Episode 243: Amber Balcaen | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Episode 243: Amber Balcaen".
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This is 15 Minutes to Freedom. I'm your host, Ryan Neidell, and today's episode is a special guest, and a very special guest at that. And today's episode is a special guest and a very special guest at that. The star of a new CMT reality TV show, as well as a professional race car driver, Amber Balkin. How are you, Amber? I'm doing great. How are you doing? I am excellent. Thank you. So I must know right now up to this date in time, what's the craziest thing that's happened to you in a race car, whether dirt track or road track? Like what's, what's that thing where you're like, oh shit, like what do I do now? What is that? I would think it would be when I raced dirt track. Um, I race sprint cars and those things flip so easily. They they're so fast. They're so light. They're actually, um, the biggest when it comes to power to weight ratio. So there's 900 horsepower in a 1300 pound car with the driver in it. So when we start flipping, we don't stop. And that's probably the craziest thing that's happened to me in a race car. I actually got concussed. So I got knocked out. I didn't remember for a while. And when I woke up, I lost my vision. I couldn't see anything. I could hear the paramedics, everyone talking to me, but I couldn't see anything. And then a few minutes later, my sight came back, but I still felt really out of it. And I flipped quite a few times before that. That was the first time that it kind of shook me. Just losing my vision was really freaky. You know, there are little things that we take for granted every day, seeing, hearing all those things. And when it's gone, it's really scary. Oh, I'm sure. I can't even imagine what that's like. So Amber, explain this to me. Like, how many times have you crashed on dirt?
Segment 1: Background And Racing Experience
How often have you crashed? (01:53)
Like you say, flipping, like it's just no big deal. I'm sitting here thinking like, I've driven a lot of miles in my life. You know, I've, I've been around a little bit. I've never flipped a car before. And it's just so passive to you. You're just like, yeah, you know, the first time I flipped, how often do you flip in a car? In the dirt track world, you flip quite often, especially in cars, like I said before, because they're just so light and fast. And so many people ask me this question, but I actually feel safer in a race car than I do driving down the highway. And this is why. When you're driving down the highway, you have a little seatbelt on, but that's really, that's all protecting you. You also have people texting and driving, maybe someone's drinking around you and driving, and there's a lot out of your control. When you're in a race car, every driver has one goal and they're so focused on driving that they're, I think, a little bit more careful maybe. Not only that, but we wear so much safety equipment and these cars are meant to crash. They're meant to roll. So I've always felt safer in a race car than even on the highway. That's so crazy. I mean, when you say it, it makes perfect sense. But for me, I'm sitting there thinking like, man, to see, and obviously listeners, if you haven't seen Amber yet, what's your social media handle? I want people to get a visual representation of your stature. You are certainly, at least across the camera, a fairly petite woman. You're certainly not like some massive hulk of a man driving a car. Here's little Amber racing around the track. I mean, Amber, as I say that, we'll get into this, but she is an incredibly accomplished race car driver. This is not like some passive, like, oh, she's just toying around with this. This is a profession. This is a career, but like, it's just, you just, you're little getting thrown around in a car. Like it's no big deal. That's crazy to me. Thank you. I honestly, I just don't know anything else. I grew up with racing. I was literally at the racetrack in my mom's belly. My mom came from a racing background. My dad still races to this day. So it's kind of all I know. So it's my normal. But for the Instagram handle, it's at Amber Balkan 10. So A-M-B-E-R. And then my last name is spelled B-A-L-C-A-E-N 10. That's wonderful. Because you'll see Amber is phenomenal. We had a pre-show conversation. And she's phenomenal at social media. Like there's an art to social media, like to see her tell the story and to see her life and see behind the scenes at the track and see behind the scenes in her life. And also different companies she's aligned with plus some of her personal life with her and her boyfriend. Like your social media is just so beautiful. Like it's such a good depiction of how I've gotten to know you and it's just out there and it's authentic. Right. I mean, there's, it's not all high filtered, high polished, like not everything is perfect. Yeah, no, definitely. And actually with social media, it's something that I got into earlier on in my racing career. Being Canadian, racing isn't that popular in the state or in Canada. So I needed a way for people to know about me in the States. So I really utilized my social media even when I raced mini sprints I was doing YouTube videos and just doing everything I could to get myself out there so that the people in America would know who I am too because if they're not in the stands in Canada and I'm winning races they don't know I'm winning races so I tried to really utilize my social media at a very young age to be able to be recognized across North America rather than just Canada because I knew the opportunities were in the U.S. Of course. Amber, I'm going to assume some of my listeners are like me.
