N had the opportunity to go to a drone race a week back, and initially he wanted to actually race in the thing but a few things prevented that. First off, he was too late to register. This race sort of came up at the last minute and by the time he had decided to go, registration was closed. His buddy who invited him is a big-time racer, and I think at the time even he got shut out of participating.
The second problem was the intimidation factor. Having never raced his drone before, he wasn't sure how it would all play out, and I totally get that. It's hard enough doing something for the first time, but it's even harder when you've never seen or experienced it in real life. There are plenty of YouTube clips about racing, but it's just never the same.
Finally, the race was a fair distance away and in the early morning, so he would sleep over and then wake up early to go. N is not a morning person, though he's getting much better at it. At one point he just decided to skip the whole thing because while he would have enjoyed the sleepover, they wouldn't do much because of the early morning.
I have to confess, I thought it would be a good experience for him to just go and watch. It's something he's interested in, and he could hang with his buddy. Plus, he could go over to his friend's house early Saturday and hang out all day, then sleep over and wake up early for the race. Apparently said friend was going either way, even if just to watch (I think he ended up slipping into the race, but he's a pro).
So N decided to go for it, and I'm glad he did. I took him over early in the day so they could do all the crazy things he and his friends like to do, and then they went to the race early the next day. I had to work that evening so it worked out beautifully. I went to pick them him the next afternoon, meeting them en route back to their house, and he said he had a good time. In addition to enjoying the race, he told me that he thought he could hang with some of the racers. He didn't make any claims that he could win the race, but that's not the point. At least he saw what sort of skills are involved and how good (or bad) some of the other racers were, and that's a huge confidence boost. Plus, he got to see what the race course is like and can design a home practice plan accordingly.
Now he's interested, and may work towards actually entering a race, all because he changed his mind and decided to check it out. I'm not sure how this will all play out, but needless to say his old dad is very excited (and supportive) about the possibilities. Then again, it may entail more driving on my part, but what else is new?
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Bashir Naimy for the pic.