After a round one loss today at the Northwest Nationals, I was feeling particularly down. I happened to stumble upon a quote that couldn’t be more fitting: “A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning” By Pat Riley (the basketball coach). This quote really got me thinking about my motivation for drag racing, specifically what my motivation consists of.
In this thought process, I realized that drag racing is not about winning. To many of you, this may seem like a cop-out statement. But I truly believe that you can learn the most from the moments in which you lose. Drag racing is a particularly interesting sport in that most participants lose a majority of the time. How does one keep up motivation with the odds so highly stacked against them? In my short three years in drag racing, I have seen racers lose passion, desire and motivation for the sport. It always saddens me when I see this, as I have yet to feel that way.
Our win the other weekend really opened the doors to so many things for us. We both felt as though we no longer had any barriers holding us back. Coming into the race this weekend, we both had endless confidence. However, our first round loss left us more frustrated than we had been in a long time. As I read the quote about motivation on our way home today, I suddenly realized why I love drag racing. I love drag racing because it forces me to know myself and what I’m capable of, and always leaves me craving more. At the end of a race I desire to know the car better, the track better, and myself better.
It is important to note that winning plays a very small role in my motivation. Winning is the result of all this hard work. But if you strive for the result, you miss all of the important steps along the way. For instance, you cannot win the race in round one. You win a race by consistently repeating those important steps time and time again. And without the motivation to continue, quite often without the reward of winning, drag racing can be quite painful.
I’ve finally realized that the passion for drag racing comes from within. I love this sport for what it brings out in me. I am constantly striving to improve and that is enough motivation for me. I only hope I can continue to remember this important lesson.