By Mike Garrison
A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.
Whether R/C car racing is someone’s weekend hobby or their full-time career, it has occurred to me that R/C racing means something entirely different to each and every person involved in it. The meaning of R/C is unique to each person’s perspective of the hobby, their goals within it, and their reason for doing it.
As someone who’s life was changed forever racing motocross, the meaning of R/C to me is the ability to still be competitive in racing although I am paralyzed. While being able to compete and continue racing despite a wheelchair is important to me, I wanted to know the often-unknown meanings of this hobby to others as well.
I reached out across the industry to local racers, top professionals, industry workers, track owners, and a little bit of everything in between to find the true meaning of R/C, and these are just a FEW of the answers I received:
“R/C racing to me is a way to escape my every day life and have a competitive fun hobby. It has given me invaluable knowledge and skills, as well as helped me build friendships that will last a lifetime.”
“Racing means competing with my kids against my friends. Quality time all around!”
“From dealing with a loss of a family member to having a bad injury from sports, it was an escape from reality to get my mind off things. It’s hard for me to imagine my life without R/C, from the all the places I’ve been able to visit to the friends I’ve made – definitely happy racing came into my life!”
“It means getting to be passionate about something and getting some enjoyment out of life beyond a 9-5.”
“R/C racing to me is a way for me to truly be equal to the other competitors. I love R/C cars because at the end of the day if I get beat there are no excuses about my disability, my competitor was just better that day, PERIOD.”
“I'm a retired active-duty Green Beret. I can't tell you how much this hobby means to me since the 90’s, the best form of relax and recuperate “medicine” I've ever had.”
“After struggling with a drug addiction as a teen, I found R/C and it became my addiction. It straightened out my life, introduced me to good people, and friends that are like family.”
“Although working in an entirely different side of the R/C industry now, R/C racing to me is an entire culture full of knowledge, good times, and strangers who turn into family. R/C racing got me where I am today, pulled me through hard times, and has taught me more life lessons than any book or class could.”
“R/C racing to me is kind of a stepping stone into the motorsports industry. It has led to opportunities that I could only once dream of, as well as introducing me to many amazing people who share common interests. It has introduced me to people who I cannot imagine my life without, as well as given me a sense of family no matter what event I go to.”
“R/C racing has been many things to me. At one point it was just a hobby, now it has become my career.”
“R/C racing to me is my escape from reality and everything that comes with it. When I’m on the drivers stand I forget about everything, the only thing that matters to me at that moment is that toy car on the other end of the radio coming out on top.”
“R/C racing to me means spending time with friends and family, having a competitive passion to win, and travelling to places I’d have never seen without it.”
“R/C racing means the world to me. I’m 17 now, started when I was 4, and love to go to the track every time. After being in this hobby for awhile, I don’t know what other hobby I would want to be in truthfully.”
“R/C was a way to still compete when I couldn’t afford to race real cars anymore. Nowadays it’s more about just hanging out with friends and having a good time. My best R/C years are behind me, I enjoy helping others a lot more these days.”
"R/C to me is an amazing hobby that lets me hang out and create great relationships with my dad and friends. R/C has taught me so much from how to sell products, how to be a good example, to how to race and be respectful."
For a select few it is all about just the racing, but for many others, the true meaning of R/C goes far beyond the results on the racetrack. In all the years I’ve been a part of this industry, I have never taken the time to realize how R/C car racing has impacted the lives of others, the deeper meaning behind it, and the seemingly endless opportunities it can provide to nearly ANYONE that chooses to be involved in it.
There are a lot of great hobbies out there, but it is hard to find one that welcomes and offers so many opportunities and experiences to anyone and everyone regardless of their situation, gender, age, or ability. R/C racing is one of the few…and that’s pretty damn cool if you ask me.
What is the true meaning of R/C racing to you? Share your thoughts, comments, and opinions below!