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This story was shared with us and we wanted to share it with all of you. Everyone that races with kids has witnessed this so I know you will be touched by these words the same way we were.
I'm Sorry, Dad
Author unkown, but greatly appreciated
It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in all my eight years. It had a pretty red gas tank, silver rims, a plush black seat, a swept- down exhaust pipe and chrome handlebars with soft rubber hand grips. As it sat under the Christmas tree that year, the red, blue and green lights reflected off the shiny chrome parts like a thousand sparks dancing fromo the logs in the fireplace. I can still remember how proud I was to have my own minibike. It was the best Christmas present any boy ever received.
Dad, do you remember how we talked mom into letting me try it out that day, even though the snow was at least a foot deep? And how I spent the whole afternoon going around in circles in our garage? Boy! Mom sure was upset and worried. I'll bet you got a good lecture for buying it for me.
I didn't think spring was ever going to come that year, and when it finally arrived I can remember mom fussing because I wore all the grass off a trail around the yard. I was the envy of every boy in the neighborhood.
Hey Dad, I can still see mom now, the day I crashed and hurt my ankle and had to go to the doctor. I thought that was the end of my motorcycling right then and there, but you always came through. It took a lot of fancy talking, but you finally convinced her that with the correct boots, leathers, a helmet and gloves I would be practically indestructible. Boy, motorcycling was fun in those days!
It was the summer when I was nine that you entered me in my first race. It was a short track outside of town at the motorcycle club grounds. It was on a saturday night and I can still remember how nervous I was then. I remember I got a good start and was leading the pack for a couple of laps before I crashed into the wall. I thought you were going to get run over trying to get to me. Oh well, so much for the finals that night. You were still proud and grinning from ear to ear when I came back and got fifth in the consolation race. I remember you bought me a hamburger and milk shake on the way home, and we stayed up half the night making future plans, re-riding the race and admiring our trophy. By the way you talked, anyone would have thought I had just won the National Championship. I was the happiest boy in the world that night.
It was several fourths and fifths and numerous crashes before you decided that I needed a new and larger bike. I was really proud of it, but I couldn't seem to do any better then I did on the old one. It seemed to get a little harder each time I raced.
Then you thought that we needed a faster machine and had a lot of engine work and porting done to it. It seemed like cheating to have it bored out over the size limit of the class I was riding in. You said that it wasn't cheating because everyone else was doing it. I didn't really understand at the time. Nothing really helped much; even the special lightweight frame and those new type tires didn't make much difference in the positions in which I was finishing.
I was trying as hard as I could and I knew you were spending a lot of money. I started feeling like I was letting you down. I didn't think thirds and fourths were all that bad.
Dad, when you started jumping on the referee and other officials when I lost, I could really see how much it meant to you and I was determined to try even harder. A 10-year-old boy has a hard time understanding how important it is to win, and I was trying as hard as I could, Dad, honest.
I remember when I was 11, they started ginving points to all the riders, and at the end of the season they gave awards for the way you placed in the district. I tried really hard that year and won fourth place. Dad, you looked so disappointed in me for not winning an award, I could hardly hold back the tears.
If you had just known how hard it is to remember all the things you told me to do, while I was racing and in a powerslide and fighting traffic all around. Its very hard to think, Dad, when you are scared stiff. Oh, I wasn't scared of the racing. I was scared I would make a dumb mistake and you would start yelling and embarrassing me, in front of the other riders. I was so afraid of upsetting you my stomach was tied in knots. I felt like asking you to show me how to race instead of yelling instructions at me all the time, but you could never do any better than I could, and I didn't want to hurt you.
Boy, I wish we could go back and have fun like we used to. I guess there can be no more races like our first ones. Somehow, all the funs gone out of it.
I know, Dad, when you were little you never had the chance to have a bike and race, and I know how hard you had to work as a child, but this isn't fun anymore, either. I know you don't realize what you are doing, and I'm sure if you did you wouldn't push me so hard. I hate to see mom cry when you fuss at me on the way home form the races. Sometimes I think it hurts her more than it hurts me.
Now you have me riding 2 different classes, and things have gotten so bad I wish I had never seen a motorcycle. I have tried to tell you what you are doing to me but you just don't listen. I'm 14 now and feel like I am 30. I am so nervous when you are around, I feel like running away. I find myself wishing I could get hurt in a race so maybe you would let me stop. I can see no other way to get out of racing.
I'm sorry, Dad. I have done the best that I could. I have tried hard and yet I still could not please you. Dad, I just cannot be what you wish you could have been.






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