In Clarksville, TN., the Lachowicz’s are finding their roots and planting a plentiful garden. While juggling homeschooling, racing, and social interaction, bicycles bring this family closer in ways that cannot be explained but only witnessed.
A wheel cannot spin without each spoke, much like a family cannot function smoothly without each member. Each individual, pulling and pushing at times, but always together in the end. The rambunxious family of 5, hold each other accountable and look at every day as a new day to make it a great one.
Athleticism has always been in the family since Jenny Lachowicz played basketball in college and John rode BMX through his teenage years so even though racing BMX was not in the initial plan, they were not surprised. “We could have been the crazy baseball parents but it all just morphed into this,” said John. You might think that since their sons are 7, 5, and 4, that it was the parents choice to race but that is far from the truth, John and Jenny listened to their children and provided an avenue for them to do what they want to do.
Three years ago Sam Lachowicz had just turned five years old and his father John, asked him a simple question, “What do you want to do for your birthday?” Having visited the Music City BMX race track the year before, Sam replied, “I want to go back to the track.” John and Jenny loaded up their van and drove forty-five minutes to Nashville from their home in Clarksville and the passion began.
John quickly learned that Sam didn’t have the necessary equipment to be competitive on the track so he reached out to other parents who shared the do’s and don’ts about racing BMX. This newfound knowledge led him to begin an extensive collection of bicycles and accessories that helps the boys achieve their very best. Through Sam’s interest in returning to the track, his younger brothers Jacob and Van have also clipped in and is racing in their respective age groups.
Fast forward two years, both Sam and Jacob are competing in expert level races at numerous nationals across the country and is reaching the podium. “I just like going fast and winning mains,” Sam said, after doing bicycle sprints near his childhood home.
“Racing is just a small part of it,” John said. Which is true since they are on the road for multiple weeks out the year beginning at the end of February and into the summer months to numerous national events to compete at the highest level that BMX has to offer. Being on the road can easily take a toll on a family but the Lachowicz thrive in their RV. Where they do homeschooling, prepare meals, and at times enjoy each others company. It is not always unicorns and rainbows and they have to find outlets so that cabin fever never sets in.
In order to find outlets while on the road, it is up to John and Jenny to be creative with how they spend their downtime. One day they could be riding a local skatepark and another they could be visiting family members along the journey across the country which offers something other than racing or staying in the camper. Along with activities that keep the boys entertained, homeschooling has been a blessing in disguise.
Working full time as a physical education teacher and not being able to spend quality time with the entire family, Jenny had the great idea of staying home and teaching her sons herself. Her idea gave John more breathing room to work and not have to worry about daycare. This led to many more shared dinners and a happier household. “Everything just fell right into place,” Jenny said. On the other hand, John works full time and is in charge of his own flooring company that has allowed him to pick up and go whenever a national race is approaching.
Now that racing has overtaken their life, the Lachowicz’ are enjoying the little things and if one day they stop racing, the parents of three are prepared to switch gears and do whatever it takes to have their sons succeed and be happy.
“Riding bikes is something you can do forever,” Jenny said, and that is just what they are going to do. Whether they keep going until the boys are late into their teenage years or stop after this season, leading them with love at the forefront and honesty holding them together, the Lachowicz family is not going anywhere. They are a true example of how families figure it out just as each day passes along. Through the hard times and the smiles, Sam, Jacob, and Van are blessed to have parents like John and Jenny so that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind and hearts to reach.