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Chris LoCurto


December 16, 2013

Don’t Back Off!

December 16, 2013 | By | 24 Comments">24 Comments

Early in my racing career…ok, hobby, I took a Masters Class at one of my favorite racetracks; Sears Point in Sonoma, CA. There were about seven of us in the class. Half with racing experience, and the rest of us had just received our license.

Chris LoCurto Racing at Sears Point

We spent the first two days working on technique, and the third day we had a qualifier and race. The exciting thing for me was, I was faster than everyone in the class! That was, until, they allowed someone who took 9th place in the series last year to buy into the qualifier and race.

What the heck is that all about?! I was so excited with the belief that I had the best chance of winning from the past two days of training. I know, I know, it’s crazy that I would want to win.

I have to admit, because of my desire to win, I was frustrated that this guy was going to ruin my first race and my possible first win. For those of you who think that’s shallow, you can’t be my friend. I’m just kidding…not really.

I was shocked to find out after the qualifying, that I was faster than everyone. This put me in the Pole Position for the race. All I had to do was get the jump on the start and I believed I could win the race.

We rolled on to the front straight waiting on the green flag to drop. When it did, the long time racer and I both got a great start. I said to myself that he would most likely shift a little early and I would wait and gain a little on him going into Turn 1.

As we raced down the straight, I listened intently to his engine. As we approached the “red line”, the highest amount of revs the car can take before the rev limiter shut the engine down, I heard him shift a bit early. I gave it another second, nosed ahead of him, and shifted.

This allowed me to get into Turn 1 first and hold everyone off. As the race went on, every lap I pulled further and further away from the pack until I couldn’t see the second place car in my mirrors.

Lap after lap I became more excited that I was about to win the race. As I took the white flag, which means there was one lap left, I backed off a little to ensure that I didn’t make any bad mistakes and lose the race.

Half way through the lap I looked in my mirrors and saw the second place car coming hard! I slammed the gas pedal down and pushed as hard as I possibly could! We ran down a straight with him gaining on me quickly.

As we went into the next turn, I just barely was able to outbreak him and keep the first position. Praise God there were a few turns before the checkered flag that allowed me to leave him behind again.

I realized afterward that backing off put me literally a fraction of a second from not wining the race and finishing well.

Sometimes we can get so close to winning and we get comfortable. For some, they become complacent. Either way, we can get so close to finishing well, only to back off and lose out.

Don’t back off! Whatever it is that you are doing that is helping you to become the person you want to be, don’t back off. Don’t get caught up wasting time on things that don’t matter. Don’t allow yourself to focus on the unimportant because the important takes you out of your comfort zone.

Decide what it is that you want to accomplish, or finish well, and don’t back off!

Question: What’s a time that you took your foot off the gas?

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  • Wesley Wiley

    Great quote: “Don’t get caught up wasting time on things that don’t matter.”

    I feel like every few months “life” happens and something unexpected comes up and I take the foot off the gas in my online business. I lose focus, stop blogging, and lose all momentum in a few weeks. I need to plan for the unexpected, and have to start seeing my online business as a true business! If I don’t show up to work I get fired – so why would I ever allow myself to “not show up” in my online business?

    To go a little deeper….I wonder if there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe I can take first place….so I let off the gas as some sort of fulfillment of those false beliefs. 2nd place is much more comfortable sometimes. But not when we’re made for first!

  • Matt Ham

    Thanks Chris – No race was won on cruise control!!

    The challenge is after the race, when you’ve got to go under the hood and rework the engine.

    Racers were meant to race, but sometimes, in between the races, is where I find my biggest struggle. Any thoughts there?

  • Lily Kreitinger

    Not only have I taken the foot of the gas, I’ve attempted to drive other moving vehicles at the same time. Not an effective or smart practice :)

  • Dave

    Great post! and one I needed today.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Dave!

  • Ken Trupke

    Just like you needed to break going into the corners, we can’t always have our foot on the gas. The key is to accelerate when we need to and slow down and recover when we need to.

    That said, I’m definitely guilty of having slowed down when I should have been accelerating! Usually after several weeks of intense activity on a new project but when it still needed the initial push.

    Good post, Chris! Glad you still won. You had me a little nervous with your story. :)

    • Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA…good to know my story telling skills are somewhat intact. :-D

  • mkokc

    I have stepped off the gas at home and it has caused me some mental wreckage. I need to be more intentional and invested in what is happening after the 9-5.

    • Chris LoCurto


  • Barry Thompson

    For us it was literally a crash. The owner was in a bicycle wreck training for the Hotter Than Hell 150. Broke his C4 on July 12th and now is a quadriplegic. Since then we have been in reactive mode trying to play catch up. He is still a quadriplegic but is now back working full time. Though we have broken a profit record this year we still feel like we are at the back the pack pushing pedal to the metal. So look out CLO tribe!

    • Chris LoCurto

      My gosh Barry! I am so sorry to hear that!! We are praying for him and you guys!!!

      • Barry Thompson

        Thanks Chris! You can’t keep him down though. To see a quadriplegic water ski… his name is Stephan.

  • William Reed

    I struggle with it whenever I get transferred, which in the military is a lot. The things that make my unit successful in combat still make my unit successful at home guard. Taking care of people is what I need to keep communicating as my vision. Thanks for the reminder to not let off the gas

    • Chris LoCurto

      Powerful William! And thank you and your family for your sacrifice so I can do what I do!!!

  • Rick

    Really enjoyed this and used it as a teaching moment for our team! Good job Chris!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Thank YOU Rick!

  • Allan McNutt

    In my business! When my small company was first formed 7 years ago, my partners and myself where full throttle, and quite profitable.Then as the years passed, so did some of the enthusiasm, and the profits.

    Now we are struggling to get the momentum back . It seems that our engine has developed a miss at full throttle!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Ugh! Sounds like a need for vision and mission. And definitely a StratPlan! :-D

      • Allan McNutt

        I think you are right! A lesson for all entrepreneurs, “it is much easier to maintain than regain momentum”

    • Joe Lalonde

      Oh no Allan. What do you think you guys could do to bring back some of the enthusiasm?

      • Allan McNutt

        I think we need to rediscover our “why”, and like Chris says our ” vision and mission.”

  • Joe Lalonde

    I’ve taken my foot off the gas in our youth group. There was a time when things were going great, now we’re seeing some issues pop up that we’ve become lax in what we’re doing.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Brother, I completely understand! Spent many-a-year as a youth leader. You’re doing a great work Joe!

      • Joe Lalonde

        Thanks Chris. There’s a lot of great things that come from youth work. Never knew you had worked as one as well.