We've featured a number of MCRA Grid Girls to date. Now, it's time to introduce their ringleader.
Every successful group has a driving force. Often, a team's captain will be an experienced player who's been there, done that and knows the ropes but is still capable of playing at the top level. If you've made it past the pictures and actually took time to read the bios of the girls we've featured so far, you'll have noticed that each and every one of them has far more than good looks going for her. The theme of the MCRA Grid Girl program is that its young ladies need to be smart, impressive, accomplished go-getters who, if it matters, also happen to be drop-dead beautiful. If you're thinking that their leader must be one very impressive woman, you're right.
Christine Newman-Selbert, aka Chrissycat or Sweet-Tea, was born June 22. No, she's not going to tell exactly which June. Chrissy describes herself as a true daddy's girl, which is to say that her father had no sons! This might explain why one of her favorite activities is fishing, which she's done using both traditional and, um, alternitave methods. Selbert won't claim that she's proud of it, but she's been frog giggin' and noodlin!
This country girl was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and grew up on the Arkansas River Bend in Pawnee County. Chrissy fondly recalls that she learned life's lessons on the red dirt back roads of Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. Tomboy though she might be, Selbert has a decidedly feminine side as well. She's always enjoyed the fashion industry and would have loved to have been a designer or make up artist. Chrissy told us, "I used to dress my sisters up and make them 'walk the runway' when we were children!" She also trained in classical ballet, as well as learning to play the saxophone, piano, and harmonica.
As you may have noticed from past MCRA Grid Girl articles, this group of women stomps all over the "GED and a G-String" stereotype. As squad leader, Selbert's own educational background is perhaps the most impressive of the lot. She's studied fine arts and medicine, biology and chemistry. Chrissy is into Quantum Physics and Christian History, including study of the Bible. She holds a degree in nursing and was listed in the Cambridge Who's Who of Professional Women, 2005. Selbert also has extensive training in elder care, is an elder mentor and a member of the Alzheimer's Association of Greater St. Louis. She is currently employed with Orthopedic Associates P.C., Des Peres, Missouri, working as an assistant to a "Physiatrist;" a rehabilitation physician who is an expert in nerve, muscle and bone movement. This branch of medicine specializes in treating such diseases, injuries or other afflictions without surgery. Orthopedic medicine is another area of expertise for Chrissy, and it was there that she met her now-husband, accomplished club and privateer pro racer and MCRA President Jeff Selbert. Says Chrissy, "He came into my E.R. after high siding or tucking when he should have gone wide, or whatever it was that happened on that track in Hallett, Oklahoma, 15 years ago!"
Mrs. Selbert has plenty of other interests. She tells us, "I wanted to learn fly fishing but there's not enough adrenaline in it for my husband! Dirt bike riding is another love of mine but my truest passion is for superbikes! I will never ride one alone; my husband doesn't trust that I won’t beat him on the track, so I'm left dragging my knee off the back of his bike. I have been involved with MCRA for the past 15 years alongside my husband Jeff. I founded the MCRA Grid Girls and am currently their coordinator. It took about three years to get our group together and functioning the way we do now. Not only is it fun for the girls to be involved but it also adds a level of professionalism to the MCRA program that most clubs can't match. I also am the designer of the uniforms and shirts that are worn by the various officials who run the club and put on our events."
Aside from being a full-time medical professional and a part-time captain of an umbrella and trophy girl squad, Chrissy Selbert is also a mother and grandmother! As hard as this might be to believe, it does account for her unwillingness to divulge the year of her birth. Of the many facets that make up Chrissy, it is her maternal instinct that truly defines her. Says Selbert, "My truest loves are my four beautiful sons and my grandsons, whom I can't imagine life without. Also, we rescue a lot of lost or abused animals. We have four Border Collies, a Pit Bull, two Mini Dachshunds and a pet turtle, named Speedy, of course!"
Every rider wants to take home the trophy girl. Failing that, those of us who crash may imagine charming the nurse who attends us as we recover from our heroic wounds. Just when we'd reached the age where we could see these musings for the childish fantasies that they were, along came Chrissy Selbert to prove that sometimes, dream girls really do exist. Problem is, she's taken; and by a guy who's WAY faster than most of us will ever be. Still, if one such girl is out there, maybe it could happen again! Hey, we can hope....