DAVE: Life Lessons at Excessive Speeds

A few years ago, I allowed
myself to get a little sport car. Yes, I’m a cliché. But the way I figure it,
I’ve done my time. I’ve owned two minivans and drove the wheels off a beige
Ford Taurus. Plus, with the kids grown and out of the house, it was the right
time to downsize (vehicularly speaking)
and increase fun-size.

I like to upgrade my little car
with equipment that increases the performance and handling. The more expensive
upgrades increase sideways looks from my wife. And since I no longer get enough
enjoy-ment from simply driving on metro streets, I’ve started taking my car to
track events. Insert several sideways
looks from my wife here.

Dave racing (and beating a Camero)When I say track events, I don’t
mean open-wheel fender-to-fender racing. What I like to participate in is
called High Speed Touring at Hallett
Racing Circuit in Jennings, OK. It’s not Indy or LeMans, but it might as well
be for this amateur track enthusiast.

This past Saturday, as I was
idling on the starting grid with a dozen other weekend warriors, I was feeling
an intense mixture of anticipation and adrenaline (and hopefully some increased
T levels). Instinctively, I began to control my breathing—something I’ve
learned to do in situations like this. That got me thinking about other life
lessons that might apply here. Here are a few I thought of:

Visualize. Before any action starts,
I picture what I want to happen.

Focus. When it all starts, I’m not
thinking of running a business, clients or picking up some dog food on the way
home. I’m completely in the moment. Bliss.

Go your own way. Others will zip and
zag, but if I have a plan and the confidence to outdrive others, I do it.
Follow your own line.

Have an exit plan. If something goes
wrong, I know what I’m going to do. At the track, they have a saying, “in a
spin, both feet in.” Press down on the clutch and brake pedals and let the car
do what it’s gonna do. In life, when things go wrong, have a “next move.”

Enjoy the ride. When I am out there,
sometimes I look around and have thoughts like this: Oh my, this is fun! What a
gift! I’m grateful! I could never do this in a minivan!


Dave Miller, Publisher, Back40 Design President,
Amateur Track Enthusiast

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