Tarlia’s spirit is not broken
12yo rider back in the seat
MOTOCROSS: Four months after she broke her back in two places, 12-year-old Tarlia Pearson was kicking up dirt and coming in third in her motocross class.
On March 17, while riding her bike at Six Mile, near Roma, she swerved to avoid a rider going the wrong way.
In the process she hit a tree, flipped off her bike and landed on her back in a ditch.
“I broke it in T10 and T11 it was pretty scary,” Tarlia said.
“It’s the first time I’ve been seriously injured and I’ve been riding since I was three and competing since I was four.
“I was in a lot of pain and was in Brisbane for a while but, around the three month mark, I started to feel better.
“It hasn’t even been four months since I broke my back and Saturday and Sunday were the first time I’ve raced since it happened.”
In the 85 Big Wheel class for riders aged 12–16 years at the Queensland Women’s and Veterans’ State Championships at Roma Motorcycle Club, Tarlia placed third.
“I was the youngest in my group too. It’s the third time I’ve competed in this title, and the third time I’ve come third,” she said.
“My back only hurt a little during but I wasn’t scared of it happening again or anything.
“I love motocross so much, the feeling of being free when you’re riding, it’s like you’re flying.”
Tarlia said while she probably wouldn’t forget she had broken her back, for her it was a matter of moving forward.
“Mum tells me everyone has hiccups in life, this is just one of those,” she said.
Mother Phillipa Pearson said it was an emotional weekend for her and her husband.
“We weren’t scared seeing her get back on the bike but we were extremely nervous,” she said.
“But to see her do so well we were so proud.
“Especially because she hadn’t touched a bike for four months so to go out there and place was pretty special.
“During the whole process, the only thing she wanted to do was get back on and ride. They told her it would be at least three months before she could even think about it and that was the only time she ever got upset – when they told her she couldn’t ride.”
Mrs Pearson said support from the local, state and national motocross community made the process easier on the family.
“Todd Waters, who is a national rider, sent her a bag and a signed shirt,” she said.
“And the whole community, pretty much throughout Australia, got
❝scared I wasn’t
of it happening again or anything.
— Tarlia Pearson
behind her, sent her messages and supported her.”
It’s important to the Pearsons to continue to support Tarlia’s riding dreams.
“Every time they put their helmet on and get on the bike, there’s always that risk of them hurting themselves, but, if you think too much on what could happen, they’d never do it,” she said.
“It’s something you just encourage because they like doing it. We just keep supporting her.”
Tarlia will compete in Emerald next month.
IN THE ZONE: Tarlia Pearson, 12, back on her bike at the Queensland Women’s and Veterans’ Championships in Roma on the weekend.