EP69. Kristen Hope Migues—“If You Want Something, Work Hard and GIVE to Get It”January 11, 2021
EP63: Elana Scherr–“The Secret to Success: Stay in it, assess, adjust your approach!”January 23, 2021
EP 68: Renee Brinkerhoff, the Valkyrie Racer—“A Brave, Courageous Woman with a Compassionate Heart!”
[0:00] Go on and do what you're going to do don't second-guess yourself and don't have to figure it out you'll learn as you go.
As you go and do it and figure it out and it's the best way you learn what you should do and what you should do it has doors just keep opening and it just happens for you but if you have something that you thought about doing
don't wait just go out and get going don't wait till everything's in place and then also just to push your limits through doing all that you'll learn so much about yourself and you'll grow.
[0:29] To me that's you know one of those things in life that we all need to be doing is growing and changing and better for ourselves and better for everybody else.
You're listening to Femcanic Garage the podcast that features women in the automotive and motorsports Industries a community that elevates and empowers
and evolves by smashing stereotypes and breaking down barriers for women I'm your host Jayme Blasiman buckle up for the ride Femcanics.
[1:08] Femcanics I want to hear from you and get your feedback text me what your favorite episode is how I could improve the podcast.
[1:18] Products would you like to see but most importantly I just want to connect with you.
Text me at six one four nine five three six three eight zero again that's 614.
953 6380 I receive each message directly and I'm excited to hear from you.
Go on press pause and save my number six one four nine five three six three eight zero.
[1:52] Renee Brinkerhoff is in the driver seat today Renee is a rally racer she started her racing career at 56 years old.
She's competed in almost all continents of the world including North America Australia South America Asia Europe and Africa.
Antarctica is the only one left and she'll be checking that off as well soon.
With the love and support from her husband and children she founded her own racing company Valkyrie racing.
She also founded Valkyrie Gives a non-profit to help end child sex trafficking.
Hello Femcanics this is Jayme B to you and I have Renee Brinkerhoff in the driver seat today how are you doing today Rene.
[2:49] Jayme I'm doing great so happy to be joining you I am too and you know I lot of times I affectionately call it Instagram stalking I'm out stalking and trying to find all these amazing women to put in the spotlight
and your daughter actually reached out to me and said hey.
I think my mom will be a great fit for your podcast so I went and did some research based on some links that she provided me,
and I could not agree more you are a perfect fit for this now I'm totally making an assumption here did you hear about the podcast through that Porsche girl,
Christina was out there she's.
On social media a lot more than I am and we were and are looking for women mechanics to help us in a future project.
And I think that's how she stumbled upon you guys nice that is so exciting that is so exciting what I would like to do.
Is pick your brain one to understand your background a little bit your background is pretty well documented so we'll probably do like the 20,000 foot View.
And also leverage your expertise to maybe educate folks on the sport that you're in.
[4:00] So why don't we back up a little bit and kind of start in the beginning how and why did you get into Motorsports.
Wow okay Motorsports I got into Motorsports around 56 years old I'm now 64 and it was,
I have to I know that sounds odd but
it was something I realized I've been telling myself for a really long time 25 or 30 years it was this subconscious thing and it was one day I'm going to race a car when I heard that voice I realized what I've been saying is like okay
you better go do that thing you've been telling yourself and I didn't have a background with cars or racing anything so it was this whole new arena for me to go into
and learn about and that's how it got going wow so you started when you're 56 years old.
[4:48] Yes and did you grow up in a family of loving cars or is just one of those things that you're drawn to it was just,
something I filled in the blank with race a car it could have been anything I could have said open an ice cream shop I mean I could have been anything in a sense it couldn't have been anything because it was something I just
it was like a dream kind of thing and out there thing that I could look forward to
get me up in the morning when I was having really really hard days I think so it was something that would have been way way out there for me and that I think that had to be why I said race a car.
That is awesome when you went to your husband and told him okay I'm going to do this what was his reaction.
[5:32] Well he has a cousin.
[5:36] Who was involved in racing a Corvette and had heard about you know Cars & Coffee and things like that so when I first mentioned it he thought I meant something like that Cars & Coffee.
Or at first maybe he didn't even take me very seriously and then it was okay you mean Cars and Coffee and it was like no no I mean racing he goes.
The main racing I said like real racing so it was this progression of multiple conversations and realizing because I didn't really know anything about racing so I didn't know what that was going to look like but it was,
both of us at the same time me exploring what that would look like and him understanding what I meant by it wow okay now you have children as well you have four children.
When you shared it with them because they would have been
in their 20s 30s somewhere in there when you started yes so our kids were all in their early to late 20s at that time and yes I have four children two boys and two girls.
it was the same for them you know there was never any resistance to my idea it was just like who are you we where did this come from there was nothing that they could
point to that would make them understand why I was even saying this so it was this whole process of them understanding and my figuring it out and it was just all hand in hand.
Now there's two questions that I'm thinking of here one do you get a lot of women that come up to you.
