Sunday, June 22, 2014
What Are You Racing For?
Basically in everything I do I observe and question anything and everything. Inspiration is everywhere. I came across something the other day, a question really, that said, "What are you living for?". In my brain I begin to ponder this thought and while I'm at a race this question begins to gnaw at my mind. I see drivers as I look around who are all busy getting prepared for the night and I begin to take the question and turn it into, "What are these guys racing for?". Is it for fame and glory? Is it for reliving memories they're trying to recapture? Is it for the people around them or is it just for them? Are they giving back as much as they are taking? I could never answer these questions for someone else, especially a driver. Only they know their reasons and if they give as much as they should.
The best part of what I do is getting to see for myself the different natures and personalities of the drivers I come across. I have no particular thought on how a person should be. Whether good or bad, I make no judgement as to how or what they do. There are many flip sides of these drivers. Some good and some bad and all unique. Their personalities at the races seem to have a direct connection with what in my opinion, is what they race for. This is only my assumption and do not judge one way or another on how they should act or conduct their life. One type would be the driver who races for fame and glory. This driver tends to want their name known far and wide and with as much notoriety as possible. He only sees a check and a trophy at the end of the night. The driver may carry him or herself with a certain arrogance at the track because they have came for one thing only and that's the glory of their name being the top of the list at the end of the night.
He cares very little for anything else or anyone else around him at the track. It's an ego thing and they carry it like a flag. Ego drives everything they do. There isn't anything wrong with this. Most of these guys can be very successful just because of this and you have to carry some sort of ego to know you can do something as hard as wheel the race car around the race track because no confidence in yourself and your driving will send you straight to the back. Fame and glory are things that are fine to race for but are they purely selfish reasons? Is it selfish for someone to race only out of pure ego and fame? Some can say yes, because you only have yourself to look out for and some say no, you have no regard for anyone else. Neither is right and neither is wrong, everyone is entitled to their lives and opinions.
The other driver I notice is the one racing for a memory he's trying so hard to recapture. Maybe it was a time past when he was at the top of the game or maybe to bring himself closer to a family member that isn't around any longer. This driver tends to be more quiet and to himself at the track. They tend to have more on their mind and the memory they are carrying with them can be good, in which case he'll look a little more at his car or the track while figuring out what tires to run or what springs to run and suddenly get quiet and maybe a small smile will creep across their face at some memory that brings back a happy thought of something a loved one would have told them before they get back to the work at hand. Or, it could be a memory that could be good but brings some pain with it. Not quite having gotten over a lost loved one they can carry that around with them and the pain with it so that the feeling and burden they carry is felt by anyone around. Racing for these memories can bring such happiness at the end of a long night that they appreciate the race for giving them those small memories again or it can bring such pain for these people at the end of the night they just want to load up and go home. The driver trying to recapture a time past in their career will either look at the night as a challenge and hopefulness to feel a high again they might not have felt in a while or if they haven't realized that time has past, and to be grateful for what it was, will have the most frustration and disappointment when things don't happen the way they wanted and some will even look at themselves as a failure. They are not a failure. Getting to the track, busting your tail even if you win or not is never a failure. Not showing up would be a failure.
If they are racing to get back something they've lost they tend to be a quieter more thoughtful personality. He's to himself more than the other drivers because it seems to me that he has more on his mind than the others. This driver doesn't give much of himself away and hides most of his thoughts from everyone but himself. It's much higher stakes in racing for them than just the checkered flag at the end of the night. It's more personal than that. No amount of fame and glory can replace the memory that they carry with them and the feeling of bringing themselves as close to bringing it to life as possible can never be equaled. I have learned that stopping to talk with them will, after a while, produce the memory that they are holding onto. They may tell you about a race they won or a season they dominated or a grandfather or father that used to go to the races with them every week. I love people's stories. I like to know people and especially when I get a little glimpse into someone's heart and soul I get to relate more to them. Sometimes the driver will share these personal stories and sometimes they don't. I'm always humbled that they think enough to let me see what is a personal part of their lives.
Another driver I've seen is the one who races for everyone around them but themselves. He or she is racing for a sponsor, friends who've tagged along and expect their guy or gal to finish first, or the throngs of family members who come to support them, or it could be a dad or mom who expects you to achieve only the best. This driver is ran ragged tending to a car and tending to everyone else that is there with them. The frazzled look on their faces say everything you need to know about what they are racing for that night. They are racing for others and truly are missing out on just racing for the fun of it. Everyone's opinions get thrown at the driver and creates a problem as to which direction they should go. He is driving to please someone else, for acceptance of others, and to make someone else happy. This is a selfless trait that is true, but it's costing them more than they know. Racing should be something you want and something you enjoy, not something everyone expects from you. You take away the true spirit and fun of racing when this happens. The upside to these people is that they are some of the most giving people you will meet. They want to take care of everyone else and will give you the shirt off their back.
Whatever the reasons a driver is racing for, memories, fame and glory, family and friends, or for the plain fun and enjoyment of it, the main thing they need to ask themselves is, "Are you giving back what you're getting in return?". For all these things you race for are you giving back to the sport and whatever gets you to the track as much as you should? Do you invest in racing all that it's giving to you? Do you give back to the people who are helping you get there? How many drivers are getting what it is that racing is giving them by having people help them get there in the first place and are you giving back to these people in kind? The laws of nature in my mind are give back what you get and you will continue to receive what it is you need. Whatever your reasons are, racing is giving you something and the people that get you there are giving you something. Are you returning the favor? There is no right and no wrong in your reasons there is only right and wrong in how you return the favor. Remember, in life and racing, you will only ever get out what it is you put in. Only you can tell if it's enough.