Feel: My Story is an autobiography by three-time World Champion American motorcycle racer “Fast Freddie” Spencer. The only rider in history to ever win the 250 cc and 500 cc MotoGP Grand Prix World Championships in the same year opens up and tells us, in his words, how it was all made possible.
From riding for hours and hours in his backyard as a four-year-old boy to driving back and forth across the country with his dad to race dozens of races per season, Feel is part career race report and part philosophical life reflection. Spencer’s ability to remember dates and events in such incredible detail allows the reader to go back in time and relive moments vividly as if racing alongside him, crashing and recovering from injury with him or watching it all take place from the grandstands.
This book is a fascinating story of perseverance and talent, of drive and accomplishment, and it’s a story that doesn’t stop at the height of achievement, but goes on to discuss what happens after you win it all. Where do you go when you’ve done everything you’ve set out to do?
Spencer bravely opens up about things he has never before talked about and respectfully admits that he made decisions based on intuition and feel alone, something that many people are afraid to do. He also admits to times where he didn’t listen to his inner voice, and shares with us some of the regrets that followed.
There are points where it’s hard to follow along as the book jumps from the present to the past and back again; Spencer uses a unique method of blending moments from the past into corresponding lessons of the present so that readers will be encouraged to listen to their own intuition and let their sense of feel guide them toward the intended path.
My favourite part is when Freddie meets Mr. Honda for the first time after winning both Championships, not only accomplishing his own dreams, but also those of Mr. Honda. He says, “And in that moment I knew all the things I had thought about, all the snapshots of something more, the victories and the crashes and the nagging doubt, all of it was for this moment. It was as if a jigsaw had been completed right then and there.”
This is a fantastic read for anyone who was a fan of Fast Freddie at the height of his racing career, as it’s his story, told from the perspective of the man inside the helmet. It’s especially engaging for those of us who appreciate the feeling of being on a motorcycle and who understand what those feelings can teach and where they may lead.
Feel: My Story by Freddie Spencer is available through Amazon for under $25 at amazon.ca; ISBN 978-0753545614.