English version below!
As I am writing this, my team and I are working on the last preparations for the first round of IRRC, at Hengelo. By which I mean, this afternoon I’ll pick up my engine from Jenik Performance, tomorrow we’ll rebuild the ZX10-R, and the day after that we are expected in the paddock of the Varsselring. Oops.
I struggle to find the balance between de responsibilities of rider and team owner. I know I’m capable of doing both at the same time, however have yet to find the routine that leads me to achieving it. Being a rider is easy: working out, eating well, learning circuits, I enjoy all of these. Team owner is a tougher role. This is mainly because I have ADHD, which I haven’t known for a long time, and I too have plenty to still learn about. ADHD influences a lot of things, but this is what bothers my daily life the most:
- When something is new or incredibly fun, or has an extremely urgent deadline, I can choose to focus on it. Otherwise focusing is near impossible. This goes for everything, from brushing my teeth to writing reports, I even notice it in conversations. Routine solves the issue for something like brushing your teeth, but doesn’t apply to everything.
- I register time as ‘now’, and ‘not now’. When something (that isn’t fun or new) needs to happen next week or even tomorrow, it doesn’t exist at all to my brain.
At this point you might think ‘but Nadieh, then why do you run your own team, that sounds like it makes everything way more difficult’. And really, that is true. But if I were to think that way, I’d never achieve anything. You see, I’m using motorcycle racing to achieve certain things; I don’t just do it for fun or to get good results. Though that does not mean that I don’t enjoy racing a lot, or that I don’t want to win. Winning is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember, and in all situations, though sometimes more according to my own definitions. For example, as a kid I always had to climb higher in trees than all of the boys, and in high school I simply had to get my VWO (6-year pre-university course, highest level of high school in The Netherlands) diploma even though I had zero interest in school. Last season my mechanic Chris discovered on the ferry from Sweden to Finland that I am ruthless even in a friendly match of foosball (20-0). What I want to say through this is: when I find a way to minimize the negative sides of ADHD, and treat the lesser fun aspects of racing the same as what I do enjoy (enthusiastically putting new stickers on my helmets as soon as I receive them and taking pictures for social media is no problem), I’ll be the best racer and team owner ever. And if I can do that within racing, I can do that with everything.
This is the first season I’m properly responsible for the team, which is clearly noticeable, but this is the only way I can learn to get better. It’s not as if I enjoy putting the bike together in the week leading up to round 1 – the plan was to test at Cartagena in March, and as extra test to do a race with No Limits at Cadwell Park in April. Now the only miles I’ve done are on a Ducati Supersport S at the Viva Italia day at Assen. Plenty went wrong that was out of my control, which lead to us not rebuilding the bike until this week. But I live according to the principle that everything that happens is your own fault, which brings a lot of peace and perspective. This past winter I wasn’t able to start preparing for the season until quite late, and fact is if I’d started in September and the same things would’ve gone wrong, we would’ve been at Cartagena in March anyway. From that point of view the solution is simple: from now on, start in September. And immediately book and pay for the pre-season test, meaning there’s a deadline in March I can’t work around. What helps too is a crew chief who understands ADHD and thinks up solutions along with me, instead of getting angry or frustrated. Other responsibilities I want to make into a competition for myself, in an attempt to make it more fun. Working out and eating well I find easy, first because I have a routine (for example I have the same breakfast and lunch every day), and second because my goal is to be the fittest rider in the IRRC paddock. I’ve now translated this to amongst others writing reports by setting a goal for myself: to be the first team with a report up after every race weekend. Baptism of fire for the new system is after Hengelo directly the North West 200… The result will (assuming it works) be found on racesport.nl and my own website, nadiehschoots.com.