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Stamina After A Horrific Racing Wreck

Pictured here is my Uncle- Salt Walther- as he was gearing up to race in the 1976 Daytona 500. Note the black glove on his left hand. He wore that glove everywhere. This was not a fashion statement. No, no, no. He wore it to cover up a horrifically mangled and terribly burnt hand.

At the 1973 Indy 500 race, Salt was in one of the most spectacular and famous accidents in the history of the IMS. More on this wreck later. But for now- the point is that Salt suffered terrible injuries. He had over 30 operations on his left hand. Dozens of operations on his legs. Skin grafts. Grueling physical therapy. And less than eight months after being injured, Salt got back behind the wheel of a race car, and set the racing world on its collective ears by speeding amongst the fastest at the the Ontario Motor Speedway.

Can you imagine the sheer guts this would take? The unyielding willpower? Not only overcoming terrible physical injuries that would be essentially catastrophic to any other person- but also the mental injuries. The PTSD. The fear of getting back behind the steering wheel. The terror that plagued him whenever he hit the gas pedal. And yet he did.

Salt was one of my inspirations in developing the CRUSH Method. He encompasses every component of the formula, but especially the S: Stamina.

Stamina means having total control, and embracing the challenges that are thrown your way. It’s about leaning into pain, instead of shying away from it. It’s about channeling any anxiety into a source of fuel. And it’s ultimately about pushing yourself to the limit...and then over it.

And that’s what elite performers do. “To achieve anything in this game, you must be prepared to dabble in the boundary of disaster.” -Stirling Moss, Famous Formula 1 Racing Driver
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