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rob
06-03-2011, 07:44 AM
Hi Everyone,


My neuro has taken a wait and see approach with my Trigeminal Neuralgia. He started me back on meds for it, and it's been over a month since my last T.N. flare. It's been a while since I've had any serious SLE or MS flare activity as well. As a result, my neuro has now given me the OK to go racing!

So, I will be driving a dragster capable of well over 200mph for the very first time tomorrow. Of course, since I'm a newbie, still learning, and yet to earn my license, I won't being going anywhere near that sort of speed at first. I have a great veteran driver-instructor who's taken me under his wing, and we'll be taking this new adventure slowly, and one careful step at a time. Hopefully I'll have my license by the end of the summer, and then I'll be ready to actually compete at the beginning of next year's racing season.

I will be fulfilling a lifelong dream tomorrow, despite the fact that I have three of the worst autoimmune disorders out there. Don't let Lupus, or whatever combination of A.I. stuff you are dealing with stop you from pursuing your dreams. Just tell SLE to go to hell, and go do what you want to do. If some dreams are no longer possible for whatever practical reason, forget them, find yourself some new ones, and just dive into them. If one path through life is no longer possible, there's always other paths, and sometimes, the new ones we are forced to take can be even better than the original.

I'll be at the track all day tomorrow. I'll let you guys know how it went when I get back tomorrow night!

Rob

ETA: Here's my ride
Click Image For Full Size-

3711

Here's what the cockpit looks like, it's a tight fit!

3712

Gizmo
06-03-2011, 07:58 AM
I'm so excited for you, Rob! How many of us can say we are fulfilling a lifelong dream, whether we're sick or not! My husband will be insanely jealous. Your determination and no nonsense attitude is an inspiration to me, and many others, I'm sure. Have an amazing day. I know I'll be thinking about what it feels like to race.

Shaztwirl
06-03-2011, 08:01 AM
Awesome stuff! Congrats and good luck xx

lacey50
06-03-2011, 10:29 AM
Rob,

That is so exciting. I can't wait to hear how it went. I think I'll find something to do that I think I can't do and just do it, thanks for that encouragement.

SandyR
06-03-2011, 10:43 AM
I'm still waiting for a pic of you in your space suit. perferably, you will have one with your helmet in hand under your armpit like Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder*wicked grin*

tgal
06-03-2011, 10:54 AM
You sound even more excited then while you were waiting for delivery! I am so very happy for you! As others have said I will be waiting for pictures and updates when you get back. Enjoy your day of making your dreams come true!

rob
06-03-2011, 01:50 PM
Photo's will be forthcoming Sandy!

Also, I found this short video on Youtube. This is the same kind of car and basic setup as mine, and this gives a pretty good idea of what a full speed run looks like from the driver's seat. The way it works, is you do a burnout to heat up the tires, you then back up into the fresh rubber you just layed down, then you inch forward until the staging lights come on, which tells you that you are right on the starting line, then wait for the green, and go. Once you cross the finish line you deploy the parachute, get on the brakes, and turn off to head back to the pits and prepare for your next run (if you've won, that is).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yG2vA3YYJ8&feature=related

tgal
06-03-2011, 01:53 PM
Good thing that is YOUR dream and not something we all have to do! I got ill just watching that! LOL Glad you have something so awesome to look forward to!

Linda From Australia
06-03-2011, 06:28 PM
I am so excited for you Rob, but be realistic, pack in those pillows, you will be surprised at how many you can squeeze in that very small cab. I bet you look at You tube all the time and I also imagine your house sounds just like mine. My husband watches remote control cars on You tube all the time and for some reason he has the sound up so loud. That must be similar in your house, the constant buzzing of engines. mmmmm how exciting for the boys, how annoying for the girls.

Please - please - please take care Rob, we will miss you if anything happened. However, if you happened to break a leg - or two, at least you will be chatting to us more. Seriously - have a BLAST.. and get that license!!!

steve.b
06-03-2011, 10:02 PM
i can almost feel your excitement.

i know you will have fun.

