The Stuff of Dreams

We all have dreams, whether they’re the subconscious stuff that makes us twitch and squirm while we sleep, or those that could better be described as goals and desires. If we’re lucky, we get to have both. I guess I’m lucky, and I’ll start with a recurring dream I’ve been having lately.

In this dream, I’m at the track. Most of the time it’s just some mysterious, nonexistent circuit with cues from tracks I have been to, or those I’m familiar with. The last time I had the dream, I was at Road Atlanta, but it wasn’t exactly like Road Atlanta, of course, because dreams are like that.

The details vary, but the theme is the same. Race time is coming up and I’m not ready. Sometimes my car is still in the trailer, or it’s parked way across the paddock, or there’s no gas in it. Or, or, or. Another version of the dream is that my car and gear and gas and all my stuff is spread out all over the place, and I have to go to each place to get it, and invariably I’ve forgotten something and have to go back across the paddock to get it.

The last time I had the dream, all my safety attire was scattered around the paddock. I was jumping fences and running from place to place — but running is never fast enough in dreams, is it? — as I was watching the field roll out and eventually I came to the realization I was going to miss the race.

That dream seems to have supplanted the one I used to have, where I’m back in college as an undergraduate. I’ve written about those dreams before, under the context of losing sleep. I’m walking around campus toward the humanities building at UCF to take a test, oh boy, am I not ready. In the dream, graduation depends on whether I pass the test. Once again, the nebulous dream hallmarks are there. Things are bathed in a haze and the campus always looks just a little bit different than it does in real life.

Come to think of it, ever since I’ve been having those late-for-grid dreams, I have not had any test dreams. It seems one has supplanted the other. Those are the sleeping dreams, and they always seem to happen when I’m running behind at work. The waking dreams that resemble goals and desires, well, those are likely part of the cause of the somnolent dreams, but I get to have those every day.

One of them is getting to work in motorsports, and I get to do that everyday. Well, it’s the communication field within motorsports, but it’s the most enjoyable job I’ve ever had. We have been working on a lot of new initiatives for members of the NASA Nation, some of which have already rolled out, and some to debut in the coming weeks.

Another dream realized has been to build racecars, and I’ve had the privilege of building five Spec Miatas and one ST5 car. A couple of them were, unfortunately, built to replace cars that were involved in crashes, so the impetus wasn’t ideal for those two, but the projects were still a lot of fun and a great challenge.

Now that I am between cars, I’m looking forward to another ST5/TT5 build, this one from the NC chassis Mazda MX-5 powered by a 2.5-liter MZR engine. We’ve run a couple of other stories on it already, but it’s really fun and interesting to learn this new chassis. As much as I love Spec Miata, the ST5/TT5 rules allow for a bit more freedom to try some of the kooky ideas I’ve also been dreaming up.

It’s going to be a busy 2024, with lots of sleeping and waking dreams. Here’s hoping all of us in the NASA Nation have dreams of our own to give us busy days and restless nights.

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