Growing up I was always the kind of kid who enjoyed pushing limits and boundaries, much to my mom’s dismay. I didn’t enjoy the normal childhood activities like soft ball or soccer, I always wanted more. I would often be seen around the local parks on skate boards, and return home covered in bruises, scrapes and grazes.
My mom would beg me to take it easy, but this seemed to spur me on to what I considered to be bigger and better things, while my mom would say that each new hobby was more dangerous than the last and that I was asking for trouble.
I have an uncle who is only ten years older than me, and he had a similar outlook on life. He owns a successful business, he doesn’t have any kids, so each Christmas I would receive an unbelievable present. When I was 12 he bought me a motocross bike. My mom was so angry, I had never seen her react like it, but while she was angry, she knew she couldn’t break my heart and take the bike away from me.
Along with the bike he had the sense to buy all of the relevant safety gear. This gift would go on to change my life. I ended up taking to riding the bike very well. After only just two years riding, I was signed on a youth contract, three years on from that, I would go on to sign my first professional contract. My mom was always worried, she would constantly ask me to find something else to focus on, something that wasn’t dangerous, but she knew her pleas fell on deaf ears, I had always pushed myself, and now I had a career which would allow me to push myself to the limits every day.
A Short Lived Dream
I enjoyed three successful years as a professional motocross rider. All of my dreams were coming true. I won race after race and secured the championship in my third year as a professional. The next season was planned to be my biggest yet. As normal, training was stepped up two months prior to the start of the season, and everything was going to plan.
Two weeks before the first race, my world came crashing down. I was on my way to a family meal when I was involved in a car crash, a drunk driver smashed into the back of my vehicle. I suffered a broken leg, a broken arm, cracked 6 ribs, suffered a punctured lung and slipped two discs in my back.
It was typical, my mom’s worst nightmare had come true, but it wasn’t my fault. My sponsor was amazing, they did everything they could to help with my recovery, I was determined to get back racing as soon as possible.
My recovery would turn out to be a long and drawn out process. My leg had to have a metal plate inserted and while this was delaying my recovery, the main problem to getting back on my bike was the back injuries I suffered. I had physio session after physio session but still had problems with mobility. After six months all of my other injuries had healed, but my back continued to cause me problems.
A year after the accident had passed, I was still receiving physiotherapy twice a week. Thankfully I was insured so all of the medical expense was taken care of. After each session my back would feel great, but the next day I would seem to be back to square one. My therapist suggested I buy a supporting mattress for my back, apparently your body heals more than you could imagine during your sleep.
I searched the internet for some advice and found a website, http://www.wakeupinabetterway.org/, here I found lots of information on different types of mattress available and I soon had a top recommended model of my own.
Unfortunately, while the mattress helped, it didn’t solve the problems and worst fears came true. The doctor said if I valued being able to walk, I shouldn’t get back on a motorbike again. If had one small accident, it could paralyse me.
I have since taken a job with a drink drive awareness charity, I go from school to school telling the kids about the dangers surrounding this subject. I am living proof that drinking and driving can ruin someone’s life. I was one of the lucky ones. My mom is much happier now I have a safe and steady job, and I manage to get my adrenaline fill by helping to train up and coming motocross talents.