66“I overheard —‘s banter in the bunch. It was unnecessarily unpleasant, even brutal…I have the impression that —‘s success/failure is the product of a frothing, conceited rage…which can’t come to a good end.” Racer prognostication about a certain rider’s prospects
This rider’s end came through burn-out spent over many frustrating years in a downward spiral; but not before inflicting disrespectful abuse. This is known in psychology as projection – taking out something that creates anxiety in oneself upon others. Conversely, champions develop self-respect and give respect to others.
A contrasting story from racing 67lore illustrates quintessential professional courtesy. Six young riders escaped in a road race and put considerable time into the chasing field. While discussing dangerous features of the course, two in the breakaway overlapped wheels sending one into a deep ditch. His fall was stopped by a sawed off log that made a circular impression into his skin; its impact heard even by moto support. All assumed broken ribs. So when it was announced that he’d summoned another bike, the breakaway acknowledged this with interest but kept rotating. After a space, again the motorcycle came up to the break with a message – the fallen rider had now caught the field. Then again, the motor announced the rider had attacked the field and was now 2 minutes off the front and 6 minutes behind them. Two riders from the break turned around, picked up the fallen rider and worked to re-catch while the break sat up. After all original breakaway riders were reassembled and fueled, this lead group resumed racing. Two riders from the break attacked the break to take 1-2 while the fallen rider outsprinted what remained of the break for 3rd. Remarkable. Every rider in the break went on to pro contracts and national caliber wins.
Championship emotions and presence were already forming in a local race among developing riders who respected each other’s abilities.
Prayer for Competitive Respect
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” 68Mark 12:31
We are grateful for the Golden Rule, a love motivation that gives the same respect we’d want. We recognize the extraordinary example above is not always appropriate strategy in a competitive situation. We ask for a spirit of respect that is always appropriate.
Ponder How would I feel if given this kind of courtesy? Affirm I receive it because I give it. Watch that honors come while being honorable.
66The identity of the racer who wrote this report is protected; as is the disrespectful rider mentioned. Typically, the disrespectful rider wound up in a team culture that fostered disrespect, which is a formula for failure. Disrespect indicates the absence of a winning mentality. Losing isn’t sustainable for sponsorship.
67Story told to me by Merlyn Townley. He was a neutral support mechanic on moto who witnessed this extraordinary example of professional courtesy.
68The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society