Passion to Career (05:14)
I didn't understand the progression of being a driver. As you shared with me that you grew up in cars and your family was a race, you know, you've been in a race family. It's literally, you probably have what one Oh one Oh three octane or whatever it is. You have race racing fuel in your blood, like just part of who you are. But will you walk us through what, how this progression works, like from the series of different dirt tracks into road and what that looks like from Canada, the U S just to kind of build in how that could work. Yeah, for sure. Well, everyone's journey is different. Mine's been quite different than most race car drivers. I grew up in Canada racing dirt, started in go-karts, went to mini sprints also on dirt, then big sprint cars. Then at that point, the NASCAR diversity program reached out to me saw that I was doing well and said have you ever been interested in NASCAR at that time I didn't even think that was like feasible like for being where I'm from and another thing is I didn't have any financial backing I had to do it all on my own even at 10 years old I had to get my own sponsors you know $100 here $100 there just to get in the car where most people in my position, they did have dads at race, but they would either retired and then their dads would have helped them in their career or just came from a wealthy background and was able to do it. So I was kind of behind the eight ball before I even started. And because of that, I didn't even think NASCAR would be a possibility. But having them recognize me really opened my mind to the different possibilities. And we talked about this before, but I did go to school for business. I got my two year degree and I actually went back to school to get the four year and I was sitting in class one day at a lecture and kind of had my aha moment. And I had a conversation with myself and I was like not amber what do you want to do and I knew I didn't want to be in that classroom that day and I said I want to race cars and I didn't know how I was gonna make it happen I didn't know how I was gonna make this a career but I thought I really can't imagine doing anything else with my life like I have to go for this I have to to do it. And that's what kind of switched my passion and hobby into like, all right, this is full blown career mode. Like we got to make things happen. And then I've been in the pavement world or NASCAR world for the last three years now, huge transition to completely different industries. They're both going left, turning left, going around in circles, but two completely different industries. They're both going left, turning left, going around in circles, but two completely different industries. And one that I had to learn on my own. I was very fortunate to have a grandfather, a father, uncles, cousins who all raised dirt, but no one in my family has raised on pavement. So it was just a completely new industry for me to learn.
A 180, Excuse Me, Im Done. Flow Passion / Leave College (08:01)
Yeah, it sounds like it. And I think there's something really impactful to touch base on here. You came through a series of events where you were racing, like your life was built around racing. But then it almost sounds like you fit the quote unquote stereotypical mold. Like go to two year college, then go to get maybe a bachelor's degree or a four year degree. And in that you realize that that is not your calling. You're following what society says you're supposed to do, but you realize that doesn't make you happy at all. And so you literally stop doing that. I think if I remember, you left college and went and had a conversation with your parents and literally said, it's time for me to chase my dreams, my passion. You might not get it. I know it might not be intuitive, but I got to go do this. Exactly. And even though I came from a family of racers, they were all racers who were weekend racers. They had their hobby on their weekend and that's what they did. They still went to work Monday to Friday, but I didn't want to go to work Monday to Friday. I just wanted to race. So I kind of, yeah, I went back to my parents and I said, you know what? Like, I appreciate your guys' support so far and you wanting me to go to college, but I just don't think this is meant for me. Like, I really feel like I'm meant to race cars. Like, that's what my soul tells me. That's, it's my love. It's my passion. And I literally cannot envision myself doing anything else with my life. Like I have to do this. I have to go after it. And they said to me, you know, we can't financially support you. We haven't been able to in the past and we definitely can't now, but we do morally support you and we don't, it's going to be tough, but I mean, if that's what you want to do, then be ready to work. And I know if I knew it was this going to be this hard, I probably wouldn't have done it, but I'm so happy that I did. So Amber, in that time, how many friends, were there people in your life that were telling you like, you're crazy, essentially like, what are you doing? You can't make it. Or was everybody supportive? I'm always curious as it is, I call it almost that hero's journey. Like you take that hard right turn. And a lot of people, at least in my life or other people I've interviewed, like you had that almost like I call the loudest boos are from the cheapest seats. Like you have those people on the fray of your life. They're like, what are you doing? Like, you can't make that happen. It's never going to work the right way. Like stay, stay in school, do whatever. Was that your story too? Absolutely. Definitely. All the people that I raced against were all dirt track racers who raced on weekends and for them to be like, oh, you think you're going to go to NASCAR? Like, who do you think you are? You know, it was just, it was such a big thought and big picture that people couldn't wrap their head around and they thought it was crazy. And even at that time, my ex-boyfriend, we dated for four years, you know, I broke up with him because I wanted to chase this dream and he didn't really support my racing. And he thought maybe it'd just be a phase or something. And I was like, no, I want this like a hundred percent. Like I want this to be my whole life. And so I had to let that go too. There's a lot of things I had to let go in order to pursue this dream. Sounds like it. And then that Amber, from the time you leave college, like you say, I'm done to the time you get to the NASCAR realm, the ranks, what timetable passes like from that initial decision of I'm not going to school anymore to you're now in North Carolina, right? Yeah. So I've lived in North Carolina the last two and a half years now.
