43 Days

I've been suffering a lot with panic attacks recently. Although only small ones due to being able to control them I know that at any point I will have one that I can't control.
I feel unsettled, anxious, a fidgety mess.
Anticipation and being impatient is pretty much taking over my life and I am having to try my best to not be the obsessive person I want to be just to try and control it.

I have 43 days of this to cope with. And it's tough.

You'd think, by reading the above that maybe it's something I'm not looking forward to.
As I write this my heart is racing, my breathing is quick and my fingers are typing at a silly speed. I feel like I can't sit still.
I'm trying my best to keep my head focussed and to not watch the video I've embedded in the bottom of this post over and over again.

In 43 days I will be in my happy place.
The place that put me in this stage of my life.
The place that made me realise my brother is the best human being I know and that I would do anything for him.
The place that brought me a wonderful friend who lives too far away but has been my rock.
The place where I discovered this sport, probably the only sport, that captured my heart and made me look at motorbikes and racing in a different light.

Since I left the island last June I have had this aching to return. I've been lucky enough to be able to visit some amazing countries as a teenager but no place has ever made me feel like the Isle of Man did.

It's not just the island though. It's the sport. The TT.
I struggle to explain it and the fact is, unless you've been there, you will never understand or even begin to understand just what is so amazing about it.
I watched YouTube videos before I went. I thought I knew what to expect. I wasn't too bothered about watching the bikes. I wanted to spend time with my brother, I wanted to visit an island I hadn't been to before. The only rider I wanted to see was William Dunlop and I wanted to visit Joey Dunlops statue.
I will never forget that feeling I had when I stepped off the plane. I knew that the week was due to be something special. When I went to collect my luggage, expecting to meet my brother at the campsite and hearing a knock on the glass, ignoring it at first then turning round and seeing him. Me crazily then miming and making weird hand gestures pointing to myself and then the ground saying "I'm here. I'm actually here. Look. Me and you. We're here".
The fact he surprised me at the airport, when I then got some phone signal and saw that he had watched my plane land and had taken a photo of it, excitedly uploading it to Facebook to show off that I was there. The he took a photo of himself waiting outside the airport, again uploading it to Facebook telling people he was surprising me and adding "Twin Time" at the end.
That was enough for me. My week was made.
Little did I expect the atmosphere to be electric from the beginning.
The anticipation....the build up....and then later when the race started the uncontrollable feel that when through my body as my brother said "They're now coming Lauren". The tears that rolled down my face, the panic attack that took my body hostage. I didn't understand it, I didn't get why it was so special. Until the first bike went past. And I heard the noise. I felt the speed.
And I wanted to scream. I looked at my brother. I looked at how happy he was and seeing him smile. Having this moment together. It was amazing. It was one of the best moments of my life.
Him then saying "That's William. That was William" as William Dunlop then rode past made my week and I'd only been on the island for 6 or 7 hours.

I never ever wanted that feeling to end. And it hasn't. It has wedged itself in my heart and in my head and it's so hard to forget and to let go of.
It's hard to control, and to keep hidden and quiet.
And in 43 days I get to experience it all over again. I get to add to that feeling.

And I can't wait. I really really can't wait.

I watch this video over and over and it makes me want to explode.
43 days...not long at all, but it feels like the longest countdown I've ever done.


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