By Jessica Lee
As a motocross racer, for some reason crashing is always in the back in of your mind. It's almost like there's a little voice inside your head constantly reminding you to think about what will happen if you don't land that triple just right or how long you will be out if you get caught up in the dreaded first corner crash. Letting that little voice talk you out of doing something is pretty lame, but it could also save you from making that trip to the local Emergency Room. So, I guess you could say motocross racers learn to ignore that annoying thought and a lot of times end up injured.
On Friday January 19th I ignored that little voice that told me to think before jumping the triple, and even though I had jumped it before, this time I overshot the landing. I was out at Orlando Watersports Complex practicing for a big race on February 4th. Let me tell you firsthand that hard packed clay is not very forgiving; getting a concussion, breaking your wrist and losing your short-term memory is not very fun at all. I always hear about other racers who get injured and then get knocked out of the whole season but I have
never really known exactly how bad it feels to know you can't ride for a few months - until now.
With a bad concussion, for a couple of months your reflexes slow down a lot and you can't think exactly like you used to. This is why riding is out of the picture. I won't be able to train off the track or on the track for any race for a while. I was hoping to also race a championship at a track called Ace Moto-X Park this year, but that too is now out of the question! You've probably also heard of the WMA (Women's Motocross Association) which is just like the AMA but for women; I just got my 2007 WMA Racer Membership. Getting this, I was planning to race a few WMA national races. This takes a lot of training and so now my dreams of competing in those races might also be put on hold!
Even though I have a broken bone and a head injury I feel pretty lucky. It could have been worse. Just think about Ernesto Fonseca's terrible crash where he landed on his head and broke the C-7 vertebra in his back and bent his spinal cord. He did this at a track in California while practicing for the 2006 Daytona Supercross. Everyone in the industry had a lot of sympathy for him and helped to show their support. Ernesto now has no movement in his legs. I know that things like that are rare but as a racer you never would want to hear you won't be able to ride again. I cannot express just how much empathy I have for Ernesto!
I have learned a good lesson. Do not try to show off or go beyond your limits because it will come back to bite you! Also, racing is a great sport - in my opinion the best! Even though I have crashed more than once, this time it has made me realize that life is full of bumps and bruises but you can't let any of that stop you from doing what you love! So - if you end up crashing or for some reason can't ride for a while, overcome that!
Get out there and ride!
Jessica Lee is 16 years old and she's been riding dirtbikes since she was 4. Jessica writes for Bikeland, Racer X and Motokids