The theme song from Rocky punches through the morning buzz at a Starbucks in Tehachapi, Calif., a speck of a town located 115 miles north of Los Angeles and 4,000 feet above sea level. "Just one second," Kevin Robinson says as he pulls his iPhone from his pocket while balancing a double-shot espresso and an oversized glass canister of sugar in his left hand. It's a delicate act worthy of Cirque du Soleil. He sits the coffee on the condiment counter and pours the sugar as he talks. And pours. And pours. "Hey," he says defensively as he hangs up the call. "I eat healthy. I don't do drugs. I don't smoke. I rarely drink. But I like sugar. And coffee. I have a lot going on today."
Saying Robinson has a lot going on is like saying the Saints had a lousy spring. It's both obvious to anyone who knows them and the utmost of understatements. Since he last competed on a BMX bike in 2010, Robinson and his wife Robin started a motivational speaking business, founded the K-Rob Foundation, launched an action-sports padded-apparel brand called Grindz, saved middle school sports in their hometown of East Providence, R.I., began working with the East Providence City Council to secure permits and land on which to build the city's first skate park and started drawing up plans to open a Woodward-like training facility in Coventry, R.I., in the spring of 2013. During those two years, Robinson also underwent eight surgeries to repair multiple injuries to his right shoulder and endured a rehab routine that would buckle the knees of most Navy SEALs.
"My life is like threading a needle through chaos," Robinson says. "Mat Hoffman likes to says that. I think it's appropriate for me right now."
This week, Robinson is in Tehachapi to spend a few days jumping the MegaRamp at Woodward West's training facility in preparation for his return to competition in BMX Big Air at the X Games. Already this late-May morning, he's fielded several calls from a company he's working with to set up travel for kids who, through his Foundation and Target, his sponsor of ten years, won a chance to attend a weekend camp at Woodward in State College, Pa. He's answered multiple texts from fellow BMXers Anthony Napolitan and Zack Warden asking him to open the gate at the MegaRamp and responded to a text from a woman who accepted the first paid job at the K-Rob Foundation. All of this in the course of giving an interview and eating breakfast.
"Most of the guys over at camp haven't even woken up yet," Robinson says. "It feels like dinnertime to me." It is 10:30 a.m.
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