Over the past several years I have traveled around America for R/C car racing, motocross, and UTV (side by side) racing events. While all three are very different forms of racing, they all share one thing in common; racers racing for the wrong reasons. In my opinion the number of racers racing for the wrong reasons has grown out of control; let me explain.
“…chasing a dream and doing what you love is worth everything you’ve got.”
In motocross and UTV racing, it seems as though many racers’ primary focus is making a paycheck. More and more racers are avoiding events that don’t offer cash payouts or purse money for the winners. In R/C car racing it seems as though many racers’ primary focus is getting a trophy to add to their resume, or simply becoming a sponsored driver. More and more racers avoid the everyday club races and local events that don’t offer elaborate awards, or results that will look good on a resume. Where is the love for the hobby anymore?
There was a time that racers simply raced because they loved to race. They didn’t expect anything more than happiness out of it. A result of those guys’ love for racing eventually evolved into getting paid to race. Notice the order of that progression—first love for the sport, then getting paid. It seems that many people nowadays have this order in reverse; race to get sponsored/paid, and hope to love it. The time of racing purely for the love of the sport has passed for many, and today too many racers will only race for some sort of reward for doing so.
At the age of 5, my parents quickly realized that traditional sports were not my strong point as I ran like duck, threw a ball like a sissy, and couldn’t swing a bat to save my life. That is when I received my first dirt bike. For the next 13 years of my life we traveled week in and week out around the country racing motocross as a family. Today, I have countless scars, have spent 30+ hours in surgeries, was told I wouldn’t live more than a few hours, and am paralyzed from the chest down because of it. I don’t regret a single moment from that time, and wouldn’t change the past even if I could. Why? Because I did it all for the LOVE of racing. No amount of money, no trophy, and no sponsorship is worth risking your life for, but chasing a dream and doing what you love is worth everything you’ve got.
If you don’t truly love what you’re doing, racing or not, then quit and find something you do love. Life is too short. If you are racing only for the money, the trophies, and fame/sponsorship then you’re racing for all the wrong reasons. I suggest you get a side job at McDonald’s instead. There you will find a guaranteed paycheck, an employee of the month award, and a sponsorship discount for anything on the menu.