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I'm someone who's undergone a complete life/self overhaul. I'm now a professional in my dream job, balancing an amazing relationship, a healthy body, a healthy self image, my passions, my family and surrounding myself with good people. It's hard, not gonna lie. But I'm here to help, to inspire and say "you're not alone."

Me, today. 5.6.12. Racing a Race Car!!! The Diver’s seat.

Ever wonder what those nutzoid Indy 500 racers feel like in a tiny tin can, taking only left turns at 100s of miles an hour? Well…. IT’S AMAZING!!!! Today I took what felt like the longest ride of my life in anticipation of pulling up onto a 1 mile D shaped Race track for 12 laps of pure speed and banking! I roll right up to the registration booth where everyone turned to see this little woman hop off a red sport bike in full gear (sometimes I forget that it’s a little unusual). I walk up, pulling out my reservation and the woman asks me, “Going for the 4 lap ride along hun?” “Heck no, where’s the fun in that? 12 lap drive yourself.” I hear the country-accented man next to me give a little “Hmf” at my comment sounding as if he hoped I would not be in his group to slow him down. I smile to myself as I walk away, driver’s wristband on and peeling off my riding armor.

Emerging from the bathroom I see clusters of people waiting in the pit. Men dressed in racing suits, adjusting helmets and girlfriends or wives snapping pictures as racers to be strike a teethy pose. The men are not surprised I’m here, there are plenty of women. They are surprised however, when I turn away from the legions of wives and girlfriends carrying cameras and head into the driver’s class to join them.

A man, 12 years of racing under his belt, points towards a diagram of the track, giving us practice lap and real lap instructions explaining flags and the mechanics of the cars. The cars by the way are 500+ horse powered metal cages, completely gutted, with only a driver’s seat bolted to the frame. The exhaust runs right beside you straight from engine to your trail of dust all of which have been used in actual races before. At this point, I can feel my excitement grow along with some nerves as he tells the story of a car crash we just missed. Suddenly my chair is not comfortable and I fidget around both anxious and excited. At his last word I jump up and grab the smallest race suit they have, feeling like I’m a kid again in a onesy. Except this onesy is covered in racing patches and comes with a badass car.

We are given # assignments and have to literally climb in through the glassless window into what feels like an adult sized kiddie car seat. As the pit crew instructs me on how the harness releases I laugh to myself thinking, ” To buckle your seat belt insert the buckle into the metal fitting and pull the strap low and tight across your lap… if there is a loss in cabin pressure oxygen masks will fall… in case of an emergency the exits are located THROUGH THIS TINY WINDOW YOU JUST CRAWLED IN.”

We start, practice laps on and I can hear the radio blasting in my helmet say “Car 40, you’re green!” And my heart jumps out of my chest with excitement. I floor the gas pedal and the engine roars, heat spewing out into the cabin and the ground flashing by me. I take turns 1 and 2 slow, easing off the gas at about 60%. Feeling the car grip the road and gaining confidence, I rev up, slowing only to 40% and catching up to the car in front. I gain more and more confidence, barely letting off the gas in the turns and grimacing under the G forces trying to rip my hands away from the wheel and my body out the other window. With my biceps and lats burning, I screech around turns screaming “WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!” I found myself yelling at other cars to get out of my way, and was granted passing by the control tower time and time again until the road was clear and I had no cars in front of me! But all too soon, the dreaded checkered flag flew and it was time to pull in to the pit crew and a host of onlookers eager to ask “How was it?!?”

Probably one of the most thrilling experiences of my life, I walked away from the track thinking, “Again! Again! I would never want to ride along, I will always drive!”

I traded their driving suit for mine and rode up to the track. Looking from the seat of my moto at the track and cars that were mine for just a few minutes – how this moment, this experience in my life, was all mine – I breathed a big sigh of contentment and a small smile just to myself.

I thought, ” I never want to ride along to anyone elses life, to anyone elses anything. I will always drive. No matter how scary, how thrilling, how uncertain the outcome, I will always drive.”

With that, I left Pikes Peak Raceway in my dust, promising to come back soon.

Ladies, you have a choice to take full control over yourself and your life. Don’t ride along to another person’s life by living vicariously through it, or being in a relationship with it. Make your own life, never strive to “be like so and so.” You ARE the driver, so BE the best damn one you can be.

I’ll post a youtube video of my race soon, come back and check it out!

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