Motivational Monday ~ Lessons in Motocross

3 Sep

My husband and my teenage sons live and breathe motocross. Me? Not so much. It’s not because I don’t support my family. It’s because I don’t have the stomach for it. Let’s just say, I like “having watched.” I don’t enjoy the actual watching. My insides twist into knots. I don’t actually breathe until they reach the checkered flag. If you’ve ever watched motocross, you’ll understand why.*

Yet, yesterday, I went and watched my two teenage sons race.  I force myself to do it a few times a year. The first race, thirty-bikes roared to life at the starting gate. I stood at the top of the hill about twenty feet from the holeshot.

(According to Wikepedia: The holeshot is a term used primarily in motorcycle racing[1] (but also motorsport racing in general) for the rider who is the first one through the first turn….Many motorcycle racers consider the start to be the most important part of a race, and it is particularly important in those forms of the sport where the tracks are very small, tight and difficult to pass on. )

As the bikes rounded the first curve on the dark brown soil, the first guy went down. Then another. And another. The deafening roar of the bikes filled my ears. I saw my son’s number in the heap. The riders lucky enough not to be caught up in the pileup, roared past. One by one, each of the downed riders got their bikes up. My son got back on his bike and tried to kick start it. The bike didn’t start up. He made a few quick adjustments and gave it another shot.  It fired to life. He roared up the hill at the back of the pack.

I jogged around to the other part of the observation area to see more of the  track. The bikes flew over jumps, navigated ruts, and finally made it to the checkered flag. When I caught up with my son in the pits, he was annoyed. A kid had rammed into his back tire and knocked him down on another part of the track. (This was after the pileup near the holeshot.) According to him, three subsequent riders rode over him. Yet, my son got up and finished the race. He came in last, but he finished.

Later that day, in the second heat, he came in seventh. A marked improvement.

This past weekend, my son raced for the first time since Memorial Day due to equipment issues. As my boys get back into the sport, each will steadily improve. All this got me thinking how a motocross race is a metaphor for writing for publication.

All the riders (writers) are lined up at the starting gate and they’re all gunning for the holeshot (publication.) Some of the riders are going to get knocked off the track. They’ll go down. (Rejection.) Who’s going to get back up and keep going despite obstacles? Other writers are going to go roaring past us. Heck, some will even run us over. But do we have the stamina, the determination, to finish? To keep pursuing our dreams despite getting bruised and beaten?
Out on the racetrack, my boys are some of the bravest  kids I know. Yeah, they take after their father. I am going to model their fearlessness in my new career as an author. Other authors might go roaring past me with their sales rankings, but I’m still riding along. Each day I write, will be a day I become a better writer. I will finish this book, then write another. I will enjoy the journey. Someday I might just win the race.

What hurdles have you had to overcome to achieve your goals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Cheers,

Alison Stone

*Despite the fact that the men in my life are motocross 24/7, I have not absorbed the lingo. I fully realize I am motocross illiterate. One day, I will learn. 🙂

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2 Responses to “Motivational Monday ~ Lessons in Motocross”

  1. Carey Baldwin September 3, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Great post Alison,
    It is so easy to get discouraged as a writer and compare ourselves to others. It’s even easier to let ourselves get knocked down by a bad review or a careless comment. And when life gets tough, it’s hard to sit down and believe in yourself enough to write. My life has been tough lately. I recently lost my father after a tough bout with cancer, and I haven’t written in quite a while. Today I am begging off of the in-laws barbeque so I can write. Your post was a big help today. Thanks! PS Wish me luck. I have a great story. All I have to do is tell it!

    • Alison Stone September 3, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      Carey, I am so sorry about your loss. It’s tough to lose a parent.

      Here’s to good writing vibes. I’ll be joining you (writing)…pool side. As long as the bees leave me alone. I can’t wait to read your next story.

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂 It thrills me that my post helped you today.

      Alison

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