Injuries are part of every sport, and it's only a matter of time before it happens to freestyle motocross riders. Unfortunately for Garrett Ahlf, that is just how 2012 started. Ahlf was just coming off the Riders Above Dirt Amateur FMX contest back in December of 2011, and had recently made the upgrade to the Honda CRF450 in order to step up his freestyle game. Only seven days into 2012, while Garrett was practicing at his riding compound in Bakersfield, Calif., he over-rotated a backflip on his new Honda CRF450 and injured himself.
Ahlf's first instinct after impact was to move his toes and lift his legs so he knew he wasn't paralyzed. He then told fellow riding buddy Jeff Griffin to call 911 immediately because he heard his back "crunch" and had no clue how bad the injury really was (considering he had never heard that sound before.)
Ahlf had fractured his L1 and T11 vertebrae, as well as his fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot. According to Ahlf, he said he gave it too much throttle going up the ramp, and that he didn't over-rotate but over jumped it which then caused him to have more air time during the flip. Looking back, Ahlf said he should have stayed on the bike and not bailed off it, but that's never an easy decision when things are going wrong in the air.
Although things could have been much worse for Garrett, he is thankful that the injuries he sustained are considered "minor" in the scope of FMX. As the saying in riding goes, "It's not a matter of if you get hurt, but when it will happen." Fortunately, Garrett Ahlf made it out of his crash on the better side of what could have happened. It might be a minor setback now, but to heal up 100% and to be able to throw a leg back over the dirt bike makes it all worth it.
According to Ahlf, this injury has made him want to ride and progress his riding even more than years past. From working on his new Honda 450's, to operating machinery at his compound, he stays busy preparing for the day he gets the "okay" from his doctor to get back to FMX.
Ahlf expects to be riding within the next few weeks. Fans can follow Ahlf on Twitter to monitor his progress.