The Racing Timeline + Drinking the Kool-Aid

Tensions can run high at this time of year, what with the anticipation of getting back to the track in the next few weeks juxtaposed by the terrifying feeling that you didn’t get ‘enough’ done in the offseason.

One thing that I find with coaching clients is that, despite the excitement that every new racing season brings, there is often a feeling of inadequacy that pops up around this time of year. We’ve had all winter to watch what everyone else is choosing to put out on social media, or – the horror! – not be able to see what they’re doing and wonder how far they’re getting ahead of us or what strides they’ve made that we haven’t!

We’ve been drinking the delightfully-censored-social-media Kool-Aid and now we have a comparison hangover.

I’ve been just as guilty as the next person, assuming others are working on the types of proactive projects that I’d like to complete and creating loads of content while I’m just trying to keep my head above water with my current workload.

What helps me? Thinking about where I’m at in the journey, without focusing on where I think I should be.

In other words, remember that no matter where you are with your program, there’s always someone ‘ahead’ of you and someone ‘behind’ you. But it’s not a ladder – it’s a timeline. 

When you raced go-karts, at the same time there was a kid racing slot cars that wanted to actually sit in a race car. And there was also Steve Kinser.

Imagine an eight-year-old kart racer waking up every morning kicking himself that he isn’t on the World of Outlaws tour yet. I mean, how did Scott Bloomquist find the time to go on the road and grow that head of hair?!

‘He must be more motivated, a harder worker, more connected, and overall just better if he’s wheeling a late model and running a comb through those locks while I’m trying to change out of my footie pajamas in time for school, right?’

Ridiculous.

But when we get closer to achieving a goal we set out for, or making a major change, we act that way: it’s suddenly as if you’re on the bottom rung of the ladder. And, by the way, it’s all your fault.

I want you to remember this: timelines are horizontal, not vertical. 

The evolution of race car drivers.

Evolution is a series of steps that come one after the other. There is no elevator.

So when you’re kicking yourself for not being where you think somewhere else is, remember that we’re all on the same timeline, working towards different next steps. And that’s okay.

My recommendation?

  1. Focus on the next thing that will make you better,
  2. Try to learn from someone who’s a step or two ahead of you, and
  3. See if you can pull someone who’s a step or two behind you forward.

To evolution!

xo.
Kristin

P.S. If you are ready to take the next step and learning about sponsorship is part of that journey for you, feel free to check out one of our workshops!

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.