Ashley’s Column — Back In The Saddle

Circa 2011

How did you celebrate the new year? I welcomed 2011 by having the metal plate taken out of my collarbone. This time when I went to the hospital I didn’t have to stay the night, and the surgery was pretty quick. I always seem to have bad reactions to anesthesia, and this visit was no exception. I got really dizzy and threw up a bunch of times. I even had to get special medicine from the doctors. I’m just glad it’s all over.

Anyway, now I’m back on track. Last week, I got the green light to start riding and training again! I have an “on the bike” photo shoot next week, so it’s important that I get back in the habit. My season of racing doesn’t officially start until May but now is the time for me to do all of my pre-race work.

This is the time of year when my family and I sit down and try to plan out my racing season. Sometimes it can be stressful to put a plan down on paper and make new commitments for the upcoming year, but it’s something that needs to be done. I am very lucky that my family and my closest friends all help me out.

This year there will be eight rounds of racing for female competitors and, of course, I’ll be competing at X Games again. Everything seems kind of far off right now but I know the season is approaching quickly.

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The men’s supercross season has already started, and I was lucky enough to go out to California to watch the first round of their racing season. It’s an exciting time, and it was a lot of fun to see everyone again. I’ll be at another supercross race next weekend and plan to sign some autographs for my fans. I’m definitely looking forward to being there!

In other news, one of my sponsors, Purple Communications, teamed up with Red Bull to pay a visit to my old high school. Red Bull made a captioned copy of a show I did for Fuel TV called “First Hand.” Janna, from Purple, worked with Red Bull to get the DVD and then contacted the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) to set up a time for me to drop by

I was really nervous about going back to my old school. I hadn’t been back since 2005! I started to wonder what the new students would be like, and I wasn’t sure how my old teachers would react to me. I was pretty shy when I went to FSDB but I am a different person now, and I wanted to walk in to the auditorium with confidence! I teased my mom that I would walk onto the stage and curtsy. She dared me to do it!

Janna played the “First Hand” DVD and then introduced me. I walked slowly onto the stage and did a big curtsy and waved hello to everyone. I looked down at my mom and saw her laughing. I showed the students my racing gear and my X Games medals, and then I opened the floor up to questions. The students had some really good ones!

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After the movie and questions I went out into the lobby for pictures and autographs. I also brought copies of my book and signed them. While meeting all of the students, I had a chance to see all of my old teachers. It was such a wonderful feeling! They all were very proud of me and I told them I was thankful for the education they helped give me.

One of my favorite teachers, Katie, said, “I remember sitting down to do your Individual Education Program (IEP) and asking you what you wanted to do when you left FSDB, and you always said, ‘I want to be a professional motocross racer!’ We laughed and wrote it down on the IEP but we never thought it would happen! And now today you are a professional motocross racer!” It felt so great when she said that.

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