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In last week's blog you found me thinking about my entrance into the world of R/C. I was probably no older than 8 when I that sonic controlled car arrived from Santa, but it was my Tamiya Hornet that I truly loved.

But like many gaming hobbies, owning a radio controlled car introduces you into the dark and secretive world of envy, power, and lust.

Being satisfied with what you've got is an art that many of us never master. And the concept of appreciation is that much harder when you factor in the a youthful mind and a distinct appreciation for life and all it's twists and turns.

I recall a trip round to a friends house to play R/C cars. Mark was from a new middle class housing development, a ardent Man Utd supporter, who'd been bought a Tamiya Fox sporting the most beautiful gold wheels I'd ever seen. Wheels that mesmerised me from the moment I clapped my envious 14 year old eyes on them.

Where my car was bendy and battle-scarred, his was taught and purposeful. 'Its fully ball-raced too' he added. 'Every bit of it'. Probably Mark himself was ball-raced. And all the moving parts in their new swish house were ball-raced too. Dammit. It was too much.

I was sitting on the kerb outside his house, setting up my Hornet, with my cool Le Mans bodyshell. But when came strutting out with the Fox, my nylon bearing wearing Hornet looked ever-so-slightly tacky. And slow. Blimey that Fox was fast, straight out of the box.

We drove our cars around his cul-de-sac, jumped off the much-too-high kerbs the council had chosen, and yes, it was a good afternoon. But I'd arrived proud, and was leaving slightly deflated.

And so I learnt that dissatisfaction was a rather ugly human trait, and one that advertisers exploit with sheer abandon. Things got worse too. The next day I learnt that Daniel from the other end town now had the ultimate R/C weapon of the time. A car I had only read about - a Schumacher Cat 4x4. Although I may have been one of the first in my school year to get into R/C, I had been overtaken, surpassed, superceded.

It was a painful lesson, which I'm still meditating on, as relevant to Radio Controlled Hobbies as any other part of growing up. My blog this week may be sounding a little sanctimonious, but here goes: There's always someone faster, taller, cleverer or with better toys than you. But if you can appreciate and love what you've been given, you'll unlock a much more peaceful existence.

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Written by Rupert Stelling

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Rupert Stelling writes the Radio Controlled Gamer column.

"Having grown up racing Tamiya radio and remote controlled cars and trucks I was keen to get my kids started on the same hobby. Here, I share my R/C reviews and guides to getting started in this electric and petrol powered world."

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