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!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grand Prix Lommel

Here I sit in a lovely laundry mat in the center of lommel, Belgium. I sit here thinking about what it is I can talk about this week. Have you ever have words actually scare you? Ever have a date on the calendar you just aren’t looking forward to? Haha. I do! Well, I am here in Belgium, and have been now for 1 week. Love it here, just about everything except for that thing called sand. Originally I was planning to move here in January because of my sand weakness. As I mentioned, been here for about a week and was able to ride a few days in the sand. First time I have rode with the Husqvarna in the sand as well. Had some bike problems the first few days, but was able to work everything out for at least one good day in the sand. It has been a pretty tough go at it here since I made the come back to the GP’s, and I have a feeling it is going to get tougher before I make it happen here by the end of the season! The team and everyone here understand’s my lack of performance in sand and we all realize for me it is more of a survival race, then results. Although, I am a racer and at the end of the day I am going to do the best I can. It is what I do. For those of you that don’t know the sand here in Belgium and have not seen it first hand, I suggest you be sure to witness it before making an opinion. It is nothing short of brutal. In a weird way, I am excited for it.

Setting a new challenge for myself this weekend, to have as much fun as physically possible. For one reason and that being, if I do not have fun with it, I can tell you from last year… It “will” be hell. Not going to let that happen though. Other then that, life has been on the up and up. I really feel focused for right now, and am finally looking forward instead of backwards. Been a lot to take in since last March, and glad to see myself moving in the correct direction. I know the results have not been showing near enough to my capability level, and I am fully aware of it. I am changing things up a lot right now and I am sure the results are coming soon. Rebounding hasn’t been this difficult for me in the past, and I am glad to be slowly standing up on my own two feet for the first time. For right now I do not know what lies ahead of me in the near future, although one thing I am sure of is I am breaking down walls that have been in my way for a long time. This is worth more then a result to me. Many people at home have seen first hand my true colors on a bike, and I know they are still in there… Can’t wait till they shine again.

Well, with that said, tomorrow is race day at the track. Going to be an interesting one and looking forward to putting it in the past. HAHA. Check back in next week for some insight from the weekend

Monday, July 18, 2011

The First Flash

The last few months haven’t been anything short of a struggle for me. Explanation for not writing any blog’s as well I suppose. Lately, many things seem to little too late, regardless of the subject. We all have high’s and lows, and the reason is not something so easy to find from time to time. I am not so sure we ever truly know the answers. What I do know is it is all a time of growth for a better tomorrow. Just sometimes that tomorrow, isn’t exactly “tomorrow”. My buddy JL111 told me something last week that made complete sense to me and opened my eyes. "Life is about knocking down one wall at a time. How fast you can knock down walls that are put before you is only a matter of how much stronger you are becoming." Yeah ok, may sound simple and easy, but it was one of those times where it fit perfectly into my life. Life has challenges, the only thing we can do is knock down the walls, regardless of the situation. I suppose some are thicker then others:)…
At the moment I am on an airplane somewhere over Sweden, and looking out of this airplane window is once again showing me how blessed I am to do what I am doing. Take away the pain, the struggles, and whatever life has thrown my way… Do I really need to be complaining? No. I like to anyways though… LOL. Just playing. Anyways, the past 4 GP’s  haven’t been good for some reasons… So we can move right on to the last GP this past weekend in Kegums, Latvia. I have decided it is by far my favorite place in Europe. From the culture of life, the people, the women, the track, even the hotels. “Trust me the Hotels are a big deal to me”… LOL. Place is nothing short of a respectful way to live life and I was happy to be back there and enjoying somethings for the first time in a while. 
Saturday was a struggle for me all day like the past few months and the harder I pushed, the worse off I was with it. Sunday was the first flash of light I have seen in my riding since last March. I know to have a 15th in the first moto is not saying much, because myself, as well as whoever else knows me, knows I am much more capable then that. However, my lap times were good enough to put me top 7. During the past GP’s I have been good enough for… 13th? Not a great feeling. Second moto was better as well, with good lap times to carry me into 8th-9th in Moto 2 and even 5th best in the moto, except for just one small problem. When things go good, I like to make them that much harder, and decided after stuffing my foot under my foot peg to call it a day after making my way through a lot of the pack. I will be ok and just need to carry the good from the race and give my foot some time to heal up.
It is quite relieving to see some speed that hasn’t been there for some time. Funny how much your thinking can change when you don’t see anything good for a while, because a little brightness can mean a lot. My life has been off the rails for a while, and I am not letting up till I am back on. I know the man upstairs has his plans for me, and I know everything that has been in my life, isn’t for the price of nothing at all. So for now I am keeping my head down, and focusing on one thing, myself. I was planning to head home for a bit in August for my birthday, but looks as if I will be staying here instead. I was excited to make my way home and see some people, but you never realize what you have, till it is what you had. 
Oh well, life is life and we can only learn. Learn to dance in the rain I like to say. Next week I am headed to Belgium to finally get myself in some sand to practice before the grueling GP of Lommel. Catch me next week. CIAO!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Step by Step

