Sunday, January 27, 2013

Birthday Go-Carting

Pam turned 50 (or so she says!) a couple weeks ago.  I made my chocoholic friend a special card.

The Hershey's Kisses are made from Stampin' Up's glimmer paper.  It's my absolute most favorite paper in the world.  It's so sparkly, but it doesn't get all over the place like a lot of glittery paper does.

For Pam's birthday her husband Ralph bought a birthday package at Pole Position, which is the go-cart track on the third floor of Destiny Mall in Syracuse.  Pam was told she could invite a couple friends because they had some extra spots after all family members were accounted for.  So Pam asked me and Drew.  We said, "Sure!  Love to!"

Drew and I haven't been to Destiny in years.  Not since before the expansion or the name changed from Carousel Mall.  We didn't know what to expect.  First of all it sounded odd that there was a go-cart track on the third floor of the mall.  But indeed there was and it was wide open for spectator viewing.  Completely wide open.  For a good hundred people to watch.  Yep.  A hundred plus people standing at the railing, looking down at my fat arse shoved into a go-cart racing around a track at speeds up to 45 MPH.  (Or so the establishment said.)

I about had a heart attack when I saw this.  But it was Pam's day, so I bucked up and said, "You can do this.  You can do this.  You can do this.  You will not die.  You can do this."

We watched the short instructional video of how the cars work and what to do, then we put on our head socks.  Black fabric cowls that act as protective condoms for your head so you don't either give or get hair diseases from the helmets you have to wear.  Full helmet!  With a plastic sneeze-guard eye shield that could use a serious squeegee treatment.  I kept trying to push my eyeglasses up during the race and constantly poked the shield instead, like a moron.

The overhead boards told us what number car we had to get in.  We sat in them for a couple races, then we're let loose on the track under the watchful eyes of people who apparently have nothing else better to do than to watch a bunch of strange grown ups hit each other with go-carts.  Let the panic attack commence!

Years ago my family joined Drew and I in Myrtle Beach over Thanksgiving break.  My niece was maybe 14 at the time.  We wanted to do something fun with her so we went to an indoor go-cart track.  The carts weren't nearly as nice as the ones at Destiny, nor were they especially powerful.  At one point my niece got turned around on a hill and I was forced to stop.  Once we were able to get going again, my go-cart did not have enough power to haul my fat arse up the hill.  A teenager who works there had to give me a push.  Embarrassing is not a strong enough word for the emotion I felt that day.  Mortified is much closer.

Today I'm 35 pounds lighter but I am still by no means tiny.  Did I have the same concerns?  Hell yeah!  But after seeing many, many grown ups, including some guys who were easily my size or larger, I wasn't too worried.  There's no hills at Pole Position.  But the memory was always on the tip of my brain.

Well, I'm happy to say my fears were completely unfounded.  Holy crap these cars are powerful and fast!  Wow!  I zipped around the corners with the best of 'em!  I ended up third after the qualifying and finished  fifth after the final race.  I'm not sure if my second cart was just too tight to steer or if I was too tired.  It does take some strength to turn the steering wheel on those puppies.  Especially if you're like me and love to skid around corners.  HAHA!

Pole Position was A LOT of fun!!!  I'm so glad we went.  And in the end, I didn't think much about the spectators.  I was too busy hittin' walls, getting bumped by Pam's psychopathic kids, and giving my fellow drivers the evil eye.  Yeah, Kyle, I'm comin' for you!!!