Can I still navigate?

Can I still navigate? It may sound a bit of a funny question. Some people think navigating is like getting back on a horse, but there were two reasons for my question. 1) it had been a number of months since I’d last navigated, and that was after a reasonable break and 2) just 2.5 weeks beforehand I’d been in a (non-fault) car accident which had knocked both my physical and mental confidence more than I’d cared to admit. Physically I was in constant pain, but I was also undertaking medical treatment and took medical advice about whether I should go out that evening. I know for me that “getting back on the horse” with everything was vital, and so I offered at the last minute to navigate for the first time for Ben Cutting having missed some other events I would have liked to have done due to the accident. I was originally due to navigate for Luis Guiterrez-Diaz, but unfortunately we’d withdrawn a few weeks previously after he broke his car.

I hadn’t told Ben what had happened a couple of weeks beforehand, but somebody else had because when I arrived he checked if I should be out competing. I explained I was in no fit state to drive and compete (the 75 minute drive to the start was the furthest I’d driven since the crash) but I was happy to give navigating a go and see what happened.

We didn’t have the perfect run, but for our first time out as a crew we had a good run. Every driver/navigator is slightly different but we settled into a rhythm and, whilst unfortunately missing a few codeboards, whilst in pain the pain was bearable and we came home 1st in class and 4th expert.

It was good to get back out because whilst deep down I knew “don’t be silly of course you can do it,” sometimes it’s nice/necessary to prove it to yourself. It wasn’t my best night on the maps and I always find it frustrating to miss boards, but going back over navigation in the cold light of day is always worth the effort!

My 12 car trophy and the aftermath of my written off car on the M40. This is what it looks like if you’re stationary on a motorway and the car behind doesn’t stop pushing you into the car in front…

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