BonusMom
06-04-2011, 04:05 AM
It's all in the burnout baby!

Have a great time realizing your dream come true. DH sends his best and says give 'em hell!

Nonna
06-04-2011, 05:22 AM
Bonusmom is right about the burnout; good luck and don't overthink.

Have lots of fun

lovedbyHim
06-04-2011, 07:46 AM
Omgosh! I loved this! I will remember to celebrate life in spite of circumstances! Thank-you so much!

tgal
06-04-2011, 09:07 AM
Just stopping by to let you know that I am thinking of you!! What is better then having a dream come true! You deserve having one come true my friend! I want details when you get back!!

rob
06-04-2011, 03:39 PM
Well,

I'm home now after a very full and successful day. It was un frakking real! Things are progressing along much further and faster than I had anticipated. I made a total of 12 runs lifting off the throttle at the 1/8 mile mark rather than running the full 1/4 mile. The burnout and backup is going to take some some serious practice, but once you launch, the car drives like it's on rails. The launch is pretty violent but the ride is incredibly smooth. We bumped up the speed with each run, and on my final one for the day I pushed it to just around 100mph and deployed the chute to get an idea of what that feels like. I didn't think I'd be going this fast this soon, but everybody said my runs looked great, and I felt more and more confident and comfortable with each run.

Even running at these lower speeds, the power and acceleration is just amazing. And talk about loud! Even with earplugs, helmet, and having the engine behind me, the roar is just unreal. The sensation when you launch is like being shot out of a cannon. I was surprised at how stable the car is. It's very easy to keep the car centered in your lane.

There's still a ton of stuff to do and learn, but I feel like today was a solid start. I can hardly wait for the day when I run the full 1/4 mile with an opponent in the opposite lane. Simply put, today was beyond awesome!

Now, I'm going to soak in the tub and unwind a bit. I'm tired, but it's a good tired.


Rob

tgal
06-04-2011, 04:05 PM
Oh Rob I am so glad it went well!!!! Of course you would do better then anticipated! I would expect nothing less! We here at WHL know how hard headed and diligent you can be! So when is the next run? How often are you going to run it?

I am so proud of you!!

bunny28
06-04-2011, 04:32 PM
Congrats on achieving your dream! take care and have fun!

rob
06-04-2011, 06:11 PM
Oh Rob I am so glad it went well!!!! Of course you would do better then anticipated! I would expect nothing less! We here at WHL know how hard headed and diligent you can be! So when is the next run? How often are you going to run it?

I am so proud of you!!

I'll be running and practicing almost every week health and weather permitting. You can show up at the track and do practice runs or test runs on either Friday evenings or all day on Saturday three weekends per month. Practice and repetition is the key.

One of the coolest things about today was the crew that runs the dragstrip, as well as the other drivers. Everyone was incredibly helpful, as well as encouraging. I really got the impression that on the starting line it's all business, as it should be, but offtrack everybody just hangs out like they are all a part of one team. You see competing teams borrowing tools and even sometimes lending parts to other competitors. It's not about winning because your competitor could not run his car for lack of some part, it's about winning because your competitor was able to bring his car to the starting line, and you just flat out beat him, or her. It's really a great group of people.

And then, there's the food! Some of these folks travel pretty far and they spend the weekend at the track with some pretty nice rigs. As soon as all the runs were pretty much over for the day, these folks had at least two or three huge BBQ grills going, and there were people offering up burgers everywhere you walked in the pits. You'd just walk by, and somebody would say here, have a burger, you look hungry! People would invite you to sit down, have a beer, and just shoot the breeze. And, everyone had great pointers and advice for the new guy. That was very much appreciated.

What a great day it's been.

