Last month I had the pleasure of spending a weekend driving a race prepped Subaru BRZ at Road Atlanta with Chin Motorsports, where I am a member.
I drove at Road Atlanta for the first time since I had an ‘incident’ on the same track late last year. I will write about my experience of overcoming the fear of Turn 7 later here, but soon I found myself extremely comfortable on the track. But becoming ‘comfortable’ on the track, was only the beginning.
After 300 miles and over 120 laps over a weekend at Road Atlanta, I discovered something that magical happened about half way into the weekend. It was the same thing that happened to me about half way through my amazing experience at Rudskogen raceway in Norway. I found something I can only describe as a ‘white space’ of calm — at 120 miles an hour.
Everything around me become quiet, and sitting in the drivers seat of a race car, I became calm and extremely, extremely centered.
My heart rate lowered, my calmness and sense of inner peace increased, my focus intensified, and everything in my immediate environment ‘slowed down.’
And it was at this point that something special and unexpected happened — I became faster, quicker, my hands ‘quieter,’ as my instructor Mark Hicks continued to re-affirm.
One of the many reasons I enjoy being on a race track is that it a 100% authentic experience.
You cannot fake it, fool the car or the track, and you cannot be anything but totally real, committed and wholly engaged.
Driving on a race track is the ultimate experience of confidence meeting focus, humility, math (the geometry of a race track) and experience. It requires and demands your total attention. It’s like playing chess at 120+ miles an hour.
For me, it is where I find a wonderfully calming ‘white space.’ It;s wonderful therapy for the soul. You should try it sometimes.
John Hope Bryant