I had been flying drones for nearly a year. It started as my new favorite hobby, something nice to do on the weekends. But soon enough it became so much more than that. Because some of my friends also started flying drones, then, I got introduced to a whole new social circle of people passionate about drones.
This resulted in an interesting new set of activities for me. My regular flights became much more interesting, and now I had company. I became more ambitious, and I got opportunities to fly my drone in exciting new places. I also started making better use of the video camera on my drone, the pictures, and the videos were simply fantastical, it was unbelievable the things you could get done with a drone.
There was a particular activity that also stood up to me: drone racing. It was a whole new world and a very exciting one at that. I started with the typical local, amateur races. I visited local parks on the weekends and participated in every possible race I could ever find. Soon enough I got so excited I found my way to signing up to more professional races on real courses designed especially for drone racing, indoors and outdoors, and school gymnasiums. I did all of it. And apparently, I wasn’t particularly bad.
I managed to win a couple of races, and it was impressive enough. I wanted to remain humble, but I was certainly among the best ones in the city.
In consequence, I was invited to a very important race. It was a full-on professional tournament, organized by a real league of drone racing. I almost couldn’t believe it. I even had to travel over two cities to reach the place of the competition. It was crazy to see so many people there. I mean, it was impressive on its own to see so many people there ready to race. But I was also alarmed by the number of people in public.
I loved the activity, wholeheartedly, but I never expected to have so many people watching. I was glad to have them, of course, but I was a little nervous, I was very, very nervous. And that was an understatement.
Still, regardless of the pressure and every little new thing about professional racing, I got ready for the race. I lined up with all the other players, and we got our drones prepared and silently, or not, hyped ourselves. My nerves were getting the best of me but I couldn’t back down, not when I was already on the line. The rules of the race were pretty simple, each player uses FPV, or first-person view, to guide their drones through the course and the first one to get to the finish line wins. The details are not necessary for the story, but the emotions are a completely different thing.
When the countdown begins I’m so nervous that I stop feeling nervous, it’s like I can’t take any more negative energy and I’m just left with excitement and some chill moving through my spine. Still, my fingers itch, and when the race starts, I start with all my might. My little drone is going full speed, and I’m doing the best I possibly can. It’s so much more fun than I had imagined. In the end, I realize that I love racing, and the people around me love it as well. I can’t help but let out a laugh at some point, and I’m genuinely enjoying the race.
But soon enough everything becomes serious again. It is a professional race, and I’m racing against professionals, I’m redundant for emphasis. These people were there to win. Even if the cheers of the public made my hands tremble slightly. Even if I was feeling an impulse to laugh, while all the other competitors were incredibly serious, even if the race was already getting tough, I had to watch a couple of drones get in trouble. First, two drones that were leading the race found a way to crash against each other lightly.
Thankfully, they didn’t completely collide, and they didn’t end up falling. Both drones managed to stabilize themselves and continue with the race, but they inevitably lost their advantage, they were now in the middle, I even managed to pass them.
Next, I got to witness a drone knocking against one of the props, and then another one. They crashed even though they looked confident and professional, and I suppose because actually, I wasn’t paying much attention to them. The first crash I didn’t even notice at first because it happened behind me and I was flying on the first-person view. It was a race, and I had no time to look back.
However, the second crash happened almost right in front of me, just a few drones ahead. I watched the little thing get too close to the props, trying to pass the one in front. But then it was already too close, and it was impossible for it to take the turn, so it crashed against the prop, and I watched it stumble in the air and start to go down.
I had no time to dwell on it, and I rapidly passed it. And I felt my heart beating impossibly fast. I was so nervous, the crowd was so loud, and it looked like I had a chance at reaching the first five competitors. But, well, life isn’t perfect, it was my first race, too much pressure, and nervousness… It happened in an instant, I was desperate to pass the drone in front of me, I was trying to avoid the one behind me, and then there came the props… I ended up crashing and going straight to the ground.