least once per week – and likely more than that (although I’m sensitive to overfilling your email inbox, so I won’t overdo it). The paid subscription will get you more in-depth content, a few surprises along the way, and you might even feel good about me not having to sell our house and move into a van to live down by the river.
[Side note: Substack wants me to have a big red button below with the demand, “Subscribe now.” Okay, maybe it’s more of a suggestion than a demand, but still, if you’re already on this page, do I really need to ask you to subscribe? Oh well, I’ll leave that big red demanding button there, just in case.]
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Green, green, green!