Monday, March 28, 2011

Thoughts From Nashville

This race weekend was a tough one due to mother nature. After the paradise like weather two weeks ago we were greeted with temps barely at, if ever at, 50 degrees. The skies were better fit for a horror picture than a race and the winds were constant. And to add on all this it rained halfway through Saturday leading to a long Sunday.

While I could write on and on about the race, and my excitement for the next race a little over a month from now, I think it would be much more useful to type about the obvious growth I have had in the past three years ago.

Saturday after the day was called due to rain the staff and I went to downtown Nashville to eat. This place was a bar/eatery and right away entering there were some people that might have had one too many to drink. One of them challenged me to something, but I walked right past and am thankful I have eye contact issues.

I can think back to three years ago and I would have entered that bar and would have done a 180 and stood outside and wouldn't have thought twice about standing outside without protest perfectly content. I didn't do this though and I walked in, sat down, and tried to act as naturally as I know how.

Several minutes passed and a singer started singing and we were seated right beside the speaker. It was very loud, but I was not bothered to the point of feeling uncomfortable. Again, three years earlier, I would have walked away without comment. In fact this actually did happen three years ago and I did simply leave without comment. I didn't state what had happened as I was, in a way, ashamed of it. I was not confident in who I was and had no ability to state when something was difficult for me. I have grown to the point now that I can state when I am at my limit, but the limit was never touched despite the loud music.

Sitting at that table I know I probably looked "uncomfortable in my own skin" but I was there. Those around me know what I have and no comment, except for one question of, "Is this too loud for you?" was made. This alone gave me more strength.

What has changed in three years? Maybe life experience? Maybe growing within Kansas has empowered me outside of it? Maybe other things? Perhaps all of the above is the right answer.

I am also happy that I am talking to other people. Years ago I would do my thing at the track and then as soon as I could retreat within the confines of a hotel room. Granted, during the frigidness of today I was yearning for a warm hotel room, I have not retreated yet this year. In fact I am looking forward to these times, say, going out to dinner. Years ago I would ALWAYS order pizza by myself, but not this year.

These times of going out to eat do prove interesting for me and at times it is very awkward for me. At one point in time I thought to myself, "Oh my goodness! That new character on the television show House obviously has Asperger Syndrome because her social issues and facial expressions are mirror images of the awkwardness that I am experiencing". I did research and the actress, Amber Tamblyn, is playing her as if that is what she has. I just thought this was interesting and a follow up to the autism and the media post I did recently.

So today I am driving home. It will be a week of preparing as on the 31st I head to Lebanon for the first of many presentations. It's going to be a great week and a great April!

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