Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mental Conditioning

On my previous post I spoke of mental conditioning and blocking out the pain until it gets too bad to ignore. I had quite a bit of training in this from racing enduros and hare scrambles. You see, these two types of motorcycle racing are long cross country races through the woods. They don't make laps in front of bleachers with paramedics waiting trackside for the first crash. In fact most riders, when they do get hurt, ride themselves out of the woods and back to their vehicle. I have done this numerous times and even a couple of times went on to finish the race.

Once when we racing at Chadwick (nasty place with big rocks ... ok the whole place was one big rock with a little bit of dirt here and there on it) I crashed hard and broke one toe and two bones on the top of my right foot. I knew my foot was hurting, but all I could think about was finishing the race. I still had about 20 miles to go, I started my bike and re-entered the race after losing a couple of minutes. I finished 4th in my class with 3 broken bones.

Another time at a AMA Regional Enduro just outside of Saint Louis, I hit my head so hard I saw in black and white a few seconds. I did the same thing, crawled back on my bike and finished a regional in sixth place with a slight concussion and a broken front tooth.

I was once told by a motocross racer buddy that "you cross country guys aren't normal". This is coming from a guy that doesn't think twice about railing a jump 30 foot in the air. But I also believe that has been good training for teaching me to ignore the pain from RA and go on with my everyday life as best I can. I may not win everyday, but I do compete and finish everyday.