What are all the injuries you've had from riding?
-Broken lower rib.
-Dislocated big toe and jammed about an inch down into my foot.
-Cracked four front teeth out and ripped my labret piercing through my lip doing a face-plant scorpion grind on jagged pavement.
-Broken collarbone aided with surgical plate and 7 screw fixation.
-Re-break of the initial collarbone fixation from riding a tad too soon. Backed the screws out and bent the plate. Solution: bone graft from my left hip and a thicker plate & screws in my collarbone.
-Broken knee cap (cracked horizontally and vertically).
-Re-break of same kneecap and surgery with two screws and a wire to hold it together. During same surgery had my collarbone plate and screws removed (since it was healed and not comfortable).
-About a year later re-broke the same collarbone requiring another plate and screw cocktail & bone graft from my left hip.
-Like everyone else: stitches, staples, and bruises.
I began reading passionately about human anatomy, nutrition, health, sports psychology, and philosophy in my free time.
How do you mentally overcome the time off your bike like that?
I was in school or working full time during all of my injuries, so I always had graphic design to channel my energy into. I am so lucky to have a wonderful family and such kind friends who were very supportive of me. It's been a rough time, but being injured and held back from something you are passionate about (and is very time sensitive to your goals) made me become much more introspective. My restrictions made me practice patience. I began reading passionately about human anatomy, nutrition, health, sports psychology, and philosophy in my free time. I also spent much more time with my friends and family, which I extend my respect and sincere appreciation to.
Do you have advice to those posted up with injuries at the moment?
Practice patience and cultivate your understanding of yourself to realize you can control your state of happiness in any situation. If you can develop that control of consciousness, everything from work, to relationships, riding, and even simply breathing can become a much richer and more enjoyable experience. Explore some new interests...you may discover new passions lying within you and a renewed appreciation for that which is and right in front of you.
Do you have any regrets doing the things you tried, that gave you your injuries? Would you have done anything differently? Regrets?
No. Done things differently? Well, maybe I would have paced myself a bit more! I think there was a point where I was filming larger stuff, and it was working out 100% for quite some time, and then I caught a string of accidents. I think if those accidents and injuries didn't happen then, it would almost be inevitable that some would pop up. To be honest, I feel lucky with my situation. There were a few things while filming in the past that definitely would not have allowed for a second try.
I have had so many great experiences through riding: traveling, learning about myself and other, meeting new people, etc. My involvement in BMX has shaped much of my other life experiences, so it has been a wonderful thing, and I definitely would not change it.
Are you worried your injuries may affect your lifestyle when you get older?
I am definitely more aware of it now being the ripe age of 25 than when I was 19. I feel confident saying I am an individual committed to staying in good health through fitness and nutrition...so hopefully that offsets things a bit! I feel pretty good for all of the injuries I have and I attribute that actively making sure that is the case.
Practice patience and cultivate your understanding of yourself to realize you can control your state of happiness in any situation.
How have your injuries affected the way you approach your riding now, are you more scared?
I definitely look at things more carefully and don't risk it as much and as often. Trying to be a bit more technical than burly usually lends itself to less risk of injury. Sometimes you have to throw down, so it just depends on the situation. I guess you could say I'm just more picky now.
Any last comments?
Thanks to everyone who has supported and inspired me in BMX and other things I am passionate about: thanks to my family, friends, sponsors (past and present), teachers, and everyone I have met along the way. In the words of Dean Dickinson, "lay it flat!"