Dose of life. it's a term I use to explain short comings, realizations and lessons learned. I mostly use this term when curse words are frowned upon. ex: blogging and lunch with my Nana. It's also the time that I put my pity-party hat and kazoo away and stand back and look at the situation for what it really is....Life.
On Sunday evening I sat somber at the beautifully decorated dinner table and starred at the ham and scalloped potatoes my Nana had just prepared with a sudden loss of an appetite. I was still digesting what just happened. I made a valiant attempt to pay attention to the conversation that was taking place at the family dinner. Unfortunitly, the thoughts in my head were much louder and seemed much more important than the conversation that was taking place at the table. I excused myself from the gathering and climbed into my truck to head home. My emotions were like a pinball machine: Silent, beat-up, jealous, relieved, excited and happy. I arrived at home, laid my head down on the concrete patio, and stared at the sky. Watson sat down beside me. We sat. We listened. We tried to grasp reality. Did I make a mistake? Four years and I was only two weeks too short. Never a win. Seven f'n years! Never a win! What do you think Watson?
My last blog was about my new adventure. My new life. Starting fresh. Leaving RAB Racing. Well on Sunday, prior to my family dinner, RAB Racing :deep breath: well they won. They won in Montreal. Not a half ass race either, not the "all the good guys stayed home" race, they won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Montreal.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as the Canadians call it, is a beautiful road course on an island of its own in Canada. It's one of my favorite tracks and none other than Boris Said, the best driver I've ever worked with, was behind the wheel. Boris flew through the gears, corner after corner, gas, brake, gas, brake, left-turn, right-turn, gas, brake. He made every move perfectly, the stars aligned, no one wrecked him and they won the race.
I began that Sunday with invisible pom-poms in the air for Boris Said and every 09 crew-member, the Harrys, my Harrys. As I watched, what seemed to be the longest race ever, my heart began to sink a little more each lap. The thought of the young, struggling team gathering up a win was beyond exciting. It was David vs Goliath. And the Harry's took down the Giant.
In my four years with them, they taught me mostly everything I know about life and race cars. We seemed to face more days of anguish, disgust and frustration then days of jubilation. In fact every year we would have a Christmas party to celebrate the hurdles we leaped over to survive our season. I would make a tribute video for them every year to reflect back on it all. This was when we had finally gotten over the disappointment enough to sit back and belly laugh at all of the madness that had taken place that summer. Last winter the tribute video began with the words "There were times we felt we were in hell, but we were there together."
I saw everyone of those Harrys through their first day of work at RAB Racing. They are all like brothers to me and watching them in victory lane on Sunday was bitter sweet. The bitterness came from the magical box that we call a television, that separated me from them. I saw all of their faces. Sheer joy and tears of happiness. I absolutely hated not being there with them. I was profoundly jealous. I hated the fact that I wasn't able to join in on their victory lane "hat dance" and the bragging rights that come along with such a prestigious win. Suddenly I felt like the prodigal son who left home.
However, I do not regret my departure from the team. Wish I had waited a few weeks, Hell Yeah! But, I am ready for a new chapter to begin. It was the correct move for me and my career. What absolutely frustrates me is I wasn't there to hug their necks in their moment of victory. Cry with them and exhale the frustrations that four years can pile on a weathered ship.
So yes. A dose of life. Ode to a dose of life. What the AP Organization learned on Sunday was...to never take any moment of this fore granted. Don't ever spend too much time in the "woe is me" mindset on the flight home from a race track. Fact is, one day...not maybe but one day your "glory day" that this sport promises you will arrive and every trial you endured to get there will make the effort worth while. I am not sure a win would matter all that much if it wasn't such a struggle to receive.
I will lay my head down tonight completely envious of the celebration that happened without me. But I will do it with the utmost pride that I worked beside every mechanic and fabricator who stood in victory lane on Sunday. Those guys are my heroes. They saw the perfect storm build up in front of them, they rode out the waves and found themselves covered in champagne and confetti. Congratulations to the RAB Racing Crew Members, The Harry's.