Ashley’s Column — ESPY Time!

Circa 2010

My life as an athlete doesn’t just mean that I get to race around a track. There are other perks to the job, too. Sometimes I get a chance to dress up and go out in style!

This year I was nominated both for an ESPY and for a Teen Choice Award! My ESPY Award nomination was in the Female Action Sports category, and I had been nominated there last year, as well. It was really awesome to be invited back and to be nominated again— motocross is not a very mainstream sport, so it is always nice when an athlete from that sport is picked and has a chance to win! A male racer, Ryan Dungey, was also nominated this year. Neither of us won, but our nominations mean that motocross is starting to be recognized, so they were good news for everyone in the sport.

Being nominated for awards gives us an excuse to dress up and get out there and meet tons of other athletes! This year my Red Bull team decided to make a funny YouTube video of me for the ESPYs. They came to the track I was practicing on and filmed me driving. In the video, my dad is holding my pit board (a hard writing tablet that gives you information when you are riding) that reads “ESPY Time!”

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The day after filming that segment of our video, I checked into the W Hotel (a fancy boutique hotel in Los Angeles) where Red Bull filmed me dressed in my gear and wearing my backpack. In the video, my dress was hanging out of the backpack, and I rode up to the lobby steps on my bike and then walked into the hotel! Man, I was embarrassed. Luckily the shoot didn’t take very long. Next, the video showed me and my date getting ready for the ESPYs and walking out of the hotel, all cleaned up and ready to go. Once the video was finally put together and launched on YouTube it looked pretty cool!

On top of all of this, I am still busy promoting my recently-released autobiography, Kicking Up Dirt. With the busy schedule I have, it’s hard to find time to promote the book, but I always feel good when I’m at the races and there is someone standing in line with it and waiting for my autograph! Many non-racers who have bought the book have told me how much it has inspired them and that they really loved the story. That always feels great! My family and the writer, Caroline Ryder, worked very hard on this book for over a year so it is definitely nice to see our hard work recognized!

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I’ve got plenty of other stuff going on, too, including participating in an athlete advisory panel and doing a film segment for Honda on the subject of dreams and innovations. Like I told you, my job involves a lot more than driving a car! It’s all great fun, though, and I know I am lucky. Every day I thank God for all the talents and opportunities that I have!

Editor’s Note: Just before this issue’s publication, Ashley took home the gold medal in the 16th X Games Super X Women’s Final at the LA Coliseum. She won the same medal in 2009. Congratulations, Ashley!

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