Just when you think you are on the way up and things are looking good, life has a tendency to kick you in nuts. This has happened to my countless times in my life, especially with injuries.
Setbacks and failures are a part of life. But like the saying goes "it is not what happens to you, its what you do about it". Well for over 30 years I have been picking myself off the ground (Note: sometimes I got assistance/medical help due to being unconscious), dusting myself off and got back on my bike and/or motorcycle. Well after yesterday's visit to a wrist/hand specialist I am seriously considering finally walking away from competitive racing while I still can.
If you recall about 1 month ago I took a nasty fall while out riding with my son. We were up at Smithville lake riding the MTB trails. A bunny hop over a log went bad and I ended up going over the bars very hard. For the past 4 weeks I have been having wrist pain. The diagnosis after a quick trip to my family doctor was just a sprain. I have had plenty of sprains in my life and this one was not getting any better. Yesterday confirmed what I thought - torn ligaments.
I sat for hours thinking about all the training I have done as of late. All the hours in the gym doing physical therapy not to mention the time spend riding and running. Currently I have to do about 5 hours of physical therapy a week just to keep my body and all my nagging injuries in check. I thought about all those cold ass rides I went on to get ready for the 2013 season. All of it now seems like a big waste of time and sacrifice.
Getting injured has been the story of my life. I still remember back in 1988. I had just finished up a very successful season - winning the 1987 Florida State Motocross Championship in the 125 A division. I decided to give it 100% and focus on trying to make it as a Professional. Things were going great. I had support from several key sponsors including Honda West. I had a mechanic (Storman Norman Racing) to build and maintain my bikes. I had great support from my brothers and friends like Tom Pantley. Leading up to the Tampa Bay and Daytona rounds of the AMA Supercross series I felt like I could get a top 10 in the Lites division for sure. Then while practicing at an area track I attacked the whoops full gas in 4th gear and about 1/2 through my wrist just snapped. That ended that season and the following. It took me just about a full year for the bones in my wrist to fully heal.
One question I have been asking myself is why do I still want to race?
Do I really need to compete? I have hundreds of medals and trophies. I won several state championships and series titles.
Do I really need another? Early on these "little tokens" of a job done
well came easy. The last several years they have been much harder to
come by. When I do earn a spot on the podium I sure do appreciate it
more than ever. I guess the real question is at what price will these victories come at? Will I be able to lead a normal life when I get (if I get) into my 60's and 70's?