Reid-McCane/ Phase 1 (11:15)
Um, but from that day that I told my parents, I wanted to give racing everything I had. Um, that next year I raced for someone someone like I drove for someone in this 410 sprint car series that's like the bigger the bigger version of dirt I guess you could say like at the higher level in dirt track racing and um I was one of the only people that actually got to drive for someone else like I had a car owner and and at a local level that was a big deal like most people owned their own stuff or like they their parents owned it so that was really cool but then the next year um my that car owner didn't want to be a car owner anymore he didn't really realize how much money it took and and to say it politely I felt like I was wrongly done um and I was a little bit bitter for a while. And because that whole next year, I didn't race. I think I raced one time. And when I said I didn't want to go to the racetrack after that, it's because I should be in my, I should be in that race car, you know. So I had a really, really low point in my life after that, because the first year I decided to go after my dreams, everything was awesome. It was the best year of my life. But the following year was one of the hardest years of my life. And I was ready to give up, but I didn't. I threw myself a pity party for a little bit. And then I said, Amber, you need to get out of this. Stop being a baby. Stop making excuses. If you want this, you need to go make it happen and I did the next year I got sponsorship to run my first year in the NASCAR wheel and all-american series which is one of the first levels of NASCAR but I did it and I raised a full season got Rookie of the Year became the first Canadian female to win a NASCAR sanction race in the USA and I was on top again but then the next year I had another low where sponsorship didn't really come. I mean, it's when you go after your dreams, it's not roses and butterflies. It's a lot of ups and downs. You have like really great moments and really shitty moments. And, um, but it, it's all what's created me into the woman that I am today. And it's built me so much character. And because of all that, like, I'm so thankful that I, I took this route. Yeah, man. What, that's so incredible to hear that story up and down. I want to, I want to pick at that just a little bit more and I don't want to make, I don't bring up too many sore spots, but I think there's always lessons in the stuff we kind of brush over. So in, in the sprint car world on the dirt track, when you had the sponsorship, you had a gentleman that basically what that would mean from the way i understand it is he funded the like whatever you needed basically as it pertained to racing you'd have to worry about raising capital you were just hop your rear end of the car go fast and go left yeah so kind of um i actually did bring sponsorship money to the table as well okay i'm like let's work together at all costs you know know, I don't expect any freebies. And I also brought money to the table. And how it started was I actually raced against him in years prior, he was a competitor of mine. And he's like, wow, you have a lot of talent. He's like, I always wanted to be a sprint car owner. I know you've always wanted to drive them, like, let's make it happen. And it was it was great like I said the end was I felt like I was wrong done but um it's something that I'm happy that that happened because that's what led me to NASCAR I might still be racing dirt right now you know but it made me really have to step up my game and and look at different options and be more creative be more resourceful and it's what led me here to where I am today in North Carolina. Yes. With no question, but I got to know for me, even if, even if you as a listener don't care when you, when you go, you have the sponsorship, you have this deal worked out and things are good. And the season comes to a conclusion. You had success that season, right? It wasn't like you were a slouch in the back of the pack. Like you won. Yeah, it was a great season. How do, without the specifics again, and I'm not trying to pry for things that are uncomfortable, but where was the misalignment? Like there's a point where your relationship breaks with the sponsor and that at some point your expectations, his expectations were no longer parallel. But I'm thinking in my mind, like, you're a great driver that honored your commitment and you brought cash to the table and you brought sponsors. It's like all the check boxes. If I'm, if I'm the guy owning the team, I'm like, I don't know what else I could have asked for. Right. So, um, he had never been a car owner before, so I don't think he really fully understood what entail. It entails a lot of money. And, um And through the entire off season, I actually moved to where that person was. And I worked on getting sponsorship for the race team the entire year. I quit my job, wasn't it was working for free, essentially to find sponsorship so we could race the following year. I did find sponsorship, but not as much as he wanted. And then the plan was to race until we ran out of money. And a week before the first race, he called me and told me he would be racing my car. That is a very unique way to handle that situation. I can understand now why without naming names, I don't care about any of that, but you're saying it very politely that you feel like you were done inappropriately like you found your own sponsors you brought him to the table you're a team player you had success the year before you're motivated for the season to start and then you don't get to sit in the car that you've been sitting in right and and it was a car that I had bought from my family so we you know, it was, there was a lot of layers, but, um, like I said before, I, it's something I was a little bit bitter at the time. Um, but I am thankful for him now, and I don't have any bad, bad feelings towards him. I, I, you know, forgave him and it's, it's all good. And, um, I might be saying this prematurely, but I actually wrote him an email. It's saved in my drafts right now, thanking him for him helping me get to this point because he did help me get to this point. And, um, that letting him know that I'm going to be racing Daytona this February.
Ambers arguments against-racing Taylor (17:16)
Um, and just thanking him for helping me get there. I haven't sent it yet because I don't have the sponsorship yet, but that email saved in my draft, so once I get the sponsorship, I'm going to send that to him. Well, and that brings up a vital point. That's part of the call to action for you, I don't say for you being on the show.
