Just over a month ago, I had my 27th birthday and it was one of the most special birthday’s I’ve had. We didn’t have a big party, we didn’t go on a fancy trip, I didn’t even open any presents on my birthday. What made it so unique was taking the day to look within, and focus on self-care.
Each day I am closer to 30 than I am to 20, and it’s amazing to look back on my 26th year and see how much I’ve changed since I was 20 years old. If I could write a letter to my 20-yearold self, I would tell her to not take the little moments for granted, take more time for loved ones that would be gone before you know it, and continue to make giant leaps because the sky is the limit.
Year 26 was one where I saw some major life events including getting engaged, winning both of the Regional and National Championships, and a traumatic high-speed, life-altering car accident. Talk about the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I had a record year of winning 8 races in 15 events, won driver of the year award for the 4th year in a row, my third Regional Championship, became the first female to become a NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster Champion, and launched my e-course for racers to stop feeling overwhelmed and grow their social media.
But with all of that success came loss of friendships and personal sacrifices.
The last-half of my 26th year I also had to accept the fact that I wouldn’t be able to defend my championship as I had always dreamt of because of COVID-19 putting a halt to motorsports. But, now that I am in the midst of the 2020 season only having done 2 races, I see that the pursuit of defending is an illusion. As they say, it’s about the journey, not the destination. The falsehood that I see now that I am exactly where I wanted to be, is that it’s not always about winning for the sake of winning, it’s about who you become along the way.
My BIG takeaway that I realized on last week’s trip to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, was that I am truly confident and complete with where I am at in life. Confidence is an internal state that we feel based on the relationship we have with an uncreated future – think about that for a second. My deepest, darkest fear of the uncreated future was thinking if I didn’t win the championship or win a race, I would be a failure. I realized that I wouldn’t be a failure, because there will always be a lesson learned. I finished my 2019 Championship season winning my last two races, and kicked off 2020 by qualifying last and losing first round at my first race. All of our hard work and time spent over the offseason felt like it was a waste, but it wasn’t for nothing. We need to embrace our failures to see that each one is a step forward on the path of success.
Our vacation was nothing short of amazing, and I came home with so much motivation and desire for more. We traveled 700 miles to Salida, Colorado, for our first night in the mountains, then headed to Crested Butte after a morning bike ride. We found a quiet spot nestled in the Gunnison National Forest next to off-road trails that we explored with our RZR to one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen on the mountains. Our trip was filled with RZR riding, bike riding, fishing, relaxing, and looking within. I absolutely love taking the time out of my busy schedule to get away from the hustle, and slow down to come back refreshed.
I hope year 27 is full of acknowledging gratitude, grace, and moments over material things. I can’t wait to marry my best friend at age 27, keep growing my design business and educating racers about social media marketing, and failing forward.