In their 40s and 50s saying thank you you're an inspiration to me it's crazy for me Renee because I just turned 42 couple weeks ago and,
and I'm interviewing all age ranges for my podcast and I have you know 30 year olds like literally 30 31 year olds.
Talking about how they got into the industry late at 25 and I'm sitting there like oh wow okay and it's like this whole,
thing around age like I started my podcast when I was 40 years old.
There's a lot to be done past the age of 25 you know have you had a lot of women come up to you and just say thank you.
[7:55] T me I have had a lot of women and even young girls all ages just look at me and think
thank you and that's so awesome and it's encouraging to me and I never really thought so much about my age at the time but
through their eyes I realized what an odd thing that was for me to be doing and starting at that late of an age
but yeah I think it's been really encouraging for me to hear people's feedback and their response and then I realized you know
this isn't just something that I had to go do this was actually something that was encouraging other women to do things that they've been thinking about or
or afraid to do and you know all those things the way it looks absolutely and it's not like you grew up around cars.
This was just one of those things and it's such a really cool story and the other thing is there's multiple Motorsports
different facets of Motorsports you could dive into and the process that you shared with me and arriving.
Your particular Motorsport do you care sharing that with the audience of why you chose and how you chose which racing to go into and you know it was.
[9:08] It was an ocean a preconceived idea so for instance what I mean by that is first of all I had to learn about the different kinds of racing
and the first thing I saw was you know people racing on tracks and if you know nothing about it and you've never been on a track it looks boring it just looks downright boring to go around the same thing over and over again and so that's how I
I said no I said no to that kind of racing because it just my preconceived idea that it was going to be terribly boring and when I heard about rally racing at that well that sounds exciting so that was my
my very simple process of how I got into being a rally driver I love it
and if that isn't a testament to sometimes we just overcomplicate things.
[9:56] And that's just a simple thought process behind it now not all.
Listeners may know exactly what rally racing is do you care kind of given a little definition to educate the listeners on what is Rally racing and why is it different and you kind of touched on it before it's not a track.
Like a paved track but do you care just giving a high-level definition of it sure so rally racing I would describe as,
just on roads and it can be dirt gravel tarmac any different kind of road that they choose you always have a navigator
there's different types of rally racing there's time distance or there's what I call real rally racing and I don't mean that in a derogatory way but that is where it's all about speed
and it's the same as if you are on a track where you go flat out as fast as you can and try not to wreck and be the first one to cross that finish line so what they do is
usually they'll close the road so if you have a favorite country road or Mountain Road and you sometimes say I wish I could have this whole road to myself,
that's what they do they close off the road so there's no traffic.
[11:09] And that doesn't mean people don't sneak in with their cars or you don't come across animals Etc but they
will close off a road and they say you just go for it you have the whole Road
and you just have a you know countdown and they set you off depends on the type of event maybe a one-minute or two-minute interval you have a navigator who sits next to you with a book and that book
tells them what's ahead so you're driving what you see but they're telling you what you don't see so
two three turns ahead of you so you know how fast to go into that turn where to set up for your exit what's going to be coming ahead so you visualize in your mind the road ahead.
And you just he calls your turn so they'll be a number for the difficulty of the turn and different events will have dip
different numbering and at the direction of the turn and then if there's obstacles or things maybe it's off-camber sometimes there's notes like that that go in there
and so you are he's just calling those turns and you're just going flat out for every stretch of road you can if it's a straight obviously your foot all the way to the floor and if it's a corner you're gauging how fast to go into that corner I'm trying to.
Maybe visualize isn't the right word just imagine what a.
30-second conversation because it's kind of like a conversation right so can you give like a.
[12:33] Couple liners of what a navigator would say to you as a driver.
Sure as you're preparing for maybe a turn or something yeah okay so I'll give you an example it would be something like left 330 meters right 200 meters right one.
And followed by just things like that so they'll give you the Direction with an l or Gnar.
[12:56] The number which gauges how tight that turn is and then the distance between those turns.
And he might even say straight 5 kilometers and then typically they get lost because you're driving so fast and there's so many notes and if they get lost they just say drive by sight or whatever is the phrase that you've to agreed upon.
They know and you know that their loss in the book and you just have to drive what you see and then they'll find their place again and then resume
wow I could never be a navigator for the simple fact that when I ride and try to read I get motion sickness.
[13:33] Okay I I could drive like the driving sounds real fun but wow talk about.
A team sport in every stretch of the imagination with that,
absolutely you have to have a really good rapport with your Navigator the two of you there has to be the same Mutual trust and you have to also have the same appetite for danger,
so if one of you is saying slow down in the other one is wanting to go faster that's not going to work at all so you finding that person who wants to push as hard as you do and has the same,
Comfort level with with risk
so you're on the same page right you don't want to be arguing I've seen teams with the driver in the Navigator yelling outside of the car and one of the other saying I'm not getting back in the car with you so it's really important that you have the right person sitting next to you,
on average how long are these races.
Rally events can be anywhere from a day or two to seven to ten days to a really odd one.
