THE BEST OF JODY’S BOX: “YOU ONLY GET OUT OF IT WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT!”
“You know,” said Jimmy Mac to no one in particular, “I’ve got to start getting serious. I’ve been racing for years and I’m not getting anywhere. I’ve bounced back and forth between moving up and dropping down forever. Motocross is the kind of sport that where you only get out of it what you put into it. Starting right now, I’m going to get serious!”
“That’s good Mac,” I said with a wink to Crazy Dave, “want to go up to the concession stand and get a chili dog?”
“Sure!” the Mac replied without hesitation, but then he heard the gang giggling. “Hey, wait a minute. I’m in training! No more chili dogs and Cokes. From now on I’m eating healthy.”
“I’m glad to hear you say that,” said Fred Phalange, “I’m tired of everyone kidding me about being a vegetarian. I’d gladly share some of my tofu and wheat grass juice with you.”
“Thanks Fred, I’d appreciate it,” said Jimmy.
I kept my mouth shut. I’ve walked that granola footpath before, many times, and I admire anyone who can focus all of his powers on eating right, exercising and applying his energies in a positive direction.
WHEN I DON’T TRAIN, EAT JUNK FOOD AND GAIN WEIGHT — I’M TOO TIRED, SLUGGISH AND HEAVY TO GO FAST. HOWEVER, WHEN I TRAIN RIGOROUSLY, EAT RIGHT AND DIET — I’M TOO WORN OUT, WEAK AND HUNGRY TO GO FAST.
As for myself, I’m a backslider. I can only stomach so much zucchini before my system rebels and mysteriously steers the Jodymobile into a burger joint. For these lapses in willpower, my racing pays mightily. When I don’t train, eat junk food and gain weight — I’m too tired, sluggish and heavy to go fast. However, when I train rigorously, eat right and diet — I’m too worn out, weak and hungry to go fast. I’ve seen both sides, although not always in the same mirror, and I’ve come up with a simple rule of thumb — as long as my leathers fit, I’m in racing shape.
I like to think of myself as a supportive kind of guy and I support Jimmy Mac by not offering him any of my Twinkies. If the Mac wanted to eat healthy, train, practice, work on his bikes and take his racing seriously, I’d be the last guy to get in his way (unless he started beating me).
The transformation of Jimmy Mac from local spode to serious hotshoe was startling. A week after his grand announcement he showed up at the races with his gear sparkling, bike glittering, skin tanned and helmet waxed.
THERE WAS NO DOUBT JIMMY WAS SERIOUS, AND HE PROVED IT BY GOING TO THE RIDER’S MEETING AFTER PRACTICE. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT ANYONE WE KNEW HAD EVER ACTUALLY ATTENDED A RIDER’S MEETING.
There was no doubt that Jimmy was serious, and he proved it by going to the rider’s meeting after practice. It was the first time that anyone we knew had ever actually attended a rider’s meeting.
“What did they talk about?” we asked him when he came back.
“Mostly about the people who don’t show up at the rider’s meeting,” he replied.
In one week, Mac had joined a gym, gone to a motocross school, sent out 250 sponsorship resumes, bought a Sprinter and requested that in the future we refer to him as “The Macster.” He said the new name was more in keeping with his hard-core motocross attitude. I’ll have to admit that I was surprised, but we soon learned that the writing was on the wall when we popped open his ice chest, after making Fred Phalange get off it, and found carrot sticks, celery stalks and a six-pack of Dr. Tima’s Tree Bark Cola.
Jimmy, I mean the Macster, went to the starting line three races before his moto was due up, swept a path all the way from the gate to the first turn with a whisk broom, lubed all the pivots on his starting gate and did smoking burn outs on the concrete pad three times before the gate dropped.
He was a changed man. In the past, he took his back of the pack finishes with a cavalier attitude. Jimmy Mac had been everyman! Talent? No more than any guy off the street. He just liked to race. Results? He didn’t care as long as he roosted some dirt and got to stick his front wheel in a couple of times. Serious? He was the guy who machined 39 blocks of aluminum and stuck them under Chicken Lick’s backwards falling starting gate mechanism so that only his would fall. Laid back? No more! That was the old Jimmy Mac. The new “Macster” came in from the first moto and kicked a lawn chair over his van (breaking the old record set by Crazy Dave in the summer of ‘04). I had finished fifth, he had struggled to 15nth. He was angry and it showed. I have to admit that I thought he might crack under the high expectations that his new approach to racing had placed on him. I was wrong.
“You know,” said Jimmy Mac when he calmed down and said something I had heard before. ”I’ve got to get more serious. I’ve been racing a long time and I’m not going anywhere. You only get out of this sport what you put into it. I just haven’t trained hard enough, practiced enough, worked on my bike enough or eaten properly (I confess that I had a French fry off of Stumpy Phalange’s plate last Thursday). If I want to move forward I’ve got to dedicate myself.”
FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS WE NEVER SAW JIMMY MAC. BUT, WE DID SEE THE “THE MACSTER.” OCCASIONALLY JIMMY WOULD STOP BY THE HOUSE TO ASK ME TO DRIVE HIM TEN MILES OUT OF TOWN SO HE COULD TRAIN BY RUNNING HOME. I WANTED TO BE HELPFUL, SO I OFTEN DROVE HIM 20 MILES OUT OF TOWN.
For the next three months we never saw Jimmy Mac. But, we did see the “the Macster” though! He would come by the shop for lunch to criticize what we were eating; he would go mountain biking with us, but would drop us on the first climb and never look back; occasionally Jimmy would stop by the house to ask me to drive him ten miles out of town so he could train by running home. I wanted to be helpful, so I often drove him 20 miles out of town. Jimmy Mac was fun, the Macster wasn’t.
Of course, the old Jimmy Mac wasn’t very fast. How could he be? He didn’t take his racing seriously. He went on dates the night before big races. He ordered a Domino’s pizza for the gang when we worked on our bikes late. He never attended the rider’s meeting and rarely got to the starting line in time to take a deep breath let alone vacuum the complete start straight. Every now and then something would fall off his bike just before the gate dropped (normally he raced anyway). Jimmy Mac was a cool guy…he just wasn’t very fast.
On the other hand, the Macster was a drag to be around and he wasn’t one lick faster than the old Mac. “You know,” said Jimmy Mac to no one in particular a couple months later, “I’ve gotten too serious. I’ve been racing for a lot of years and I’m not getting anywhere. Motocross is the kind of sport that you only get out of it, what you put in. Anybody for a chili dog!”
Comments are closed.