When do you cut your losses and give up?
I love racing. I really do. I love the people, I love the events, and I love the fact that we’re such geeks…but we’re geeks together. I even love that PJ and I can do it together, even though we rarely see each other throughout the day, since we’re both so busy. It’s my main, and pretty much only hobby, since I would rather race than do just about anything else. I’ve gone without eating, sleeping, and turned down invitations to do some really incredible things (like Xanga meets) to go racing.
But when you hit a wall, don’t improve, can’t focus, and are nothing but frustrated about your performance every time you do something…when do you know it’s time to quit?
This Saturday was an experimental event on a surface we had never driven on. Let me tell you. The pavement at the New Meadowlands stadium is heaven. However, I couldn’t get myself together and I couldn’t drive to save my life. I was about 3 seconds off pace…which is really, really frustrating. I had a good run, and BLEW IT at the end because I didn’t adjust my braking zones, and went so far off course, it was embarrassing.
PJ thinks this picture is hilarious, since I have to look UP and over to see out the window. Riding with me is a good friend, who was also giving me some pointers.
I saved the event, and made a name for myself at another club. I managed to import a list to another computer after their timing server crashed halfway through, and we were able to continue and get runs in. I was lucky enough to run after the crash, so all my times were recorded. I didn’t think they’d post results, but they did, and I was 70th out of 85 drivers with times, out of 145 participants. Fail and FML. I mean…I don’t ever finish in the top 10, or even the top 25, but I used to finish in at least the top 50, with 130+ participants. 70/85. That’s so extremely poor, that I didn’t even know what to do aside from sit there and cry. PJ was frustrated with me and tried to throw excuses about tire temps, the fact that 53 of those people are National trophy winners, I’m in a new car that’s never run right….but it was still very, very discouraging.
This car, though I kind of love it a lot and it means a lot to me, has done nothing but cost me money. I’m broke, PJ is $6k in debt over it (and also the repairs for Panda, but Panda is definitely not as severe a contributor), I’m stressed because I can’t drive well, there is still a laundry list of things to do to get it running right, and I haven’t had a weekend off since March. It’s the reason we’ve put things on hold, like buying a house, or even me getting things I need, like new clothing (I have all my clothing in storage, with the exception of about 10 outfits…I’ve literally worn holes in them). I can’t do laundry more than once every two weeks, PJ’s mom is irritated at me because I am not illustrating how I will take care of her Miracle Baby, and I have no time to even talk on the phone anymore.
It’s something I love, with people I love, and it is usually fun for me. But lately, I’m just hitting a wall…and it’s been such a thick wall, it’s been two years since I’ve really shown any improvement. Even when I try to talk to PJ about how I’m getting faster (and trying to convince myself, I guess), he just nods and dismisses it. At one point, he even said that I wasn’t getting any faster. So what’s the point? When do I quit trying?