Living the Dream

I love racing. I don’t care where it is or what time it is or if there is anything else going on in the world, I would rather be racing. I seriously skipped out on a friends wedding because it was taking too long and a NASCAR race was about to start. And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have called in sick because of a rain delay or cars on the track within driving distance of me.

So it’s kinda fitting that I ended up working in the business. Well, to be honest, I actually gave up everything and moved 1,000 miles from home, and worked my ass off, but that’s a different story.

The point is that I am living my dream. Some days it’s wonderful and amazing and awesome! It’s everything that I thought it would be and so much more. It’s so worth all of the sacrifice and being broke and lonely. It’s pure bliss.

But other days… well, other days it isn’t so dreamy. It’s real life. Things are not what I thought they were. People are not what I thought they were (this one is particularly hard for me). The hours are long and the job is demanding. The stress alone makes it hard for me to breathe on a daily basis. Oh… and it rains. It rains when you are not prepared for it, when you went to the track thinking that you were going home the same day and… well… not so much.

I’m learning a lot on this journey, much more than I expected. As I am writing this I am learning how to work in less than favorable conditions. Every time the going gets tough my dad will ask me, “How bad do you want it?”

Let me tell you about my weekend.

It didn’t start too bad actually. I had Friday off. It was the fourth of July after all. My Thursday was a bit difficult because I had to argue with my boss to give me the day off but Friday was good. I slept in, wondered around an antique store for a few hours, and then made it home in time to watch qualifying. First clue for me should have been that it rained during qualifying. Bad!

Then I went for a run, thinking I was going to miss the first half of the Nationwide race. Not so much. Rain delay. I actually went to bed before it was over.

I woke up around 9am Saturday morning. The plane was supposed to leave at 1pm, which meant I had to be on board by noon. When we got to Daytona, and I mean just landed, still on the plane, it started raining. Ugh.

It rained all day. Every once in a while it would stop, like Mother Nature was teasing us. Then it would pour again. Regret started to set in about 6pm. I knew that I should have packed an overnight bag. I knew it!

At 9pm they officially postponed the race until Sunday at 11am. We made the long walk to the car and sat in traffic outside the track for an hour.

Even though my travel buddy and I don’t technically work for a team, we work with one, so they book us rooms. The first ones that they got for us that night literally had cockroaches in them. I’m more of a Hyatt kinda girl, so that was totally unacceptable.

We went to get something to eat just as the restaurant was closing. That made the server real happy… Poor girl.

The next motel was a lot better, even though it was over an hour from the track. I was thankful that we got our keys and went straight to our rooms, unlike the team guys who were in the lobby trying to get their room situation sorted out. It was 1:30am at this point.

Again I can hear my dad, “How bad do you want it?”

We slept fast and were on the road by 8am. The garage opened at 9am. Thankfully we had the driver at the car at 10:45am. The green flag was delayed a bit, but we finally saw it at 11:30am.

Our driver made it past a 16 car wreck early and then through a 26 car wreck later, after a couple of rain delays. Unfortunately we had a miscommunication and ended up 8 laps down. It was a very unfortunate miscommunication.

Finally the heavy rain came and they called the race. It was well past half way and therefore official. But like I said, the heavy rain came. We were in the media center… a long way from the car. In the rain. Needless to say I am wet from my head to my toes. My shoes squish when I walk.

Miserable.

Then, we pull up to the airport only to find out that our plane has been delayed 2 hours.

Perfect.

Our driver wants to have dinner and my travel buddy cannot tell him no. He doesn’t know how. So off we go to find some grub. Of course they have a place picked out. When we pull up there are people fighting in the parking lot, throwing punches at each other. When we get inside I quickly notice the servers have little clothing on. So NOT my kind of place.

I chose to spend my plane delay starving in the FBO. It was so much better.

So, here I am, on the floor of the FBO, wet from head to toe, somehow, finding the concentration and desire to write rather than cry. I could seriously cry right now. Unfortunately when you are an adult you don’t have that luxury anymore.

“How bad do you want it?”

The good thing is – tomorrow I will be ready to go to the track again. Tomorrow… when I am dry and comfortable and not hungry. Tomorrow

For now, its ok that I’m not ok. It’s ok that I’m miserable and grumpy. Rain delays suck. Plane delays suck too. You have bad days… even when you are living the dream.

 

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