Amber helps Amber get better with Soulforce! (17:35)
Obviously, I have a standing rule, and you as a listener might not know this, but if I can't become friends with a guest, and friends in a professional capacity, like I'm not flying down to Carolina to hang out with Amber and her boyfriend. Like that's not where we're at yet, but at least be able to establish a bond externally. Amber shared with me that she, in her quest to continue down the NASCAR route is still in seeking sponsorships. And I didn't have any idea what it took. Like I, I feel fairly educated as far as business goes. And I had no idea literally how the NASCAR realm works with sponsorships and things like that and the expense behind it.
Ambers Journey & DEPO! (18:09)
And so with Amber being on the show, if you're listening and you have a business that you own or are a part of, I don't care if you're in sales and you know the sales that your company markets products somewhere. Like Amber is literally, think about having your brand or your company on a car that's racing around Daytona. And on TV and on the track, just all of it. Everywhere. Everywhere that Amber has access to, when you sponsor or you're a part of her brand and her company, you get access to everything. Like there could be potential like trade shows and meetups and you get stuff to come to the pits and you get to meet other drivers. It's this whole community of things. Like it's not, it's not just, Oh, you pay for, you know, the, the Viagra logo on the top of the hood of the car. And that's all you get. Like that is so far away from what she really does or what you get.
Ambers Red Socks Email Amber! (18:53)
But in that Amber, if someone wanted to begin a conversation about what sponsorships could look like of any dollar amount, like this doesn't have to be, if you're listening, your company doesn't have to have a seven figure marketing budget to deploy. Like it's, it's literally one of these things. If I had no idea, every dollar counts, like it's not a good, it's not a go fund me thing. Like there's not some link of like put in $3 and you know, pay for a lug nut, but it's, it's something that every dollar helps. So how do people get ahold of you, Amber, to discuss opportunities?
Amber gets another tattoo outside (19:21)
Yeah, they can DM me on Instagram at Amber Balkan 10. They can go to my website and send me an email there. It's Amber Balkan racing.com. They pretty much any way I'll, I respond to everything. So Facebook, Amber Balkan racing, everything. My Twitter is Amber Balkan 10.
Amber Reveals Who She Knows Rob (19:42)
Everything's Amber Balkan or Amber Balkan racing. So anyways there, and I can give you any information you need. That is wonderful.
Ambers Daytona Race Cost (19:50)
And Amber, how much, like the Daytona race, let's just say we're just talking one race, not the whole series. If I win the lottery tomorrow, I'm like, you know, I've always wanted to just have one race under my belt that I sponsored the whole thing, just for you. What does one race, what does the Daytona race whole thing just for you. What does one race, what does the Daytona race cost to start the season? Like what's that check for Daytona? It's around, um, 120,000, but you can come in as an associate sponsor at like 10,000, 20,000. Um, and also I'm working with other companies right now to, to, to lower that price. So, um, it, it's hard cause motor sports marketing isn't really black and white. There's a lot of different ways it can be done. So that's why I encourage people just to contact me, and then I can tell you how I can bring the most value to your company for the least amount. Of course. Of course. For me, it's just that phenomenal thing. How many laps, how many miles is your Daytona race? So it is, I'm pretty sure it is 200 miles. So 200 divided by 2.5 miles or 200 laps divided by 2.5 miles. Right. But even then, to think about that for the car and the chassis and the setup and the pit crew and like to that hundred plus thousand dollar mark isn't you pocketing 95,000 like that's not how this works at all like I had this misconception of how sponsorships even work like this isn't some of this isn't us funding Amber's life that is literally to dial in the car to give her the best opportunity to win the race like yeah and there's stuff there's teams that are better equipped than others that have have better equipment, that the cars are better. And I'm in a position where I want to be able to put myself in a position to win. So the teams that I'm going to go with are going to be a little bit more expensive because their cars are capable of winning. Of course. None of us, especially the listeners of this show, none of us are playing for second. I commend you for just owning the fact of you want the best. If you're going to ask for sponsorships, not even ask, go out and hustle and really work your ass off to get sponsorships. Who the fuck wants to be third or fourth? Who doesn't want the best opportunity to win? You already have the talent. You might as well have the chassis and the car and the engine and the setup and the team to allow you to win. Definitely, yes. Because there's a massive difference between the setup and the engine and the team in the first place car and the setup and the engine and the team in the last place car, right? I mean, it's literally, like, it's almost not even fair how different those two setups are, right?
