Where I’ve been- Blowing Off Steam (Andrew Howe)

I’ve been absent from the Blog for quite a while.  This silly thing called a “day job” keeps getting in the way.  While I haven’t had time to blog, I have had the time to keep my sanity.  You see, just down the street from my second office is an old warehouse.  About a decade ago, it was converted to an indoor kart track.  It is dark and cold (it was about 40 degrees in there last night), but it allows me to forget about daily grind for a bit.

You see, once the helmet goes on… it is a different world.

Sykart is the name of the place.  Sykart in Tigard, Oregon to be specific.  In December, I started stopping in regularly after working Sundays.  I’d stop in and plop down my money for four sessions of zen.  In January, I invited some coworkers to go on a Wednesday after work.  In February, we repeated it… it seems like we’ve got 8 of us that enjoy it enough to come and drive.

I admit that our get togethers are pretty lopsided.  I’ve got quite a bit of experience driving cars and karts.  The others are racing novices out for a good time.  So far, I’ve been more than a second a lap faster than the next quickest driver each time out (28 second laps).  But they are catching up.  There will come a time when the gap is less than a second.  And it isn’t going to be that far away.

But that’s the joy of it, really.  Forty (plus) hours a week I’ve got someone looking over my shoulder demanding results.  It is enough to make a person numb.  For that hour and a half, I’m looking over someone else’s shoulder coaching.  Try this.  No… not that much brake.  Wider there.  Paperwork, conference calls, and meetings just melt away.  I put on my helmet and the focus becomes the perfect lap.  10 minutes vaporizes, and the mist it leaves is intoxicating, liberating, refreshing.

Last night I put in four sessions with just one of my coworkers.  He whittled a full half second off his lap times.  With an empty track to focus on my line, I managed to pull another four tenths of a second off my lap times.  It was a bitterly cold way to spend an hour and a half.  But I enjoyed every minute of it.  My fingers may be numb, but I am alive.

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