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Finding Balance

This week the blog is a little behind. The Fastlife sometimes doesn't allow for everything to be perfect! We are at our youngest daughter Ryann's dance competition this weekend.

Derek gave up testing in Virginia to be here for her. This was a challenging decision for him as he's never driven at Virginia International Raceway. We've had many conversations lately about balancing our lives so that we still have a family after the racing is all said and done (which hopefully won't be for a long time) but it's becoming increasingly more important for us to make sure we are conscious about how we are using our time!

Racing has been such a focus for Derek and I since 2014 that we began to lose ourselves a little bit in the excitement of opportunity and all the hustle to capitalize on it. We felt that it was important to put 100% into every opportunity that would push Derek forward and closer to his dream goal of driving for a professional racing team. We have now reached that goal and sustained it (not without many challenges) but we are sustaining and still racing! Our story, which can be seen on Amazon Prime and soon to be on cable pay per view, chronicles our lives and shares the bumps in the road that we encounter on this journey to follow our dreams-me being a filmmaker and Derek being a racer. Season 1 is streaming now and Season 2 is on its way! Now that we are in this different phase of the racing life, new and different opportunities are arising and we've had to take stalk of what opportunities are serving us the most and the dream. I think it's important to always audit your choices on a regular basis to make sure you are staying on track. It can be tempting to do everything for everyone else thinking that it's moving you in the right direction. Sometimes you can do this so much that you lose yourself in the process. Derek and I both decided that we needed to say no to some things in order to honor our family time and have good balance.

Some of the opportunities that have come from racing have helped us with this balance. We have added a fitness parter to our team. Simon with Performance Physixx is now writing fitness programs for Derek. In addition, we will be working with Rejoov Wellness and Meg Mangano, RDN, CSSD, CLT a functional nutritionist and sports dietician who is going to help us with our meal plans and coach us on our eating. She will also be working with our daughter Haylee who is gluten intolerant. We hope to share some of this in Fastlife. One of the things we felt getting out of balance was our fitness and eating healthy. We've always stayed pretty healthy but when you are pushing really hard towards the dream, you are tired! When you are tired, you don't feel like working out. Pretty soon one day turns into the next and you don't work out and I find that when I'm not active, I don't make the best food choices. Luckily Derek and I stay pretty connected and began to feel the same things at the same time. It may or may not have included a little nudge from me! haha....So we talked together and decided the first thing that needed to go was late nights watching movies or tv and that we both needed to be more disciplined about getting rest. We've been much better about going to bed earlier and setting our alarms to work out. He works out first in the morning. We then get everybody off to school and then I work out. We are both starting to feel a lot better. Derek also made a plan to use his simulator more and on a schedule. He feels that he really understands the track at Virginia as a result.

These things will lower stress too because he is much more confident heading to the race next week.

As part of the slowing down and rebalancing where our attention is going, Derek and I also discussed how important it is for us to give back. We both dream of having a foundation someday that supports kids to go after their dreams. We talked about how we'd really like to use the platform of racing to do some good. We love kids and are heartbroken by some of the stories we've heard of kids growing up in adverse and unhealthy circumstances through the charity work that we've done in the past. We have enjoyed the work we've done with Cate and Mason, two kids who are successfully beating Cancer and now living free and healthy. We put the intention out there with this conversation and very soon after that a connection we had with award winning photo journalist, Linda Solomon, was rekindled. Linda runs a program called Pictures of Hope that encourages kids to take photographs of their hopes and dreams, giving them a way to express themselves, a skill, and an opening to set their intentions for what they dream to do in life. Linda asked Derek and I to partner with her on this project.

We are working now on our first program. Two Southern Oregon businesses have partnered to make this single opportunity happen. More on that soon! It will be in July just before the Portland World Challenge Race at Portland International Raceway. We will have the opportunity to give a full ride college scholarship to one of the kids as well. It is a very powerful exercise to state out loud what you want to do and accomplish. Dreams do come true if you state them and work them!

We are beginning to feel more balanced. There is more work to do! The hope is that we are able to get more partners and sponsors on board so we can more effectively do the work we are trying to do. We would like to continue telling our story but branch out into sharing the Pictures of Hope story and the stories of Mason and Cate, too. Fastlife is still a one woman show, as far as the filming and work goes. Derek is still pushing to have his entire season funded, working together with the team, working his full time job, and trying to be a more present Dad to his kids and husband to me.

We have reached out to a couple high school and college kids for internships to support the work we are doing. We are learning that in order to do anything well you need to honor yourself by getting rest, asking for help, making good choices, having boundaries, and setting intentions to give back.

What can you do to help us? Share us with your friends and family by heading over to FASTLIFE on Amazon Prime Video. Give us some love on social media. We are on most of the platforms. If you know anyone who also wants to support kids hopes and dreams send them our way! We'd love to get them involved in the program. And of course as always, we'd love to host you at a race or event or have you as a partner or sponsor on our car for one of the remaining races this season. If you know a watch connoisseur we represent BRM Chronographes, a boutique watch brand from France that carries beautiful and unique timepieces.

Next week there will be an early blog up to let you know how you can follow Derek at his Virginia race. I can't go and so I'll be doing what most of you are doing, watching from my computer. It's bitter sweet for me. I'm choosing to be with the kids and let Derek go focus completely on the race and learning the Porsche and a track he's never been on. I've been there for almost all of his races and I do not like feeling left out and not being there for him. Fastlife will be told from a little different vantage point this time. I'm sending a shot list to Gail, the team's Director of Communications, Derek will grab what he can and then I'll be telling the story from my view at home. It's always an adventure and always something new with the Fastlife!

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