Lessons I’ve Learned From Motorsports: Perfection Isn’t the Key to Victory

Perfection: (verb)

make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.

Racing is the ultimate pursuit of perfection.

What spectators don’t see is drivers spend their weeknights in their home garages. They lay under their cars, believing that they have found “speed” with every turn of their wrench or the continuous adjustments on the car to keep up with the track conditions. The track walks during intermissions or before the race. The constant and meticulous maintenance of their race cars. The nail-biting seen from drivers studying a race track before they pull those belts tight for their feature races.

And yet, with all this preparation, perfection will elude these drivers.

Yes, even to the drivers that pull into victory lane and get their picture taken with a trophy. That driver missed a breaking point. Some corners were overdriven. A cushion jumped, and a pass went unperformed, but because of their resiliency, they were able to minimize their mistakes and found themselves in victory lane.

Racing is an excellent example for youths that feel pressured by society to be perfect by their 18th birthday. Racing can show them that they can achieve their goals by being excellently prepared for various situations. That adjusting to life’s circumstances, much like a changing race track, is natural. That feeling of a monumental mistake, like over driving a corner and losing ground to the car ahead, can be overcome to achieve victory.

Oddly enough, what seems like perfection in racing is anything but perfection.

I’ve seen engines fail before the closing laps to victory. Tires flattened rounding the last corner, and leaders collected in wrecks that they didn’t create. But week in and week out, these drivers show up to the track because the path to victory is not one of perfection but of resilience.

Resilience: (noun)

the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Scott Masom

 

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