It happened again as it did last year. Once again I got the honor of assisting Tom Hansing at the Hoosier 100 which is a USAC Traxxas Silver Crown race.
Last year was my first time with USAC at all. To say I was timid would be the utmost of understatements. I was nervous, scared, and wondering where exactly I needed to go and who to talk to.
This year I knew where to go and I had only one person to talk to and that was Tom. I got to the track a couple hours early, found Tom, and asked him if he had someone in the assistant position. He did not so I asked if I could do it and it was done.
Last year the view was one that put me in a state of awe. To stand atop a race track was something I always envisioned. The awe didn't last long as once the first car rolled it was down to business.
Last year when the action began I was unsure of myself. I didn't know how to assist or what was expected of me. This is where I think being on the spectrum like I am proves to be a hindrance as we need direction. In this case the only way to learn this is via actually doing it.
This year I knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Gone were the fears of screwing up. Gone was the "positional warfare" I fought last year. Gone was the unsure posture I had and what was was a posture that was firm, and a smile that was wide.
Last year I did say it was "The Best Experience Ever" and it was, there's no doubt about it, but it still was a challenge for me. New things are never easy as I'm sure that is the case for most people, but, and I am using a line from Ann Schad, "Autism is human behavior to one extreme or the other." In this case the learning curve of certain things is steeper than it could be for someone else. Granted, I still did it last year, but the internal anxiety within me was great.
This year there was no anxiety and the only emotion was concentration and enjoyment. While both years were amazing this year I was able to enjoy the event. Last year I was a USAC rookie and afraid of screwing up in some unforeseen way, but this year, well, I stood proud, unafraid, and truly honored to be able to be part of the crew.