Most of the work I do all day is writing or thinking or chatting with customers and explaining how to do stuff. It all happens in my head. This isn’t a problem at all – I like writing and thinking and chatting.
But it’s almost time for go-kart racing again … so for the last few weeks, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time working on the kart. I forgot how much I like doing this. I still have to think, of course, but it’s not an abstract kind of problem solving – it involves moving something physical from here to there and seeing if it behaves as expected. That’s remarkably satisfying to me.
This year, I’ve been getting a lot of help from my friend Chuck, so I’m learning even more than last year. I don’t think I could break down a kart and put it back together with my eyes closed yet, but at least I have a deeper understanding of why things are the way they are and how they’re supposed to fit together.
Our big focus this year is making the kart easier to maintain so that I’m more confident on race day. For example, I’m using fewer different types of bolts so that I can check them all without having to use so many different tools. Does that make it go faster? No – but as Chuck always points out, “you can’t win if you don’t finish” … making things easy to maintain helps ensure that you’ll maintain them – and thus finish.
It feels great to do something with my hands, and I’m happy it’s something that makes Gus happy. But now I have to admit to myself – if he weren’t karting, I’d have to find something similar to work on for my own happiness. I really like this stuff.