After my two first races in the GP’s of Portugal and Spain, I have been looking forward to this 2-week break. Coming into the GP’s fresh of off the couch was not as easy as a step as I thought it would be. Even though the results were not where they should be, I took a lot away from both of those races. To sum everything up I have a lot of work to do and I am happy to have the problems of the last 3 months behind me. This past week following the GP of Spain where I finished: DNF-14, I got to put in some solid days training. Having the word training back in my vocabulary is something that puts a smile on my face. I heard a quote in a church service back home, “God gives you what you need, when you need it”. For some reason those words have stuck with me for sometime now, and everyday they seem to make more sense.

I am stoked for this weekend, the GP is in Sweden. Last year I had gotten 13th in moto 1, and a 7th in moto 2. So It is one of the few GP’s that were pretty good to me last year and I'm excited to be headed back. My father will be heading out for the next 2 GP’s and that is something I am looking forward to. I know I have plenty of supporters on the team, but having someone that has been through it all with here in Europe, is definitely something to look forward to. 

This coming week I also have two testing days in Milan, where the factory of Husqvarna is. During the time off the bike I have missed a lot of testing days especially leading into the GP season. So hopefully we can make some small gains, and get me feeling better on the bike.

So all in all I am feeling like my life is coming back more and more with each passing day. I know it is still a long road to get back to my level, but I am happy to be making progress once again. Last weekend the team and I headed up to the mountains for some fun on the bike and I was pretty stoked to just have a fun day out with some of my few friends here in Europe. 

Off the bike things have been well… I am becoming quite the cook, house cleaner, and picking up a 2nd language. The weather has turned from the brutal cold winter, to the humid hot summer. The scenery is back to what I remember from being here sometime last year and beginning to be quiet relaxing between the weeks. So for now things are back on the up, and I am getting more and more excited for the upcoming races… Check back in next week after the GP of some Sweden, and hopefully have some decent results to talk about. Thanks for reading, CIAO!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Been Awhile

Well this past weekend was the GP of Portugal. I went into the GP with 4 days of practice and about that many days of intense training. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I wanted to be on the gate. March was the last time I had been in really good health and at my normal physical level. Good idea or bad, I am glad I did it. I have a baseline either way and I now know the effects of not training and being prepared for a race. I have experienced similar times like this but not quite like this.

Needless to say I was a fish out of water. LOL. I guess that part of it was expected, I just did not want to face the fact that I was going to be hurting that bad due to fatigue and lack of breathing. I have always been in good shape, but this is a first. After broken bones, I have still been able to maintain certain levels of training. Not one time have I struggled with 4 laps leading into the 19 + laps of the GP. The goals for now are to get my physical conditioning back to where it needs to be asap.

This upcoming weekend, June 18th-19th,  is the GP of Spain. After this weekend I will have a two week break where I can make up for the lack of riding and training which I am looking forward to. 

People do not realize how much riding there is throughout the weekend of a G.P. We have a 2 day event starting Saturday morning with a “free 35 minute practice”. After the free practice we have a “35 minute timed practice”. The reason for the timed practice is your position in the lap times determines your gate pick for your qualifying race. So with your gate pick from the timed practice we then have a “20min +2 lap moto”. This race is a sprint for your gate pick in both motos on Sunday. Sunday morning we have a 30 minute warm up practice. Then last but not least the grueling 2 x 35min +2 lap motos which leads to about 42 minute races. Not to mention, there is no track prep between those days. LOL.

Other then the racing the weather has finally turned from the daily snowfall from the last time I was here in April, to the lovely humid 90 degree weather. Not really sure which I prefer. Even though I am not so well off with the physical side of things, I am so happy to be back racing and riding. Said it before and I’ll say it again, every time a break takes place and the return to racing comes around, it is even better then the last time. I am still on my own with everything and everyone across the pond, although my father will be joining me in 2 weeks. He will be staying for 2 weeks during Sweden as well as Germany. After he heads home, I will be sending out what I guess you could call “A MAN FRIEND” LOL. Say what you want about that, but I need a damn friend out here.

