Everyone has their little addictions. For me, it has always been sports. As far back as I can remember I have been a sports fan. Throughout my entire life one of my true pleasures has been watching nearly every sport out there.
I love college basketball and football (big BYU fan) I love the NBA (particularly the Jazz, Celtics, and any team Danny Ainge played for). I love the NFL (don’t even get me started talking about the Cowboys). I love Major League Basball (crazy about Jeter and the Yankees). I love the NHL (I have two Rangers jerseys). I love tennis, and golf (Lendl, Jimmy Mac, Agassi, Nicklaus, Woods). I love Major league soccer (go Real Salt Lake). And,like everyone else on the planet, I love the Olympics (USA! USA!)
However, as much I was ever a sports nut, I just couldn’t get into racing. NASCAR, Indy Car, all of it just seemed boring to me. I mean how many times can you watch someone make a left hand turn. How much strategy could there really be? So, when the auto racing portion of my morning SportsCenter came on, I just tuned out and waited for them to get back to the “real sports.”
Then my brother Brandon married a girl whose father was involved in both stock-car and open wheel racing. This got me a little interested. Wanting to know more about my new sister-in-laws family, I started to watch the races. I was surprised, they weren’t earth shatteringly interesting, but there weren’t immensely boring either. As I learned more about the sport, I learned which cars and which drivers were associated with her family. The next time I watched, I had someone to root for.
This changed everything. I was totally and completely hooked. Four and five hundred mile races that before seemed to take an eternity were now over far too quickly. The pitstops that were previously just lulls in an already long race were now critical pieces of a clear-cut strategy where .10 of a second could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
What changed? The sport certainly didn’t. The heads of NASCAR and the IRL weren’t sitting at their headquarters wondering how they could hook Jason Hall.
I had changed. I had become a fan. Cheering on a specific driver and a specific team made all the difference. The races became more interesting and more fun. What used to be long, dull, and boring was now exciting, invigorating, and always all too short. I rarely miss a race now. I can’t always watch them live, but through the miracle of TiVo I catch every one.
Like my experience with racing our lives can become exciting and inspiring to be a part of if we will simply become fans. We need to be fans of the people we know, cheering them on to victory in whatever pursuit they choose. We need to root for our children, our spouses, our friends, and our neighbors.
We need to root for our country and the values that made it great. We need to cheer for our communities and our churches and our schools. For, whether we attend them or not, they are still part of us. We need to cheer for good art, movies, and music. We need to stop sitting on the sidelines and start becoming involved. We need to become fans.
People today have become too dedicated to the “scarcity mentality.” They believe that someone else’s victory somehow decreases their chances to win. When we become fans, the, “scarcity mentality” goes away and is replaced with an, “abundance mentality.” We then began to realize that everyone can succeed. In truth, success breeds success. Therefore, when we see another do well it only improves our chances to do the same.
So be a fan, and notice how much more you enjoy every inning, quarter, half, lap, set, hole, minute, and second of your life.