The left hooking addition (22:17)
Right, yeah. not even fair how different those two setups are, right? Right. Yeah. It's, um, racing is very different from other sports in the way that the car matters so much when you have a player, it's like that player is either doing a good job or he isn't, but, um, you can have a great driver, but if they're not in good equipment, they're not going to be able to perform. Absolutely. So I got, I have to switch gears just for a second, which is ironic saying to a car driver, I've switched gears. But somehow throughout this series, this process of going from dirt track to NASCAR and rookie of the year and winning and great stuff, how did reality TV star get thrown in? That's a serious left hook coming in. Not that I didn't see that coming, but left hook coming in. Like, no, I didn't, not that I didn't see that coming, but it's like race car driver, race car driver. Oh, why don't we just throw in a reality show? No, you and me both. I really didn't expect that either. Um, but I met Samantha Bush who is NASCAR champion Kyle Bush's wife. Um, Kyle Bush is probably one of the most well-known NASCAR drivers, but also the most controversial. Yeah, they love him or hate him. But he has his own race team that is in the truck series. So the truck series is one of, like I said before, there's quite a few levels to NASCAR. It's one of the developmental series to get to the top. And he has the best NASCAR truck team there is a few years ago Samantha and I met for the potential of another reality show it didn't work out but that's how we first met um she followed me on Instagram and started keeping up with me saw that I started winning on pavement and she actually reached out to me and said we've never had a girl drive for Cobb Bush Motorsports I would love if you could drive for him and that it was to me and said, we've never had a girl drive for Cobb Bush Motorsports. I would love if you could drive for him. And to me, that was the coolest thing that had ever happened up to that point. I couldn't believe it. And unfortunately, it was still the funding issue. I just didn't have the funding to be able to do it. And we always kept in contact. And she did the pilot for the CMT show. And one of the wives wasn't able to do it anymore. And the producer said, do you know anyone else? She said, well, I know a girl named Amber, but she's not a wife. She's a driver, but she's awesome. You'd love her. You should just meet with her. So they're like, yeah, absolutely. So I had an interview with them. And the next thing you know, I was signed for this eight eight episode one hour reality show on country music television so it was definitely crazy and my boyfriend and I were both kind of looking to further our careers and I was trying to get sponsorship to race and all of a sudden I'm like hey babe like we're gonna be on a reality show and so he's on the show with me they it showcases our long-distance relationship and how we make that work you know where two people are going after our dreams living in two different countries and sometimes it can be tough but we make it work and I think why our relationship is so successful is because we both support one another so much. And like, even though we're not physically together, we support each other so much when we want each other to succeed. And I think that's so important because if one of us didn't let each other do what we felt we needed to do for ourselves, then I think there could be some resentment there. And now they'll never be resentment because we're both going after what we want and, and having each other support each other is means a lot to both of us. Oh, absolutely. And there's so many things to unwrap from that little moment in time. So first and foremost, when does a show air? Like when can we see you on TV as part of what, and what's the show called? It's called racing lives. So it is mostly the nascar driver's wives except there's me on there the driver not a wife um my boyfriend plays football he doesn't race cars um but it airs january 3rd on cmt if you watch the cmt programming right now you'll actually see the commercials already rolling for it uh which is crazy i actually just saw it on tv for the first time in a couple of days. And I was like, what? Like that's me on TV. That's crazy. It's not like completely hit me yet. It's going to be different. But right.
Segment 2: Dealing With Critics, Family History, And Authenticity
How Amber deals with judgey who hats (26:34)
I have a really good support system, great family, great friends and awesome boyfriends. So I think that's really all you need to have to be able to move forward. So in that, I know you shared with me, even in the reality TV world, and I shouldn't say it's not all, but it's not all sunshine and roses there either. You have been nothing but a phenomenal guest and a friend now external from this. You're kind, you're polite, you're courteous, you show up on time, all the right things. Thank you. But then you're getting, I don't want to say hated on, because I think that sometimes, but people are trash talking you, right, based off a reality show that's not even salacious. It's not like you're some sort of hussy. I don't know how to say that appropriately, but you're very open. You have a boyfriend. You respect him. You have a good relationship. There's nothing running in the background. You're not going out, I don't't think selling your body or anything like that. Like, so what's that all about? It's yeah. There's the funny thing is the show hasn't even come out yet. So I'm not really sure why there is so much hate towards it, but I think really what it is is NASCAR is such a conservative sports and this is something new. It hasn't been done before. There hasn't been a NASCAR wives such a conservative sport and this is something new. It hasn't been done before. There hasn't been a NASCAR wives show before. So I think people are just a little like maybe apprehensive and they sometimes new or change is scary for people. And I personally think the show is going to be amazing. I think it's going to draw more fans into NASCAR and we all have meaningful deep stories like it's not just what it what the preview might look at look like like we we all have actual real stories that have meaning and you see us grow and I think it's going to be a huge hit. I really do. I have no doubt about being a huge hit, especially, I mean, NASCAR fans are, I feel like, some of the most loyal tribesmen in the world. So once you're in that fold, like once they get over the shock of, call it what it is, and I mean this with respect for you and your boyfriend as well as my wife. Once they get over attractive women on TV representing NASCAR, because from the ads that I've seen, it's you, you ladies have kept yourself together well, or whatever the most appropriate way is to say that once I get over that shock, like you're in right. Like, and, but that's something I've also kind of faced my whole career is, well, you're a race car driver. So you should look like a tomboy. Like you, why are you wearing heels? Why are you wearing makeup? And the thing is like, that's's who I am. Like, I'm, when I'm on the track, it's business. I'm a driver. But outside the track, I'm a girly girl. And there's