You Can’t Go Home Again

That’s what Thomas Wolfe once said.  And Heraclitus said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”  And I am sure I could find a hundred other quotes about how we are constantly changing and everything is different from second to second.  But it was Andrew Lloyd Webber (via Glenn Close) that said this:

P.S. Listen to the song – it’s great.  And she’s great in it.

And every time I go back to racing, despite whatever cerebral fears I have about being unwelcome, or having lost my speed, and no matter how long it’s been since I have walked a course or sat in a race seat, it’s as if I never said goodbye.

This past weekend, I helped out at a rookie school, and I was late to the party, so there were more than enough instructors.  I ended up doing registration and working the grid for one of the elements (aka, telling people when it was their turn).  I didn’t get to ride along, I barely got to walk the course, and the most information I got was in the form of two ride-alongs, both of which I was trying to figure out why a certain element was so freaking confusing. I’ll spare you the details, but it was not a great visual.

Someone I’d never met (but somehow knew me) came over and offered me a ride in his car at the end of the day, when volunteers are allowed to take fun runs.  He’s a relative newcomer (one season under his belt), but he’s hooked and wanted an “experienced driver’s opinion” on the new setup.

IMG_20160321_135006.jpgI was afraid I’d be super slow, but I ended up reverting back to my old habits, and beat the other person (who is generally much faster, and a guy) driving the car.  I was afraid my driving style wouldn’t suit this car, but it was actually a lot better than I’d thought.  We’d each had two tries, and I matched his time and then beat him.  It felt good, and I felt at home.  I was one with the car, and while it was a new meeting, we were talking and dancing together.

At dinner, we had a lot of fun reminiscing, telling stories, and getting back in the swing of things.  I realized that the best thing about racing is that if you truly love it, it becomes part of you, and will always be your home.

No matter how much time I spend away from it, or how much I tell myself I don’t need it, racing brings me back to center.  It helps me focus, and makes me happy.  My friends are there, my heart is in the driving, and despite taking a good 1.5 seasons off, it’s as if I never said goodbye.

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8 comments

  1. That’s a sexy car.

    I feel the same way about basketball. The court brings me back to the center; just me, the double-rimmed basketball hoop, and the leather basketball. My injured ankle is not fully healed yet, but I’ll come back to the courts again. Thanks.

  2. 1-Glenn Close SINGS???
    2-I really do hope you take up racing on a more regular basis. Even when it didnt go your way it seemed to do you good in the grand scheme of things.

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