On and off the Track
Picture your self standing in a farm field in the middle of July. The wheat has been freshly cut and the noon day sun is beating down on the moist ground. It rained the night before so the field is very loamy, even muddy in some spots. Nature seems to be working together in perfect harmony at this very moment. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, screams a dirt bike charging up the hill with the power of sixty horses. The roar of the engine and the awe inspiring power bring a childish smirk to your face that you can’t seem to wipe off. The peaceful scenery quickly becomes an offbeat mess, as the ground is torn into a million ruts, and the quite afternoon is now filled with a fun and exhilarating father-son sport. This is motocross.
The man on the dirt bike charging up the hill is my father, Tony, who started riding when he was 16 and was one stepping stone away from turning pro in the early 80’s.
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Seeing my dad ride and race puts a smile on my face every time because it’s a unique experience that only a few have shared. Because my dad is one of the my biggest idols, seeing him on a motocross bike flying through the air and cultivating the ground is something that is hard to describe. It makes me want to be the best I can be at the sport of motocross and all other aspects of life from respecting other people to succeeding in school. Motocross, like I said, is a very father-son sport which is great because it gives me a chance to really get closer to my father which is important in my teenage years. While I’m on the track my dad is always there encouraging me and cheering me on, off the track he’s the same way but just with the other aspects of my life; school, friends, and family. Going to the pro races in Minnesota and Michigan were always a real treat and still are. They’re a time when the boys of the house get out for awhile and bond over a sport we all love.
The motocross circuit is one of the most competitive places on earth, people are always trying to be the first into that corner and across the finish line. Life, like motocross is also very competitive for example; college, careers, friends, women. Racing has taught me what I need to do to get to that top spot in life, how to work hard and not quit until you get there. My first experience riding was quite frightening. I was about 13 on a small mini bike when my dad said to go for it and hit the “big track”. So I did, the track almost made me drop a load, imagine jumps that go higher than the ceiling in the room you’re in, bikes flying past you and jumping over you. After a couple laps I said to myself, “this is what motocross is, this is what I’m gonna have work up to” I then proceeded to start twisting the throttle a little harder and start putting out some faster laps. I was doing great, charging corners and pinning long straights, until i decided to go hit that one jump I wasn’t ready for, but hey you won’t know till you try. As i was quickly doubting myself so I thought of the old motocross saying “when in doubt, pin it” and that is just what I did, held the gas wide open and hoped for the best. Well the best didn’t turn out, I did a nose-dive in the air and went over the bars burying my helmet in the dirt, the embarrassment engulfed me. The point is that the crash made me even stronger, having to go back to your bike after a crash that has left you full of embarrassment is no easy task. From that day forward i worked hard to get to the point I’m at now. I told myself that to be the best I’ve got to try new things and meet new people to all help me succeed on and off the track.