nothing wrong with that. And just because I'm a driver, I'm not gonna change the way I look or talk or just because my career title is a race car driver. I mean, I think it's really important to be your true authentic self. And for me, that's being a girly girl and being a race car driver. I mean, I think it's really important to be your true authentic self. And for me, that's being a girly girl and being a race car driver. Like women aren't just one thing. Like they're not just smart or just pretty. We can be everything. And I think people don't really realize that yet. And, and me wearing a dress and heels and a promo shoot is not doing the whole sex sells thing. That's, that's just showing a different side of me. And I think people more so just need to be a little more open-minded and realize that, you know, things aren't cookie cutter anymore. It's not black and white. It, people are different. You can have more than just one side to you. Oh, absolutely. And, and in that Amber, side to you. Oh, absolutely. And in that, Amber, how do you deal with when people are attacking you? Like on this podcast, oddly enough, I've had more than a handful of people just not like what this podcast is about. And it's crazy because in the podcast world, you have to actively seek out a podcast, not like TV where you're watching CMT and a commercial scrolls across and like it's thrown in your face, you have a choice. Like you have to try to find a podcast. When people attack me for either my viewpoint or my message or my, the dialogue I use, it stings. Like it's, it took me a long time to start to build up that self-confidence, at least with myself of like, like I used to run and say, no, no, it doesn't bother me. And I'd literally sit here and it's like, it does fucking bother me. Like, I don't know how to say it any other way like it's not fun to have somebody say like you're a piece of shit like that it's not enjoyable for me to hear that how do you how do you deal with that well when the when I all the promo stuff first came out and we started getting comments right away um it did bug me I'm a really emotional person. Like I'm really sensitive and really emotional. So it did kind of bug me at first. Um, but then I started to put things into perspective and Gary V is one of my favorite podcast people. And I was listening to one of his podcasts and he essentially said that if you're going to let other people's opinions of you dictate the decisions you make in life, you're fucked. Like, and I was like, that's so true. Like, imagine if you didn't do certain things because someone told you, oh, that's not a good idea. Or, oh, you're stupid. Like, you wouldn't be anywhere in life. So like, the only opinion that really matters is yourself. And as long as you're staying true to yourself, then that's all that matters. And as long as you're staying true to yourself, then that's all that matters. And as long as my family and my friends and my boyfriend, like who I am as a person and think I'm a good person and, and like what they see of me on a daily basis, then that's really all that matters. People are gonna have their preconceived notions, whether I'm Mother Teresa or the devil, I don't know, like, you know, it's just not everyone's going to like you. And I think back to what Gary Vee said, just like if you let other people's opinions dictate your life and your decisions that you make, then you don't have control of your life. And you don't – that's not good.
Dealing with complex oversimplification (32:15)
I mean, we live in North America. We live in a place that we have so much freedom. We get to wake up every single day and choose what we get to do with that day. That is amazing. You're going to let some Joe blow one, two, three that has one follower and no Instagram thing, ruin your day because he doesn't like what lipstick you're wearing. Like, fuck him, you know? So yeah, I think as long as my core group, you know, still thinks I'm a good person and they're supporting me, which they are, then that's all that matters. Not everyone's going to understand me. They're not going to know my story. They're not going to know how I got where I am today. And that's okay. As long as I know where I'm going, then that's all that matters. I absolutely love that. And the listeners that are connected to Gary and the show, me that's all that matters. I absolutely love that. And the listeners that are connected to Gary and the show me, that's connected to Gary, Gary, I hope you get this message from Amber. You receive the impact you made on her life and maybe you guys can connect because there's, there's obviously synergy there in the message and what you're standing for versus, you know, what Gary stands for. So it's, it's so cool to have you listen and digest and then share that and have it impact your life. Like that's, it's so cool to have you listen and digest and then share that and have it impact your life. Like that's such a great message. I'm a huge fan of Gary Vee and it is my goal to be on his podcast one day too. Just, just that easy. So we got to figure out a way to make that happen for Amber.
Your connection to Andy Frisella (33:35)
Somebody, somebody is going to connect you to the right person, but in that connection, actually that brings up another point. You have a sponsorship or relationship. Sponsorship might be an oversell, but you, you're connected to the first form family, right? Like you, you have a connection to Gary through Andy if you push it. Right. Yeah. So I was lucky enough to meet Andy a few years ago and I actually sat in on one of his podcasts. I wasn't a guest, but I got to listen to one and, um, first form sponsors me through product. So we've had that relationship for, I think about three years to one and, um, first form sponsors me through product. So we've had that relationship for, I think about three years now. And, um, I'm drinking my OptiGreens right now. And I love first form. I love Andy. Andy's actually a huge influence on when I was going through that rough time. Um, right after my, my dirt track ride fell through, uh, he, I was listening to him and he might be a little bit harsh for others, but it was exactly what I needed at that time. And he basically said, stop making excuses, stop throwing a pity party, stop being a pussy and go after it, get your head down and work. And that's what I did. And I actually give a lot of credit to Andy to help me getting out of that funk and help me getting where I am today. When I must interject, I love the fact that the race car driving, girly girl, CMT reality star throws out words like shit and fuck and pussy on this podcast. And it just flows conversationally. You're not even doing it for effect. It's just like, it's who you are. You have such a unique dichot unique dichotomy try not to but it just comes out i don't know why i mean this is safe space this is this is how it should be on this podcast so at least for this little moment in time let the explicit fly if it makes you feel better it's good right here and anyone listening to andy knows that those words are common so i was using his words of course. So we've, we touched base on first form. We've touched base on the ride. We've touched base on how you've got there. We touched base on sponsorship.
