My feelings of thankfulness are overwhelming at this moment. I’ve just returned from a great stand up paddle, with close friends and an unbelievable dolphin show only a few short yards from our boards. It was good to be on the water and continue to reflect on this past week — I have alot to be thankful for. I have just returned from Baja after a tough go. It was a very hard, dark time for me personally - as a driver. A couple days have passed and I am thinking more clearly, yet still reflective of the past 10 days. There is too much to write, so I figure a three part series is in order, starting with my thankful heart, followed by my lessons.
I am first thankful for the people around me, I am thankful that we we landed on all four wheels and could drive away from the impact zone, and thankful for the life and racing lessons that come from those much less than perfect moments.
To the entire teams of #61 and #861, you celebrated as if you had just won the Baja 1000. The energy was electric in La Paz on Saturday night, November 20th, 2010. I thank you for your attitudes and hard work that was worthy of celebration. I am sorry I didn’t help bring home a win.
I’ll start with a few random quotes - “The trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes first and then the lesson.” ~ Author Unknown
“Experience is what you got by not having it when you need it.” ~Another Unknown Author
I like the one by Elbert Hubbard – “God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.” That is a good thing, because I’ve got plenty.
I got yet another dose of “experience” somewhere around 5:30 am on November 19th at race mile 621 in the Baja 1000. I would have been just fine to do without that lesson, but it just is what it is. To make a long story short, it was an endo followed by a couple barrel rolls and then not so gracefully, we landed on four wheels, engine running, lights on, and we headed on south.
But not for long.
We ended up having to ship our car back to base and get everything repaired.
I’m back in sunny Encinitas and happy to report a successful training program for two United States teams that will be heading over to Morocco this March for the 2011 Rally Aicha des Gazelles. Yes, I will have some fellow Americans who will experience the event I have fallen in love with.
The girls were treated to a three-day event with coaching from off-road legend (and my race boss) Rod Hall and rally winner and expert navigator, Louise Bergeron. Louise flew in from Canada and I’m fairly sure she might be condo shopping in San Diego after experiencing our desert, dunes and “winter” weather. I hope the girls realize just how fortunate they are
It’s the Sunday after Christmas and I sit drinking coffee watching the sun come up over the mountains to the west of Crested Butte. The snow is phenomenal right now, but we were snowboarding yesterday in -14 degree temperatures. I’ve been shoveling snow about three times a day for the past week.
Tonight I met with Don and Susan Johnson to start navigation training. Technology is a wonderful thing and despite the fact that we will not be able to use GPS during the Rallye, we will be using it to meet for our nav classes. Skype will power our online sessions with Don and Susan.
We are using a dashboard navigation system throughout the trip.
Wow…back from a whirlwind tour - both Emily and I have been out of the country and are now home and hard at work on the upcoming rally. I was in Solden, Austria for an event with Salomon and Saab. The event was primarily for women and included the sponsored female athletes and journalists skiing