About a week ago I had the incredible opportunity to overcome something that's been on my mind for almost a year and a half. Most of you know that freestyle motocross has been a passion of mine for a long time and the opportunity to move to Southern California to pursue it full time was a dream come true. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunities I've had over the last two years since moving here. It's been one blessing after another and there are so many incredible people that have been instrumental in helping me pursue this dream.
A small hiccup in the whole FMX plan came July 14th of 2010 while in Texas for a couple of freestyle shows. While out practicing one morning I apparently zigged when I should have zagged, took a nose dive and landed on my noggin. I ended up in ICU for 10 days with a fractured skull and a few other other troubling injuries. It was a trying time for my family but the support I received from friends family and even complete strangers was overwhelming. I was able to walk out of the hospital on my own after ten days and took a two day train ride back to California to begin figure out what was next.
If you've followed my blog or Facebook page at all over the last year you know that my life has had more twists and turns than a roller coaster and I've logged probably as many miles as a long haul truck driver. One thing that has weighed heavily on my mind since the accident is getting back on. I've ridden several times but I wrestled with going back to the ramp because I feel like God spared me from what could have been a life changing injury. I parked the ramp after the accident but have remained prayerful about an opportunity to get back in the saddle.
My girlfriend even noticed that it was weighing on me when we visited the friends who were storing it for me. I took her out and showed it too her and she could tell it was bothering me.
Then along came last Sunday. I had been praying that God would provide an opportunity to just go out and set it up so I could give it a shot. I ended up loaning it to a couple guys on the stipulation that I could come out and they'd help me move it around so I could start small. They were all for it and we made a plan for me to come out and ride.
I continued to wrestle with it in the days leading up to it and even as we were out pushing dirt around and setting the ramp up I was asking myself if I really should be doing this. Someone I had mentioned it to had told me earlier in the week that if it wasn't something God was ok with, He wouldn't have created the opportunity.
I wrestled with it a bit that day but once we had the ramp set up and I was geared up and on the quad I felt much better. I took a few practice runs and then just went for it. The first jump is always the scariest and I've had a tendency to over jump on the first one which I really didn't want to do. Thankfully I was just a touch short and I made the gap with ease. A HUGE burden lifted after that first jump and I fist pumped like I'd won some sort of championship. I wheeled around for another run and greased the landing perfectly. At that point it was game on and I started throwing tricks run after run.
I was amazed at how quickly everything came back. It all felt as though I had never stopped. I guess you can chalk it up to muscle memory but the long and the short is I was SO incredibly pumped to get out and ride and even more so to be able to throw most of the tricks I use to.
Sunday was huge for me. Right now I don't really have any plans of getting back into it or trying to make money at it. I just want to ride for fun. The pure enjoyment of flying through the air is a feeling I can't quite describe. I don't know how much more I'll ride ramps because honestly, it's got to end sometime but Sunday was monumental for me personally because I no longer feel like some sort of a one hit wonder. I rode and did well until I got hurt but when it came down to it, I didn't have the guts to get back on. That isn't the case and I'm chomping at the bit to ride again. Not sure when that'll happen but I'm excited about the opportunity and incredibly thankful for all the folks that encouraged me and help make this possible.