“Grab a book and take a seat.”
The girl walked over to the book case and took a blank book off the shelf.
“Not that one..”spoke the man. “Get one that is gridded.…make it a 100 square.”
The girl switched books and then made her way back to the table, sitting down opposite the man standing at the board.
“I know where you’re going wrong” he began “and I think I know how to fix it, but first you need to get over this problem of not listening to me and thinking you know everything.”
The girl rolled her eyes.
“You know…” said the man.
“I don’t have to be here….
My own life is already full…. and I know you think I have all day to play games with you, but I don’t.
Teaching you takes precious time away from what small amount of time I have and if you don’t appreciate it or can’t implement what I tell you, then I’m just wasting my time and your time.
Let me tell you kid….
Do you know how many kids want to be race car drivers?
Have a guess…
Now….name for me the top 5….or 10….or 20 or 50 or 100.
Can you do that?
Do you know why that is?
Because it’s an elite sport.
There are only so many places, and the competition is tight.
The chance of you becoming a race car driver is almost non existent.
Sure I can teach you some skills to get you moving and make your parents feel like you won’t kill yourself in a car…..but as for actually being any good at it? As for actually driving race cars as a hobby and getting somewhere, let alone turning that hobby into a paid career with sponsorship?
Kid….It’s highly unlikely.
So today, I’m gonna say it’s time we clear this up once and for all.
Nobody is here in the room.
No parents. No teachers. No sponsors. No boyfriends or wives.
What you say to me, will stay here and go no further. What we discuss is private and it will stay that way. But kid?
This is the end of the road.
After this, there is no going back.
You make a commitment in here today. And then you stick to it or I’m walking away. Do you understand? I’m a professional. I’m not used to your kid bullshit. I can’t teach you with your kid bullshit attitude. So you need to let it go, or we need to let this situation go.
Make a decision.
Take your time.
I’ve got all day.
But from here on in, I’m serious.
This is the end of the road for both of us.
The girl sat staring at the man reading the book.
If she looked closely, she could see the cover title was “Senna VS Prost” and she thought of what a funny name it was for a book and wondered what it meant.
The girl began dragging her feet under the table.
Suede ankle driver boots with smooth soles made a squeaking sound as she pushed her foot along the floor, heel first, thinking silently as the boots squeaked loudly.
She thought of the man in front of her.
He was old.
And she didn’t like him very much, and wondered why her mother had insisted he teach her how to drive rather than an everyday normal driving instructor.
She wondered who he was.
And how her mother knew him.
And she wondered about what he had said to her about being the end of the road.
And she wondered what it was that
“I’ve made my decision” said the girl. “Do you want to know what it is?”
The man put the book down and looked up.
What’s your decision?”
The girl bit the inside of her lip.
“I want to keep racing. I know I’m not very good and the chance of being a sponsored driver is small, but there is something about it, I can’t explain. It’s inside of me. A light. In my stomach that rushes into every other part of me. It’s a feeling I can’t get from anywhere else. Nothing else I have ever done comes close to it.
I want to keep going.
I will listen to what you say.
And yes.I will get rid of my attitude and stop thinking I know everything. Click To Tweet
The man nodded.
“Well kid….best you get your ass into gear.
That race runs in less than two months and your out of time. We only have enough for one set of slicks, and one set of wets and you’re going to need those for race day.
You’re going to have to make do with the engine and suspension as it is, and no part of that car is going to be able to be modified I’m sorry to say.
There’s no time. And there’s no money.
If I work on that car, I can’t teach you, and I can’t give the car to someone else to work on, otherwise you won’t be able to drive it for practice, so accept the facts for what they are.
You’re screwed and are going to have to make do with everything the way it is….although….” the man trailed off and then spoke again.
“Do you know how to use an angle grinder?”
The girl looked surprised.
“No. Why do you ask?”
Because there is ONE thing that we can do that will greatly help your cause.”
“What is it?” asked the girl.We can cut it. Click To Tweet
If you come to the garage after school each night and stay for an hour every day including weekends, we can take the angle grinder and a hole saw and cut the inside of the car like the doors and the dash etc and drop weight.
Obviously, we need to keep a lot of the structure in place for safety reasons or it won’t pass scrutinizing,There is a lot of dead weight in the car you could remove. You take away the weight, and it will be lighter. Click To Tweet
And with a small budget, one set of tires, and no modifications on the car, it could just be the edge you need.
Come to the garage tomorrow after school. Don’t wear any of that girly stuff of yours. Ask your dad for some overalls and some steel cap boots.
And bring that book with you.
Tonight, I want you to take it home and draw two lines across it, giving it a look of a 3 line track.
Write the words on it.
And then think about the answer you gave me earlier. And see if you still think it’s the same one.
You go now kid.
I will stay and put together a schedule to see if we can get this on track with what we’ve currently got. It’s not going to be easy. You’ve wasted all summer which is the best time for practice, and now you’re going to need to train in the wet and the dark.
You are going to have to be smart with your time.
Smart with your resources.
Smart with your energy.
And smart with your money.
Really? Really what you need now is a sponsor. I know you want to be independent, but a sponsor could get you a new set of slicks and wets at least, or could get you some two way radio gear so at least I could communicate with you and tell you where you are going wrong out there.
Keep your eyes out for a sponsor.
draw that three track in the book I spoke about, and then come to the garage tomorrow in overalls and workboots.
I’m staying here.”
The man dismissed the girl, and she packed up her things and left the room.