Circa 2010-11
Group of bikers racing each other on dirt bikes

Did you all have a great holiday? It’s still pretty hot down here in Florida. I get to wear shorts and no coats, so that’s been pretty nice. Even when I’m enjoying time off from racing there’s plenty going on!

A couple of weeks ago, a crew from CBS’s Courage in Sports filmed my family and me for a television special. It was pretty fun! After a day of riding and interviewing, I went to a studio in Jacksonville, FL, for the video shoot. When I walked in, I was surprised to find TVs stacked up everywhere! They all had fuzzy lines on their screens and my mom told me she heard “static”! The director of the special said he wanted to create “white noise” because I am deaf. It was a pretty creative approach, and I had a great time filming.

Last year during my break from racing, I visited a Belgian family I’d become friends with while racing in Europe. This year they wanted to come to visit me and to see Florida for the first time! My family and I were pretty excited to have them come visit us, but we weren’t sure what they wanted to see or do. The food in Belgium is a little different from ours, so we didn’t know what they would like! But I did know that they love chocolate and mayonnaise, so we just stocked up on those!

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They don’t really celebrate Halloween over in Belgium, so my friends were excited to trick-or-treat with me and my little brother. My mom and dad walked around my neighborhood with all of us. The girls and I dressed up like nerds and my little brother dressed as Indiana Jones. My friends were really excited to learn we got to go from house to house and get free candy! They thought the whole thing was crazy, but it was a lot of fun for them, and for me too!

My family also took them to DisneyWorld. My friends wore me down because they wanted to see and do everything and made me their official tour guide! It was very warm while they were visiting, so we hung out at the ocean and rode around my track on all of my pit bikes and four-wheelers. I really enjoyed myself when I went to visit Belgium last year, and I hope my friends had a fun time with me and my family!

Each year, during the week of Thanksgiving, The Winter Olympics (or Mini Olympics) are held in Gainesville, FL. This is a huge amateur national motocross event. I can’t race in it anymore, because I am a professional, but for many years my family and I camped nearby in a motor home with all of my racing friends.

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A lot of people attend this event, and races continue from Monday until the following Saturday. Awards are given out and, at night, there are games to play and the crowning of Ms. Winter Olympics! Everyone has a great time. Even though I can’t compete anymore, I usually go just to hang out with friends because the event is only about an hour and a half from my house!

This year Red Bull sponsored a “girls ride” day at the Winter Olympics. Red Bull asked me and Tarah Geiger (like me, a WMX Red Bull rider) if we wanted to help out with the event. I was really excited by the opportunity because I had never done anything like it before. It was so much fun! Over 50 girls signed up, and I think I rode for three hours straight! Tarah and I just got to ride and hang out with all of the girls—it was definitely something I would do again. I hope it becomes become an annual thing!

Now I’m headed out to Colorado to do a photo shoot with my sponsor, Able Planet. After that, I’ll be home for a couple of days and then will go into surgery so doctors can remove the plate placed in my collar bone after last year’s crash. Surgery is not exactly the way I wanted to spend my holidays, but maybe it will give me a chance to slow down a little and enjoy the season!

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