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I wasn't real clear of what actually had just occurred, but I did know
that I was in terrible pain. I laid beside the supercross track for at least 20
minutes answering the questions of very eager Emergency Medical personnel.
“Leave me alone! I will be all right.” I said to the medical guy that
was tugging at my chest protector.
If there is one thing that I can not stand is twenty medical people
trying to take all of your clothes off for a little cut or scrape. As I was put
on a backboard and taken to the ambulance I couldn't help wondering what had
went wrong. All I remember seeing was my body tumbling with my bike to an
I laid in the ambulance for what seemed like days. All I could hear
were engines revving at high Rpm's and the roar of the crowd when someone styled
for the crowd. It was very disheartening to know that I was in the back of an
Ambulance at my first professional supercross. The only thing I could do was
play the past events over and over in my head.
I couldn't believe it as I looked at a shiny gold and silver card. This
card signified all of the rights and privileges of a professional supercrosser.
Now I would have the right to race with the worlds best.
“Dad look it finally came!” I shouted.
My dad looked at me with silly grin and said “Well you knew it was
coming, you won your 25th race last month.”
As I stood there with a smile bigger than the sun on my face I said “I
know but I am still excited about it. Just think I will be racing side by side
with Damon Bradshaw and Kevin Windham.”
He just smiled and patted me on the back as I turned and walked to my
room. I sat dreaming of the race I will enter next month. I had no idea what
was in store for me at this spectacular event.
As D-day drew nearer my mind overflowed with anticipation. I gathered
my riding gear and my lucky Bart Simpson doll and headed out the door. I won my
first race the day I sat my Bart Simpson on my handlebars between races. I have
done it ever since to bring me good luck. The ride to Charlotte Motor Speedway
was what I thought a trip that would never end. As we entered the pit area I
was given a special pass to wear around my neck.
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card that said “Professional Supercross Rider”. The pit was filled with racers
walking around and talking to various people while there mechanics worked hard
in the hopes of bringing home a victory.
I walked about, talking to few people as I tried to get use to this new
environment. My stomach felt like a squeezed orange when I heard the announcer
say “ Is everybody ready to see the bad boys of supercross! Well ladies and
gentlemen get ready to hear the engines roar as 250 riders bring out there
talent and go to work!” When I heard this I knew it was time to lay all the
cards out on the table.
“ O.K. ladies and gentlemen her comes the 1st 250 semi final heat.
Starting on the right we have Kevin Windham, Jeremy Mcgrath, Doug Dubach, Jeff
Emig, Mike LaRocco, Ryan Hughes, Brian Swink, Mike Brown, Larry Ward, Greg
Albertyn, Kyle Lewis, James Dobb, Damon Huffman, Phil Lawrence, Jimmy Button,
Ezra Lusk, Buddy Antunez, Mike Craig, and from Charlotte North Carolina,
Everyone give a big round of applause to your two home riders The Beast from the
East Damon Bradshaw and new comer Shawn Miller.” The crowd came to there feet
and roared like a pack of lions. I knew that they were mostly cheering for Damon
but I enjoyed being right next to him. The thirty second card went up and my
stomach fell to the ground. I knew the gate would be dropping soon. I stared
for what seemed like an eternity at the gate that was holding all of us back.
With all of the skill I had, I tore off the start line the best that I could.
As fast as I was in Pro motocross these guys left me like I was a rookie. Come
to think of it I was a rookie. The first race I worked my way through the pack
and settled into a fifth place spot. As I came upon the last lap I was amazed
at the capacity of the crowd watching this Spectacular event. These were people
who paid good money to see us race. I felt proud just to be out there with these
masters of Supercross.
“O.K., I made it, here comes the final finish line double.” I said. As
I crossed this medium size jump I laid the bike sideways in the air ,and for the
first time in my life I had dozens of cameras flashing at me like stars in the
I rode slowly to the pit area where my father waited with a huge smile
on his face. “ I can't believe you have done so well in your first supercross
I smiled and said “ Well I still have to race the main event to really
make my mark.”
I got off of my mechanical wonder and sat down to eat a banana. As I
peeled back the outer shell of this yellow fruit of wonder, I realized how
excited I was and could not bare to eat. I was having a new emotion every five
seconds. It was like a dream that you never want to wake from. Here I was, a
Professional rider at a professional event. This was the dream that my friends
and I buzzed about when we raced as amateurs. I almost felt guilty because I am
getting to live our once shared dream.
I was quickly rattled out of my thoughts as I heard the announcer ring
out, “We need the 250 Class to stage for the main event in ten minutes”.
I was so nervous that I felt like a long tailed cat in a room full of
rocking chairs. I am not sure but at the time I think that I was more scared
than anything. My father quickly handed me my riding gear and told me to put on
my race face. This is a term used to get a rider into his racing attitude. My
arms were more shaking than a old time washing machine. As I approached the
staging area, all of the thoughts of winning and losing were forced out of my
head. I knew that it was time to make my mark in the world of supercross.
“O.K. ladies and gentlemen, it is time for the main attraction of the
night. Here comes the best of the best out again for the main event. Winner
takes all!”, the announcer shouted.
My stomach squeezed more than ever. As much as I wanted this day to
come I was wanting it to be all over with. I felt like a little boy in a room
full of superheros.
At the beginning of the race I started talking my way through jumps. “
O.K. I am going to do well. all I have to do is concentrate.” when I said this,
the gate dropped. The first time I came around my pit board told me to settle
down that I was in fourth. This is when I had to really come down. “I need to
breath and calm down. O.K., I am settled into my groove.” As I tried to gather
my thoughts I was in the middle of the largest race of my life. “Here comes a
double followed by the triple. Wow, look at all of the camera's taking pictures
of me.” I was amazed by how the crowd roared as I profiled over the triple jump.
It was quite amazing. why wouldn't it be, it hurled me over 65 feet off the
ground. as I settled down I realized that the race would be over soon and I have
done quite well. “Only two laps left and here comes the finish line double.
Ooooh nooo!!!! ahhhh!!!!!!” I found out that when I was landing off the finish
line double the defending supercross champ, Jeremy Mcgrath, landed on top of me.
This pain was weirder than all others I have felt. I really didn't feel the
pain in the physical sense at first. I felt as if my back had just collapsed.
It wasn't till I tried to stand and return to my bike that I felt the
excruciating pain of four cracked vertebrae.
“Leave me alone! I will be all right.” I said to the medical guy that
was tugging at my chest protector.
If there is one thing that I can't stand is twenty medical people trying
to take all of your clothes off for a little cut or scrape. It was now that I
ended my first professional supercross................