When is the last time you asked yourself “why?”
How recently have you taken the time to reflect on what got you, and what keeps you, involved in RC? It’s one of my favorite questions to ask a fellow RC enthusiast because of the myriad different answers I’ve received over the years; if you surveyed a group of hobbyists you’re bound to receive a vast array of different answers: the competition of racing at the local track, the evolving technology of today’s kits and power systems, or even just the joy of building something from a bag of parts into a fully operational, albeit miniature, automobile. Dig deeper into where many of these amazing stories began and you’ll often find even more touching details, stories of love for a hobby that sprouted from such humble roots as garage sale purchases, family holiday presents, and saving allowances or mowing lawns to save cash for a new buggy.
Of course, “why are you involved in RC?” can segue into other inquests, like “why not consider a job in the industry?” or “why did you choose to make your hobby your career?” The question can morph into different forms, like “why do you race instead of driving around the backyard?” or its antithesis “why haven’t you tried racing yet?” These catechisms can be observational, either in a positive (why do you spend so much time on your cars?) or negative tone (WHY do you spend SO much TIME on your cars?!).
Answering someone who asks “why are you involved in RC?” can be easy for some (the father smiling as his son completes his first few laps) and difficult for others (the turn marshal still upset over his finish from the previous race). Look up at the drivers’ stand during a qualifying race of a big event, in which a multi-time World Champion could be sharing the same viewing platform as a total privateer who pays for all of his own equipment, and you can be assured that their answers to the same simple question will be radically different.
I’ve asked hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fellow RC’ers why they were involved in RC, and nearly all of them repeated the question to me after giving their own answers. Is it the racing? The cars and trucks? The places I’ve visited or the friends that I’ve made? Most of them are initially surprised by my answer, but everyone that truly enjoys picking up a radio eventually agrees because we have all shared the most crucial, basic sensation caused by taking control of a radio controlled car.
Why am I in RC? Because it’s fun. The sensation of nailing the perfect lap is a thrill that will forever put a smile on my face, and some of my fondest memories involve a few friends, their RC trucks, a backyard full of jumps, sunny weather, and some delicious carne asada tacos straight from the grill (I’m from Southern California, after all). No matter why you’re still involved in RC, chances are that you got started because it was fun, and I look forward to sharing the experience of having fun with radio control every month with the audience of RC Car Action.
What about you? Why are you into RC?