What a pleasure it has been.
Sitting in these grandstands each Sunday, I have had the privilege of pause. In a world where I typically rush and hurry, I have allowed myself (okay, at times ~forced~ myself) to sit for a short spell and just let it all sink in.
It started here at the Pomona Dragstrip in this very spot nine months ago. I sat here to honor my dad, trying to breathe for a moment and feel him with me. He died 66 days before this year’s Winternationals, but he was absolutely by my side that day in the grandstands here at our home track. I feel particularly connected to him here, and that Sunday last February, I knew for sure that this was something I was going to do at each race this year. I was going to pause and feel this moment, this peace that can only be felt between slices of great and thunderous chaos.
It was supposed to be for dad, but it turned out to be for me.
That moment in the stands has been a reset each raceday, and although I won’t do it quite like this next year, I will continue to find the quiet each weekend somehow, someway. It settled my soul. It allowed me to reconnect with the reason why I’m here and why I want to be here and why I will, most likely, be here until I’m super old and cranky (look around – it happens).
Best of all, it connected me with so many of you. Every person who looked me straight in the eye and told me this meant something to them, well, it felt like a bridge to my dad.
Man, I miss him so much. Nothing could ever fill that void. But being out here with you guys, hearing your stories, watching you live to the absolute fullest…. I don’t know. I thought I was gonna feel empty this year, but instead, my cup runneth over. Know what I mean?
So, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for humoring me. Thank you for leaving me alone when you see me sitting there at 7am on a Sunday morning, looking at the racetrack like a weirdo. Thank you for putting on a damn fine show and making me so happy that I get to write about your extraordinary adventures.
What a pleasure it has been. Let’s do it again next year. Want to?
See you out there.