The End Where I Begin...

The End Where I Begin...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Road Less Traveled

Well since I slacked on getting my blog out last week after the German GP, I guess we can start there. Leading up into the German GP, I had rode during the week in practice roughly 4 times for the 2 months. Safe to say, my fitness was going to be tested. LOL. It was good to be back, and was good to be back refreshed after being home with some friends, celebrating my 20th birthday, and also being able to train in the ways I am use to. Going into Sunday in Germany, I had 9th Qualification gate pick, and was enjoying things they way they should be enjoyed. After the first race Sunday morning I found myself in 8th on the first lap, and was breathing heavier then a hooker in church. Got into 7th place and kind of hung in there till the end. A 7th isn’t where I deserve to be, or where I train to be obviously, but it was a step in the right direction for me. Turns out things I did not know, I got a 7th of a stock Husky engine, and also put in the best result of the year for Husky and the first top 10 since 2003 for Husky. Race 2 was another good start and on lap 2 sitting in 6th position I developed a injection issue and wasn’t comfortable to continue with the conditions. Having equaled my best finish of last year, given the circumstances I was dealt, I felt that was a pretty decent finish and something to be a little relieved about after struggling for the entire year.
Fermo GP was not what I had hoped for. I was wishing to leave off Europe with one last decent result, things just didn’t fall into place for that to happen. Honestly it was a horrible weekend. 14-13 for a 12th over all. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. First race Sunday morning on about lap 3 or 4 I had come up short on a double jump due to a loss of power we have been experiencing, and some how chunked a bit of my clutch finger off, witch later lead to a small crash. Rode the entire day with pretty much no clutch. 2nd race wasn’t much better, being already completely exhausted from the lack of being able to ride between the GP weekends, I simply just couldn’t push myself forward. I guess I couldn’t expect to be able to do so for 2x40 minutes after hardly riding much due to multiple reasons. At the end of the day,the season is finished here for me and the GP’s this year, and am not sure what 2012 will have in store for me. I have a feeling I will be racing in the states, and plan to use the things I have learned here in Europe to gain momentum moving forward. 
They say the extra mile is always lonely. I never understood that comment till the past few weeks. I came to Europe to get some good results, and make a solid name for myself world wide, instead I did something a little different. I built a better, stronger me off the bike. The things that I have gone through the past 2 years have broken me down, and made me fix my weaknesses. Some people can say I didn’t fix anything… Some people would also say coming to Europe was a big mistake… I can tell you that without the things I have been forced to go through the past 2 years, I would never be the racer, also the person I strive to be in life. People can say I am just a spoiled American that doesn’t know what it is like to struggle, or a kid that forgot how to ride the past two years. I can tell you that if the truth about what I really dealt with here was told, everyone would have a different view of respect for me. Except I am not going to talk down and stoop down to other people’s level and do the same. Although I guess you can say from the results side, 7th is as good as I did here in Europe. Am I pleased with that? No, I am not. What I am pleased with are things I overcame mentally. I also met some people that will be life long friends of mine, and am so thankful to have had many of the great experiences that I got to have. Me being away from my father, and away from the easiness of being home and having a huge support group around me 24/7 allowed me to be forced to deal with things. I have never been the strongest rider from a mental standpoint of things, and I didn’t exactly realize that till half way through the GP season of 2010.
Strange enough the past few weeks I realized something better then a result, and better then a lot of other things. Looking back on 2011, I believe I came full circle with my life. Sitting here over looking the Adriatic sea in Italy thinking about last year, I remember feeling uncertain. Having doubt in myself and doubt in my future. Strange enough through all of this I am confident in myself and really for the first time. I guess it took losing everyone else’s faith in me, to be faithful in myself. This is a lesson that I have ran from my entire life, and being here I was forced to learn to overcome things that I never would have at home.
As the final days here in Europe wind down to the end, and I prepare to head back home to the states, I find myself not regretting the things I had at one point about coming here to Europe. I find myself being able to learn from mistakes and being able to appreciate so many things other people take for granted. So many memories here I will remember for the rest of my life, and the different places in the world I got to see are unforgettable. I am a 20 year old American motocross racer that has had an experience some never have in a life time and I am thankful to all the people that made things possible for me here in Europe. Who knows, one day I could be back again when the opportunity is a little better then they have been. Life takes you places you would never think you would go, and you have to learn to dance in the rain. Literally with all the damn mud races. LOL.
For now, and what comes next? I am on a mission to put the pieces of my puzzle together and prove everything above to myself, and anyone that doubts my capability as a racer. I am ready to put the dream of my childhood into reality, and do it on purpose. Not by luck. Back into training season, and focused in on 2012 with nothing left on the table.
Check back in for updates, video’s, pictures, and all the other stuff going on in my life. I’ll be updating weekly. Goodbye Europe! And hello America!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Confusion Continues...

So the British GP was a miss, and to be honest there hasn’t been an exact reason why. All I have to say, is I was 100% healthy and ready to go. The team just decided to not be there for whatever reason. I have been here in the states from the Tuesday after Czech Republic GP, and there is something I need to get straight. Yes, I crashed, and yes, I rung the bell a little bit, was nothing serious and 3 days later I was back to full training.  I have heard a lot of things that were a little bit untrue to say the least, and wanted to clear that up. The last few weeks have been pretty undecided 'till recently. As far as the month or two to come I will be back in Europe 

This coming Monday, August 28th, I will be gearing up for the final 2 GP’s.
The last few weeks, I have swung a leg over a dirt bike a few times and there is nothing better then riding in California with some family and friends. I have been able to train a lot here off the bike as well whitch has done me some good. I don’t have an explanation for this reason, but training in Europe seems to be about the most difficult thing about living there, whether it is trying to keep a solid schedule, or things just changing day by day. During the last 2 weeks I feel I have made more gains then I have for the past few months. 