It's not like the typical rally but it was the Peking to Paris and that was 36 Days 9,000 miles 36 days long.
[14:46] You have to really like the person that you're working.
Yep yep you better be sure you pick the right person to be in the car with you right and just out of curiosity because one of the goals and if I misrepresent this please correct me.
[15:04] One of your goals was to race on every continent exactly yep in you're almost there exactly almost there one more continent Antarctica that's the final one that's coming up.
What was the scariest race that you have done
the scariest would definitely be the LA Carrera panamericana.
That's a seven-day rally 2,000 miles through Mexico that has a thirty percent attrition rate,
cars crashing failing and some for some reason or another it's my first year at that I did that event someone died the first morning,
cars will go off Clips it's a daily occurrence I mean it's just
high speed high risk and we've had our own accidents in that event our own close calls almost went off a cliff and in the testing of the qualifying round one time and
that race because in that race my car has been prepared that race has been on tarmac and in that race we could be but competitive so we were really pushing the envelope and.
I just have great respect for that race we earned our Stripes cut our teeth and that race and so yeah la Carrera panamericana would be it,
wow how do you keep going like when I think about those.
[16:25] Almost went off a cliff how do you kind of mentally bring yourself back.
To compete at that high level without having like PTSD or something from it.
Oh boy well I will say so that was in 2015 and literally we did go almost go off a cliff my tires were overinflated about 20 psi all the way around I was.
I'm still consider myself a new driver because of how late I started and.
I didn't know what was wrong with the car so overinflated tires and you know I could feel it but I didn't know what the Cure was and.
We were getting on the car in front of us and I should have pulled over you know if you're yelling at your Navigator something's wrong with the car
she really even though you're getting a really great time maybe you ought to pull over so I learned a lot of lessons and that one because you don't talk to your Navigator they talk to you unless you don't understand and you don't say anything you're pretty silent
and after that I will say Not only was the car it is totally a mess and it took two or three days to get it put back together I was a mess so you I just had to rethink everything because it was let's see I done the law career in my car
13:14 this would have been the third year in my car and we had one our class ones that your pride we got the second in class but we
placed really high in the overall standing and.
[17:55] It just made me question everything and had to think through everything how did I get here what what happened you know was it just a fluke.
Do I know how to drive and all those but and so through all that process like yeah Renee you here's how you got here but even yet even after re-evaluating and looking at all those things
when I got back in the car after we got it fixed I was definitely.
You know down down down the ladder in my confidence and basically had to rebuild that through every Mile and every stage of every day to get all that back and we ended up finishing second in our class but it was this huge mental
process of getting that confidence back I wasn't it wasn't a fear thing at all it was just.
The confidence factor of and then being able to get it getting there and just push push it hard again it took a while again for the listeners know when you say your car what do you drive or nay,
I drive a 1956 Porsche and the model is a 356 a Model A.
[18:56] I'm just processing this like I.
I'm making an assumption here but the there's modern technology on the vehicle no.
There's no I call I say there are no save me features on the car we have a roll cage so that's you know modern I guess you could say not really but it's an improver of
roll cage than what they would have had we do have a fire system,
write a fire extinguisher system you know some of those things like an improved fuel cell
better safety belts and they would have had in the 50s a racing seat but as far as any modern technology or what I call Save Me features we don't have those things that's a very raw rough car with.
You know all the old stuff in there and takes a lot more that was just one reason I just love that car also just takes a lot more you to bring more to the table as a driver.
And also because the engines in the back so it's not equally distributed the weight and you know it's got a lot of weight in the back it just takes.
You know how to handle it you have to learn how to handle that card it is a bit of a challenge wow you said a57 and 1957.
[20:14] 1956 15 year I was born which is so funny because I had known when I bought it it didn't even dawn on me at the time that we had the same birthday.
Wow now did you buy it and it was already prepared or you had to get it like the roll cage installed and everything.
I bought a car that needed to be prepared to be a race car a rally car it was just a,
great car for the street for driving around and had to go through that whole thing and find a car builder and
find C no work together with him learn about the options because for an event like the LA Carrera it's 2,000 miles and so you have to make a lot of decisions because
there's decisions that you can make based upon you want to be really fast or you want a really strong durable card that'll make it to all those miles and not break on you so you have constantly,
balancing those two elements and yeah I had to learn a lot get a car builder and.
Track through all those ideas and make those decisions and make it into a rally car I'm thinking that car does not have power steering.
[21:21] No it does not have to be in a again I'm piecing this together to put this together for the listeners because there's things that.
Are so common today that you don't even think that they didn't exist you know what I mean specially with younger listeners.
Right so it'll keep for example when the car was originally from the factory.
It's an improvement that we've made is that it came with drum brakes and we've put disc brakes on it so that's an improvement the car also from the factory came with a steering wheel that's as big
as a Volkswagen bus would have been a neat fact it looks the same and so and that's because to help it.
