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JACK’S BLOG – Is the playing field level?

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Back to racing this weekend

Most of us had our last race on Sunday 15th March. I raced the B2B in Bathurst that day as the impending virus threat sent the world into lockdown.

After 16 weeks of hibernation, we are now allowed to return to a modified form of ‘life before COVID19’.

Since we are now back to racing, this 13th episode of my blog will be my last for season one.

I have learnt a lot writing these blogs and I still get new ideas popping up between my ears every day. I think I have been extremely lucky to live through a pandemic. It takes a crisis to unmask the structures of life that become shrouded by layers of artefacts built up by endless feedback loops.

E-bike, the great leveller

As the road traffic thinned at the start of the pandemic, the paths filled up with walkers, skaters and bikes. Whilst I was basking in the luxury of riding on empty roads, I could not convince my wife to ride on the open roads. She is pretty nervous on her bike and she that is why she rarely rides during normal times.

So, at the start of the pandemic, we rode on bike paths.

On our first ride, we went to see the grand children at Greenhills Beach. When we made it back home at the end of the day, it was a 68km trip. Her e-bike was the only reason Shirley managed the monster ride…

She said she enjoyed the effort – even though her bum suffered for days afterwards…

Now we know that we can go out for rides together. The e-bike was the ‘lift’ that enabled her to level the playing field a bit and allow the two of us to ride at a nicely balanced pace together. She can even race me up the hills.

Playing at different levels

The reason Waratah Masters have 7 grades is that we all race at different levels. Some of us move between levels often and others tend to stay in a grade for longer periods.

This is also how nature works. Hierarchy is the structure that permits life to function in an orderly fashion. We cannot help but play at different levels.

There is no such thing as equality in the world we live in. Never in the history of mankind on planet earth have equal rights and opportunities existed. Where we begin in life as we pop out of the birth canal locks in the levels in life that we can start playing at.

Once I realised that I could move between levels (even though my playing field was not level), my game improved. I knew that with some ‘outside’ help, getting to the higher levels of the field was possible.

And when I got to the higher levels, I noticed that the game was not the same.

Playing up and down the levels

When Sunday comes around, I will be able to try out A grade racing again. I may find that after the pandemic hiccup, I will no longer be able to race at this level for much longer.

Playing any game at the highest level is extremely challenging – but it is the only way to access all the different levels below. An A grade rider can comfortable race any of the lower grades. Not so an E grade rider.

This is what the world is like. With an element of luck and lots of hard work, the A game players have the most options. They can choose to play at any level.


All babies start helpless.

Then they start to grow. There is a theory that the support environment plays a large part in the pace and levels of growth in children.

When I play with my granddaughter, we either sit or lie down on the ground together. I consciously take myself down to her level. That is the only way to see eye to eye and have fun playing.

Further down the track, she will grow up more and the levels of play will upscale. And it will be a lot easier for her when there is a bit of support from someone who has a lot more points on the board.

Over the last 13 weeks, I have grown a bit putting these blogs together. I just hope that it has done the same to one or two of you out there who took the time to ponder what I was trying to transmit.

We all need support to move our game up a notch. And that support can only come from a lift – rather than a push. Nobody likes to be pushed.

Looking over the past into the future

I am grateful to the pandemic. Only a handful of the total Australian population get to experience receiving money from the ATO and federal government in the form of multiple ‘cash boosts’, ‘job keeper payouts’ and ‘apprentice subsidies’ … all dropping into their bank accounts.

I just happen to be one of these people. Grateful for the lift-up.

I never felt threatened by the virus.

But the pandemic has given me a far better appreciation of how the nature of feedback loops have caused the global lockdowns – rather than just the threat of a killer virus. I also have a better idea of how money can be created out of thin air. And why the world is not about to end.

The next 6 months promise some interesting revelations.

Certainly enough to make season 2 of ‘Jack’s blogs’ a possibility