|Bobsleigh - Driving|
Gea sliding through "The Labyrinth" - Turn 12 at Lake Placid - One of the most difficult parts of the track
Gea Johnson Driving at Lake Placid
Friends! As you may know, I did not compete in the 2006 season. In considering my options and the direction of the sport, one thing became abundantly clear to me...... If I was going to stay in the sport of bobsled, my next endeavor needed to be to learn how to drive. This decision was both a logical and emotional process, one that will enable me to be "the driver" of my own destiny.
The hierarchy of the sport typically empowers the driver to control the identification and destiny of the racing team; as a pusher you hope to be selected, as a driver you select. Additionally, the physical attributes - strength and speed and explosiveness - that made me the best brakeman, could give me an incredible edge as no other drivers in the field will hopefully be able to match my push times?!
So under the direction and guidance of Tony Carlino (Verizon Sports Complex Manager - www.orda.org) and his incredible team of track workers, I spent the months of March and April, 2006, learning how to drive a bobsled on what is recognized as the hardest track in the world in Lake Placid, New York.
Admittedly, becoming a driver was far more difficult than I could have ever imagined. The necessary acumen and skill requires a tremendous amount of mental determination, and the physical toughness that the body must endure is unrelenting. Indeed, this has been among the most intense experiences of my life, but it has also one been one the most rewarding experiences. I found great strength in the process.
At the end of this driving school / training period, I made gains on the competition as though I had a season or two under my belt. I ended up with 35 trips from the top of the track in 6 weeks, an accomplishment that takes most people 2 years! I am now an official driver!! I have demonstrated to myself and the world, I can do this....I am doing this.....so here I come!!
I truly appreciate the hard work, help, and support of Tony Carlino and all the track workers, because without them, none of this would have been possible for me. I don't know what the future holds, but I am pursuing the objective of establishing myself among the very best. Thank you all for your continued support!!!
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