This article is a commentary I wrote for Offroad Junkies about the life we live.. kind of. Anyway, check it out.
Think about the people you see on regular occasions at various races. Not just your friends but also the people you just kind of see around the track. Chances are you’ve got several people in mind. Now, how much do you know about them? Not their results, stats or whatever, but them as people.
I’ve been fortunate to spend time away from the track with more than a few riders. We all come from different states, different countries, different backgrounds, and more. However, no matter who it is, we all share the same passion. Sure, the level of commitment to the sport changes from person to person but the truly committed ones all have this same passion that nothing else can replace.
Now, how many of you do everything you can to make it to the races? Well, chances are if we all knew more about each other, it would be scary how many of us make so many sacrifices to be able to race. It would surprise you how many people struggle to make it happen financially but somehow still manage to make it to a race.
That my friends is what we call, commitment.
How many of us stress out so much over the logistics of making a race? Probably more than you imagine. How about making things come together at the last minute?
Yes, we all struggle, stress, yell, throw stuff and just generally freak out about the logistics, but we all know we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s the life we all choose and we know that it’s all worth it in the end.
AC/DC said, “for those about to rock, we salute you.” Well, how about for those about to race? I know I salute you.
For those who wake up early and go to bed late because you try to balance training, maintenance, work or school and life in general. For those who have spent all night driving home to make it to work the next morning. For those who have drove all night TO a race because you had to work. For those who wake up in the morning feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.. For all of you, I salute you.
Think about any given race weekend for yourself. If you contest the GNCC series, chances are you’re spending a lot of time on the road. If you mostly race with your local or regional series, you probably still spending a fair amount of time driving. That’s just a part of it that you’ve come to expect. While the driving may not be glamorous or too much fun, a lot of us try to make the best of it and try to make it cheaper as well when you add in more of your friends.
How about us at Offroad Junkies? Well, a typical weekend where Rob, Charkie and I ride to a race together, it usually begins Saturday afternoon when Charkie gets off work, then the majority of Saturday evening and night are spend driving to where ever we’re going. The races closer to us are a little different as we may drive separate and all show up when ever. However, we apparently try to make the most fun we can. Our July trip to the CRA race in Pennsylvania saw us stuck in bumper to bumper slow moving traffic on I-77 in Virginia for a while. Well, we made the best of this by rocking out to some Kenny Loggins. I’m sure a lot of you have done the same… Well, maybe not Kenny Loggins but you know what I’m saying.
It’s moments like that when you have to look at your current point in life and racing and realize that you’re really living it up. Honestly, when I talk to people I knew in high school and they’re always just working or going to college, its hard to not feel bad for them because it seems like they don’t have the ultimate hobby that we all do. However, they probably look at us and think we’re crazy for spending all our time and money traveling around beating ourselves up.
When you sit back and look at the lives we all lead being committed to the sport, you know that through it all, we all just want to have fun. The hard part is overcoming all the stress we endure while trying to get there but when we do, we all know it’s totally worth it.
So to sum it all up, never forget that being involved in this sport is something special. It’s more than just a hobby or a passion, it becomes a way of life, and if you’re like me, you wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.