A lot of guys ‘go soft’ when they become a dad. And boy do I get it. Priorities change! Hell, they do a complete 180! Everything that seemed so crucially important before… all the sudden doesn’t. And you become immediately aware that your kid/kids are growing up before your eyes. It’s life’s greatest gift to watch your kids grow up… but it also hurts. Therefore you never want to miss a moment. So as an unintended result, it’s easy to forfeit your pre-parent hobbies & passions, because all that stuff feels like it’s competing for precious & irreplaceable time. And it is! No sugarcoating it. And what it boils down to is: There’s nowhere you’d rather be than at home with your family.
But you’ve gotta realize, your child doesn’t see it the same way…
Not exactly anyway. For you, the days fly-by all too fast, and you know they won’t last forever. But for your kid/s, the days do last forever. You’re watching them grow & change by the week… and you feel the trade-off of every minute spent away from them. But to them, they don’t feel time pass the same way; they don’t feel the urgency. You’ve never changed a bit to them. You don’t age or grow old. You’re just rock solid.
If you’re a dad, your kid/s want 2 things from you…
It ain’t your money or your sensibility. They want 1) Your time. And 2) They want to see you be the superhero dad that they already think you are! They 100% believe they have the best dad on the entire planet. Prove them right!
It’s a double-edged sword… welcome to fatherhood I guess.
Because part of being ‘that superhero dad’ means staying real to the hobbies & passions that make you ’super’. Even when it’s not easy. And even when it puts you in conflict with yourself in a way… because in a way, you’d rather just ditch it all to be with them. Ahhh simplicity lol. You can kiss simplicity & easy decision-making goodbye as a father lol.
But think back to your own childhood….
Go deep. And you’ll remember that everything is intensified 100x for a kid. Your kid/s just want to see you do awesome things. For instance, when they see you working on your “race car”… to them it’s a RACE CAR!!!! Their dad is a RACE CAR DRIVER!!!! It’s all infinitely big & amazing. They tell their friends at school… beaming with pride. And when they tell the tale, the engine is louder, the car is faster, the graphics are awesome-er… it’s all 100x magnified. When they see you laughing with your friends, they see you as the center of their world too. Even if it’s not 100% true. The thing is – the pride that a child has for his/her parents is unmatched & beautifully pure. Therefore, when you stay true to yourself… you stay true to them too.
It’s absolutely commendable to sacrifice for your kids…
I think most-all of us would give up everything to see them happy. But when you sacrifice, try to do it surgically & strategically. Don’t cut out all the best parts of you, for them. That’s not doing them any service. Because kids also need to be inspired by their parents. They need it! Just like they need your love & protection. It is healthy for kids to see their dad having grandiose passions & ambitions beyond just… ‘work & adulting’.
Justin Voss is that dude.
Justin’s been building & driving this S14 for a lot longer than he’s been fathering lol. He’s always been the ultimate hype man & encourager at drift events. And being a father of 2 now – that doesn’t take him away from it. In fact, it just makes his drift playtime that much more radiant. Justin Voss includes his family without explanation, justification, or apology. He and a few of his buddies even created a podcast appropriately called Drift Dads… where they talk about their builds & driving techniques & ambitions… but also runny noses & the random places their kids stick bolts. On one of the episodes, you can hear some offspring opening the garage door & fumbling around with something during the intro. It’s funny, because it’s totally relatable & real. Being a dad damn sure doesn’t make anything simpler. But it does give it perspective & make it all more meaningful. If you let it. (*Remember, pie don’t’ work unless you let it.)
Photos by Dusty Kietzmann // DustyKietzmannPhotography.com
1995 Nissan s14
Ls3 6.2 engine swap
Lingfelter gt12 camshaft kit
Holley 102mm throttle body & Terminator X ECU, wiring, and monitor
LOJ front sump oil pan
CX Racing equal length swap headers
Accusump 3qt oil accumulator
Rear mount triple-pass radiator
Oil cooler & power steering cooler
Villians 350z axle stubs & 350z axles
Audhan DS02 wheels – 18×9.5 +15 front & 10×10.5 +15 rear
K Sport kontrol coilovers (10k springs front & 4k springs rear)
FDF angle kit
Steering rack remounted more forward
All adjustable suspension arms
PBM rear drop knuckles
Z32 front & rear brakes… with an extra set of rear Z32 brakes dedicated for handbrake
Dayton One handbrake
GKTECH subframe arm braces
Aluminum rear subframe risers/bushings
Tube and tubbed front & rear
Front & rear bash bars
Pro Am approved cage
NRG competition driver seat
Sparco sprint passenger seat
NRG quick release steering wheel