What the Heck Am I Doing

This Is My Boyfriend's Helmet

I don’t even own my own helmet. This belongs to my boyfriend, Craig.

It’s been a week since my first autocross in ten years, one week to go ’til the SCCA National Championships in Lincoln, NE, and my thoughts have shifted from what to wear to the awards ceremony to What the hell was I thinking.

“Ten years” isn’t accurate. I drove a friend’s Porsche Boxster once at a local event in 2003, and then another friend’s Mazda Rx-8 the following year. Last year, my boyfriend Craig and I brought his 1974 Mercury Capri to an American Autocross Series (think big, loud, fast American cars) in Marina, CA, and battled it out for slowest time of the day.

So it’s been a good ten years since I’ve cared.

It’s been ten years of running trails, learning languages, writing, learning how to race bikes, long distance swimming, and even sleeping in.

It’s been ten years since I’ve even noticed if I’ve cared or not.

This all started last January, in Facebook. Facebook! Heyward Wagner, SCCA Solo’s PR wizard, whom I’d never even met, asked me in a private message if I might go, that he was entertaining the thought of a “ladies luncheon” for the 40th Anniversary. It was going to be a big reunion,  he said. I’d see my extended family for the first time in all these years.

It sounded so neat back then. So, let’s jump a little bit ahead, to a month or so back from this moment. Now I’m addicted to connected on Facebook and I see all the neat autocross things coming through the pipeline. Never mind that I don’t autocross myself, still, these status updates and commentaries stir up all these emotions within me, plus memories of “greatness” swollen by nostalgia. From time to time, even I leave comments about driving tips and car set-ups, as if I what I have to say is still valid, as anything I ever had to say was valid (as I will question, sharply, later).

So as it happens, thanks to some good fortune, it turns out even I can almost afford to go. So, what the heck, I’m going to just put it out here on Facebook, I’m just going to see what happens if I write this, most of my autocross friends have probably hidden me anyway.

“Hey, just wondering, does anyone need a tire warmer at Nationals?”


Not a surprise. And then: “What’s autocross?”

“Nothing. Just this silly thing with cars around around pylons.”

“You’re crazy Katie Kelly!”

This is what I expected.

And then. Here. I’ll copy and paste it for you.

Paula Mixon Baker: Ron can’t make it this year. I’d love to have you as a co-driver.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
This entry was posted in Autocross, Random Ramblings. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to What the Heck Am I Doing

  1. Welcome back to it. I really think you’ll have a great time.

  2. Dave Rowney says:

    Great read! You are going to have fun. Wish I had gone at least once when I was serious about AX.

  3. Darrin DiSimo says:

    It has been sooooo long since I last seen you. Glad to see you are coming to nationals this year. I will try to find you at some point next week to catch up. Have fun and good luck.


  4. ScarlettMX5 says:

    I won’t be there this year, but have fond memories of your parents. I always looked forward to seeing them every year. In 2006, we hung out together, taking photos. Your dad just got his first digital camera, but was definitely still in “film camera mode”: a car would come by, he would take one photo, and then put the camera down until the next car came by. Your mom was hilarious and made the day pass quickly. Those are pretty much the only good memories I have of Heartland Park!

  5. smalltowncookie says:

    What days are you running? I’ll be driving Tuesday and Wednesday in STRL. This is my second trip. The last one was in 2009.

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