In the movie “Ford v Ferrari”, the actor Matt Damon played the character of a race car driver and designer named Carroll Shelby. One of Shelby’s famous lines in the film encapsulates the deep passion of racing and car enthusiasts the world over:
“There’s a point at 7,000 RPM where everything fades. The machine becomes weightless. It just disappears. All that’s left, a body moving through space and time.”
Some extreme car lovers have such an extraordinary connection with cars that driving has become an almost metaphysical experience, and it truly is. For some, it is the speed they achieve while driving the four-wheeled machine that gives them that incomparable high. As they say, one must give in the need for speed.
The love of cars, however, cannot prevent aches and pains that almost every car buff has experienced, at one time or another. The cost of collecting, upgrading, or restoring cars is a different kind of pain, one that is felt in the checkbook. But there are also real, physical kinds of suffering that most car lover has experienced.
Read on to know the common hazards and illnesses faced by car enthusiasts, as well as positive interventions that can be done to mitigate them.
Muscle and Skeletal Stress
For those who work on cars full time or as a profession, back pain and leg cramps are often experienced due to the awkward positions and long hours involved in this occupation. To address this, some physical therapists recommend going to swimming sessions at least once or twice a week. Working out in a pool helps a person to stretch the spine and allow the muscles to regain full range of motion during a swim.
The gentle water resistance also helps tone different muscles of the body even as the lungs get a good workout. Just make sure the swimming pool is clean and serviced by companies such as Oregon Pure Water that specialize in pool water purification.
Any man (or woman, for that matter) that has a true love for cars would admit that they spend enormous amounts of time on the automobile, under the automobile, on the side of the automobile, and just about anywhere near it. They cruise along highways as they play their favorite songs. They bend their backs and get their hands and nails black with grease as they hammer, unscrew, unplug, adjust, repair, or upgrade large metal parts and tiny components under the hood. Body paint jobs, vacuuming the interiors, and customizing various car features consume their weekends. In short, they are obsessed with this eclectic collection of metal, plastic, fiber, and rubber.
As a result, all that hard work puts undue stress on their bodies. Specifically, all than bending and twisting strains the spine and muscles. There are also times when they bump their head on the hood, or stub their toes on a tool, or have a finger or two gets slammed on a car door.
All this physical work on a car does take a toll on the owner. To address the aches and pains of doing various kinds of auto works, getting a massage or a physical therapy session is a good start. Doing periodic stretching routines while working on a car is also highly recommended.
Exposure to Chemicals and Toxic Substances
Men who work on cars, as a profession or hobby, also need to steer clear of harmful chemicals and other toxic substances. An average car poses a hazard to people because of traces of asbestos, combustible dust, flammable fuel, corrosive materials, cryogenic liquids, diesel smoke, gas exhaust, to name a few.
To mitigate these hazards, one should wear protective equipment like gloves, filter masks, and mechanic’s suit or overalls.
Eye and Ear Problems
Working on cars also requires one to use protective eyewear or goggles. Protection of the eyes is important in order to avoid the accidental entry of chemical liquids, fumes, and metallic dust into one’s eyes during work. When engine or body works are being done, a lot of noisy pounding and use of drills is involved. It is good to wear earmuffs or plugs to minimize damage to the ears.
Indeed, despite these hazards, many will continue to have a romance with automobiles. These car lovers will still worship every contour, edge, and color of a car. They will remain enamored by the lines and curves of the interior and exterior. Every feature on the dashboard and the accessories that adorn the car is a source of pure delight.
There are others who will still clamor for the smell and feel of a car. The pungent scent of fuel and oil is like perfume to their nostrils. The clanging metal under the chassis and the engine pistons pumping is like music to their ears. They tinker with and turn their cars upside down, much like how a boy merrily plays with a plaything that gifted to him on Christmas day. Cars are, after all, toys for the big boys.