Honey, I’m home!
That was the first thing I said when I walked into my friend’s house yesterday, here in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s also what I said in my head when I arrived at Barber Motorsports Park this morning at 6:00am. I’ve been away from the Verizon IndyCar Series circuit for what feels like an eternity. Last season’s finale in Sonoma, CA was the last time these feet were on the ground, so to speak.
It feels so good to be back, and it feels like I’m easily falling right back in the groove with my routine and habits over a race weekend, but let me tell you… the anticipation leading up to it has had me second-guessing myself and nervous that maybe it’s been too long, that I won’t remember how to do this, that I’ve lost my touch for writing and covering the series.
I’m sure you’ve all felt that lack of confidence at some point in your lives. And I think it happens when it’s regarding something we care about immensely. I hear my friends who are parents worry that they aren’t raising their kids perfectly, or my coworkers at the hospital stress out about a report or a chart. When I hear those concerns I always tell them, ‘It’s okay.’ I try to calm their concerns by reminding them that they are amazing at what they do and no one is perfect, so that’s a ridiculous ideal to live up to. It’s guaranteed failure. (Which, by the way, is a necessary element to success, but that’s something to dig into another time.) I remind them that they are stressing out about it so much because it’s something they are passionate about, it’s something they want to excel in, and if they weren’t worried about their work, or their kids… that would be a bigger problem. I remind them to just maintain focus and have confidence that they are capable and they genuinely care, and for those reasons alone… everything is going to be just fine.
I think it’s high time I take my own advice. One of the hardest things to do, as it turns out! I know I’ve been stressing about this return to writing and the track because I want to do well, because I care about the work I produce, and this is truly a labor of love. So, now that all of THAT is out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks and write about racecars for the next four days. I hope you’ll join me!