Turn because there was no power steering right so the Lord could be leveraged right the easier to turn will we've shrunk that down to a small steering wheel
a racing wheel and so it takes a lot of strength to hold that thing in to make the car to go where you want it to go,
yeah my first car did not have power steering and I'm not big m-52 in.
My brother was a football player he benched 400 pounds and he had the hardest time.
Driving my car because of not having power steering and you start to figure out.
[22:40] That once you get it going a little bit it makes it easier to turn and you start to learn these little nuances to it wow that's it exactly,
don't try to turn it to when it's dead still right no no but give it a little motion for it and it helps it helps it right absolutely.
Wow so I'm just processing this how have you been received.
You know it's imagine you walking up you have this car this 56 Porsche.
[23:14] And hey I want to turn this into a rally racing car.
[23:19] And by the way I'm the one driving it how was that received when you shopped around oh gosh.
I will say that everybody I spoke to from my card Builder to my first navigator to the people that I competed with in Mexico.
Everybody was amazing in fact I.
I didn't even think about myself as a woman driver I just thought about myself as a driver because I never felt any distinction from them and in my my own mind I don't think that way
and I was just
it was just great with there was this huge Esprit de corps and camaraderie and you know sharing Parts sharing stories helping each other get our cars fixed because you know you'd rather beat him on the road racing then you.
Then you know because their car broke down so there was just that just had an amazing experience especially in the beginning the third been something since then and,
you know outside of Mexico and some places that I've had some kind of odd response but.
Generally speaking it's been just fantastic so I'm sitting here doing the math you started rally racing when you're 56.
[24:29] You're 64 now so you're knocking on the door of doing this for a decade now.
[24:35] Can you believe that I can't believe the time has gone by so fast there's so many more things I want to do with my car.
I wish I could say slow time down right we probably all wish that.
Wow it in you know what I imagine you know you're sitting on a plane because you have to have your car shipped to these different continents right.
Mmm Yeah and I'm just envisioning this kind of casual conversation because if you're flying to different continents I imagine.
There are definitely flights that are longer than others and it casual conversation what do you do.
[25:14] Have you just had people's jaws drop when you're like well.
Gosh Jimmy you know what I'm always embarrassed to talk about it and I don't know why I don't know if it's embarrassment or.
[25:27] I don't know how to I don't know why I don't know why it's just.
I'm always reluctant to tell people and I can't answer why but
you know once I tell them yes exactly what you're saying there you know eyes get a little bigger and their mouths drop open and and then we have a lively conversation and I've gotten I've gotten better but I think I'm just,
in general not a person who talks a lot about who I am and what I do and I just think it's still getting over that I've typically I'm really shy and this racing thing is forced me even like
so now to be on your podcast I never ever would have done this I would have been too afraid so I've gained a lot of personal confidence and all but still I have this whole shy thing about me I think that's
what goes on but yes I do get some Curious expressions and a lot of questions after I tell them.
[26:21] I can only imagine because if I were the person sitting next to you and you shared that with me I would be like.
Tons of questions out of pure curiosity and there's a lot of unknown I feel in the United States around.
Rally racing in like like what you're saying there's two there's two types of rally racing but it seems more prominent in other countries and not as prominent in the United States is that in my off on that or is that accurate.
[26:55] From my understanding and my research absolutely now if you have a modern car and you want to do off-road rallying.
Or you have a truck there are definitely events here are there as many as there are another countries know.
In Europe and has a huge culture and in Latin America and in different parts of the world
but there are definitely opportunities if you want to do tarmac rallying or rallying with older cars then it becomes a smaller opportunity even in the world.
Can you said you chose the older car to challenge yourself as a driver even further.
[27:37] Yes I did I just
thought I want to drive an old car and I don't know why I thought that and then when I saw that car for the first time it was without even really knowing anything about it I just loved the way it looked and then it sounded like my.
VW Bug I had when I was in high school
and I you know drove around with all those great memories you have having fun as a kid and so I picked that car for that reason and.
[28:04] You know it's hard to find places to race an older car in rally racing that's why we've actually entered some events where
there's never been my car or it's all modern cars just to give it an opportunity to be out there and race,
yeah get back in the driver's seat as we're going through this and I realized I have never asked what did you do before.
You were a rally race driver I was a mom a four children a wife and I home educated are for kids and I did that for about 20 years and they all went off to college they.
Got academic scholarships.
[28:47] And you know I wasn't looking for something to do I was enjoying having some time to spend with my husband and do some Recreation and
no pausing in life right and relaxing a little bit and then I that's when I heard this thing in my head I'm going to race a car and it was
I wasn't a happy camper because I was actually enjoying having a little free time and and pursuing some other things so that's what I did prior to racing.
Well I tell you what the homeschooling my.
My hat is tipped to you with the pandemic and everything going on where it's flip to home schooling thank goodness for my partner's help on this but this is.
It's it's interesting and I don't think people realize how that is in itself a full-time job.
[29:40] My grandmother was a teacher for 30 years kudos to you Renee I just think about all these parents that are homeschooling now.
