I wonder if Lewis Hamilton was inspired by his mother putting pedal to the metal on a kart-track while he sat white-knuckled in the passenger seat. Was he a powerless witness to carnage as his mother took advantage of a kart bumping pile-up to overtake a teenage boy and a bewildered dad to take the lead? No….. I’m sure he had other more sophisticated and esteemed inspirations but that was certainly my six year old daughter’s experience today at a theme park.
I promised her, after convincing her that it would be fun to try out the kart-ride, that I would go slowly so as not to scare her and she just had to let me know and I would stop. As we were queuing up to be let in some teenage boys jumped in ahead of us so the only kart left was last on the grid. Once we were sat down and buckled in I grabbed the wheel looked at all the brake lights of the karts in front of me and that was it. When the guy said GO! I stamped my right foot down hard and we were off. All my promises to my daughter were waved goodbye as I tried to weave through all the slower kart traffic to overtake those bloody boys. When I got to the first one I sat on his bumper until he made a mistake and bumped into a father and daughter in front who were then pushed sideways. His kart was caught in the collision so I did what every responsible thirty-something mother would do – put my foot down, claimed the outside line and slightly bumped both of them out the way in the process. My daughter wasn’t screaming out of fright or jubilation so I figured she was OK so set my sights on the teenage boy in the lead. My sixty-something mother was filming the whole thing and I was determined to claim the lead so I sat on the boy’s tail until he made a mistake and I went up the inside to first place at which point my mother punched the air as she filmed the whole lot. When I got to the finish line and parked up I looked at my daughter who was quote pale and she promptly broke into tears – not quite the real Oh My God this is a disaster kind of meltdown but enough to make me feel guilty and a lot less cocky.
My mother on the other hand was saying well done you’ve still got it in you – meaning what exactly I don’t know but whatever ‘it’ is it came from deep down in the primeval depths of my soul where there is a little bit more competitive instinct than there is maternal. You never know my daughter may later be so inspired by my performance she may become the first successful Formula One driver – or maybe not……..
Think the competitive spirit of the Olympics has inspired me a little bit too much. I was tamer on the drive home though .. I came out of the fast lane twice.
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