09/11/01 is stamped indelibly in our minds. We remember the morning, where we were, and the aftermath of that infamous date. Not to diminish those events, I commemorate that day in my own personal way. 9/11 was the date I chose for my cancer surgery and this marks my fourth anniversary sans the dreaded “Big C”. I celebrated with my son at the Bertil Roos Driving School by careening around the Pocono Raceway at speeds of 130 mph. Her purchased this day as a gift for my most recent birthday, sheduling it on this infamous of days. We drove the three hours to the Poconos on Saturday night, staying in a nearby hotel in order to be on time for Sunday morning. We arrived at the school by 8 a.m., registered, got fitted with our racing suits, helmets and sat in on the first of four lessons. Then it was off to the track, speeding first around the track in Malibu’s to garner a sense of the layout. Into the trailer for more instructions on handling, flags, and how to forget almost everything you were taught in regular traffic driving. Fitting into a Formula racer was the first feat for this mesomorph. The first run we were only allowed to do 85 mph until we gained a feel for the track. We, (there were five others along with Ryan and I) motored the track for 20 minute sessions, taking hairpin turns, passing on the inside along the wall, and doing our best not to spin out. That doesn’t seem like much but believe me , at high speeds that twenty minute session took it’s toll physically. After each session it was back into the classroom to be critiqued by four instructors that monitored our progress on the track. With each 20 minute session we got better and faster. I didn’t spin out until my third session. That was due to the fact that I was feeling a bit cocky, able to get my speed up well over 120, and allowed the Formula roadster to get a little out of control. It didn’t flip, but I did a complete 360, four times in about 3 seconds without peeing my pants. By the final of four outings on the track, I was as confident as I could ever imagine rolling down the wall at 132 mph, as we were clocked. I was hooked. I was possessed at taking the turns as narrow as possible, and burning the rubber in pursuit of whomever was in front of me on the track. The experience was the most exhiliarating, yet exhausting one I can remember. Holding onto that 9 inch wheel at those speeds tested not only the triceps but today it feels as if every sinewy nerve and muscle was taxed. I will be back. I’d like to say this was one more item on the bucket list, but that term is too finite and mortal. I have a long way to go and much to experience before I begin my bucket list. Until then, I’ll continue to be on the lookout for the ecstactic experience, what excites me or moves me to tears, that which makes the blood rush to my head, my heart skip a beat, my knees shaky and my soul sigh. Thank you, Ryan, for another day with my son, my friend, the thrill-seeker.