Who didn't choose it it got thrust upon them right and it's tough it's tough when you choose it
you know when I started in the early 80s there was no curriculum really we I had to create my own curriculum and figure out what all what it would look like right how do you homeschool.
And even with but even with having the resources today or support from a school,
it's tough is and I think especially if you don't start off when they're little and they're accustomed to you being their teacher to now put that hat on and be their teacher that's a huge Challenge and I just,
look at the parents today doing it and I say high five you guys I know it's not easy.
[30:30] Now it's probably the most frustrating thing is we'll say.
The exact same thing the teacher is saying but when the teacher said says it don't listen they won't listen to us as their parent it's like are you kidding me.
Oh goodness so
you have a navigator which is the ultimate trust exercise in my opinion.
Your most recent race and correct me if I'm wrong on this your Navigator was your daughter.
Exactly Juliette was my navigator so I work with my daughter Christina she and I are Valkyrie racing and Valkyrie gives
and if she hadn't been behind the camera I would have asked her to be in the Navigator seat but.
[31:18] She you know she was going down and had different responsibilities for our race and I decided that I really wanted a woman in the car with me and.
When I thought about my daughters in the past it was always
when you're a mom how could you ask your daughters and put them at risk in your car like that but they've been showing such a huge interest in all of it and wanting to be participants that,
Juliette just happen to have an opening in her schedule with her work and so I asked her and it was our first time in the car together and it was exceptional to have my daughter in the car and to be with a woman in the car it was it was
just amazingly awesome I just loved it we kind of talked about it before you know they always say you know don't go into business with your family member and.
This is kind of like going into business with a family member having them sits shotgun and navigate you was there a training that she had to go through.
[32:16] Juliet went with me to a rally School here in the United States it's actually outside of Austin Texas called rally ready and they worked with her some there really isn't any way to practice but.
They were mock notes from a prior event like the one we were doing and so she became familiar with that and we did a little bit of time in the car together maybe an hour
prior to the event but she and I just had to figure it out together when we got down there and.
She was a really quick study on that she's super smart and
I don't think we had more than about 30 seconds of a crossword the whole the whole time and I think what that race was I think six days of racing altogether seven day event six days of racing.
Wow which brings me to you so that was the same training that you had from that schooling for when you started your rally racing.
[33:12] Well for me to learn how to drive my car there really wasn't any opportunity because those first two or three years it was always
being worked on in the sense of being developed so whether it was the roll cage or the fuel cell like those kind of basic things were done but things to improve the car
like let's say to improving the suspension a little bit changing the drum brakes to disc brakes and different kinds of things took a period of time you know time and money those were things,
didn't have a lot of so it took a period of time and the car was never available for me to drive
the first two events that I did in Mexico literally I didn't get to even drive in the car except for maybe 30 minutes until we actually got in the race
and and then even when it was prepared to go off-road the same kind of thing you've got a chance to be in the car for maybe an hour or so before we started off roading but to practice I went to the school
and got what they call a buggy
rally buggy because the engine was in the back and it was small and lightweight similar to my car and was able to practice for a few days and Texas off road in that vehicle trying to learn how to handle a car totally handles
differently right depend upon the surface you're on whether it's wet or dry or tarmac or mud it's going to handle differently so.
That's how I trained prior to going to Africa.
[34:38] Wow of all the continents that you have raced on do you have a favorite.
[34:47] Peru was so exceptional to be down there we had a ton of car trouble on that race
in Africa we were in Kenya and Tanzania totally amazing that was loads of mud rain deep sand and stuff hard you know I had trouble with the car and both of those it's a toss-up both really
amazing people roads
change the rafts and all those African animals when you're racing was just totally wild couldn't even imagine.
Yeah it was it was it was just this happening it was just unreal and then being in Peru we were racing up to 16,000 feet in the Andes and just the landscape and the people and
even in the wildlife they have there was just all of it was otherworldly
both events I would love to go back and have the car prepared a little better we had we learned some things in both of those events and actually be able to be more competitive but
I would it's a toss-up between those two hmm do you ever stop and just kind of pinch yourself Renee like holy mackerel yes I can't believe that I'm living I'm in this it's sort of like a movie.
It's not how you really stop and think about it yeah I never imagined I'd be here I never imagined I'd be doing this it's beyond anything I could have imagined.
[36:12] And he had pinched myself and wake up it's I feel so privileged in the sense that I've had this opportunity and I've met all these amazing people and been able to work with all these amazing people and just I've been so blessed by the whole thing.
And it's also kind of LED you into.
Ultimately we talked about serendipity right how the nonprofit that you and your daughters.
[36:42] And just to just to make sure everyone picks up on this the name of your racing company is Valkyrie racing and then the name of the nonprofit is now Curry gives
Valkyrie racing Valkyrie gives in do you mind sharing why that name.
You know I'd love to share with you so Valkyries are from Norse mythology and it was their belief that Valkyries were women warriors
that would come from Valhalla which is their heaven and they would go to the battlefield and they'd rescue the wounded and the dying that were worthy and they would take them back to Valhalla they would heal them and they would Restore Life,
so I say that they were Brave courageous women with compassionate hearts and then
our whole thing was we want to be modern-day Valkyries and that's how the two came together so beautiful.
