From time to time in my life I can experience something so amazing that it goes from Kansas to a Hyper-Kansas. If you are new to my blog please visit this glossary to get the definition of what Kansas is. Anyway, this past week my experience on iRacing went to the amazing heights of a hyper-Kansas.
Last week iRacing introduced a new series in the Indycar Fixed series. I committed to the full purchase of iRacing when they announced that they were putting the Indycar in the game, but once I started racing it I quickly learned just how mechanically challenged I am as I tried to figure out how to make a setup for the car. Honestly, for me, looking at the setup screen is like trying to read a paragraph that is comprised of 30 different languages.
Because of all that I never had a setup that could go out and simply win. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the racing and I felt like the massive underdog using what used to be referred as, "the welfare setup" (that's a setup that someone made that can compete but most likely won't win) but I always wanted to be able to prove to everyone that I can drive. With the fixed series I got my chance as all drivers are running the same setup so the only difference in speed is the talent of the driver.
From the first race I was in heaven. The track last week was at Pocono, which isn't the best track in terms of side-by-side racing, but nonetheless I had many close battles. Each race was a treat and if I was not giving a presentation or at the office I was counting down the minutes to the next race as there was a race every two hours.
Everything else ceased to matter and this weekend saw me drive and drive and drive. I tried to tear myself away but I couldn't. The only thing that mattered was that next race.
I hear this story a lot from parents at my presentations in that once something gets to that hyper-Kansas state it is so hard to break the attention towards whatever it is that is providing the hyper-Kansas state. Here's the thing, when something is gets to that level it is like my mind is on rails that I can't get off of. On Sunday I kept getting hungrier and hungrier and I kept delaying ordering food because I didn't want it to interrupt the next race. Eventually I got to the point of being too hungry to race so that's when I ordered. I was fully aware that I was getting to that point, but during a hyper-Kansas situation that ability to not only know what is coming, but to act upon it seems to diminish.
Over the course of the week I entered 27 races, finished in the top five 24 times, got wrecked twice, and won 9 races. Two other drivers had 20 starts so by a good margin I raced the most. Each of those races was a time of euphoric bliss. Even when the races were under the yellow flag, and trust me there were a lot of yellow flags, (iRacing is a simulation in the truest of forms with pace cars, yellow flags, and we the drivers can even file protests to those who break the rules of the road) but even under yellow I was enjoying every second of it because my mind was just fully engrossed in all that was going on.
The state of a hyper-Kansas is rare. Thinking back on the year I believe there's only been one other occurrence and that was when Bejeweled Blitz came out and I was making my run to #1 on the leader boards. After a month of hard fought battles I made it and am still there to this day.
This year the hyper-Kansases have been things that have been competitive, but it doesn't have to be a competition to get to hyper-Kansas level. In 2009 there was a spurt where I became enthralled with learning about North Korea, and then as fast as that came a month later I could care less on the subject. A couple months after that the game of chess became the subject of my hyper-focus and I spent all my time on the Xbox playing Chessmaster Live. Truly, all my time.
I want to add that there is no effort on my part to choose what does and does not become a hyper-Kansas. Obviously, an activity in an already defined interest doesn't hurt, but sometimes things outside that normal field of interest can occur. However, why one thing becomes a hyper and another doesn't is still a mystery to me. Also, the mystery remains as to why they eventually end as it isn't like I stand up and state, "Well, this was a good run, but I've had enough." Truly, it can end just as suddenly as it can on-set.
As for this week, hyper-Kansas is taking a week off as the fixed Indycar series returns next Monday evening and the track is Kentucky Speedway. I've looked at all the other series I could run this week but nothing sparks my interest. This is another downside to hyper-Kansas; once supreme bliss is felt it is hard to accept doing something that isn't as rewarding or exciting in my mind. I mean, if you could have seen some of the battles I had with some of the other driver... one race Travis Powell and myself swapped the lead five time in two laps. It was amazing, especially the way... Sorry, it's going to be a long week without all this and for this week all I've got are the memories of last week, but in six days I could very well be right back in the amazing confines of hyper-Kansas.