AL UNSER JR's.TESTIMONY
Two time Indianapolis 500 Winner 1992, 1994
Two time IndyCar Champion 1990, 1994
ABC Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year 1994
"I’m a recovering alcoholic and I thank God for everything he has done in my life. My wife and kids had always tried to get me to stop drinking, but it was God who did. A defining moment in my life was when I went to a retreat and I heard this quote which struck a cord deep within me, 'I thank God for what he has given me, for what he has taken away from me and for what he has left me.'
My sister passed away in March 2009 and I’m so thankful I was able to spend pretty much all of 2008 with her, me being sober. January 2007 is my sobriety day, and my sister and I were able to reconnect in 2008. We went to Australia together that year and it was truly amazing we had that year together because she passed away suddenly from an aneurism. I know it was God who gave me that time with my sister. She was 49-years-old, and she stuck through all the rough times with me. We were extremely close and I’m so blessed to have been sober that last year with her.
Because of everything that has happened in my life I truly believe everything is meant to be. God has a plan for my life, I fully trust in Him and know He won’t put anything on my shoulders that I can’t handle. I now look at it today as a true blessing, I view life in a whole different way-completely different from the way I viewed it as a teenager; God is very powerful.
I’m not going to say it was an easy road. It was an ongoing progress, I always believed in God, always felt his presence; yet I never called on him unless I was in trouble. Especially when I was racing I would call on God, “Please God let me win this race.” But as soon as I was out of the race car, God stayed in the race car. God truly blessed me with all my IndyCar wins especially the 500 but I never did thank him for it. Today, I thank him for all the wins, my parents, my kids, everything that goes on in my life is all God-He is everything to me.
What I do today, is thank God for the people I haven’t met yet that he will put in my life. For example, my wife and I went out to the lake on Sunday on my boat. But my boat had overheated and we had to tie it up to the dock. So due to the mechanical failure there was obviously going to be no boating for us on Sunday. We had to let it cool down and while it was tied up a young lady was out on the lake jumping off cliffs and injured her back. The paramedics medics and life flight showed up and my wife and I helped them in any way we could. We knew that’s what my wife and I were meant to do on that Sunday, not go out boating but be there to help with the young lady and talk to her and the paramedics. It was all part of God’s plan, and I keep learning that every day. We don’t worry about the small stuff anymore, we know it is all part of God’s plan.
Above all, God works everyday in my life. There are challenges, I have no doubt about that. But my biggest thing is to give thanks to God because it truly is all him, and to not pick up a drink. I know if I do those two things He will continue blessing me."
Photo above of Al Jr. and his sister Mary in Australia.