How I got Hooked on Driving!
It was this time last year when my husband excitedly handed me my birthday card. As I read the card, I have to be completely honest and tell you that my first thought was, “Really? Who is this gift really for?” You see, for my birthday present my husband gave me a day on the track at Thunderhill. He could hardly contain his enthusiasm and my lack of enthusiasm took all the energy out of him. I could visibly see his disappointment that I didn’t share in his excitement for my, according to him, ridiculously fabulous gift!
So, after a couple of days of thinking this gift wasn’t exactly what I would have picked I decided to embrace the attitude that at least I could spend an entire day with my husband away from our two small children. As a Mom, that’s a birthday present I can appreciate!
Our day on the track fell right in middle of the intense heat wave we had in July of 2008 when temperatures reached 115 degrees. That wasn’t the worst part. It also was during that crazy time when half of California was burning up in wildfires. So, not only was the temperature 100+ by noon but I couldn’t see much through the haze of the smoke smothering the central valley. But I was determined to keep up my “good attitude” and not let my husband down.
I sat through the introductory instruction and I noticed there was a little stirring of excitement from deep within. But I wrote it off. Of course I was nervous. I would be driving my husband’s Lotus Elise around the track and up to that day I had driven it maybe four times in my entire life!
During my first session I went so slowly everyone passed me, probably twice but I lost count. I didn’t quite get it. But that was fine by me. I considered it a great success to make it through the twenty minute session without any damage to myself or the car. Then I went out for my next session. I had a coach the second time that really took the time to help me improve in baby steps. First he had me focus on driving smoothly around the track. Then he had me work on picking up the pace and improve my breaking, always focusing on the line and keeping it smooth. Hmmm, things were starting to click.
Then it came time for a ride in a coach’s car to demonstrate how it’s done. I tell you this set me straight. My life changed with that five minute demo ride. I transformed from a reluctant wife of a fanatic track husband, to a proud-to-be-just-as-fanatic track wife. I was hooked!
I continued to improve throughout the day and by my fifth session I even passed others on the track! If Hooked On Driving handed out awards at the end of the day I’d like to think I would have received “Most Improved.” And the rest, as they say, is history. I love the Hooked On Driving Team. By the end of every track day my cheeks hurt from smiling all day. For me nothing matches the thrill of moving around a track with grace and speed and sharing the experience with my husband makes it that much sweeter.
I want to encourage you to consider spending one day on the track with the Hooked on Driving team to see if the same will happen for you. You might even find yourself dreaming about driving the line. I know I do and oh do I love waking from that dream.
Diane Hunter or as my husband calls me, Trixie!