[37:36] I love that let's talk a little bit about Valkyrie gifs and the story in which.
It came about is pretty profound and pretty cool and very just Serendipity at its best.
Do you mind sharing with the listeners there are a lot of nonprofits out there a lot of different topics and focus.
And all of them are needed so how do you narrow down what am I going to spend my time and money doing.
[38:09] Do you care sharing the story around how you settled on the topic that you settled on well
just like I didn't choose to be a driver right it sort of found me was 1/2 to the whole thing of helping kids that are being trafficked
so we'll call it child trafficking
is something that found me in truly it did it was I was on a tour bus and I sat down next to a young couple and I struck up a conversation with them and you know they were asking me I was asking them about ourselves and he the man said that he worked for the FBI and he proceeded to tell me
that he posed as will call it a John a customer and he was trying to find people that were making child pornography.
Selling child pornography and using child pornography and then he would make an arrest and then testify against them and
you try to get a conviction and get these people putting jail I knew nothing about any of this and when I heard about it it was just.
Awful awful and it gripped my heart and it was something that I wanted to learn more about and so I got his contact information and we had several conversations and through that I realized how.
The pornography feeds into the use of children right the buying of children to act out what they see.
[39:33] And how they're can so connected and then of course through the internet you can do so much research and I learned a lot more about it and then I had this
ex nother experience not long after this first one where I sat next to a man on a rental car bus
to pick up a vehicle and set that sat down next time just glanced over and he had his phone out and I saw what was on his phone and it was a picture of a very young child a pornographic picture of a very young child
and I don't believe in coincidences and I just knew that this thing was knocking on my door,
and I was supposed to do something about it and those two things just those two experiences pushed me into.
[40:18] Believing in feeling and going into doing something about kids being trafficked,
so you know ugly topic and I thought car you kidding me because we knew we wanted to do something with our racing because we
we realized we had a voice because of how hot it is an older car older woman and then we were having success that we could talk about what we cared about and we were doing things for children to Mexico when we would go down there but we wanted to have
a bigger impact and this thing at the same time was happening and it was this is really a hard topic you know how we going to
how are we going to message this and but it was like we can we can find a way and we can do this and as it was I we have to do this and that's how it all got started I have to share with the listeners because it.
And I and I share this with you to Renee when the links were sent to me and I started digging in and doing my research.
I obviously went in and looked into not only Valkyrie racing but Valkyrie gives.
And I started going through that content and I literally shut down I close out my internet because.
[41:32] It's hard it's a hard topic I have a 12 year old daughter and.
[41:40] A lot of this stuff when I have heard about it and researched that's.
[41:46] That's the age that they look into a lot of the taking children and selling them it's like a parent's worst nightmare in going there and it being in my face like that it was hard for me to even.
[42:00] Even look at in like really process and I forced myself to go back in.
[42:07] And dig into it some more so it's a topic that is very heavy.
[42:17] And so needed sometimes I feel like people avoid it and I'll raise my hand and say I closed it out because we don't want to see it.
Because it is so heavy and it's necessary we need to look at it yeah.
You're right Jamie and also you know a lot of the ideas that we have are that happens over there meaning across the world in another country right but to realize it happens in our country.
And the story is the same like you were saying the age typically of the children and the story of how they get you know drawn into it is similar in so many ways and then.
[43:02] Yeah we just think
it's not in our neighborhood it's not in our backyard but it is in our neighborhood and it is in our state and it is in our suburb or wherever we live and it is happening if anybody has a computer and there
their internet if they're involved in child pornography than they're involved in child trafficking and
it's a global problem it's a hundred and fifty billion dollar.
Industry annually and its second to drug trafficking but unlike drug trafficking where,
it's a commodity that's bought once you know it's a consumable people and children aren't consumables in the sense that they can be sold over and over and over again every single day
and until they die or they commit suicide or
whatever happens right over tragic and they're they're very valuable to those that went want to sell them and.
[43:59] There's 25 to 40 million victims of human trafficking in the world and twenty to twenty-five percent of those are children and so if you look at those numbers.
That's a lot of kids that's 5 to 8 million children and we always ask ourselves what's the life of one child worth and what would you do if that was your child what to what extent would you go
to rescue your child to get your child back to try to give your child back it's in a sense it's dreams and all those things so.
Yeah we're definitely in this and in every way we have three things right our time our talent and our money and my daughter and I.
