Karting – Day 48
I was talking to a lady this week and when I told her about my challenge/quest, she declared that I must be some kind of “dare-devil.” I chortled outwardly, knowing inwardly that I had deceitfully allowed myself to be portrayed as something I am not. The reality of the situation is that I am a bit of a wimp. When I think about when my wimpiness first became apparent, I am pretty sure I can pinpoint it down to the day I became a mother. Suddenly, you have to consider the risks you take and consider them I do.
Saying all of that, I climbed a 30ft wall a few days ago, so I may actually be on a roll and although karting on paper is a risky business, who knows...I could turn out to be a bit of a Lewis Samilton!
It didn’t take much persuasion to convince Paul to join me on the track and on the journey there, he seemed to be relishing the potential competition. He tried to initiate wagers, which I wasn’t responding to. We arrived at St Eval Kart Circuit and got dressed in our racing boiler suits. This was not a good look at all and every time I bent down, 2 buttons would pop open in an embarrassing fashion.
The karts looked harmless enough. They were two pedal affairs and kids of 7 years old could drive them, so they couldn’t be that complicated. Once we received a safety briefing and found a helmet, we made our way to our allotted cars. I ignored Paul’s attempts to playfully intimidate me and wafted away the invisible clouds of testosterone emanating from the pit area, as I witnessed friends challenge friends and dads challenge sons. Yes, even the 7-year-olds!
The first lap would be a controlled one, where there would be no overtaking, just single file following of the pace setter. Then we were off! Paul raced off immediately, whilst I tried to work the accelerator. I sensed that I wasn’t that fast because I couldn’t see Paul and then after a lap, I had obviously been the bottleneck because half a dozen cars raced past me at the earliest opportunity, as I tried forlornly to locate the “racing line”.
Two laps in and I was making Driving Miss Daisy look like a high-speed police chase. This was not good. I started to get paranoid that the stewards were smirking at me as I watched one little tot after another speed past me, leaving a cloud of engine fumes in their wake. I tried to muster a bit more speed on the straights and went full pelt, only to slow to near standstill as I tried to navigate the chicane.
The chequered flag waved and as I entered the pit lane, I saw people in my race already with helmets off, walking to the exit. I parked up to find Paul grinning at me and then excitedly recounting the racing foes he had duelled along the track. I was just glad to be out and doubly glad I had a helmet on, so I couldn’t be recognised as the “rubbish one who kept getting lapped.”
Maintaining anonymity behind the helmet...
I try to invoke the parable of the Hare and the Tortoise to make myself feel better but in this instance, it doesn’t really work. In this case, all the hares were high-fiving each other at the end, cheering their feats, whilst the tortoise pretended it didn’t matter and sloped off quietly.
I shall resume the challenge and gain confidence trying...oh wait….football! This is not going to be a good week for the old ego, is it?
Everest anytime soon, but I got a lot from this and I might just carry on trying to surprise myself by pushing myself that little bit further. Who knows where it might lead?
Sofa Dodger; One Woman's Quest to Try 100 Different Sports and Fitness Classes in a Year is available on Amazon, please click here