So for now that is all, I will be preparing for the race this weekend. It is the first time this GP has been at this track in a few years, so I hope it suits me a bit more then last weekend. Check back in again next week. I don’t know how to say good bye in Spanish,  although Italian is close enough. LOL. Chi vidiamo dopo!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back Across the Pond

Well, a fresh start, and another chance, I would say. After being off the bike for about 11 weeks I am finally back and ready to race. The last few months off with little training at the beginning, not riding, and watching the GP’s go on without me was not my idea of fun. However, I did enjoy my time home with my family and other important people in my life. A lot has changed and there is a lot to adapt to in every aspect of my life at the moment, from my personal life, to my physical condition, and back to racing, I have new challenges to chase and conquer. Riding this past week home in  California, showed me once again why my love for the sport is so strong. Things happen for a reason I believe and I am back in Europe with a new attitude and different goals.

I figure it is time to bring it back to the old school days. My father, and I of course, got to where I am now together, although it wasn’t always fun and games with us. We have had our share of what I like to call the “classic Mini Dad” days. Wanting nothing but good for me he wasn’t exactly easy on me. Although if he hadn’t been firm I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog or racing dirt bikes. Of course at the end of the day it was up to me, but I do believe he played a pretty big role. So with that said when I moved to Europe last year riding for Kawasaki Bud Racing, he took a back seat and let me do my own thing. Needless to say it needed to happen. Lately I feel something is missing somewhere. Maybe what I need is that push, or sense of direction, someone who knows me so well, call it synergy. I am pretty stoked for him to come out to the Swedish and German GP's, possibly more following.

As for now, I am gearing up for my first GP in Portugal this weekend. Funny as I look back last year I remember breaking my wrist when I first came over and didn’t get to ride this GP. From what I saw last year, I enjoyed watching the racing and am really looking forward to being on the track. The track in Portugal has big jumps, amazing red dirt, and looks a little bit like a playground on a video game. I have ridden 4 times on motocross tracks and did some trail riding (thanks Husqvarna for the awesome TE310 ) leading up to this GP my physical condition is not at its best. I plan to use these next few races to race myself back into shape. It is not going to be easy doing 40+ minute moto’s although I am so stoked to say I am going racing this weekend. 

I wish I had some friends or family here but I guess some things we just have to do alone. It has come to the point where there isn’t a whole lot I wouldn't do to make my dream come true. I know I am headed in the right direction, just in God’s time, not mine.

Looking forward to writing next week on my return to the GP's.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Growing Pains

For me growing pains have not exactly been on the outside like everyone else might have experienced, I am only 5’5. To me growing pains have had a different meaning in my life. Growing pains in my mind are the pains of the feeling of failure, or things that will make me stronger. I haven’t been keeping up on the blogs because I would rather not talk about how many doctor visits I have had, or how much playstation I have played here at home in my time off the bike.
To give the short story, after I pulled out of Bulgaria and came home, I have been getting myself better day by day.  April 13th I returned home here in the USA and have seen multiple doctors and have had scans on my brain as well as adjustments to my skull. I suffered from post concussion syndrome and it has been a very long road for me. This is the reason for the title “Growing Pains”. Head injuries are literally like grey matter as to how long or what exactly the problem is. I am that kid that pushes through when it gets tough, and unfortunately with this injury I have been on the couch with doctors orders. It has been a waiting game, literally.
I have been making a lot of progress the last few weeks and am gearing up to ride within 1 week. The French GP is coming up on June 5th which is my target race, and at the moment it is not looking likely that I will make that round so once again I find myself turning my focus onto the following weekend;  Portugal. I hate to start a season out like this and for some reason it turned out just this way.
Training has been very slim for the last 10 weeks and my trainer and I are doing everything we possibly can to keep myself in shape while we wait it out. I have just been released from the doctor this weekend and will be beginning my training on the bike to test how much I can put my body through at the moment. Progress is slow, but it is getting better. Soon enough I will be out there. I have dreamed about racing for 2 weeks now, and it is giving me goosbumps to know I am getting close. I want nothing more then to get out there and show not one person but myself that I deserve to be there.
On the bright side, I have been able to spend some time with the family as well as some of my good friends here at home. The USGP was as good as it gets for not racing I guess. I had a chance to do some commentating with David Bailey as well as Paul Mallin. That is quite a different side of racing than I am used to. Haha. I got to do the live show which was a really good experience. So I have been busy and taking the correct steps to get myself better and I am happy that Husqvarna-Ricci Racing are supportive of my health as well as my family. Check back next week to see the progress as I get ready to head back to Europe and fend for the Americans… Ciao!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Positive Mistake

So it has been a rough first 2 months as far as results and staying off the dirt once or twice. I look at everything that happens in my life and know it is meant to serve a purpose. A purpose we don’t know although if we remain faithful things will be just fine. I have been taken some time off the bike during the last 2 weeks since I took a pretty hard fall.  I have had an exam and everything checks out to be just fine. The downfall? I am experiencing some trouble as far as working out and getting going again in a normal flow of things. This weekend is the first GP in Bulgaria and I am feeling better now, so it is just a matter of time.

