"Racing improves the breed." -Soichiro Honda
Someone brought it to my attention recently that motorcycle racing can be seen as a wholly selfish endeavour. Superficially maybe, and I think for many of us it begins that way. If you persist, though, and become increasingly intimate with the culture, perception shifts.
Racers are not entirely a bunch of self-absorbed narcissists sating a wanton desire for speed, but rather a community of like-minded individuals gathered to test themselves and each other. When one rises above, others must aspire to that level or be left behind. The funny thing though, more often than not, is competitors openly assisting one another, be it through advice, equipment, time, or money. A true sense exists of being involved in something amazing larger than a lone rider. It's cliche to say it now, but racers are living the dream, or at the very least attempting to, and the majority of them are sincerely pleased to help others do so as well. When the fan hits the shit, sometimes your fiercest rival is the only one you can count on to keep you on track.
Anyone with balls (or ovaries) big enough to step into a chosen arena and proclaim "I am good enough. I deserve to be here.", and subsequently labor to back that statement up, now no longer exclusively serves their own interests, whether they know it or not. A thing such as this that motivates and inspires others and asks them for their best can never be considered wholly selfish. When we seek out challenge, we begin to understand ourselves a little more, and in doing so become happier, more focused, stronger, better people and our entire outlook can change. It is infectious. What uplifts us as individuals, uplifts us as a whole.
Maybe when Mr. Honda spoke about improving the breed, he was not referring to machines at all.
|It takes a village, or something.|
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