What makes your marriage (named Velma Bosequently) rock" (35:30)
The one part that I think is almost more impactful than all of that personally is your ability to maintain a level head and consistency in your relationship because your boyfriend you've touched base on him. We haven't really dove into it. He's not in our backyard. Like he's not in the States and he's got his own professional career, like on a massive scale. So you said he's a football player and I'll let you dive in and unpack that for us. But like you're chasing your dream. He's chasing his, you're in different countries, different time zones, different, like name something it's different. And you still make it work. Like this is a committed long-term and long-distance relationship. Definitely. I was single for about four years before we got together. And through that time, I really grew as a person and was very goal-orientated. I mean, I definitely still am. But I really worked on myself. And I was at a time where the, the sponsorship was really, really difficult. And he had a hard time. He just got let go of his team as well. So we were both, we've known each other for 10 years. I should add that. But we just have a ton of mutual friends. And we just kind of started talking one day. He started talking about, you know, his football and how bummed he was that he got let go of his team. And I was bummed that I didn't have my sponsorship. And we really were just there for each other as friends. And that was the basis of our friendship was or base of our relationship was being friends, being there for each other, being supportive and lifting each other up. And that friendship quickly grew into a romantic relationship. And I just love him so much like he is in my opinion like the most perfect person for me and um I think he's so amazing and he's he's just he's a man he's a real man and being in your young 20s there's not a lot of like there's not a lot of those and um he just he treats me like an angel and he is so supportive and to have someone be supportive of a female who's very goal orientated and very strong willed and this is what I want to do in this, but we make it work. And it's cool because being a race car driver and a football player, we're both athletes and we have a lot of really similar, we're a lot alike on a lot of ways. And we can really, like when I'm having a bad race or he had a bad game, like we know what to say to each other. We understand each other and it really makes things a lot easier because we have the same mindset when it comes to mostly everything. And there's so much love there that the distance wasn't going to keep us apart. And thankfully, his season is over in a few weeks and he's actually moving to North Carolina with me. So for his offseason anyways, I'm super excited for that.
Meet Ambers peeps (38:21)
We've made it through the long distance, but I'm ready to see him every day, and I know he is too. Of course, and I think in that, number one, you're beaming, so it's obvious you're so excited. You can't see it. As you're listening, you can't see. Literally, Amber's face is glowing with the fact that her boyfriend's coming to Carolina, so that's wonderful, but you had shared with me that you've known your boyfriend really at some capacity since high school, right? You said 10 years or so. And without getting too deep into it again, I've been very open that in my life, in my relationships, I was not faithful. I was not necessarily a good catch. I might've had good qualities about me, but I didn't have my shit together would just be the best way to say it. And you'd said before, I believe that if in your relationship with your boyfriend now, it would not have worked in earlier times that he has grown and evolved and morphed and changed into the man, you know, him to be today versus who we used to be. Am I remembering that right? Or am I putting words in your mouth? No. Yeah. I said, we both have changed so much in 10 years that I wouldn't have been a good person for him and he wouldn't have been a good person for me 10 years ago. But we've both been through so much in our lives that it has developed us into the people we are today. It's built so much character and made us who we are. And because I think we both went through a lot of triumphance like it's that's why we work so well together because we have the same mindset where we we have the same future goals we have we're just so on the same page now that it we work so well together but I mean in high school we were two completely different people like he was a bad boy and I was insecure and shy and it was and now I'm confident and ready to get after things I mean we were just both so different that like my first interaction with him ever was in the in the hallway at high school and he said hi to me and I walked away and didn't even say hi back because I was so scared of him because he was so attractive. I didn't even know how to say hello back to him. Like I, I couldn't. So, um, and now, I mean, he's my boyfriend.
