A negative multiplied by a negative equals a positive. A simple equation I learned in Grade 7 Math. I had never thought much of this, other than finding a mathematical answer. Turns out, when teachers tell you that you’ll use all of what you consider “nonsense” in your everyday life, they’re right. It’s a hard concept to grasp, but its there. Just not in the same form you would see on an exam. I explored this theory this past weekend, changing my multiple negatives into positives.
My weekend at SH Karting started off on a great note. My lap times were constantly decreasing and my kart and I were gaining a solid feel for the track. PSL Moncton was growing stronger and stronger as a team in the Briggs division, seeming nearly untouchable. Practicing on both Friday and Saturday without complications or mechanical issues, I was feeling more than ready for the pre-final and final. That is where I was at fault. I quickly learned that things happen unexpectedly and I had taken my comfort for granted. Not even off the grid before lap one in P3, my chain fell off (one of the most royal pains in a racer’s life). I tried my hardest to reposition my chain correctly onto the sprocket/gear which I did, but by the time I had everything in order, lap 1 had started and I was unable to participate in that race. I didn’t take it to heart as I knew there was another chance in the final and we could work out the kinks in the meantime. I hurried up into the stands to watch my friend, teammate, and drafting partner take her first win in the Junior Briggs division. It certainly brightened up the situation for me.
After the purchase of a new chain, a new gear, and movement of the motor to allow a tighter chain, I was confident that I could start and finish the race with strong results and a stronger kart beneath me. Again with the false comfort. I made it to nearly two laps and the dreaded, awful sound of chain’s short-lived life filled my ears. Luckily, I didn’t take the time to think about the downfalls of the situation and acted quickly. I hopped out, fixed the chain and installed it back on the gear/sprocket where it was meant to be. My field had already passed and was now 3/4 of a lap ahead. I knew the probability of catching them was looking bleak, but I was going to give it my all regardless. I started my kart and got back on track a handful of seconds behind the Senior Masters as we were running in the same time period. I was revved up, fired up, and pretty peeved off. Luckily, it was the type of agitation that gives you a freakish amount of adrenaline resulting in losing yourself in the flow of want, desire, and drive. After going crazy-woman with the throttle and merging as one with the kart I laid down the fastest lap of the weekend for Jr. Briggs as well as the fastest lap of the race, including the Masters. I caught up to the Masters in a few laps and continued to race as I would any other time.
“Once I got off the track, I received a compliment that made my outlook on the situation sky rocket…”
Understandably, I came off disappointed. Not at myself, or my mechanic but just at the situation. Knowing you could’ve been a contender but getting robbed of the ability to try for it isn’t easy, but it happens. It happens to the best of us in times where we least expect it, don’t welcome it, and are not in the mood for it. Once I got off the track, I received a compliment that made my outlook on the situation sky rocket. I’m not sure who this was or if you’re reading this, but a TK mechanic had said to me, “Great job. I would’ve just sat there and given up. That was awesome.” That was all I needed. The satisfaction of knowing I gave it my all and didn’t give up. That was a victory in itself for me. Speaking of which, Kelsey [Hann] the victor of the pre-final had worked her butt off in the final as well and winning yet ANOTHER great race! Way to go Kelsey, girl power. :)
PSL Moncton with Kelsey Hann, Justin Beers, Fraser Murray, Jarrett Leach, Robert Conrad, Mathieu Demers and myself had, all-in-all, a very successful weekend. Having two drivers on the podium in Junior Briggs (1st-Hann, 2nd-Beers) and one top-step driver in Senior Briggs (Mathieu Demers), PSL Moncton was represented extremely well. However, in addition to our drivers’ vast amount of talent, we owe our expeditive karts and ability for speed to our Team Principal Gerald Caseley, who provided us with agile hot-rods over the weekend. A huge thanks to our parents and mechanics as well.
So with that, stay positive even when your negatives multiply.
-#614, Graci Young
** 14 year-old Graci Young blogs exclusively for Canadian Karting News in her column: Talk To The Helmet. She resides in Pictou, Nova Scotia, and currently competes in the Briggs & Stratton Junior division at events Regionally and Nationally.