Motocross

History repeats

History repeats

Another season, another injury – but exactly how do you dislocate a shoulder swimming? Travis knows… Well, the season so far has been just as unforgiving as the last. Everything was going so well for me and then the floor seemed to drop out from underneath my feet. I found myself fighting the flu two weeks from the opener. Frustrated with sitting around and trying to get well, I decided to go ride the hills at Castillo Ranch. It seemed logical that a low-heart-rate, high-fun ride on a warm sunny day would be beneficial. It didn’t take long before I was flying 140 feet without my bike. I landed on my feet but a mere three-and-a-half months post-op from an ACL reconstruction meant this crash had catastrophe written all over it. Amazingly, the knee stayed somewhat together, although it swelled to massive proportions. I fought through the pain during the first two races and tried to convince myself more than anyone that I was perfectly okay. Practice was an entirely different story. Even with prescription anti-inflamatories and enough Advil to drop a full-grown horse, it was impossible for me to keep the swelling down enough to ride during the week without getting it drained on a daily basis. Besides that, it hurt. A lot. Now without the luxury of being able to ride, run or bicycle, I turned to swimming as my only true training alternative. And that brings us to Tuesday, January 14, 2003. By some miracle of magnificent proportions, I managed to pull my shoulder out of its socket while swimming. Yes, you read that correctly. I gave a yelp of pain followed swiftly by an uncontrollable laugh. The lifeguard was almost as dumbstruck as I was, not understanding how exactly I got hurt or why it was so amusing. The shoulder has been dislocated before and when my muscles fatigued it basically fell out of joint as I grabbed the wall. On the brightest side of the year thus far, if you can consider this bright, I’ve been able to turn in some really fast lap times. Okay, I understand they don’t give trophies for that but at least I have the speed. Actually, my biggest problem to this point, other than injuries, seems to be that people keep falling down in blind areas of the track milliseconds before I get there. I do realise the best solution to this problem is getting the holeshot but that’s easier said than done. Ezra Lusk has turned into the most recent of inspirations for not only myself but also other riders – like Grant Langston – who have the speed to do really well but always seem to find ourselves bloody and dejected at the end of the race. Ezra had one of the worst nights of his life at the season opener, going to the LCQ and riding around in nearly last for most the night. Then one week later he showed up looking like a completely new rider and blew us all away. His physical conditioning couldn’t have improved much in a week and surely his speed remained the same. Ezra rode to his full potential for the first time in two years. Congratulations Yogi, you deserve it. Oh yeah, to clear up a topic that seems to have caused people’s imaginations to run wild, I would like to address the Anaheim 1 heat race with RC. Ricky dropped to the inside of me and knew he didn’t have a shot of making his pass stick without using the berm. To counter for my inevitable high-low re-pass, Ricky decided to brake-check me in an effort to keep his lead. That is racing and by no means do I ever take racing personally but since I was probably going down anyway it occurred to me that hitting him harder might be more fun. Instead of locking it up, I pinned it. Sticking to my quote at Anaheim… “Ricky is a weeble… He weebles and wobbles but never falls down.” You people who attended Anaheim 1 were a little harsh on RC but you have to admit that he did his job – he won and I went to the semi. Thanks for not giving up on me. I will be back. Stronger. Faster. Better… Travis