Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thoughts from the Trip

Yesterday, in all my excitement in anticipation for the SKUSA Supernats, I became reflective while in the airplane. Three years ago I flagged my first Supernats and that was also my first national race of any kind. However, on that Tuesday that I flew home, it was also the day that my book, Finding Kansas, became available.

What a three years it has been! I state in my presentations that, “if you would have seen me three years ago you probably wouldn’t recognize the me of today back then. The amount of growth I have experienced has, perhaps, been the highest of my life.

Three years ago the only place I talked with confidence was at the racetrack. There was no public speaking, no job, and I barely left the house. I still was sad about my diagnosis as I tried to find my way in life. Where I was wasn’t where I wanted to be; although I didn’t fully know where I wanted to go.

As I sat on the plane yesterday looking down upon the world I thought of all this and that realized that I am truly happy. It has been a long journey and a journey that has seen many hardships. However, without the bitter the sweet just wouldn’t be as sweet. Without the bitter I might not have the passion I have to do what I do.

My current focus at the end of my presentations now is to say that, “there is always hope but sometimes it might just take longer for things to get to where you want to get it.” I have been beyond blessed to have the chance to speak to groups about my experiences.

The journey I am on still continues on. While I will be in racing heaven this week my mind will still be thinking about the need in this world. So many battles people face on the spectrum due to simple misunderstandings don’t need to happen. In my presentations I don’t state that the world needs to make drastic changes, but I feel if others simply have an ounce of understanding about those on the spectrum the right choices will be made. If we can avoid the needless misunderstandings people, like myself, can have more room for growth.

Right now I don’t know if I’d change one thing about my life. Here I am, in Vegas, about to flag the largest go-kart race in the world while also having the best job in the world. Three years ago I stood on the track directionless. I knew my book was coming out but I had no idea if anyone would ever read my words. I remember writing a chapter that I said something along the lines of, “I hope someone, someday, will read my words so they just simply understand who I am.” Never would I have thought three years ago I’d be where I am at today. I have a blog with 634 followers, my book is being rereleased by a division of Penguin, and I am a speaker that has spoken to over 7,500 people.

Life is a long twisty road. Where we are today we know, but where we will be in three years is anyone’s guess. I firmly believe that I am where I am because those around me understood me, believed in me, and helped me become who I am now. It was a long road, but it starts with understanding.

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