[44:39] Work on this
non-stop all day this is what we're what we care about I mean our racing is pretty much put on hold right now so it's giving us even more time to to do something about this which is actually this wonderful thing that's come out of covid
and it is dark it is ugly and like you said it but it needs to be talked about and it's just slavery
it's just modern slavery of children and of the worst kind because it's usually they're sold for sex yes they're sold for labor but it's primarily sex and even as young as like that man I met in the FBI he was dealing with children that were too young
to speak so that's what is that five four years old and young my God that's the age for the child pornography because
those children can't go tell their parents,
they can't talk to them and tell them hey this happened to me today or you know they can't Converse right so that was the that was what he was working with yes
chopped my pornography happens to Elementary age children and older children in fact that's how they letter X Force girls into
being trafficked for sex is they photograph them or they get them to send photos and then they shame them or blackmail them into you need to do this or I'm going to show these photos right I'm going to put them out there in social media or I'm going to contact your family or
all the other things that they tell them right.
[46:08] Oh yeah I will I won't go into that anymore but yes you're right it's something we definitely need to be talking about and definitely need to be doing something about.
[46:18] I mean we don't have to get into the details but you've actually gotten in one step further involved in helping the FBI as well which is amazing.
[46:33] Well I have volunteered after I had to go through extensive interview processes and testing and all but I volunteered to do undercover work for actually foreign.
Agencies foreign governments their law enforcement working with local Nationals.
Local like National strife and in different areas in foreign countries to go in and get the evidence needed because they can't go in without a warrant and a lot of those places need foreigners because foreigners are,
a lot of times the buyers so I've gone in with a small group of people where we've had undercover gear and we've gone
in and gotten evidence in a video and
tape recordings you know voice and video recordings to give to the police to document underage children that we have found that we're being sold.
And yeah we've done that now the people I've worked with they've either been either working in the law enforcement and the United States or
in some branch of this at home here in the United States but we aren't working for the FBI we're working for the for the countries in which we do our work
for their law enforcement got it got it.
[47:50] Wow I mean isn't that terrified I mean the first time that you did that where you just.
[47:59] Scared to death are you just kind of get in the zone and you do it Jamie I just.
I don't know what it is I think it's just we're all made differently right and so for me it was like you said you kind of got into Zone you just get into the zone and you it's like you're acting.
In his play and this is your role this is your name you have a name right you have an alias and you have a story of what you're there for what you're doing
and then you just go go do that and you know I've had my bag checked
and they didn't find the you know the gear which was great but I have to say just like with racing I'm typically not afraid it's you know you just get in that bubble you get in that zone you purpose to do something and then you go do it,
afterwards you think about it but at the time it's you know you're just you're just going you're just doing it.
[48:52] Wow I have so much respect for you and you know I love driving.
I love the purpose that and I love the name I love everything about it to be perfectly honest and what you stand for and what you and your girls bring to the table and.
Wow I'm just.
So many questions I could turn this into a series and I'm sure there's going to be women in probably men as well as like why didn't you ask Renee this like.
Because it's just an hour long interview you can't get it all in unfortunately so who knows maybe they'll be a virgin or a series or a second episode follow-up episode after you complete your Antarctica.
And you have officially raced on every continent in one away.
Kudos to you ride a I think this is probably a great time.
To launch into the Red Line Round And what the redline round is is just five rapid-fire questions there's no right or wrong answer to it whatever pops into your head is the right answer are you ready.
Oh my gosh okay all right I'm going to try all right Renee who or what has been your inspiration throughout your journey and the Motorsports industry.
[50:17] Well I would say Doug Market he's an older gentleman he's probably
I would say Doug forgive me if you hear this pushing 80 and he has he races in the LA Carrera panamericana every year and another race just like it he's always in the top one two three.
People at in the whole event where he places and he's racing against guys in their Prime in their 30s and he just goes all out in this old early 50s Oldsmobile Oldsmobile
he's his ain't from the first time I raced he was there he was a friend and encourager and he's just been such an inspiration to me I just hope that when I'm his age I will still be doing everything flat out the way he does.
[51:05] Oh I love it the in Renee this kind of makes me think about this when we talk about Prime in a in age we think of.
Do you have a I don't know a workout regime or anything that you do because when you think about not having power steering and I don't want to assume is your car standard or automatic.
[51:29] Manuel it's a standard is it a 6-speed.
No it's typically a 4-speed but recently it's been a 5-speed got it okay so when I think about all of those things is there.
I don't know recommendation that you typically follow just to stay fit to do that,
definitely you know you have to eat well don't you because you've got to have stamina those are really long days and then I do train I I workout doing weights and
cardio all that stuff you've got to be fit right just like anything it's a sport it's a you have to be an athlete and I do work out.
That is outstanding all right number two where do you go or what resources do you use when you want to learn something new or you get stuck.
[52:22] I love to read and I love to read books like in my hand so I'll actually go online and search or talk to people that
you know have maybe the answers to my questions if I can get cancer from someone first I do but if not then you know I just love to dig in and just.
[52:40] Read about as much as I can what was the last book that you read the last book I read was old man in the sea I'd read that about a week ago Ernest Hemingway
it's just an old favorite of mine nice Renee what excites you most about what you do.
[52:59] Helping people being and being when I say helping people more specifically.
