Friday, August 19, 2011

The Art of Hanging Banners

One of the things that is done before the USAC .25 series races at a track is setup. One of the things that needs to be done is the hanging of banners around the track and I have learned, without a doubt, I am one of the worst banner hangers in the world!

Several races ago in Hagerstown each banner I hung was off centered, crooked, and one was even backwards. It's odd as I am very coordinated with the movement of my flags when I am flagging, and also coordinated when I used to race. However, when it comes to the fine motor skills of hanging banners I am about as useful as one spare tire when a person has four flat tires.

To put simply I am not good. In life I have realized that I can either do something really well, or I do something really bad. Rarely is there a middle ground and when it comes to using my hands to put something up and on top of all that judging with my eyes if something is even and, well, it usually doesn't end well.

Here's the wonderful thing about the situation I'm in though, those around me know this! While at first I was angry with myself at my inability to be as proficient or capable as everyone else, I now have accepted that I simply am not good at it. This doesn't mean that I retreat from the task all together as I am now the zip-tie cutter extraordinaire, but when it comes to the actual hanging I am a better asset to watch and give moral support than I am in actually helping.

I have never been good with eye-to-hand coordination and I actually got an "F" in 1s grade art. An "F!" I remember struggling and struggling with the concept of folding the art projects on the lines. Perhaps I simply didn't like the directions and wanted to do it my way, but more likely I simply didn't have the skills to do the project the way it was intended.

Going back a paragraph, I mentioned that everyone around me knows my lack of skill. Thanks to my blog, and the fact that my blog seems to be popular among the USAC staff, my skills and challenges are known so I don't have to fully explain what is going on. Having to explain such things can be highly difficult to the point of being impossible because how does one state that something is difficult?

There was an event at the last race during the banner hanging portion of the weekend and I was in my zip tie cutting/moral support mode and there were two banners that were slightly askew. James, the series director, told me to "cut the ends because we need to start over." The thing about that sentence is I just processed the 2nd half of the sentence in that we needed to start over. To start over that meant I needed to take the whole thing down so out came the cutters and after getting most of the zip ties off James came back and said, "No, Aaron, just the ends." My heart sank as doing anything wrong is something I try to avoid at all costs, and sometimes other people in society get super angry at minor things and I am always afraid of this happening, but in this misunderstanding came understanding. This is why I say, "understanding is the foundation for hope." There wasn't anger in his voice, no hint of disappointment at all, and in the end we laughed about the misunderstanding.

For this race the banners have been hung and while I still am trying to understand the art of hanging them, today there will be no mistaken my duties as the on-track activities begin and I take my position in the flagstand. There will be no doubt in my actions, no hesitation in what I need to do, and just as awkward as I am when trying to hang banners I am just as confident as I am in the flagstand. Again, as I said, I can either do something really good or really bad and today I am going to do something that I am really good and I can't wait to get to the track.


  1. Even at the ages of 28 and 17...I do not like to see my kids with scissors or glue....or sharp knives. Yes they both failed 4 year old art.