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Sitting strangely still

Sara Lobkovich
Sara Lobkovich
6 min read
Sitting strangely still

This morning the alarm clock went off and I turned it off and went back to sleep. Then Chris's went off, and I asked him to please let me sleep.

Even after eight plus hours I am still quite tired – my sleep app has me in the amber today, with a 6.7 hour sleep debt. Not the worst I've seen lately (I've been running 9+ hours in the hole for the last few weeks).

We are, in a way, at midseason on our first season of racing with MotoAmerica. I last wrote and posted when we were in the run-up to our first race of the season and have been AWOL ever since. I've tried writing while we're on the road and my normal stream of consciousness style becomes even more rambling and non-linear. I'm still doing it, here and there – getting used to moving my fingers across my tiny laptop keyboard while distracted by my mental image of the asphalt speeding along beneath the floor of the fan – but these journal entries I share with you are typically written and then sent, not edited. And what comes out of my brain while we're in a moving vehicle definitely needs editing.

My mobile office.

So far this season we've traveled to and from Atlanta, Virginia, and Wisconsin for our first three rounds. We just finished our home round here at the Ridge, our home track, this last weekend. So if it were a normal race week we'd either be getting home today after two long days in the van, or still on the road. But since this was our home round we've had three sleeps in our own bed (albeit a bit restless with the heat earlier in the week) and we took a day (mostly) off on Monday (as off as two self-employed people with two busy businesses can get). Today I had one 30-minute meeting on my calendar and the rest of the day I'm determined to take one day to focus on my business – my client work always comes first, but the race program is both urgent and important, so the non-client work for my business tends to get backlogged because a single body and brain can only do so much in each day. So today I'm trying to spend the day selfishly: onboarding a virtual assistant service. Doing my invoicing (one of the most fun parts of self-employment). Writing this little dispatch from where I am, right now. And then shifting gears to a book project I'm working on that just needs to move from my brain onto paper.

Perpetual motion, I used to joke, is my happy place. A lot of my life that's been true. Partly because it makes it so easy to be present exactly where I am, without distraction by the past or the future. Partly because when I'm moving, I can outrun things – I move quickly, and that's an asset sometimes. People even tell me I walk with purpose.

But these days, I'm more aware of the liabilities of perpetual motion. I miss the space I used to have in my schedule to wake up and decide what to do with at least some of my time each day. I miss taking breaks during the day to work in the garden and keep it tended (right now, our garden has returned to nature, and it's going to be a full reclamation project to start from scratch if anything survives this summer). There is so much volume in the urgent part of my urgent vs. important matrix it's hard for me to even get time to spend in the important quadrant. So I wrestle with overwhelm and with the anxiety that comes from overwhelm – the perfect storm of not enough sleep and too much overwhelm and too little attention and focus and too much anxiety and stress. On the upside, I have a great health care team assembled on this all right now and am very very grateful for the support. On the downside, the life we're living right now has some high highs and then some hangovers, some dips after the highs, and I'm not at my best in my closest relationships during those dips. We both – Chris and I – keep reminding ourselves that what we're doing is hard. Really hard. And still, I'm struggling to find the lightness I wish I could bring to some of our one-on-one time when we both get tired and there is still a mountain of labor to do in the day.

I've struggled to write since we started the season also because I've felt so much a multiple personality dynamic in my existence. Like there's no way to share stories of getting so deeply involved in the MotoAmerica season without it reflecting poorly on my commitment to my (other) day job. Or like talking about my motorcycle life will come across as gimmicky. But the more I do both this season, the more one feeds the other. The more I do both, the more it all makes sense to me.

Me, at work, at Virginia International Raceway.

What I do is high stakes, high performance, high consequence. I work in objective measures of success, in teamwork and collaboration, and in continuous learning. I identify and build talent and then help their stories be heard. I'm great under high pressure – in situations where others may look around and ask "what are we going to do?" I've already taken off at a sprint – usually to leverage a relationship or collaboration to solve the problem just in time. I'm equally comfortable giving and taking orders and getting better at knowing when to lead and when to follow (and when to ask for help and when to serve). And I'm a steady drumbeat of well-being: mental, physical, and emotional. Partly, because it's important for each of us as living beings. And partly because peak performance rests on a foundation of well-being.  

The most perfectly on-brand photo I could never have creative-directed myself, thanks to Ryan Phillips at 360 Photography.

And all that blends seamlessly into and through my work whether it's at my desk in the Red Currant Collective home office, taking (less formal) client calls (with clients who are game) from the passenger seat of the van, or next to a motorcycle and rider at a racetrack.

It all makes sense in the (to borrow language from my coach, Tatyana ❤) "life being lived" right here, right now. And I'm better at both because I'm doing the other.

So I'm trying to be a little less self-conscious about how much it may not make sense to people who aren't living it alongside me. Because what we're doing right now is pretty cool (most of the time) and I want to share stories about it – even if it doesn't fit into a nice, tidy box with clear boundaries and a communication strategy that makes perfect sense.

Because this is our life being lived right now and I love it.

In Elkhart Lake we had our first finish in the points and that was really exciting. This weekend we had our first finish in the top ten, and that was REALLY exciting. But what I find most interesting about this whole thing is that the whole point of racing is – ultimately – to win. And we're not winning (yet). But we're learning so much. Together – as a team – and individually as participants in the effort together.

Behind every podium ceremony we're not yet a part of, there are thousands of non-moving parts, unsexy details, quickly-made decision calls, phone-a-friends, and tens of thousands of footsteps and turns of bolts and fasteners to get our bike and rider on the track and gridded up to turn that 12-lap race you may never see him in.

The racing is awesome.

But the work of racing – while acknowledging that we have a lot to learn – is also awesome.

With wishes for comfortable temps wherever you are,

P.S. A reminder from @selfmadecade (quote by @arlanwashere) via Instagram:

amwritingat workmotorcycles

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