MX Confidential - dirtbikes and Doctors

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4/5/2020 1:32 AM

I was searching an old computer hard drive and came across this Op/Ed I wrote and posted on the old motodrive board in June 2004 and decided to share it again

Motocross Confidential: Dirt Bikes & Doctors


How long can you go without riding before your mental health begins to deteriorate? Do you ever wonder how you got to this place where riding Motocross has become as necessary to your well being as oxygen or water? Before today, I never realized that my need to participate in the sport of Motocross had actually become part of my soul.

I was driving home from my first ride after a four month injury induced sabbatical when I realized that my outlook on life had shifted 180 degrees for the positive. I thought to myself “this is incredible, I have been so busy rehabilitating my broken foot I didn’t perceive the dark cloud of stress and anxiety that had slowly crept over my mind - one day of riding and I feel hope for the future again? Too weird!” This realization immediately prompted an inner debate between my mind and the good angel/bad angel perched on each shoulder; the good angel starts by telling me “man, you must be crazy, you just spent four months in the worst pain of your life! You still walk with a limp and need to quit this sport!” Seeing this opening the bad angel laughs and reminds me that my injury did indeed occur while I was riding. Of course my mind objects to this reasoning: “hey, it was a freak accident and I didn’t even crash. Besides, I haven’t had a serious injury in four years!” (That statement alone should tell you it’s beyond my control) The good angel’s not buying my line: “you’re too old he replies, you have a family to take care of and you can’t afford another injury!” I’m not sure if my next thought was actually mine or from the bad angel, but I’m thinking to myself “how could I possibly quit riding, isn’t my positive attitude adjustment after just one day back proof that Motocross is good for me?”
Obviously, this debate didn’t end here but . . . If you happen to be at the track next weekend, come introduce yourself, I’ll be under the blue EZ up icing my foot between moto’s.

Now if you’re reading this and you’re a Motocrosser then it makes perfect sense, but if you don’t ride then you may be wondering if I could possibly benefit from a frontal lobotomy. Seriously, I know this! Motocrosser’s have a better chance of winning the State Lottery jackpot than we do of making any money riding, and everyone knows that if you ride long enough you will end up injured or worse. So why do we do it, why do we spend tens of thousands of dollars on dirt bikes and doctors, not to mention the sweat and tears shed trying to comeback from these injuries - just so we can ride again?

The answer is simple: Motocross is an addiction – according to Webster’s Dictionary we’re addicts: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively. For most of us the addiction is psychological; Motocross requires 110% of your attention and is so mentally demanding that the world, with all its stress and anxiety, disappears while you’re riding. The only thing you think about while you’re on the track is the next jump or turn. Riding is an escape from the real world and a total release from reality. Think about it, no self-destructive drugs or alcohol in order to escape your responsibilities for an afternoon – just another reason to ride! The psychology behind the thrill and gratification of successfully landing a do or die 90-foot jump is beyond my ability to articulate. The personal satisfaction that comes from totally conquering every obstacle on a modern Motocross track is immense. Suffice it to say that if you gave a Motocrosser the choice between riding or having sex his reply would probably be “what track are we talking about?”

Motocrossers come in all ages and abilities. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been riding your whole life or two years. Doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or beginner because once this sport gets under your skin you’re done. And if you get hurt riding don’t expect any sympathy from outsiders – as soon as they hear you got hurt on a dirt bike they will only shake their head and frown. Why do we participate in this sport? It is rarely stated but in our hearts Motocrosser’s truly believe the rewards of our sport far exceed its risks.

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Brapasaurus Rex

4/5/2020 10:13 AM

Love it. COMPLETELY agree. I tell people the same thing you said. When riding it requires total focus on the next jump or turn. It’s the only place I can completely block out any problems in life. Work, kids, money, wife/girlfriend. All free from my mind. It is my serenity.

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4/5/2020 1:01 PM

The answer is simple: Motocross is an addiction

Motocross requires 110% of your attention and is so mentally demanding that the world, with all its stress and anxiety, disappears while you’re riding.

You hit the bullseye with those two statements. I have said similar thngs to friends, family and women many times over the years trying to explain why we love to do what we do.

I think the fighter pilot and the F1 driver are about as high-focused as it gets...
Motocross is probably very close in terms of mental demands to those tasks at the pro level.
Motocross also requires a much greater physical element at any level than most other activities.

I believe it's the combination of the mental and physical intensity that makes it so great.

In a close race, there are times that dicing with other racers becomes a huge element too.
Almost like a game of Tetris as you plan ahead trying to fit the pieces together to make each pass.
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4/5/2020 4:55 PM

Motocross is the shit.

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Life's a garden, dig it.

1996 CR250R
2016 YZ450F
2001 Suzuki Bandit 600

4/5/2020 5:03 PM

Yzf916 wrote:

Love it. COMPLETELY agree. I tell people the same thing you said. When riding it requires total focus on the next jump or turn. It’s the only place I can completely block out any problems in life. Work, kids, money, wife/girlfriend. All free from my mind. It is my serenity.

Pro Tip: if you can pare it down to EITHER a wife OR a girlfriend, your stress level will likely be greatly reduced...

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"Never name a hog you may have to eat" - Willie Nelson

4/5/2020 5:16 PM

No doubt it is an addiction. I've said this before, when you are out on a track pushing yourself, it is the perfect cocktail of adrenaline and endorphins- a runners high on top of a daredevils rush. Lap after lap.
I got a little reminder of this last week - I had stayed off the bike for 20 days as this virus stuff ramped up. It just didn't feel right. Finally I cracked and took the bike out to a pretty basic local track (I really wanted to mitigate as much risk as possible.) But after about my second session I hit that groove and realized I was 100 percent in the "now" again. It felt good to shed all of the day to day worries for a few minutes.

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4/5/2020 6:14 PM

My passion for Moto taught me respect for the machine and live day by day. Risk versus reward? No life over fear but with consequences and rewards. My 3 sons and now my grandson all have the best addiction in the world passed on from me dirtbikes. Yes they will and have been hurt and i have had my doubts if i made the right choice letting them ride. Dirtbikes and riding are a choice a way of life and at 60 i can still give my boys a fit on the track. Well first 3 or 4 laps anyway😎

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4/5/2020 6:54 PM

My father introduced to dirt bikes at age four. Now, (I am 51) he honestly thinks I am mentally ill. As I write this, I am one month out from 5 shattered ribs and two compression fractures. Each day I feel better physically, I feel worse mentally because I cannot ride. My last accident was in 2016 and it resulted in 4 broken ribs, two compression fracture and four transverse fractures.

Hmm, seventeen breaks in less than four years and I am ok with that. My wife has finally realized what it does for my la cabeza and accepts it.

Hopefully, the world will be some semblance of itself before Covid by the time I am fully healed so that I may get head right on my 350 at a track.

Please be safe during this troubling time.

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M3 Racing EKS Goggles Shock Sox Decal Works

4/5/2020 7:37 PM

Lol. I was speaking in general. Guess I should have been clearer. I meant wife OR girlfriend. Depending on the individual situation. But great tip.

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4/5/2020 8:02 PM

We are all sicko's. Our love for the experience of dirtbiking.
We all are in deep trouble. Look out

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