Soap Box Derby

Have you ever been to a Soap Box Derby? I actually have not, so kudos to you if you have. The concept behind this type of race bugs me. 

I grew up watching Nascar and Indy cars. More horsepower than most people will ever need or experience in their lifetimes or ever need to experience. These types of races have always made sense to me, probably because I grew up with them being overly important. 

I take a look at soap box derbies and wonder how they interest so many people, not in a negative sense where I am looking to ‘hate on’ their passion or dreams. Quite literally from an analytic point of view, I do not think I could enjoy roller cart derbies as a hobby or even a spectator really. These soap boxes on wheels are not self driven. They are driven by gravity, the angle of hill, the aerodynamics of the soap box, and who knows how many other factors I am not qualified to guess at or discuss. There is an impressive amount of craftsmanship and science I am not going to discount. However, at the end of the day, the car will never propel itself. As soon as you run out of hill and science–motion, inertia and things, you are done. You are not going anywhere. 

Similarly, I have been coasting on the hill built by those who have come before me. They put in the leg work and prepared the way for the success I have experienced. I have never had to do much more than show up and work hard. Those two elements have allowed me to coast on the same science–motion. Oddly enough, I have been coasting uphill. I have been traveling uphill as others have towed me along. I did not have vision or plans. 

The people who have come before me have built the hill for me to coast on. They built the racer I get to sit in. They towed me to the top of the hill and pushed me down it. They did the science of how to build the car, found the best materials, and greased all my axels. 

It is time for me to start contributing to the hill building, soap box car building, science calculations, and wheel greasings. It is time for me to use my team to continue develop direction and height to the hill so others might be able to coast down it as well. 

For a while I might be left to drive back up the hill I just rolled down. However, when learning to drive, it is probably best to do so in a familiar environment. 

Where are you coasting? What does it look like to start putting in the work to build a new soap box racer for the people who come after you?