Today is the final day before the start of the SKUSA Supernats and this day is as special now as it was when I began in 2008. And there's a ritual about this day. Earlier today I walked the track to get reacquainted with the lay of the land and I walked to the start finish line which will be my home for the next five days. It's nice to stand there, alone in tranquility, because starting tomorrow I'm going to have some of the best kart pilots in the world zooming past at almost 100mph.
There's something really special today, and it's the pinnacle of the ritual, and that is the staff meeting this evening. I know what's going to be said and it's been about the same verbatim since my first year. And I do remember my first year at that meeting. I hung on every word spoken by Tom who told us that this is the biggest event in karting and that our professionalism needs to convey that. We hear from eKartingnews's Rob Howden who reinforces the size and scope of this event and it's been the same speeches each year and here's the thing, every year I hand on every word. I was never on a sports team and I never heard a coach's pep talk, but this is what it is like. I dream of this event all year and to be at that meeting puts me from a dream state to this is reality and in just one short night the event will be on.
It's also a shared experience because the entire staff is at this meeting. In the years I've been doing this the staff has grown. While I'm just one person at start finish and I normally am the ones in the pictures and videos (any flagman would as pictures of the victor at the line are sort of a no brainer) there's, well, between corner workers, staff that man the fuel and tire desk, security, tech, registration, I believe it is close to 100. I could be wrong, but the scale of this event is that ginormous.
For now I wait. The meeting is in a little over three hours and I'll probably get there a little early just to soak it in a little bit more. I enjoy every event I work, I truly do, but this is where I truly started on a national level and as of now it's the largest event I work so I appreciate it. Some people say I'm good at flagging but I do it because I enjoy it and to be given a canvas so large to practice my art of flag waving is, well, I call it an honor. At the end of the day many people could be the one to stand at start finish and display the flags but that honor has been given to me. Maybe this is a lesson in being skilled and persistent, but each year I want to make every moment count. Even last year in the simply appalling conditions with inches upon inches of rain and spending three straight days of wearing rubber boots (I NEVER want to wear rubber boots again after that experience) I had a great time. These five days only come once a year and there's only one other event in the world that I'd do above this event and maybe someday I'll get to that event (even if I get to that event I can still do this) but nonetheless these five days are cherished, respected, and in a few short hours I'll be at the final event in the ritual that leads up to the start of the Supernats and I will be as attentive, and almost like a kid on Christmas who is about to open the greatest gift ever, as I have been each and every year. The five greatest days if the year are about to begin.