Renee Porod: “Like a Girl”

Renee Porod, Creative Writing Student

Every time I talk about cars with people around, they give me weird looks. They think girls don’t know anything about racing or specs. I have had an interest in three different racing series for a long time now. IMSA, F1, and SCCA are all groups that I follow in my own time. My dad has worked at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, for many years. He is allowed to bring one guest every time. At an IMSA race just last year, I went with him to watch. The four-mile-long course draws fans from all over the world, so I am lucky to be a spectator at events there.

“I brought my kid as my guest today.” My dad leaned against the window counter to check-in. We had to stop there every morning to get our bracelets for the day’s events.

“What’s his name?” Those words that came out of the registrar’s mouth made me furious. How could someone say that? I am pretty sure I was boiling with anger. Was racing only for boys? No. There were plenty of female drivers. Even IMSA had women driving the cars, and that is a professional league. What my dad said next made me feel a bit better, though.

“HER name is Renee.” My dad handed the clerk his flagger ID, and I stepped into view of the window to take my bracelet. The man at the register was a little baffled. I wasn’t sure why at the moment because he had just checked in the flag chief, a woman.

He gave no second glance after that and didn’t say anything else. I took my orange bracelet and walked back to the car. I was glad we had my dad’s C3 Corvette Stingray that day because it showed the guy what kind of family we were. 

Things like that have been happening my whole life. I have heard the phrase “like a girl” so many times in my life I’ve lost count. Whether I  have seen it fishing, on Facebook posts, or being anywhere that is stereotyped as a guy activity, it always makes me feel the same way. Not angry, but glad I was there to prove them wrong. 

I do a lot of activities not many girls do. I like to play roller hockey(and regular hockey), go fishing, go hunting with my family, ride snowmobiles down trails, and canoe down rapids. Some other hobbies include watching car races, going to airplane exhibitions, and driving tractors or four-wheelers around a farm. I take pride in not being your average girl, and I will always be the same person no matter what people think.