You know, I don’t know what I would be doing without this – racing is my life. I got a PW50 when I was three, at Christmas, and ever since then my whole racing career has been progression, like I still feel I haven’t got to my best. I feel like I’m that guy who always makes progress, I want more and I believe I can do better than what I’ve done, but at the same time I’m still making progress, it’s not like I’m going backwards.
I wasn’t good on 50s, or 60s, I made it to the amateur nationals but I wasn’t good, just good enough to make it. And then when I got on a big bike I went to the next level, I showed up at an amateur national and I was fighting for wins (winning a Loretta Lynn’s 250A title). Then I went to Millville in 2006 and got 11th in my first moto as a pro. I kind of struggled for my first couple of years but had a few decent enough rides to keep me around and then Mitch (Payton of Pro Circuit Kawasaki) saw something in me. When I signed that deal I knew I was going to win that championship (2011 West Coast SX Lites) that next year, I had that feeling, I’d already made my mind up that that was what was going to happen.
I struggled in the outdoors that year because I felt I’d accomplished something so big that I would never have imagined I would have done, and so I didn’t reset and have another goal, so for that whole outdoor season I struggled. And kind of struggled in supercross the next year in the 450 class, but then in the outdoors I got five or six podiums and fifth in this championship so always when I’ve got to the bottom I’ve pulled myself back up and made the best of the situation. I’ve always lived by ‘don’t give up, don’t ever give up’.
Obviously here in the States, in supercross and motocross everyone works hard, every team is working hard to do better. The sport is true dedication, a day-in day-out thing that you have to put your body and mind to. It requires absolute focus, the focus has to be there because it is dangerous, obviously so, if you lose the focus there’s a chance of you getting injured.
And despite ten-plus years racing supercross I still get nervous in going through the transition from outdoors to supercross. That first supercross session after riding outdoors all summer – I’m scared. I am. But by the time the season comes around and you’ve got through the first couple of races, it seems normal. Supercross is tough here, there’s a lot of competition and everyone is always pushing for more, and the talent is not getting any weaker. And even after ten-plus years it still has that special feeling.
It is unrelenting, too. I know the date I stared training with Aldon, it was September 10. I didn’t have a day off from then until I got my B sample results (April 14). And I’ve only taken one day off since then, doing stuff every day to stay active and keep myself sane.
Going from supercross to motocross and back again, it makes for a full year, there’s little or no rest and to do that for ten-plus years is quite something. But it becomes natural, a way of life, I don’t what it is, if I become tired or whatever I can still get up and still go for a run in the morning, it feels normal. If I don’t do it feel like man, I’m losing it! This sport is not easy by any means, but all of us enjoy it, if you don’t you’re not going to do well
People asked me this year, how much longer do you think you want to do this? And I don’t really have an answer, but like most of us, it’s until we’re not enjoying it anymore. Obviously there are times when you’ll not enjoy it, but it’s only when you’re completely over it do you call it quits. And the I feel the situation I’m in now is not the way I saw myself going out at all, so I can’t accept calling this it, for good. So for me I’m mentally ready to keep going.