Pro Short Track Nationals
(Pro Short Track at Nationals)
Some people see life in color, others see it in black and white. For some there is good, bad and every shade in between. For others there is no in between; there is success or failure, right or wrong, black or white. For me there is no partial successes or part good part bad, you are one or the other. It is simply the way my brain looks at life. It is both a curse and blessing but it is something that I was born with.
With that being said the past two weekends were pretty bad. The first weekend was spent up in Camas, Washington at the fourth stop of the Oregon Enduro Series. The race courses were made up of two trails: one rock filled highway and the other a jump trail that came with jumps of every shape and size. I felt pretty comfortable on the rocks but the jumps scared me a little. There were four or five jumps that were bigger than anything I had ever hit before. I knew that I would have to hit them if I wanted any chance at being competitive. Throughout the weekend I worked my way up to them until my good friend Jon Buckell gave me a few words of wisdom that helped make it all click. After that I followed him and cleared every jump on the run. At this point I was stoked mostly because now I had a shot at being competitive in Sunday’s race. The plan for Saturday was to do one run on each course just as a pre-race refresher. Near the bottom of the jump track I hit one of the biggest jumps on the whole run a little weird and got bucked. I got bucked right over the bars and onto my face. I tacoed my front wheel, snapped my seat dropper post, and broke my saddle. Along with that I got a nice sprained wrist and a side dish or road rash. As bad as that sounds it could have been much worse so I am simply glad to be alive and not broken. Unfortunately this crash took me out for the race and a few days after. Next time I will be sure to stay focused until I am at the end of the trail.
Battered and bruised I hopped on a plane and left Washington in search of some east coast racing. I arrived in Pennsylvania a few days before Nationals so I had plenty of time to pre-ride the course and figure out how to ride with a banged up wrist. I found a combination of ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory gel, and a wrist brace took the edge off the pain. By race day I felt mentally ready, but physically I still needed more time to recover.
The race started well. I managed to set my self up with some perfect openings. Unfortunately I didn’t have the legs to get through those openings. I tried to get them going but as I went up the first climb but I hit a wall. I repeatedly tried to break through that wall I smashed into it over and over but it was to no avail. After the first lap it got to the point where I couldn’t ride in any gear but my granny gear uphill or downhill. With two more races to go I thought it best to save my legs before they completely exploded into oblivion, and give my wrist another day to heal.
The painful Super D
The next two days were spent pre-riding and trying to get the Pro Super-D course dialed in. It was a challenge to hit the lines I wanted to at the speed I needed with my wrist injuries, but I gave it my all and rolled into 13th place. This was a more than disappointing finish for me.
I tried to channel my anger and frustration into my pedals in the Pro Short Track race. I started at the back of the pack, but didn’t have the snap required to move up quickly. I did manage to slowly pick my way up through the field. I was comfortably moving up a couple places each lap until another racer pulled up next to me put his hand on my shoulder and shoved me off the course. This ran me into a tree and lost me close to ten places before I was able get back on course. I slowly got going again and began passing racers again catching back up to the guy who pushed me off course. When I caught up to him he went down right in front of me on a grass turn. I had to brake hard to avoid running him over, costing me more places. The race went on for another two laps before I finished in 43rd place.
As far as results go the weekend was a failure. Despite the poor results the weekend was still a success. I had a great time hanging out with friends and managed to learn a thing or two. In the end you can’t change the way your brain analyzes your life but you can change what it gets to analyze. I guess the lesson to be learned from the past two weekends is that black, white, or any color in between you can always find a little sunshine in everything.
Moving on from the weekends of black and white I am headed to Downieville for the last race of the season before the collegiate racing season starts. With a failure of a season results wise I will be looking to go out with a bang. After the Downieville Classic I will be taking some time off from racing before I road trip back to school and start on some new adventures. As this season comes to an end I have some exciting ideas for the coming season so stay tuned…you might be surprised!
A hint of what’s to come