It's Monday and above all else I survived. Getting to the SKUSA Summer Nationals was an event all within itself and if you missed that post it was a special edition of my blog on Friday (the most recent post from this one).
When events occur in my life I always try and learn from them so I thought I would write an article about what it was that I learned this weekend. So what did I learn? First I learned that, when flying, I can stress all I want but if the flight I am on is late then there isn't ANYTHING I can do about it. I can't put the throttle down harder, I can't protest to air traffic control, and all in all I am powerless to do anything except to exist on that plane. Before Friday I did not know what happens when one is late to a flight due to a late arriving flight. It was in this unknown that the panic set in.
Because of the panic I over-exerted myself in my 100 gate dash and the three hours of worry caught up with me. However, I did want I have learned to do when things get tense for me and that is to write. While the ticket agent was making sure I was okay I was already planning on how to harness the event and turn it into a blog post. I do this with almost everything in my life and am always analyzing and thinking about the next post, and I decided I could not wait on that day in Salt Lake City so I got out my computer and wrote my emotions and story of the day.
That evening I was totally exhausted. Events like the one at the airport aren't simply cured instantly, at least from a physical stand point. Sure, my emotions went right back to normal, but the lingering physical burden, or maybe the word sluggish is better, continued for some time. When it was time to wake up on Saturday I was still coughing and still aching. On top of that my shins were killing me as I did my 100 gate dash in my office shoes.
I had stressful dreams leading into Saturday, but as I left the hotel and saw all the familiar SKUSA staff I started to feel back to my normal self. I thought of a line I wrote somewhere in my book that, "regardless of how I feel the sun will rise tomorrow" and what a glorious sun rise it was in Grand Junction. The scenery here is amazing and being at the race track was the best cure to the previous day's drama at the airport.
The two race days went by way too fast even though each day was a 11 hour marathon. I've said this many times, but I pick up energy I didn't know I had when I flag. Typically I tire easily and am not the most physical of persons, but come race days I spring alive, and trust me, after Friday, I felt alive.
During the morning practice on Saturday I thought of the importance of what writing has meant for me in my life. You see, the previous day not only was my writing for my blog, but it was for myself. This is my outlet, this is my way to express the deep depths of emotions I feel but am unable to express them in any other way. I don't know how long it would have taken me to get out of the frustration of the airport drama had I not written about it. As practice continued I realized it is critical for those on the spectrum to find that medium, whatever it may be, as it has proved to be one of the biggest assets in my life. How does one find this though? I don't have that answer, sadly.
When both days were over I rode back to the hotel with three others and I was talked into going out to dinner. This was a rare occurrence as typically I will retreat into the safe confines of my hotel room. After coming off the emotional roller coaster I wanted to do something besides the norm so I agreed and off we went.
The three people I was with I have seen at the SKUSA races for some time, but being the flagman I often am not around anyone else. So what that means is that I will see them, but not talk to them. That may work at the track, but when eating at a table I found staying within, "my shell" as they put it was not going to work.
During dinner I was again realized just how difficult it is to have an open-ended conversation. Being the racers we are much of the conversation was around that and when it was I could fully stay tuned into what was going on, but when a sudden change of topic came up, or a figure of speech or pop culture statement came up I became lost in processing. At times I truly felt like the most oblivious person on Earth and questioned my past as I thought back to if I truly have lived under a rock.
I could have got frustrated at myself, and perhaps several years ago I would have, but I thought of this as one of those learning experiences and not only that but I was actually enjoying myself. This has now happened at both USAC and SKUSA races now and maybe it truly is that I am coming out of that thick shell finally, and then again I feel it is more in part that I am comfortable in my imperfections. I may be oblivious, I may have no idea what a certain comment may mean, and I may stare in disbelief when a "Chinese fire drill" happens, but above it all I am me. I can't help all this and those around me can either take who I am or think I am odd. Regardless, I am me and I'm happy being me.
The more I live and the more I am out in the world the more comfortable I am with myself. You may think it would be the opposite as being out in the world puts a bigger risk of having, say, a Salt Lake City airport experience. That may be so, but I've built up towards this. It's been a 28 year long learning experience, and I am still learning. I know now that when flights are delayed the sun will rise, I know when I get stressed I can write about it, and I know when someone shouts, "Chinese fire drill!" at a red light I need to shake my head in disbelief and look about as if I don't know the people I'm with.
So what a weekend! This weekend started out with severe lows, but like a sappy movie I came through. As I said earlier this year on my blog, I truly feel as if my life is a movie script because it would be hard for this type of stuff to happen. I'm glad it does though because, again, if I wasn't at TouchPoint, and not working these races, what would I be learning? As I learn and put it to words I hope my words can somehow be of help to anyone who may need that inkling of understanding. So yes, that was my weekend. I learned that airports are crazy, Grand Junction has a street called, "F 1/2 St." and I am able to survive a fun night out despite the Chinese fire drills.