My brother, the middle child of us five, has written me to ask if my new Saturn Astra, which I will be driving in a track day at Lime Rock, Connecticut in August, is some sort of mid-life crisis sports car.
A mid-life crisis indeed. How kind of him to mention "mid-life" as I will turn 63 next week. So I have another 63 years to go! Assuming I survive the track day.
My brother also taunts me when he writes I'll be afraid to go over 10 miles an hour on the track. Now he may be assuming that my terror that late winter day in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, when he drove us in his SUV on snowy mountain trails with sheer drops off the side, was a sign of timid driving. But no...
I have to watch myself when I get in the car - even when I was driving a station wagon - if I had just been watching a Formula 1 race on the television, because some inner racer wants to be just like those drivers.
Newlin has put the Performance Drivers' Association slide show on my computer so I can get ready for the big day. It tells me that anxiety is normal, to stay hydrated, to get off the track if (when?) my mind goes blank ( ! ), teaches me all the language my instructor will use, and provides diagrams of the proper and safest way to drive into and out of turns. I'm also practicing not gripping the steering wheel in my usual death grip. So much to learn. But for me this is like those women who go on Outward Bound type wilderness survival experiences - I will not be the same woman after August 13th.
And you can be sure that afterwards I will be able to link that track day with my spiritual development - wait for it!