I’d love to say that #1 is to have fun…but in order to have fun I have to be competitive first.
My primary goal last year was to get my nephew into racing. Since my wife and I chose not to have children we made the decision to give our nephew every opportunity that I wish I had as a child. We accomplished that without issue in our first year of racing last year.
My brother and I have extensive driving backgrounds but have never been able to afford wheel to wheel racing, Karting filled the void of not being able to race wheel to wheel otherwise which was a great thrill, but our first year was on 12+ year old chassis without the highest level of prep otherwise and while we learned a ton, learned how to tune karts and engines and everything else, we still ran around at the back of the pack without anyone to race with but ourselves. My wife would ask me if I had fun every week and the answer was always yes, but the follow up question was "Then why do you look so angry every time you get out of the kart? " The answer was simple, I was having a blast driving, I was not having a blast running around at the back of the pack.
End of year evaluation was pretty honest. We developed a ton during the year, we learned some race craft (mainly being on the receiving end of passing). but I felt like my weight was holding me back and the need for new(er) used equipment would get us to a competitive status at the club level.
So I showed up for the first weekend of 2019 having met my off-season goals. I lost 35 lbs, I got newer equipment, I got competitive motors and you know what, I was competitive right out of the box and had a blast on the first weekend. It was all the things that were missing last year. I stand by my statement that I don’t need to win races, I’ll lose them making dumb mistakes (which I did last weekend) but if I have competitive times and can fight in the front of the pack each and every week I will let whatever happens happen and be happy with the result.
So now I can genuinely say I’m having fun which I couldn’t say with commitment last year. I know the season will have hardship and likely have bad days,but I bet I walk away from them smiling this year.