I’m gonna tell you something that might surprise you, coming from me - that is - if you’ve known me, especially the balls to the wall do anything for competition live to fight another day me…
None of this racing bullshit matters. NONE.
Not the who-do-you-train-with and what-facility-do-you-live-at and what-qualifier-are-you-racing and which-class-A-diesel-pusher-can-you-finance-on-a-second-home-mortgage or how-many-bikes-can-you-get-delivered-via-crate and especially not how-many-god-forsaken-likes-on-Tik-Tok-the-video-of-your-kid-hucking-some-stupid-jump-she-probably-shouldn’t-be-trying-yet-anyway gets.
Gut check. Mad that I said it? Then I’m talking to you, homie. Do you say “we gotta push harder in this corner” or “we gotta get a better start?” Unless your kid has you riding in a back pack stuffed on the seat of their supermini, you ain’t starting with them. There’s no we. You’re a team, and you’re doing a lot of hard work there, MotoDad, but your life isn’t on the line, literally, when that gate drops. Your child’s life, however, is.
That corner he dabbled his foot in and it cost him a position? Really… it probably doesn’t matter. Unless it's the 450 Supercross Championship, it certainly won't matter next year.
This weekend MotoMan and I had some racing family friends stay with us. We talked about motocross and the changes over the last several decades. The way the industrialization and the facade of glitz and glamour have pulled many cords of change into this new era. We talked about broken bones. Broken bank accounts. Broken families, mine not withstanding.
All for the glory of the checkered flag. Which brings me back to this: none of this bs matters.
If you’re out there throwing goggles, mother effin’ little Knox because he can’t pull his head out of his ass and catch that kid that sucks and somehow passed him on a day that Knox was struggling, then you should put a for sale sign on it all and walk away. As I told my friend, telling your kid he sucked doesn’t help either of you.
Know how I know? I have done it. Lord, do I wish I could take it back. I have stood at the first turn of a scary track screaming at my six or seven year old child to “jump the god damn jump” more than I care to admit, and it breaks my heart. He became a champion, sure. But at what cost? I hope most never have to see the price I (we- he, his father, and I) paid for these transgressions.
Because it was bullshit. He would have done it on his own eventually. But I pushed hard and fast and too much and too early. And for a time it broke him. And me. And then our family. Those types of circumstances shouldn’t have happened. They didn’t matter.
What matters is a hug after the finish line, regardless of place. What matters is telling your daughter, even if you think she really did suck, “Honey, I’m proud you're my kid,” when you’re loading up the truck. What matters are the hours spent driving race to race, joking and laughing. The campfire meals shared with family both blood and bond. What matters are the memories you’ll have of these moments when all you have are memories. P1 doesn't matter. Neither does any other spot - except that you're together and happy.
The motocross lifestyle isn’t for the weak or the weary. But it can make you that way in a heartbeat. Being a hard ass parent for your racer may help them improve, but remember the end game - they probably aren’t going to be Justin Brayton. Even less likely will they be Ken Roczen. So while this type of racing DOES NOT MATTER, I challenge you to think of what does. Write it out and stick it on the fridge in the garage, the pit board in the trailer and on your own bathroom mirror.
For when you look at yourself as your child looks to you - remember what matters to you both, and why you’re there.
Because if it isn’t for the love of each other and sport, it really doesn’t matter.
MotoMom is back.