I was really honored when I was recently asked to share some advice with some Jr. Dragster racers. Honestly it still comes as a bit of a shock when people ask for my advice or my help. I know I have come a long way in my career, but I still feel like I am in a dream. It’s so surreal to me that we are currently competing with the best of the best racers in the country. I really had to take a step back and think about what to tell these young racers. There is so much advice I want to give, it was hard to narrow it down. I think my biggest advice to all racers though, young or old is that nothing is impossible.
Growing up I was really fortunate with the parents and role models I had. There was never a limit put on my imagination or my dreams. I was just taught that if you want something in life, you have to work for it. So often in my career I came across a different attitude. As a young girl on a motorcycle, many people wanted to tell me how impossible my dreams were. I never understood it, and it really frustrated me. At times it honestly got me down and caused me to question myself, still to this day at times I struggle with the negative attitudes toward what we are doing.
I learned through these experiences though, not to dwell on it. In many ways people who were negative towards my racing, really drove me. It drove me to want to show other people they could do it too. One thing I also saw through my career, is those people who had the negative attitudes were not the ones who were doing amazing things. It was the people who saw everything as possible and put no limits on themselves that were doing the amazing things. I decided from an early age that was the kind of person I wanted to be.
Today when young kids tell me their dreams, I never ever say anything to discourage them. I never tell them how hard it is going to be or that it’s not possible. I tell them that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. I think often times that is so easily forgotten. I know at times I am guilty of looking at something I see as challenging, and thinking maybe it can’t be done. I can honestly say though through my career when I looked at something challenging and had the attitude that maybe I couldn’t do it, I didn’t do it. One of my favorite sayings is "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right."
I really got thinking about this with an up and coming challenge I am going to face this weekend. I am going to go testing at Brainerd Int’l Raceway with Greg Underdahl. This is the first time in my career that I am going on a trip to race without taking somebody I am used to racing with. It may not seem like a big deal, but to me it is a step out of my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited for this opportunity, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a little intimidating. Greg and Jimmy Underdaul are very successful in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. This is a personal challenge for me, and I can’t wait to take it on!