Seeing those those women that wait for us at the end of a really long day that they've had to stand there for an hour or two waiting for us to come in and this and they're from all ages from you know
four and five years old two grandmothers and
Tim just with their smiling faces and their enthusiasm for what we're doing and they're hugs and their kisses and their encouragement I just and then they will cry and
and just all of that just having that time with them those other women it it's so meaningful and then the team having the people that I've had the privilege and honor to work with on my team
whether it's my children my daughters
my family and just the mechanics and the car builders and all and they've just had so much passion and we've all had this respect and camaraderie it's.
[53:52] I've met the most wonderful people.
[53:55] What was this isn't part of the redline question but this is just out of pure curiosity what was it like for you that first time.
That you had those girls or women literally just crying over seeing.
[54:13] Like you being an inspiration what was that like for the first time seeing that because you shared with me how you came into this not thinking that it's a male-dominated.
[54:23] You know Motorsport or industry you came into this just not to do that per se but just hey this is on my bucket list and I'm drawn to do this what was that like.
Seeing firsthand the impact that you're making knowing that that's not what you really came to do but it was a byproduct well,
I think when we talked last week it was really I was going to do this one time and that was it but because of those experiences that you're talking about with
those young girls and those women to have what they gave me and what I was able to share with them and give them a wee there's this whole exchange of our soul and our heart and we lading even if we didn't speak the same language
that to me just became like this driving force to keep doing it
and for me that that is been one of the most amazing part that I felt so blessed by I was just so surprised like you said I didn't know it was a male Sport and then to see their reaction
and all it was wow it was it was just all the more reason just to keep doing it hmm it's beautiful.
[55:31] What is a personal habit or practice that has helped you significantly when you feel stuck or discouraged.
Jayme I pray I believe in God and that's what I do I just you know there's that verse that says.
[55:46] Cast all your cares upon Him for he cares for you and I just like.
Talk to God and tell him all that stuff and then just try to let go of it and just take the next step forward and that's my go-to.
I just got chills it's so simple you know it's so simple.
[56:06] Finally what is your parting advice to other Femcanics' finding their way in the Motorsports industry.
[56:15] Don't say you can't don't let other say you can't I call in the naysayers tune amout be respectful nod your head smile.
Let them say their piece but just go on and do what you're going to do and don't second-guess yourself and don't have to figure it out you'll learn as you go
that's just to me over and over again is I've been we've been learning as we go as you go and do it you figure it out and it's the best way you learn what you shouldn't do and what you should do,
you know it just does doors just keep opening and it just happens for you but if you have something that you thought about doing don't wait just go out and get going don't wait till everything's in place or an order
and then also just to push your envelope push your limits through doing all that you'll learn so much about yourself and your grow in
to me that's you know one of those things in life that we all need to be doing is growing and changing in the end there and therefore we're better for ourselves and better for everybody else.
Beautifully said my friend Renee where and how can people connect with you and Valkyrie racing or Valkyrie gives.
[57:21] Well we're online we have websites so it's VA L KY R ie,
racing.com or Valkyrie gives.com those to website sort of
connect back and forth right we are on Instagram and I think it's Valkyrie underscore racing,
contact us if you have questions you know there's this you can email us if you want to know something
reach out with love to hear from you and we'd love your support we're on a campaign of raising money you can't do anything,
without money I mean we can talk about it
but you have to fund whether it's rescuing kids are educating or doing Rehabilitation all that takes money and every single dollar that comes into Valkyrie gives goes out I don't have a salary my daughter doesn't get paid to anything we do for valkyrie gifts we have no overhead zero percent overhead
we vet all these ngos where people literally are wish risking their lives some of them are literally risking their lives
death threats turn people that are disrupting their business with rescuing kids and
we've targeted people that need our help that we that we want to help and that.
[58:31] We just need the money to do it hmm thank you for doing what you do Renee and thank you so much for being in the driver's seat today and thank you to both of your daughters as well,
because I know being the person that you are you're very humble and.
You'd probably give way more credit to both of your daughters and.
I know it's an absolute team effort so thank you to you and both of your children and your family for supporting you I know all of this is a big team effort there.
[59:03] You're exactly right Jayme it couldn't do any of it without him and family right and attain surrounded by.
Those amazing supportive loving people and thanks I'll pass on the word to them absolutely thanks again Renee thank you Jayme bye-bye.
[59:30] Kristen Hope Migas is in the driver seat next she grew up with a strong passion for racing and badass cars and trucks.
After attending the Monster Jam World Finals she made a decision at 16 years old to pursue a monster truck racing career.
She has raced under five different truck identities.
Monster Mutt Dalmatian Raising Cain megalodon ice cream man and now wolf's head.
Be sure to tune in next week until next time Femcanic.
[1:00:03] Thanks for listening to the Femcanic Garage podcast you can find us on Instagram Facebook and Twitter at Femcanic Garage,
check out our websiteFemcanic Garage.com for swag in the transcribes for each episode.
[1:00:19] If you want to help grow this community do me a favor and subscribe rate review and most importantly share this.
[1:00:29] Spread the word this is Jayme B signing off. ARE YOU A FEMCANIC?