Any woman at the track will tell you it’s wonderful to not have to stand in restroom lines. That being said, and despite the welcoming atmosphere and company of your friends, you know you’re a minority there. It can feel a bit disorienting sometimes. Women drivers are few and far between. When you do see one, there is this breakneck impulse to charge right up to her and say:
“Hi! Hello! Greetings! Yes, I’m a woman driver too…Sooo,yes. Like, hi! I mean yes, hello! Ovaries and hormones etc. which we both have, correct? Ah yes?”
You somehow manage to squelch the overwhelming urge to offer a crushingly sincere sister hug….but, in an unguarded breath you accidentally blurt out:
“And please, can we be best friends now?”
In order to fully understand this friendly, gushingly incoherent exchange, it’s best to imagine a medium sized puppy who is panting, tongue hanging out, front paws up on your legs, an adoring gleam in it’s eye, and a tail that is propelled side-to-side by sheer unendurable enthusiasm.
Or, just imagine how you feel when you stand next to a super hot car… Oh okay. No! Forget it. NOT that!!!
More like … Maybe think about … Oh right…How you felt in first grade when your best friend was moved to another home-room class. You’re stuck with all the boys who collected frogs. And also that one kid who always had his hand in his pants. Just then, you see a new girl walk in. She isn’t the kind of priggish snobby snitch that you’ve learned to abhor …(you know that kind: pleated skirt, white tights and hair-ribbons)… instead she wears grass-stained denim shorts, a bandaid on her knee and scuffy dirt-colored sneakers that look like they have visited the bottom of a creek…And you know it then: that’s the girl you want to be friends with. Because she is one of those few rare girls…she is like you.
So, you have to be careful…can’t make any missteps. Because you need a track buddy who is a woman. Preferably, she is a more experienced driver and is around your own age or older. That’s because the younger women at track won’t even look at you: and why would they? Younger women drivers, especially those who are good, possibly see you as a somewhat pathetic wannabe (which you already know to actually be true). Little do they know that someday, not too far down the road, they will become you! Yes, they, too will join the ranks of middle aged women who are well known to be the most invisible demographic on earth. But, understand that invisibility and being underestimated can be an asset. Who doesn’t love to fly below the radar? And you know that one day, in reciprocally balanced karma, you will become a good driver, like them.
Because it’s true that most middle aged women really are beautiful, and powerful. You can see it in their eyes, their smiles, their hands, their confidence and their kindness. You see them become even more lovely as they mature and stop caring about those-who-don’t-matter’s opinions. But, from a distance they (mainly by which you mean FastDriverMom) just look lumpy, stale, and boring. And this, exactly this reason, is why you bond so dearly with your track gal pals. Like QueenB who runs in the Blue Run Group who I met at track in September. The geeky ones will get it when you say “It’s really a covalent bond!” and will break into gales of snorting giggles in the restrooms.
Furthermore, not to be sexist or anything, but you know that there are times that you can only ask a woman for help. For example, that time when your back cramped up after two grueling days on track driving an antique car with a torsion bar suspension and no power steering for four 30-minute sessions each day….and all you needed was some Icy Hot on your back. But, what with it being your back and all, you could not reach it.
So what did you do?….(whisper, whisper).
No way! Did you really do that?
You mean, you really hung out in the ladies room at the track for 42 minutes, hoping for a woman to walk in? So you could ask her to smear that Icy Hot in all the right places? And no one walked in?? Because….what other choice did you have? Were you gonna ask hubby to drive all the way out to track? Or, go hunt down the cafeteria ladies, after they had already closed? Heaven forbid, asking a non-woman person, no duh? So, what did you do?
Well? When your run group got called, you just gimped your way painfully out of the restrooms and went looking for your helmet? Yeah. Really. This is why you need to meet more women drivers, and get more of your BFF’s to come to track when you go. Because dear Kiv has been your go-to homie, but you’ve had to accept that she also has a life that needs her!
And, speaking of helmets. This brings you to another sore, chronic, but absolutely critical topic. Women drivers actually need to worry about that most dreaded of all track day afflictions: Helmet Hair…
Because experiencing 2 hours on track is thrilling but having 8 hours off track with your follicles plastered to your scalp is not your best look. Witness these very lovely women who are movie stars:
Lily Tomlin (a), Goldie Hawn (b), Meryl Streep (r)
Yes, folks, these women are paid to look lovely and bring characters to life. And, yet, you can witness their downfall when faced with the obscene disfigurement that occurs when mangled by Helmet Hair. You, yourself being a mere mortal non-movie-star-type middle aged woman, stand not one iota of a chance at public decency when mauled by HH. In the photo below, you stand looking vaguely like a happy simian with flattened coif, while your non-female track buddies (left to right: The Major and GreenFrog) remain unsullied by HH.
The remedy you found seems to help, but has not quite solved your issues which mainly persist due to your lack of interest in hairspray as standard equipment. Nevertheless, the absolute best information to be found was by a woman who rides her bicycle as a primary transportation. Here is a link: http://www.xovain.com/hair/helmet-hair.
Here is a screen shot of her in action. Notice the hairspray (which is nonexistent in your life):
Suffice it to say that for now, you have decided helmet hair is worth it for you to have track days and fulfill your dream. No track days ’til March, so you can be sure you’ll be ready when it happens. Might even buy a can of hairspray y’all!