Too f***ed-up to ride…
I practice runs, but I was all kinds of f***ed up, so there was no way I could hit any of the jumps. I was stale and out of shape and now I was loaded, as well. Even in my altered state of consciousness, I knew there was no way I could take part in a freestyle show the next day. But I couldn’t just withdraw. I needed a legitimate excuse, like an injury. The thing is, freestylers ride hurt all the time. I’d done it my whole career.
It’s part of the game. So if you’re going to beg off, you’d better have a legitimate excuse, something harsh and obvious enough to provoke sympathy, rather than resentment.
What to do… what to do… wait a minute. I’ve got it. Toenail!
It seemed to make sense at the time. So I found a pair of pliers and ripped the nail off my big toe. I figured it would be one of those injuries that would look a lot worse than it actually was: plenty of blood and bruising, but it actually hurt like hell. Regardless, it did the trick.
And with that act of self-mutilation, I effectively stepped off the money train. All I had to do was stay on board
and collect hundreds of thousands of dollars by doing what I loved best, and that I was good at – riding bikes – but I decided to jump off and go the other way. Maybe it was just too easy.
More likely it was the drugs. It wasn’t like I made a thoughtful, reasoned decision. I was too busy partying so I needed an out.