Zen and the Art of R/C Repair

Zen and the Art of R/C Repair

With any hobby, you’ll find yourself experiencing the highest of highs when everything is going great and, when you’re not able to enjoy the hobby as much, or spend as much time in it/around it, the lowest of lows. In recent months, my overall enthusiasm for all things radio-controlled was on a bit of a downward trend. I still loved it, I still enjoyed it, but I wasn’t feeling the emotional “pop” that I had been. Between work obligations, family obligations, and other items taking up what was left of my free time, there wasn’t much opportunity left for my hobby. My R/C garage remained closed, the cars inside sat idle. Low times indeed.

During one of my regular trips through our basement, I stopped for a moment and looked over my fleet of vehicles. That minute-long glance may have been the longest length of attention that I had paid to them in a handful of months. It felt good. I then walked over and took my beloved Axial SCX10 off of it’s resting spot and began looking it over, trying to remember what upgrades I had been working on last. In a flash, it came back to me. The passion, the excitement, the energy. That’s how strong the pull of this great hobby is for me. Simply picking up a vehicle to admire it can transport me to a place of creative nirvana. It’s simply an awesome feeling.

Fast-forward a few weeks and I was working on another upgrade for my trail rig, installing a Knight Customs 3D-printed grille. Per the norm, as soon as I disappear from my children’s view, they begin to bicker, argue and raise a ruckus. I was aware of this as I approached my workbench, but wanted to get a few moments of clarity before returning to the mess that was waiting for me upstairs. No matter what amount of chaos and noise was going on upstairs, it all washed over me as I worked on my rig, making sure the new upgrades were set up as I wanted them. I was at peace. Absolute, pure, peace.

This calm amidst the surrounding storm sensation is one that I’ve felt before during my kart racing days. No matter what level of commotion and anxiousness swirled around me, the moment I put my helmet on and took a few deep breaths, everything seemed right. The noise of the outside world was gone, replaced by the rumble of the engine. That same feeling is what I experience with R/C cars as well, and I’m thankful for that. It is in these moments of zen-like clarity that I realize the full extent of my passion for this hobby. Whether it be driving, wrenching, upgrading, or repairing, there’s something about these “toy cars” that grounds me like no other pastime.

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