The question I was asked most after last Saturday’s Starza was: “Did you enjoy that?”
Meaning, was I happy to be – somewhat suddenly – back on the grass with my trusty radio mike.
My answer has to be, if a job is to be done properly, you don’t ‘enjoy’ it. You can enjoy a feeling of satisfaction afterwards if the show has gone well, and you can hope against hope that the audience enjoyed it all.
But if you are at work – whatever your job entails – and really concentrating on what you’re doing, hopefully to the best of your ability, I don’t think you can be said to ‘enjoy’ the actual process of doing the job.
So it must be with riding a speedway bike. When Suzi Perry or Steve Brandon grabs a Grand Prix race-winner and asks if they ‘enjoyed’ a race, the guy would have to be lying if he took any enjoyment in hanging onto a no-brakes 500cc missile for a minute or so of sheer terror!
Yes, he can be pleased to have won his points, and he’s maybe taken some adrenal boost from the experience – but you’ll be kidding me if you think he’d been idly humming Beatles classics to himself as he was hurtling around Daugavpils, Cardiff or the Marketa, thinking “I’m really enjoying this!”
So why do they do it?
Well, for most folk, the thrill of riding a motorbike sideways is a huge rush – and to be honest, a first-timer who gets the bike to break out sideways probably gets the same feeling as your GP winner.
Like doing a a bungee jump, maybe -- it is probably the same sort of boost.
Once you’ve got a bike sliding, you want to do it again. And again. And again.
Each time, it almost takes your breath away – the sheer terror, the exhilaration, indeed the impossibility of what you are achieving. But although you might come back into the pits with a smile as wide as Texas on your face, while it was actually happening you wouldn’t be ‘enjoying’ it.
You have to concentrate too hard on what you’re doing!
So, in answer to my several questioners, although yes, I did enjoy the fact that the Starza again proved grass-roots speedway can be great to watch, and I most certainly enjoyed the after-meeting session in the Black & Gold at which we raised £1,000 to put the finishing layers of shale on the track up at Duns --- I can’t say that I actually enjoyed the very serious business of doing a job as best as I know how.
But again, if everyone had a good Saturday night out at the skids, isn’t that more important than me easing back on my concentration to enjoy being part of the process?
Want to disagree with Dick (as many do?). He will always be happy to hear from interesting people at firstname.lastname@example.org