SHANNON MCINTOSH: I have a "life coach"? YES!

Shannon McIntosh Driver Diary Header

When I write a blog or diary or journal entry, I like best to do it when I'm ready. Not necessarily because it's due (as you may have noticed). It's easy to write an entry, but having my voice heard properly is pretty important to me! (In an effort to defend myself for lack of blogging lately, I HAVE been VERY busy!)

I am very excited for this entry. Since I've essentially summed up my career thus far and laid down the amazing things I've experienced, I've been thinking lots lately where I want to go with this. On a side note, I started writing this on November 20th and am so sorry for the delay.

I had my first ever "interim performance review" on Friday November 19, 2010, one of the more bittersweet days of my life. In fact, the past month has been very bittersweet, in a life-changing and enlightening way which is what laid some of the groundwork for this diary. (I'll get to more of the bittersweet stuff next diary... muahahahaaaa!)

I'm not much of a sit-around-and-ponder type of person. I'm a deep thinker and it's very interesting (in my own mind) how my deepest thoughts come at me - generally at random, and lots of times while I'm running, working out, and listening to music.

I've written much about the reality of my life being surreal in my eyes, and I believe that recently, in this past week (actually 2 weeks ago - at the time when I began writing this blog), an inkling of the reality of this dream that I'm living hit me.

I wish I could pinpoint the exact day, time and place where it took place (which reminds me, the person who planted the seed for this blog would be "that guy" who would know all of those details plus more if it happened to him), but all that matters is that I paint this picture as clearly as possible.

This reality was like a split second "Holy crap!" moment, but it transpired into a week-long series of thoughts and emotions that put me here. Realizing how lucky I am due in part to many people and one in particular who have given me the opportunities allowing me to be where I am today.

I wrote an e-mail on Thursday the 18th for a questionnaire, asking about my "career sponsor." This interview was for a career building company that aims to help individuals propel their career. The answers were not meant to be based around finances, which forced me to think deeply about all of the ways my "career sponsor" has been more than just a typical racing sponsor and definitely more than a mentor.

The third question asked, "How is your sponsor different from a mentor?"

I responded with this:

Greg has changed my life, personally and professionally. Initially, our partnership was formed as a business relationship, where his sponsorship would allow me to race and my endorsement would get his racing organization (Glass Hammer Racing) off the ground.

I realized very quickly however, that he would be a huge asset to me. Greg was very enthusiastic about not only getting his organization off the ground, but in helping me to continue advancing my career. Although his background is in medicine research, we realized that our industries had several similarities and Greg "got" me like few people do.

My career has been an "against all odds" story and in Greg's profession, he deals with determining if drugs in their earliest stages will have potential to succeed. Most days, the early stages of drugs are "against all odds" for success as well.

He understands how to look toward the future, prioritize and organize "projects" so they have a higher chance of being successful. 

In my life, and high stress field, he's taught me to be organized, relaxed and focused towards the future.

He's also given me the wings to fly. Greg has provided me with groundwork so that I could succeed. He has given me guidance and been supportive emotionally as well as encouraging in all ways, because he truly wants me to succeed. Someone who wants you to succeed and is willing to guide, teach and encourage you to be your best is priceless. He is not a textbook mentor, but a life coach in a most organic form.

Shortly after this questionnaire was when I had that "Holy crap!" moment. I realized all the things (too many and too detailed for this diary) that Greg has done for me with no guarantees of any type of return. It is the most humbling feeling when someone whole heartedly will do most anything to help you succeed.

I don't want to get all beliefy (yes I know that's not a word!), but I've been blessed in my life with a human being who may very well be my "alien step sib" (as he's dubbed).

"The guy" who's been behind many of the driver diaries I've written has become more than a partner in my racing career financially.  

He started as my racing partner and then became my employer. He's become my mentor and a life coach, all transpiring so coincidentally that it continuously leaves me questioning those who question fate.

At 21 years old and virtually independent, digging deep into the thick of a "big-business industry" where I am not only an athlete, but a business person and a young adult, I need people in my circle that will help me to continue to excel and climb the ranks.

(On a side note; I want to make clear that I have the most amazing parents in the world who are very much involved in my life and career and I couldn't be more thankful for everything they've done.)

From the first tweet I received from @GregBubblyFace to now our almost daily conference calls. Through the development of Glass Hammer Racing, many ups and downs in my personal as well as professional life, Greg Gaich has been by my side helping me to better myself, tackle life challenges and stay on top of motorsports' curve balls.

Greg and I argue often that our partnership is 90-10. I say he's the 90 and he says I'm the 90. We do however do a good job of balancing and I am proud to know that I've been a part of helping Glass Hammer Racing get off the ground.

I couldn't be more thankful for where I am today because of Greg, and I hate to know that I'll never be able to repay him for the priceless things he's given me. In closing, through another 90-10/10-90 banter we had today, I came to the conclusion that we're basically in it both at 100% and I couldn't ask for more.

And PS,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!

PPS: We'll leave Greg's age for him to reveal but please send wishes to @GregBubblyFace today!

Shannon McIntosh's new collaborative effort with Glass Hammer Racing can be found at www.beatbyagirl.org.

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