Michelle's Blog
Hall Pass (written in 2016)
The best thing about this journey called life is the unexpected turns that you encounter.  I have found that they most often surface when complacency is rampant.  Just when you think you are comfortable - life throws a curve ball.  You can duck and hide or you can grab on and go for the ride.  For me, life is about the journey and the experiences.

Case in point was the recent March Meet.  Although I had committed to work with Marcus Lawson on his No Secrets funny car this season, they were not ready to enter this event.  A few weeks before the race, I got almost simultaneous messages from a crew chief on another car and my crew chief - Chris Nance.  Nance was giving consent for a 'hall pass' for me to work on the G Men car at March Meet.  I did not know the driver/owner - Wally Giavia and only knew the crew chief - Pete Jensen in passing, but I did have a friend - Toni Scholz who had started working with them in 2015.  Based on her recommendation, I agreed.  Incoming curve ball !!

It can be unsettling being the new person on an established team, but the G Men crew welcomed me warmly and immediately.  The personalities meshed and the adventure began.  We struggled with some issues at that event but did not derail and powered through it.  Another 'hall pass' was requested and I was asked to come back and crew at the Boise Ignitor race in April.  Again, I held on and went for the ride !  The team not only qualified in what was the fastest 8 car nitro field ever in Firebird Raceway history, we logged two career best runs over the weekend !  We were the only car without a data computer and I can guarantee you we had some of the oldest parts out there.  The car ran strong in eliminations, serving notice on the better financed teams.  Not bad for a bunch of 'street fighters' as we came to call ourselves.

One of the most precious memories a racing crew member can have is arriving at the top end of the track after passes like that and participating in the joy and excitement with crew and driver.  No fans and usually out of sight at the turn out, it is private and can be intense.... and those experiences/memories, for me, are treasured gold.  Such a gift and such a blessing to share such joy.

....all because I said yes to a curve ball and a 'hall pass'. 
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