NOVAK: A labor of love for all involved

There may not have been any fans screaming out “RedBud,” but that does not mean that the first-ever Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship doubleheader in Buchanan this past weekend was not exciting.

In fact, the weather was superb, the track was in its usual spectacular shape, and the riders were at the top of their game. Maybe it was the fact that history was being made that kept most of the participants, both on and off the track, from thinking about how different everything was this year.

I know I did not take the time over the long holiday weekend to think about it. I was excited to get to Buchanan for the racing, as well as making a stop in South Bend at Blackthorn Golf Club for the Symetra Tour Four Winds Invitational.

It was great to be covering something other than a high school tennis match. Do not get me wrong, I have no trouble going to tennis, but when it is pretty much the only thing I was able to cover to start the high school fall sports season, a change of pace was definitely needed.

There could not be two more opposite sports than motocross racing and golf. I do not have to tell sports fans the biggest difference, which, of course, is the level of noise. But what people may not realize is the level of excellence that both professions have to reach in order to compete in those sports.

I am amazed at how effortless professional golfers make the game look. It takes all my abilities and focus to just hit a couple of good golf shots during a round. These young ladies are able to do that hole after hole for three days. The challenge of the golf course and the elements, in this case a bit of rain and wind, do not deter them from achieving their goals.

The same is true for motocross riders. I rode a motocross bike when I was in high school. I was glad to just have survived the experience. I would never even had imagined riding it at the speeds they travel and around a course like the one at RedBud.

To reach the professional level, one must not only have the talent, but it has to be a labor of love to put in the hours of hard work it takes to be a champion. I was fortunate enough this weekend to see that on display more than once.

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com.

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