Why is this a bad thing exactly? Many people can say you need to be training, you need to be riding, and you need to push through it. I disagree. In my mind the training is what I busted my a@@ for all winter long. The only good thing you can do to help an injury? Literally watch the clock turn round and round. So with all the time to think and train my mental side of racing, for me this is possibly a blessing in disguise. That is the way I see it as the season is long. We start April 10th and go all the way to September 11th. Having 2 weeks rest prior to the 1st GP is a bit relaxing and reassuring, knowing that all the work is done. I am going to come into the first GP rested and looking forward to being on a bike when many have already quite exhausted themselves.

What are my goals and expectations for round 1? Two things, know who I am, and enjoy racing a dirt bike. The rest will follow. Keeping my emotions and my thoughts together is my key for the first race. Been looking forward to this moment for sometime now and am ready to make big gains this year. It's been a long time coming to get to this moment, and there is a long time to get to my next step.

As far as the rest here in Italy it has all be pretty good. Getting along good with the team and having some fun. I bought myself a pretty nice new road bike and can’t wait to count the miles, or should I say Kilometers. HAHA. Getting pretty good with this cooking thing and I guess sometimes living on your own isn’t so bad. I'm actually learning a lot about myself and how to overcome when I would fail to do so in the past. I am missing people at home, although daily I remind myself why I am here in order to have success.

The next time I write I will be finished with my first GP and off to Belgium for some sand training. This is my biggest goal of the year and I can not wait to overcome that as well. Check back on April 14th for the next blog.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Italian Championships

Well we are nearing the end of the Italian championships at the moment and it has once again been a really good learning experience. I have not exactly had the results or the luck that I was looking for as 3 of 4 of the series races have been mud races. Let’s just say we Cali boys aren’t great in the beginning with sand, either are we great in the mud. This is the least of my worries because I am sure by the middle to end of the year I will see major progress in both of those areas. After the Brazilian GP I will be moving north to Belgium for the remaining 12 rounds of the series where I will learn to love the sand.

So back to the Italian championships, even though the results have been consumed of DNF’s and DNS’s… I have been learning a lot.  The first race, FEB 27th, I had a bit of a crash in the first moto and was just a little bruised up, nothing more. The team and I had decided that having the GP’s around the corner and being our main focus, to sit out the rest of the day and move onto the 2nd race two weeks after. Once again it had rained for a few days before and left the track a mess. I went into the day hoping to progress my skills in the mud and I succeeded.  The first moto I had 33rd gate pick and got out to a top 30 start. Keep in mind at the Italian championships we race 450’s and 250’s together and the mud was not in our favor. I worked my way up to about 12th and finished there. I was 2nd in MX2 behind Paulin. The 2nd race I got about the same start and went to work passing and fighting my way up to 8th and was leading the mx1 class. My lap times were pretty close to where I needed them to be and I was enjoying myself. With two laps to go I had found myself ejecting off the bike slamming into the beginning of the next jump. The bike was torn apart and was pretty much the end of that race. With the third race coming up just 3 days later the team and I  also decided to sit out that race as well.

At the moment I am pretty sore although I am extremely lucky to walk away injury free. So I have made a mistake or two although I was able to see my speed against some of the top GP guys as well as my ability to run through the pack. We were all happy to see that. 

When we fall off the horse, we get back on. I have rode early this week and should be back in the swing of things in the next few days. The final race is coming up this weekend, March 27th and looks as if we might have decent weather with only a 40% chance of rain. 

Sorry for the delay on the blog writing, I will be picking up my weekly blogs.

Thanks for following... ciao!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Things We Do For Things We Love

This week I really couldn’t find much to write about so I have decided to change it up a bit. Pretty much since I have been here I wake up, talk to my girlfriend and parents, ride 4 days a week, train 5 days a week, and do it all over again. Now please don’t mistake me for complaining because I know very well I am living a dream. Trust me I am taking advantage of that the best I can. At the same time, out of 24 hours in a day it is just not exactly possible to train and ride the complete day which leaves some down time. 

