The accelerator was pushed all the way down as I pulled out of the corner and hit the open stretch of lane.
It had been a rough week for me.
The week before spring break is always tough. There’s the cramming, the incredible amounts of homework, and finally the mid-terms. It’s not like I have much time for studying and homework. Work has gone crazy busy as I was just given a new project – my largest one to-date.
So it was an incredible amount of stress and pressure that I was expressing through my driving. I was having an exhilarating time pushing my car to the limits – maxing out its speed and testing its cornering abilities.
It wasn’t like there was other cars nearby that would be endangered by my therapeutic driving.
The hairpin turn was coming up quickly. I knew the hairpin was tricky, but I had already navigated it successfully before by simply braking before entering the turn.
As I flew up onto the turn, I touched the brake pedal. No response. I pressed harder, again no response. Pumping the pedal, I cursed, and turned the wheel as my car flew into the curve. I watched the wall fly at me while the screams of my unappreciative tires filled the air.
Time was in slow motion as my front bumper parted the barricades like the Red Sea. Then everything came to a jarring halt as the front of the car met the concrete embedded steel.
My adrenaline-charged breathing fogged up my helmet.
I moved slowly as if afraid that I might actually be hurt. Yellow flashing lights began their sparkling dance as people came running towards me.
I lifted the visor and saw that the front of my car had pinned itself beneath the steel guard rails. There was about 2 inches between my leg and the steel rail.
The realization that I had almost actually injured myself go-kart racing startled me.
Yes, I was go-kart racing.
The company that I work for had set a BHAG last year which we met and passed by $5M. In case you were wondering, BHAG stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”. We (obviously) do not need a marketing team, and I thought the acronym was rather funny.
As a reward for exceeding the goal, the company rented out the super track at K-1 for half the day. We got to drive as much as we wanted; and drive I did. It was my first time ever in a go-kart and was determined to at least be in the top 10 of the 100 drivers.
My first race was good – as in I posted the fastest time of the group. But my time was nowhere near the best drivers. The CFO found me and made sure to tell me that I wasn’t as good of a driver as she had thought. She reminded me that I was racing for both me and her and she didn’t want to be disappointed. So I raced again, and again, and again each time pushing the car faster and taking the turns tighter. I finally broke the top 10 at #9.
Then came the crash.
On the last lap, I was ranked 4th on the scoreboard and was pushing hard to catch my friend in front. That’s when my brakes abandoned me before the hairpin turn. The crash was tough. Hitting those plastic barricades and the steel guardrail at 40mph was rather jarring.
I looked back as the track crew came running towards me. Apparently the crash sounded and looked horrible. After making sure I was okay and unpinning my car, the race resumed. But the crash ruined my time.
As I walked off the track, my co-workers came up to me asking what had happened. I laughingly told them that I simply wasn’t as good of a driver as I thought.
Then the office manager came up. After making sure I was okay, she told me that I had just won the prize for “Best Crash of the Day” and told me I could have anything for sale up front. Seeing as I had pushed my luck far enough on the track, I didn’t think it wise to pick out racing seats for my Honda or a racing helmet – especially since I drive a sedan.
So I chose the racing striped backpack. It’s cool and hopefully cheesy enough where I will get the chance to tell the girls at college about my racing skills.
But if nothing else, I get to share my coolness and badassness with you – the reader.
Wouldn’t you want me to be your chauffeur?