Past two weeks had been busy. We hosted our friends’ spring vacation with their two gorgeously active kids as they take a break from London’s winter chills.
I know, I still have to update my Weight Loss Challenge post (please stay tuned), but I couldn’t wait to blog about my awesome experience last April 2 at the famous Paul Ricard Circuit with Marlon Stockinger.
Yup, it’s Marlon!!!!
GP3 Monaco winner 2012, current Renault World Series Driver and part of the newly launched Lotus F1 Junior Team, this young Filipino-Swiss driver who just turned 22 this month was the first Filipino ever invited to test a Formula One car.
As the Philippine Star writer & C! Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, James Deakin, who was also with us that day wrote in his article, “Sounds crazy, I know, but unlike other elite sports, if you can consider that there are only twenty Formula One drivers on the grid in a world of seven billion people, as flawed as my math may be, I’m sure you can appreciate how big deal it really is,” (you can read the full article here).
Yes James, hear hear!
That day at Paul Ricard Circuit was just extraordinairé and I’m still ecstatic of the whole experience. It was far from the lucky chance I had with Mark during Monaco Grand Prix two seasons ago when we got free pre-race access for a closer view of Mark Webber along with two supermodels clinging around him and okay, I shall not forget to mention, the car. This time, it’s more than just being lucky. It was such an honour getting to know Marlon behind his helmet with the Philippine flag, meeting his family that really supported him all the way and being introduced to this exclusive world of elite motorsports.
Here are some takeaways –
Fitness Routine. Since I’ve turned into a health freak due to the demands of the fashion industry (haha, just kidding, please see my previous post), one of the many things I asked Marlon was about his diet. He said that he doesn’t have a particular one, in fact, he was advised by his team to gain more weight (a driver can lose 10kgs easily during the race period!). What impressed me most is his discipline in working out. He goes to the gym for 2 hours in the morning and another 2 hours cardio in the afternoon six days a week!
Passion with Attitude. Marlon started karting as young as nine years old. At such early age up to his latest achievements, passion goes without saying. Anyone can be passionate about something but what distinguishes successful people including this young lad was the attitude. Incredibly nice, this Fil-Swiss speedster also has a very humble spirit. He even assisted us during his break time (got us the earplugs, offered us sweets and drinks inside the Lotus truck), showed us the different parts of the €10M Lotus F1 race car he just tested, and entertained us over lunch (thanks for this privilege!). I also had a quick chat with his lovely sister, Audrey, who shared with me how they were brought up by their parents. They never forget to look back from where they started, value the importance of family and most importantly, they believe that everyone should be treated with equal respect.
Family. Speaking of good family upbringing, I’m moved by the support of Marlon’s family – especially his dad, Tom, which I think is one of the key factors behind all his accomplishments and future success. Mark and I keep talking about this since we left Paul Ricard Circuit. Learning from Marlon’s parents, we want to be the best parents we could be one day. We’ll be supporting our kid/s’ passion the best we could. We want to be able to guide them closely as they embark on the journey of fulfilling their dreams. On the other note, this also made me realise how blessed am I for having my dads. My biological father may have his own ways of expressing his paternal love and sometimes I find it annoyingly funny but I am more than thankful of having him. I am deeply grateful to my stepdad who treated me as his own, loving my mom with all his heart and working really hard to support us. He also stands as one of my spiritual advisors and never let a day pass without including me in his prayers. And above all, I have a Father in heaven who loves me (and you) unconditionally. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! –1 John 3:1
Please click here for photos.
Update: Here’s a photo taken few days later (April 7) as Marlon raced for the World Series by Renault at Monza, Italy – his first race of the season (more photos at Facebook) xoxo
You may also check this out: http://lotusf1roadshowmanila.com/#&panel1-2
Thanks to ABS-CBN, The Filipino Channel, Lotus F1 Team, James Deakin, Mark Baron, Lewen Baron, Audrey Stockinger, Tom Stockinger and Marlon Stockinger. To God be the glory!