I go to races so that if there is a problem I'll be there for Derek. I do love the races, the excitement, the sounds, the friends that we've made who are like family. The energy at the track is so contagious and addicting. It's a live "life to the fullest" kind of place, it's fun, it's loud, it's cool. I've learned a lot about energy this week and how quickly it can go down and keep you down if you let it. Luckily I have also learned that if we are aware and educated as to how to manage our energy, we can quickly pick ourselves up from the down moments and use that as fuel to grow and continue in better more positive ways.
Derek crashed in Virginia at Virginia International Raceway this week. I've gone through the entire spectrum of emotions about it fear, anger, defensiveness, blame. When he first crashed I held my breath when I didn't see him out of the car. All I saw was his car in the guard rail. Within minutes we saw him standing outside of the car and I knew he was fine. That's the first hurdle. Then as I listened to the broadcast I noticed that they were conjecturing what had happened. There was not a replay of it as they didn't get the incident on film. They said that he may have gotten caught in the incident that happened just before his with all of the cars on the track trying to avoid the other one. As soon as Derek got back to the paddock he called me and I told him what I was seeing on the broadcast. I knew Derek was going to feel defensive, and that he would have to go in for an incident review. I could tell it was going to be a rough couple of days with the disappointment setting in. Not only would this take them out of contention for the championship in their class, the car may have been totaled and not repairable for the Connecticut race.
This season is so different from last season. Last year there were around 12 cars in the GTS field of the Pirelli World Challenge racing series. This year they've changed the format of the cars to GT4 and there are 38 cars in the field. There is a wide range of experience amongst these drivers. The approach to racing has shifted over time to having seasoned pros on track to having drivers that can afford to be there to pay to be on track and often with this comes less experience, not always, but more often than in previous years. The cars have become very safe and so decisions on track may be more risky than they have in the past leading to more potential incidents. Derek's incident was avoidable had the other driver made a different decision, though not at fault, Derek has learned he must be aware of the drivers around him and adjust his decisions according to predicting what others may do. This adds a whole new element to the job of driving a race car.
Derek met with the series and released him from responsibility in the incident. He was hit from behind, it was pretty clear in the in car replay but he did come home with a heavy energy. I have learned that I tend to absorb that energy. So, we both had some work to do to pick ourselves up. I was so grateful for God's protection for Derek on the track. He told me that if the incident had happened a little further along on the track, the car could have rolled. The first step to releasing the negative energy was gratitude for his safety. The next step was to talk about it and process exactly what we were feeling. We met with our life coach and the first thing that happened was I released some pent up defensive energy. I was angry that the driver didn't approach Derek to ask if he was ok. Whenever Derek has had an incident on track, he always approaches the other driver and owns his part and makes sure he personally makes contact with that person. It doesn't always go well, but I feel it's the right thing to do and the gentleman approach. I had to let go of this anger and realize that God was there protecting Derek and also let go of the assumption that this was intentional. It seemed like it could have been. It's much easier to blame someone than deal with your biggest fears. So, I had to let go of the blame and anger and deal with my fear. I'm still working on that. Our life coach reminded us that there are many dangerous things that you can do in life. Most sports have an element of danger, not just race car driving, so it's time to let that go and I'm choosing to trust God.
So we worked through it with expressing our gratitude, letting go of the negative emotions through processing, and the final step for us is now looking at how we move forward. At the same time that the accident happened, some of our sponsorships and charitable efforts fell apart. We are moving forward by knowing that these are not the right partnerships and that God has new, more fitting ones in store for us. We are also shifting our energy from focusing on what didn't work to knowing that we have a lot of value to share and clarifying what that is. This way, when partnership opportunities arise we will be ready. I'm learning challenges are just opportunities to learn and grow and create new opportunities!
We will keep you updated on the car and the season as we get new information. For those of you that have come on board to partner with us already, we thank you. Thank you to our fans who are following our story and cheering Derek on! You are the reason we have a story to share. We are grateful for you. Remember that you are in charge of your energy!