Rob

Gizmo
06-04-2011, 07:13 PM
So happy for you, Rob. My hubby and I went to a car show today that had a drag racing car. They fired up that engine and I thought of you (and wet my pants, not necessarily in that order) ;o)

steve.b
06-04-2011, 07:51 PM
i can see your grin from over here.

by the way, how is dad coping?

magistramarla
06-04-2011, 08:31 PM
Congrats Rob,
I'm so glad that you are feeling good and doing something that you enjoy so much. We'll probably be seeing pics of you in the winner's circle next summer.
We have a famous racetrack down the road from our house - Laguna Seca Raceway. We've been there once - to see the Sea Otter Classic bike races.
That's more my speed - LOL!
Did you see the story about the guy who drove at the Indy 500 who has diabetes? His Dad designed an in-helmet system for him so that he can sip OJ if his blood sugar gets low. His lady doctor helped his Dad to design an on-board monitoring system so that his blood sugar can be checked during the race.
He's quite an inspiration.
Maybe we'll be seeing a report about you on CNN next year!
Hugs,
Marla

lovedbyHim
06-05-2011, 02:45 AM
This was so inspiring for me to press on rob! Thank you so much! Sometimes I allow the symptoms to overtake me and I bail out of wonderful opportunities. It's easy to become a recluse with an AI disease. THANKS for the thrill of the ride!

rob
06-05-2011, 07:17 AM
This was so inspiring for me to press on rob! Thank you so much! Sometimes I allow the symptoms to overtake me and I bail out of wonderful opportunities. It's easy to become a recluse with an AI disease. THANKS for the thrill of the ride!


Lovedbyhim-

Oh, I was such a recluse just three years ago, that I would not even answer my phone, or my door, let alone actually open up and talk to anyone online. Kinda funny that I ended up being a moderator here with something like 2500 posts. I also never thought I'd meet a lady who unconditionally accepts me and all of my health issues, (and quirks) but I did, and she's been right there encouraging me without fail every step of the way. And the people here really helped me out of the dark hole of isolation and depression I was in.

Steve-

Dad is doing well. He and I work pretty well together, even though we sometimes have minor clashes. He says that he's the worlds foremost expert on everything, but if he was, he'd know that he couldn't be, because I am! Seriously, he is indeed an expert when it comes to engine tuning and working with the various onboard electronic systems in the car. I couldn't do this without him.

Marla-

Yes, I saw the story of the fellow who drove at Indy, and that was the topic of much conversation at the track yesterday. And the OJ sipping rig-very cool piece of engineering.

Gizmo-

I remember the first time I saw one of the pro class Top Fuel dragsters fire up, I literally jumped about a foot in the air when the driver tapped the throttle. My car has some neck snapping acceleration at just under 800 horsepower. But those pro cars, the ones that burn nitromethane fuel (probably what you saw), develop over 8000 horsepower. They cover the 1/4 mile in just over 4 seconds at speeds approaching 340mph. And get this, in one 1/4 mile run, a Top Fuel dragster consumes 21 gallons of fuel. Scary stuff!



Well, today, is rest day. I'm pooped, and a bit sore. Can't wait till next Saturday though!

Rob

BonusMom
06-05-2011, 10:49 AM
Congrats Rob,
I'm so glad that you are feeling good and doing something that you enjoy so much. We'll probably be seeing pics of you in the winner's circle next summer.
We have a famous racetrack down the road from our house - Laguna Seca Raceway.

Superman set track records at Laguna Seca Raceway in the 80's--Formula 400's..........before kids and an expensive divorce. And, after racing at many tracks up and down the west coast, Laguna Seca is, by far, is favorite!

BonusMom
06-05-2011, 11:09 AM
Rob-

I am absolutely ecstatic for you! What a thrill, to sit behind the wheel of your dragster....finally! You've got the support of your lovely lady, your right hand man (Dad) and nothing's going to stand in your way!

I know that you were in a dark place after your SLE diagnosis and didn't think things would be "right" again with you/your life. I hate cliche's but find I must use one here.............everything happens for a reason. You have realized a dream, have a beautiful woman to share your life with that supports you (in sickness and in health--quirks and all) and you have gained a closeness with your father that you could not have done had you still been living in Arizona.

I wish you many checkered flags, my friend.

Lana

P.S. You owe your sister, big time!