She remarked on the car’s mothballed state - dusty on the inside, unwashed on the outside. She said, for how much you told me you love that car, it hurts to see it in that state looking tired and uncared for.
It was true. 5 years ago, I had abandoned it and the sports car racer dreams I had once fulfilled with it. Cynthia’s remark forced an uncomfortable question. Why had I let it go? I was embarrassed that I had dropped it and hoped nobody would notice.
What made me abandon a hobby I passionately loved? The short answer: the idea that I had to give up on it to focus elsewhere on my life, mainly my career. Focused on earning, saving, and staying debt-free is what I told others. Yes, all practical considerations.
But what was under this carefully crafted story about being all work and no play? Something slipped into my head, that I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve to go out and play because I hadn’t worked hard enough. I hadn’t earned the right to go drive it at racetracks. The problem is there was no clear definition of ‘having worked hard enough’. How would I know I achieved it without a clear definition?
I explored the hard work ethic my dad taught me and how I used it to postpone my desires. I could hear him, David, this activity is a luxury, stay focused on the basics.
That was 5 years ago.
I’ve been back on track for a few years now and adding more events each season. This recent photo is of me at a Seattle track. When I see the sparkle in my eyes, I’m reassured I made the right choice.
Pursuing this passion has revitalized me in many ways and has kept me fresh and inspired in my personal life and my career. I discovered nothing bad happened. I no longer needed my dad’s teachings about all work and no play.
As I write this, I’m planning my next track day.