Losing grip – What’s the challenge?
What’s challenging about this hobby? I mean, we’re driving basically useless, miniature toy cars in our spare time. Paying extra to kit them out with licensed scale wheels and tires. Seriously?
In my case, even spending a fair amount of time writing about something that to many might be perceived as a complete waste of time. And I certainly don’t have a lot of time to spare between work, house and family.
Considering all this, what about my first question: what’s challenging about this hobby? I think the question is relevant, because it’s challenge that keeps people in it. Someone might get drawn in by a cool video on YouTube, by trying out a friend’s RC, or by reading a column such as this. That triggers the first purchase, but I don’t think it makes anyone stay in the hobby.
Most people – it’s probably a basic human trait – strive for improvement in their lives. At a very basic level, for generation upon generation, parents have worked for their children to live a life slightly better than their own. With most of our basic need being pretty secure in western society, we have the privilege of looking elsewhere. Bigger house, better car, higher pay, longer travels, happier family. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. There’s always another challenge waiting for us, sometimes due to expectaions on ourselves, sometimes not of our own choosing. In the end they keep us going. Imagine life without any challenges at all. Nice and relaxing for a week or two, then total stagnation.
A good thing with our hobby, is that we’re free to choose what challenge to pursue, and that there’s a lot of different ones to take on. We can aim for higher speeds, more scale looks, longer jumps, better cornering, getting on the podium, durability on the trails, fun family time, faster drifts, perfectly tuned shocks, a better paint job, and so on, and so on.
Of course, some people just don’t get hooked at all, and after that first purchase and a couple of runs, whatever they bought will be collecting dust. Quite a shame I think, since there’s a lot of joy and relaxation to be found in striving for something that in itself is basically useless. Like having the fastest toy car over 132 feet? The fastest growing segment in this hobby? For real? Yes indeed!
Uselessness means no pressure. At least, there really shouldn’t be any negative pressure. It’s a hobby! It should be fun! At times I’ve taken a break writing this column for that very reason – having found it more of a negative demand to produce something, than pressure in a positive way. I like writing, but I need a bit of pressure to do it. However, when my head empty of ideas, wallet empty of resources, little or no spare time available, too many hours at work – why then should I allow myself getting a headache from my hobby? No reason at all.
But then again, what makes me take a break at times, is exactly the same thing that pulls me back in: the voluntary, useless challenge. The one I can choose freely, and give up from one day to the next without anyone but me suffering from it.
I am sure most of you readers recognize yourselves in this, if not, you wouldn’t be in this hobby. Whatever your particular cup of tea – bashing, crawling, scaling – there’s a challenge in it that keeps you going. Something to strive for, for no other reason than simply the challenge in itself.
So, here’s to you, hobby nutters! Keep it up, and go push your hobby just a little bit more. You know you can. For the fun of it.
To spend some more time on something useless, hit the link!