My Descent Into Hades………. My Return From Hades.

By Anthony “Mario” Crea


Most of us remember reading Inferno, the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, at some point in our high school career. The story begins with the narrator (Dante) being lost in a dark wood where he is attacked by three beasts whom he cannot escape. Just when all seems lost, he is rescued by the Roman poet Virgil who is sent by a woman named Beatrice. Together, they descend into the underworld known as the 9 Circles of Hell.


Recently, I descended into my own personal Hades.


My journey there was similar, I felt lost in a dark wood, the result of personal matters taking place outside our household that were beyond my control; yet there was no avoiding them and their hideous impacts. So many external factors were acting against me that, at some point, I began to contemplate whether or not it would be wise to give up the hobby I have loved for the last 22 years. I was convinced I’d have to quit “cold turkey.”  I’d sell everything, buy a soulless commuting appliance, and avoid social media so I wouldn’t see how much fun everyone else was having, all in the name of simplifying my life. Why? I simply haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to autocrossing as I’d hoped, and as childish as this may sound, I couldn’t let this happen.


Truth be told, I understand why people in my demographic bow out unceremoniously. Family obligations, financial obligations, professional obligations. They conspire against us causing us to reevaluate whether or not fun, personal things possess a place in our increasingly complicated lives. No doubt, I’m sure there are countless other factors that have caused people to abandon their hobbies. Yet, hobbies are the very things that help us recharge and refocus ourselves when we need them most. They make us better parents, spouses & friends when we’re mired in the reality of our daily lives and they help us press on.
As quickly as I descended into my own personal Hades, I returned – better than ever.


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