Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Hazards of Rushing

After the final race at the SKUSA Streets of Lancaster, which the S1/S2 race was one of the finest races I've ever witnessed anywhere, I thought about the process that got me to there and thought back to Friday's blog about how much I love doing that. However, it was a process as was everything else I've done and been. From those thoughts I realized something; when I wanted to be at this top level of karting a decade ago I would not have been prepared for doing it.

Prepared? I had the physical skills to flag but my ability to handle the social side of life was anything but there. There will be a chapter in my upcoming 2nd book and I believe the chapter is entitled, "When Kansas Fails" which talks about a situation that arose at the club I was flagging at in 2006. This situation was brought about by club politics and a person being a complete jerk to me and at that point in time I had no ability to cope with that situation. However, being at the level that I was at there weren't any ramifications and the following event was fine.

You are probably wondering what type of situation it was and how I reacted. My reaction was just one of severe sadness and it showed. I couldn't contain my emotions. I didn't say anything nasty, I didn't do anything with regards to actions, but I it was obvious my emotions were strong and over flowing and I didn't have the ability to express them.

Now here's the thing; in my life growing up I wanted everything now. Doesn't everyone? Wouldn't it be great to be able to just reach the destination without going through the work to get there? Sadly, this isn't the way life works and if we do try to rush and skip the sections of life where we learn skills and better ways to handle social dramas then when we actually do get somewhere we won't be there long. Had that situation happened at the major events I do now, and I had done it my first race, I don't know how long I would have been kept around. Actually, one of the final chapters of my 2nd book (I wrote four final chapters) was my experience at the first Supernats in 2008 and talks about a nasty thing another worker told me. That person is no longer working with us, I think 08 was his only year I saw him, but instead of getting emotional and angry I simply let it go. I learned from the 2006 fiasco and I still felt a little sad that a person say such unkind words, but I had grown in just the two years.

What happened in those two years? After that race in 2006 that had the politics I picked up a regional series and I was the flagman and the race director. I was in complete control of the race weekend and this experience helped me with confidence and conflict management. Not everyone leaves a race weekend happy and there are times where races make contact and one spins off while the other goes on to victory. In these situations one driver is angry, one is happy, and if it was just a "racing incident" then no penalty will be assessed further angering the first driver and the race director is the one that gets to hear all the anger. Somehow, and I have no idea how, I was good at explaining what I saw and letting the angry driver know that I do understand his frustration but I wasn't going to change my mind without further angering the driver. It was in these conversations that growth happened that planted the seeds to let me handle the national events I do for USAC and SKUSA.

So here's the thing; without the growth in the middle from where you were to where you are now the skills to make it further won't be as strong. I think back to my years of hopelessness from 2003-2008 and I just wanted everything to be okay. I wanted everything to be perfect and yet if I had got it I wouldn't have been prepared for it and, if I had failed when I made it, the devastation of losing it would have been worse than waiting for it. If you had tried to explained this to me back then I would have said, "I'm ready. You don't know what you're talking about!" but looking back everything happened at just the right pace. The biggest disaster possible would have been to be where I am now, not in terms of growth but it terms of profession in being a public speaker and flagman traveling this much, because I would not have known how to handle it all. Burnout and social disasters probably would have been a common occurrence.

I hear from parents as well that they want the rate of growth for their child with Asperger's to be quicker and when talking to parents I do stress the concept of planting seeds in that it takes time to grow. I know I've grown more in the past four years than I did from the ages of 16-27. It was a long wait, but it was worth it. I never fell into a severe "fail set" mindset because I didn't have a major failure. I came close, but it didn't happen.

Look, I know there's a lot of people that want things to happen faster. I know I did! And I know for those that want it these words may be hard to understand, or maybe even called shallow, but there are times when time is needed. To not have the skills to handle everyday life experiences and expect everything to be perfect is not a good combination. I lived like that though; I had it in my mind that if I simply had a job that paid and I was flagging at the top then life would be good. I didn't realize that there's more to it than just a title and a position and the worst thing that could have happened is for my progress in life to be rushed. Sometimes people put an expiration date on hope, but sometimes hope, and progress, can take longer than we would like, but that's okay because going into something unprepared, in my opinion, would have been worse for me than waiting for the day when what I dreamt of being and doing came true.

1 comment:

  1. Aaron,
    I remember very well those years of waiting. I remember the terrible pain that you felt when you would say, "I'm running out of time to race." I remember the phone calls from races when crisis would strike.

    Today I will remember the great wisdom you have displayed in understanding "The Hazards of Rushing."

    God bless you,
    Love Dad