FACT: I am no longer a part of the racing community.
I will try and convey to you the emotions I feel and all the weirdness that runs through me because of that simple fact.
I was hired as management consultant but became a mechanic, a logistics’ coordinator, a designer, a webmaster… And I wanted to do more. I always wanted more. Yet I wanted less.
I always knew I had one of the coolest jobs on earth. I always knew it wouldn’t last. I wanted it to end, but I wanted it to go on forever… I loved living on the road. I loved living on the road with Leo. I discovered the true meaning to the term “love is where the heart is”. Daily, or I should say nightly when we unlocked the door to our new hotel room he would yell out “We’re home!”
Imagine a life where you never need to remind your spouse to rinse the dishes, to take the trash out, to wash the toilet or to clean out the lint filter in the dryer. Imagine a life that is never dragged down, watered down, diluted and washed out by the endless and repeated domestic chores. Killer right?
We always knew. Each and every one of us – we knew we lived a privileged life.
Yet, the time we wasted sitting and waiting. The waiting. I kept saying I was going to tally it up. How much we spent – wasted – dwindled as we waited. Waited for the track to be ready, waited for the rain to pass, waited to sign in, waited for decisions to be made, waited in our room during the 2-5 days of in-between racing.
About those in-between days… They were mostly spent in some Super 8 somewhere near a highway with truck parking. Hotels with truck parking aren’t beachside locations with cool coffee shops. Most times the best restaurant in the vicinity was a Denny’s. Best restaurant! We had an 18-wheeler to haul our shit around. In it was:
- 3 race cars;
- a mule (a hyped up golf cart holding all our tools and spare parts galore);
- a scooter; and
- a 4-wheeler.
Nothing really street legal but a collection all in all of over 60 wheels. Yet, we weren’t mobile. In certain cities we rented cars. In most areas we walked. But in all honesty, we waited and sat in our rooms watching TV, playing video games, drinking and talking about last night’s race.
The last race, no matter when it occurred was last night’s race. Time became a blur. The season started in Australia in January and followed non-stop until the final November race of the year in Charlotte. We were summer chasers. At any given time, if asked the date we’d stop and wonder June? April? August? Our only occasional clue was our city. Chico CA happened mainly in September. Daytona was February. Arizona – March.
Our team was but four people. If you counted the driver. I know it sounds odd. But generally the driver didn’t travel with the team. So really, it was a team of 3 crew members doing everything possible to give the driver a really fast and safe car to drive. There were always an average of 18-20 teams doing the circuit. Our competitors. We competed against one another on the track yet we were family. We stayed in the same hotels, made sure our check-in/check-out dates coincided and often hooked up randomly on the road.
We talked about racing. Only about the racing. Who cheated, who would never win, who mainly always won, who was but a waste of money, who slept with who, and how the race officials drove us nuts with their lame decisions. We talked racing 24-7. It drove me bonkers! I was not a race fan. Never would I become a race fan. Yet my life was all about the racing. Working on a car, driving to the next track, booking rooms for the races, and waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
I love the lifestyle, but hated the main part of it. I was torn. So were my nails. My poor trashed and destroyed nails… And now? I am regularly being asked if I would do it again.
Damed if you do, damned if you don’t.