My down time at the moment revolves around myself, a computer, and an empty apartment. Now this may sound like a woe is me moment but it has actually done some good. For those of us that take life for granted, things as simple as having someone at the local store to say hello to in the morning, or even a neighbor across the street to wave at in the morning, make me realize that I need to be much more thankful. 

This morning I went to the local market and the lady that works there day after day simply said “hello” in English. Yes, she knew I was an American because it is written all over my forehead… hahaha. The point I want to make is, for people to take a step back and to be thankful for everything in your life. Being across the world from your family, your girlfriend, and your friends really shows you a lot of things about yourself and the things so many people take for granted.

So back to the racing part… since that is the reason I am here anyways.  Lol. This week was another solid week of training with only 1 rain day in between. I am 7 days away from race week 1 of 18. Starting off with the 4 Italian championships, all I can think about is the gate drop… A few other things but that gate dropping is a moment I am here for. Being that I train almost every day, I am beginning to become anxious to get to work on myself as a racer. I am here to make myself stronger, tougher, and a future champion. 

I put myself in a difficult situation to find my way out, left everything behind for a little to find what I am made of and it is about to begin. This week leading into race season is going to be a lot of fun for me. I finally get to go to work and learn as much as possible. Be sure to check back next week to hear about the beginning of the season and where things begin. 

Ci vi diamo dopo!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Week Uno

Week 1 in Italy… To say the least, we’re not in Kansas anymore. HAHA. So my first week getting to know my new life here in Italy has been pretty entertaining. From learning some Italian, riding a bit, the weather change, amazing Italian food, and learning many life lessons that never seem to do anything but surprise me. So far this week we have rode 3 times due to some heavy snow and some below freezing temperatures but I am pretty stoked on the new team. Good to know my best interest is their first priority. This week were also many photo shoots along with the team presentation. It is crazy to go from the things I have witnessed in the past to seeing a European team introduction. It is pretty cool to see how passionate they are about the sport I love and it is seen daily in everything they do.

25 days is the countdown to my first race of the year starting here in Italy for the Italian championships on Febuary 27th. I am dying to get going with the long busy year. Can’t wait to just break free and start to complete in what I have been working for this off season. I know it isn’t going to be an easy year and it is not going to be all fun and games. Of course it is going to be fun, but I want to learn, and I also want to be able to apply the thing’s I learn. I have dedicated about all I can into this year and with a strong team behind me I am ready to let it loose. It is crazy to think about how life has changed so much in just 12 months. On and off the bike. Don’t get me wrong, my dad and Rocket Exhaust gave me some pretty competitive bikes… but here I am a factory rider racing the world GP’s in 2011. Chances like this come few times in few people’s lives. No matter where I stand at the end of the year… I want to know I gave it 110%. I have been dealt the cards… time to play them as they fall.

In my spare time this week I got to go to our helmet sponsor down at Suomy and was amazed at how much testing and preparation goes into each helmet. I also got to see the crash testing as well and was amazed how much of a hit a helmet can take and how much information they can get out of it all. Always good to trust what is on your head when your falling out of the sky about to land on your head. HAHA. Also in my spare time this week I built a snowman. We had a 2 day snow storm with about 2 feet and there wasn’t much to do. So I figured I would do something productive. I think if there was a profession such as snowman building… I could have a shot at the tittle. HAHA. 

Well anyways. Off to go ride, check back next week as I test the race bikes for the first time. Should be pretty good and super stoked to get on one. 


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The End Where I Begin...

So here I am in Italy… Got off the airplane less than week ago to see snow, ice, and far below freezing weather. Lol. I guess you could say it is not California weather. I have been anxious for this moment for a couple of months now and it is time to push the limits once again. New team, new trainer, new mechanic, new country, and one year living away from home in Italy. I would say that is about as fresh a start one can have. Did I mention the miserable 9 hour time change. LOL. I have had a few days rest to adapt to some amazing food and some time with mom as well as the team.

This week we start riding and training along with my team mate Alessandro Lupino. We have 4 weeks before our first Italian championship to prepare for the long awaited World GP circuit. We have 4 Italian championship races before beginning the 15 race GP series.  Teams here usually head south for practice, this might mean a journey to Sardinia in the near future. 

Last year was not an easy one for me dealing with the new lifestyle and everything else that came along with it. I have many things to prove to myself. I want to rise above when all odds are lost. I want to rebound from last year and perform to what I know I am capable of and what better moment then now. 

I have sacrificed this life of mine to be a champion. I might not be a champion tomorrow, or the day after, but I will live my dream of becoming a champion. Anything great in life takes time and sacrifice. 

As for now it is off to work and a chance to get some seat time in on the new Husqvarna and prepare for the unknown.