Monday, May 19, 2014

After the 13 Hours of Nashville The Band Played On

This past weekend saw my fourth trip to Nashville in as many years for a USAC Gen next race. It always seems that the Nashville race gives me something to write about and this year was no exception.

My view of the racing on Saturday, as proven by the photo taken from my stand, is one of supreme awesomeness. However, with 218 cars and a total of 54 races to flag it made for one long Saturday. How long? For myself it was a 13 hour marathon of flying flags. After about ten hours I will admit I had a passing thought of, "Why do I love this again?" and then I realize that my devotion and passion for the sport is beyond words. Even today as most of my arm and leg muscles hurt my love is unwavering.

Now, let me get to the topic of today's blog which actually starts after the 13 hours in the stand. Dinner was at a Waffle House (not much open at that time of night) and after that there was little energy to do much except think about how awesome going to sleep would be. As much as sleep was needed and wanted there was one major hurdle to getting there.

When myself and the series director entered our hotel room it felt as if the room was shaking. Actually, I think it might have because outside our window and across the small parking lot was a bar that had an outdoor band playing at an astoundingly high level of decibels. To add to this chaotic noise there was also an occasional loud revving of engines which came at random intervals. Sleep, it would seem despite my body being at the brink of collapse, would be a challenge.

This noise was so great that even those not being on the autism spectrum were having issues getting to sleep, but eventually they were able to. Myself, being as hyper-sensitive as my body is, would not let me. We turned the air conditioner unit up to max to try and drown out the noise but this didn't help. I then played an album that has relaxing music on it I have on my phone and put ear buds on but while I could no longer hear the music I could still feel the music. This was what was keeping me awake; it wasn't so much to hear the noise but I could feel the noise (lots of low level bass noises which my body has a hard time dealing with) and this was the difference between myself and others; the other people could drown out the noise but there is no drowning out the feeling of sound.

The band played on, and on, and midnight became 1 became near 2 and aggravation set in, but finally, and mercifully, the music ceased and within a minute of that sleep was achieved. It made for a groggy morning, and others in the morning complained about the music, but they were able to tune it out by other means. Myself, I wasn't as fortunate and while I haven't written about them in quite some time the ever present potential problems with sensory issues came forth. Once the racing began on Sunday, though, I was back to prime form, but I'm just thankful I knew why I have issues with these noises as when I was younger I just would get angry at myself.

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