Where High School Boyfriends go after 10 years (40:14)
I was like, he's in high school. He was so hot that I couldn't even say hi to him. So that just kind of goes to show you 10 years can make a big difference in two people. Oh, absolutely. And I think that's, that's the thing I want to almost pull out of this part of the conversation is, as you're listening, it's almost so easy to cast people aside and write them off. Like if they don't serve a purpose or you don't feel connected to them in that moment, it's almost like they're just kind of gone. But if you keep up a mind to it, you never know when that person comes back in your life or when there's an energetic connection and all of a sudden now you guys can, I'll say, both serve each other. And you're proving that, Amber, from your relationship. I mean, like you said, you were two totally different people 10 years ago. And then life takes its twists and turns. And you both are, I can't say on a downward slide, but at a recalibration period when you guys get reconnected. And now all of a sudden you're both triumphing. You're in the midst of raising you know, raising cash to race. And he's in the Canadian Football League playoffs right now? Yeah, like he's had his best year ever in football. He's had a phenomenal year. And their first round of playoffs this weekend coming up. I'm actually flying tomorrow to go to Canada to watch him. And, yeah, I think another reason why our relationship is so strong is because we've both grown as people together. We from where we were a year and a half ago to where we are now. We've both grown, but we've grown together and we both want to see each other succeed and we want to succeed together. And, you know, even though those cheesy memes on Instagram, where it's like, build an empire together, that's really our vision. That is us. You know, we just want to grow together. And, and that's what we've been doing. And I think, again, going back to we just understand each other so much, because we've both been through a lot. And it's easy for us to work together and support each other and grow together. Oh, absolutely.
Race Car Etiquette
What Its Like to Drive a Race Car (42:26)
And Amber, there was a moment maybe three or four minutes ago where we talked about both being athletes. And I didn't realize in full capacity what an athlete you have to be to race a car for 200 miles. Like what that really means. Because you shared with me, you'll lose five, six, seven, eight pounds, 10 pounds as throughout a race, right? Like this, explain to me what the taxing is on your body. Like, is it forearms? Obviously you're losing weight from sweating. Like, I don't know if we, I certainly didn't have an appreciation for what sort of athlete you had to be to drive a car. Yeah. And honestly, I didn't either. When I raced dirt, we had 25 lap races and you definitely have to have the arm strength and stamina, but nothing like the pavement. The pavement, you're in the car for so long, it's so hot. And you're in a triple layer fireproof suit with a helmet, bevel clava, the containment seat, like you're, you're in there. And it's so hot. Me as a female, my size, I can lose four to five pounds a race, but a guy can lose up to 10 pounds a race, um, just of sweat. And I train, I'm in the best shape I've ever been in because I've trained way harder these last few years for the pavement racing. And, um, you, after a race, you feel like you've just ran a marathon, like, and you have arm pump, everything. It's way more physical than you would think. Amber, I have two personal questions as it pertains to that. Okay. One, are you able to drink anything as you race? When you come in for a tire change thing, are you able to rehydrate yourself, or is that not possible? Yeah, so we have a Gatorade- type water bottle beside us with a long straw. So on cautions, we can stick it in our helmet and sip.
Can Race Car Drivers Use Their Bathroom During Fueled Up (44:10)
And I think I already know your second question. You know where – I got to know, like do you use a restroom? Like what do you do there? Do you pee in your suits? We get that all the time. I've never peed in my suit. But if I had to, like I wouldn't have any problem. Whatever, you wash it after. Most people haven't. I think a few have, but again, you're dehydrating your body because you're sweating so much, so you don't really get the opportunity to go to the bathroom because you're trying to keep hydrated. Also, I think for me too, adrenaline takes over. So I don't even think about it. That makes sense. I mean, I suppose I was answering the question as I said it out loud, which is that curiosity of thinking about you being in a car for how many hours is a race? It depends when you get to the cup level, like the top level of NASCAR, it's a lot longer. Where I'm at now, it's not quite as long like the longest race I've done so far is 150 laps takes about an hour or so yeah it's over an hour so a decent amount of time though nonetheless I suppose anybody can hold going to the restroom for an hour so I I get it it was just I never thought about I've never had a chance to discuss these sort of ideas with a driver before. So, Amber, I must say, in kind of not wrapping up the interview, but it's kind of putting a bow on it right now. If you could leave my listeners with one message, like one thing from you to them for them to remember this show by, one thing that you stand by and live your life by, what would that be? I think it changes depending on the week.
Ambers Final Thoughts (45:42)
But I think right now is just the power of never giving up. Like if you want something bad enough, you go for it and you keep working at it and you go until you can't go anymore. I mean, there was so many times in my career and my journey that I could have given up and I didn't. And I wouldn't be, not that I am where I want to be yet, because I'm definitely not even close, but I'm still further along than I was four years ago. And I haven't had to do anything that I don't want to do in the last four years. You know, I've just worked towards my dreams. And I think that every single person, when they wake up every day has a choice of what they want to do with their lives they might think that they don't and but they do and we all have so much freedom where we're living and the lives you get to live like you we all have the opportunity to choose what we do with the day and if you aren't happy in your current situation, figure out, figure out a way to make the change and to be happy. Um, because happiness is, is the main key to life. And, um, yeah, just never give up. If you want something, just keep working at it. Don't make excuses. I love that. Amber, thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate being a guest on the show. Appreciate you making time. And we've And we've went back and forth with scheduling and trying to fit it in here and there. And I just, it's been so great getting to know you and have you share your message with me and everybody listening. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me on your show. Of course. So as you're listening to this, we'll wrap it up. I think taking that message from Amber at the end and realizing that you truly can have anything you want in this world if you work hard enough for long enough and never giving up on your dreams is the ultimate way every day to get shit done. you