Going into the last 2 GP’s, I am looking forward to closing out the season and looking on to next year. The last 2 years have been nothing but learning for me. On and off the bike, I have accomplished so much mentally, and can’t wait to put it to work. People ask me why I say that when I have had hardly any results to speak of “for whatever reason”. There were things that I struggled with as an Amateur, and I am not going to say I solved all my issues in the last two years, because I haven’t. Although, I know what the problems are, and I know what I am changing in order to change myself from the inside out. Through all of this, I look back with no regrets. I am looking forward to getting this year finished up, and I am hoping 2012 to be a reflection as to what gains I have made the last two years. Time will tell.

Being home these past 2 weeks have been some of the best times I have had this year. It is awesome to see how you can learn to enjoy the little things, and not take things for granted. A lot has changed, but for the better I believe. Everything in your life is a lesson to prepare you for the future, so don’t sit back and watch life pass you by. I am off to go put in some laps today on the bike, and time to pack up for the final trip back to Europe. Time to finish what I have started. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spilling the Beans....

Spilling the beans…

So the weekend was basically full of DNF’s. One due to mechanical issues and one due to a second moto crash smashing my hand up a little. Although on a bright note, last year I was 19th best lap time and the second moto this year before my wreck I had 11th best time. Yeah, just a lap time I know. Although I did improve surprisingly… This week I would like to just write a little bit more about lessons in life, instead of dirt bikes. I already stressed last week on the brutality of the Lommel GP, so why do more blogging on that?

I am currently sitting in a cafĂ© in Belgium, looking out over the river watching the sun go down, thinking a little to much back on the year. We are four GP’s out of the end of the season and gathering the thoughts throughout the year are quite a journey to look back on. From coming over January 22nd and seeing snow on the ground with my mother, to this moment right now… haven’t exactly had one of those “easy going moments” if you know what I mean. I guess things were going well for me till about March 17th, the day I long darted in 5th gear to the top of my head… Before that I had some good speed, and was actually adapting quite well to everything, and then that kind of went south. Rode this thing called a couch for 3 months, literally. In that time I managed to mess some special things up which was out of character for myself. Although I learned lessons I will never have to learn again is a positive. After returning to Portugal GP with 2 days on the bike before hand since 3 months prior, I had this thing called a “reality check”. I knew the meaning of this word, but probably the first time I really experienced it. So from there I struggled with a bit of a character change in myself from March and just wasn’t the Michael Leib a lot of you know I am. Not to mention, quiet a bit of mechanical problems resulting in DNF’s. So struggling to get back into shape, I was simply rolling through the motions trying to get on my feet. Had a few top 15 finishes, and just never got back to normal. My father came out for 2 GP’s the beginning of July, and either a wreck on the start for me in Germany, or some mechanical issues, once again I was feeling a step back from where I started in Portugal in April. Then came along Latvia, first flash of something in a long time. After we got the bugs worked out of the bike Saturday and first moto Sunday, I ran lap times that would have put me into the top 8 in moto 2. In this moment, I folded a foot under the peg to DNF that as well. Lommel was an expectation of top 17 for me. Well, at least a goal from the previous 23rd over all in 2010. Had some bike issues Saturday and first moto Sunday, and once again second moto was 11th best time in the moto, HUGE IMPROVEMENT for me… but then a crash would lead to a nice bump on the hand and to much pain to continue. DNF. So I said before this was going to be a blog not about the bike… Here is where I get to that part.

So where does that past leave you as far as a mental state of mind? Leaves you in two places… I can answer that saying, I wonder why a lot, although it is teaching me faith. We get tested, some more then others… I always used to be the one to wonder why it is easier for some and not others... That is not exactly going to do me any good now is it? I am 19 years old, traveling the world racing dirt bikes. I may not be getting the results or the respect I deserve, although I am learning things people don’t in a lifetime. It has taken till now to change how I think, and how I look at things. People say you are as good as your last race… Someone that has been very helpful to me lately is a person from Austria. Name of Cauldio Pica. He told me, “there are 1.7 million people in Japan who are going to work everyday… Do you think 1 of those people give a damn about your last race?” No they do not. No matter what you are doing or chasing in your life, you must understand people don’t care as much as we think they do. In other words, “a worry is a down payment you may never have, so why waste the money?” Through out my career I have worried about what people think, and what they will say about me after a performance. People are going to say what they want, regardless true or false. So many of us are guilty for letting others control our lives without even noticing. Before you realize it your life begins to spin out of control, for a reason so small. We makemistakes, we learn, and most of the time we do it all over again because we get lazy. Life is full of walls although only to see how bad we want to get to the other side. Many of us get lazy, and a lot of the times forget the reason we do things in the first place. Speaking for myself, everyday I try to better myself although often forget the reason of it. The reason being is I refuse to except to sit back and watch life pass me by. I want to be the best I can be. That is all we can be anyways. There is no line saying, if you don’t make it this far in life you failed. Your personal best is just as good as the thing you dream of every night. We all fail at things… What would it be if we all succeeded with everything? Life wouldn’t have so much of a meaning. Don’t be afraid to fail, because more then not, you most likely will. It is those that come back time after time to eventually succeed that make the journey worth while. I guess what I am trying to say is, life is short, don’t let thing’s get between you and your goals. Enjoy life and learn from the mistakes.

Anyway, sorry to change it up a little this week, just felt like a change for the blog. Off to Czech in the morning for the weekend, hope for a good one! Should be a mud race. The jet ski is loaded and ready though. The weekend after is my 20th birthday, unreal. Life is starting to go by faster each day it seems. I will post a new blog mid next week. Take care, see you around!