Too f***ed-up to ride…

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

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.

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