It’s been a whirlwind month since I posted, from competing in my first Supercross race to covering the Atlanta Supercross live from the press box inside the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium after the NEPG cancelled my enduro, I’ve been getting some much needed seat time in the rider’s seat. There’s a certain “meditative aspect in the classical relationship between man and machine,” in that “You’ll feel much better if you get off your ass and go ride a motorcycle. Even better if you do it well.” – Ride Apart
The goal of the mindful rider is to reach the level where the precise action at the right time becomes second nature, the right move without thinking about it. – Meditation by Motorcycle – Finding Nirvana in a Curve
For my first-ever Supercross Amateur Racing event at Raymond James Stadium last month, even though I only completed less than 5 miles in 15 laps and burned ~200 calories, including one practice, one heat race and one main event, it was one of the hardest, most daunting tasks I’ve ever encountered, when I’m used to racing 60+ miles straight.
Out of my comfort zone on the supercross track, most of which taunted me – think: turn, jump, turn, jump – from the peaky triples to the hard-packed whoops, the obstacles forced me to dig deep over all of the jumps I was rolling. It’s like Malcolm Stewart sending it over the quad at the last Supercross; it’s the last thing he was thinking about: “Let me give it a little bit more gas and see what happens.”
“After I did it, it was kind of like one of those things that you do something you’re like man that was kind of sketchy, but then somebody else starts doing it and now you’ve opened up a can of worms where now you have to do it, so i wasn’t too stoked on it … probably if i didn’t do it, no body would have done it.” – Malcolm Stewart on PulpMX
Sitting on the starting gate inside the same stadium where I watched my childhood heroes battle back in 1998 and, years later, watched many of my college’s football games and looking up at the Raymond James Sign that 40,000 people saw the night before, my chest swelled with pride knowing I was capable of more than I even may sometimes be aware of – from cornering to passing in traffic. When the gate dropped, I felt no pressure to perform and tried my best to combine all of the techniques I’ve learning over the past (gasp!) 29 years of riding, knowing I would soon have to return to my everyday life and put it all behind me, even if it was just to wake up and run a 5K the next day.
“Among men who rise to fame and leadership two types are recognizable — those who are born with a belief in themselves and those in whom it is a slow growth dependent on actual achievement. To the men of the last type their own success is a constant surprise, and its fruits the more delicious, yet to be tested cautiously with a haunting sense of doubt whether it is not all a dream. In that doubt lies true modesty, not the sham of insincere self depreciation but the modesty of “moderation,” in the Greek sense. It is poise, not pose.” – B.H. Liddell Hart