Running on Empty By Brandon Fetch

April 2016

History.

History is the record of what was, what happened, what folks would say we should learn from.  Sadly, there are a few of us who still insist on neither learning from our mistakes nor acknowledging those of others.

Speaking of not learning, I'm someone who can't (or won't) even take the necessary lessons from my previous failures.  The name of my column, Running On Empty, while potentially infringing on another writer's mark, is a perfect example of my racing career from a few years ago.

See, I'm not the smallest or lightest racecar driver and my car, a Miata, has a minimum weight (with driver) of 2,350 pounds.  Weighing 200+ pounds doesn't leave much room for the necessities for racing a car - namely fuel.  Though I'm not proud to admit it, during the 2011 & 2012 seasons I managed to run out of fuel during four or five races.  My excuse was I didn't know exactly the consumption rate of my combustible but others would claim I don't know math.  Regardless, the final result was me finishing (nearly) last in a number of races and also taking my frustration out on the car and my equipment.

Thus the title of my column of "Running On Empty".  I think it's a very good description of my lessons (which I've now learned from - the tank gets an additional gallon whether I think I need it or not) and it also fits well with how I tend to willingly hit the rack fairly late in the evening (regardless of the next day's schedule) and still set my alarm for 5:30AM.

Perhaps "Glutton For Punishment" could have been equally appropriate.

Where this is going is to illustrate the importance of recognizing where your previous faults were, determining a correction, and applying it so you don't make the same mistakes again.  As a club there's oftentimes a desire to continue to do the same thing as before since it's a known quantity or experience but it doesn't necessarily serve the membership at the same level.  That's not to say we've been mistaken in how we've operated our club but it also shouldn't give us a free pass when we get the same poor outcome when doing the same thing as before.

Take for example our Region Party on Sunday, the 17th of April.  We've typically held this event in January or February as sort of a 'season close/volunteer recognition/trophy presentation'.  This year, instead of doing the same thing as before, it was suggested to shift the date a few weeks into March and present it as a 'season kickoff' with the other presentations & recognitions.  Plus it was hoped we wouldn't conflict with any professional or club racing events.

Following the same vein, we even had an involuntary venue change for our party as our Packanack Lake date managed to be assigned to another organization so we've shifted to the Wyndham Hamilton.  This was also the reason for the even later date than what we had wanted.  Thankfully, this location is where we held our successful Mini-Con five or six years ago and as a bonus they've updated their facility in the important areas: the bar!

What I'd like to close with is to remind everyone to keep their history in mind but don't be limited by it.  To try and stretch beyond what's been done before and own for yourself what you're working on.

Until next month, keep the shiny side up.

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