I’ve known Ken Block for a better part of the last dozen years, and his better half, Lucy, for sixteen years–she’s my former roommate. They are absolutely the perfect couple, both having a need for excitement, competition and thrills. Maybe even a little (or a lot) of danger. Lucy is loaded with boldness, and I think she puts many men to shame in her attempts (mostly successful) at looking danger straight in the eye (although she’s probably rolling her eyes now reading this because she and I have a completely different definition of danger). But I consider driving a tour bus down Mt. Hood in the snow right up there with jumping out of a plane with no parachute. She’s the girl heliboarding from the top of Snowbird Resort while I’m the girl getting a full-body massage in the resort spa, watching her make S-turns through the big glass window.
I always knew it was gonna take a man even bolder than her to lock her down. Enter Ken Block at our wedding here in West Virginia almost eleven years ago. They hit it off that weekend, and after that it’s all history. I still remember the massive three dozen mixed color bouquet of roses he sent Lucy to sweep her off of her feet, outta my guest room and into his home in Carlsbad, California. Quite impressive.
Since then we’ve seen them get married, move a hundred times, design a hundred kitchens, adopt two massive, beautiful dogs, and make babies. (Well, we didn’t really watch them make babies, you know what I mean.) Which brings us to today. I got an email that read, “Ken crashed, check this out.” So I clicked on the video link that already had 340,000 hits in a mere twenty-four hours. I should mention here that Ken is famous in the action sports world, first for co-founding DC Shoes with his friend Damon Way, and then for becoming a rally car racer and a YouTube sensation with his Gymkhana videos, where he drives his cars around huge playgrounds like abandoned airfields and shipping docks at breakneck speed. But this time my mouth dropped open as I watched Ken, racing in the World Rally Championships in Portugal, come around the turn, hit a berm and fly into the air where his Ford Fiesta Rally Car flipped almost four times.
I already knew he was alright at that point, so my first thought was, “Glad Lucy wasn’t there to witness that,” since she’s eight months pregnant. I texted her and said, “Holy shit! That hurt! Please tell Ken I’m glad he is ok, and that he didn’t put you into early labor!”
Lucy: “Not pretty huh?” Lucy
Me: “Dear God!!!! Whew.”
Me: “How is he mentally? Ready to quit or ready to drive?”
Me: “That’s what I figured ;). When are you due again?”
Lucy: “April 23. Off to CA tomorrow.” (Where she will do home birth for the third time…)
When I saw the part of the video where Ken is standing beside his car after the crash I thought, out of all our friends that do extreme sports, etc., he is always so calm. He’s the guy that turns in early, never raises his voice, and has more manners than anyone I have ever met. He observes everything, registers life, and applies it to whatever he plans on doing next. It seems everything he touches turns to gold, even occasionally his infamous front tooth (although I’m glad it’s platinum now.)
Ken, that was quite a video for me and the kids to watch, but for Lucy’s sake, keep all four wheels on the ground. I’m sure you are a little shaken, but not stirred!