The road back to motocross

Chris Tedesco

Doug Parsons is on the mend from a broken ankle, and has been a major contributor to the ESPN FMX blog over the past several months.

If you're a frequent visitor of the ESPN FMX site, you've seen my previous blog updates and probably wondered what I've been up to in the motocross world. In short, I found myself at a point where I wasn't happy where my life was going. The more money I made, the more unhappy I became. I knew that something major had to change and it wasn't going to be easy. I also knew that if I was ever going to be successful at motocross or life in general, I needed to walk away and get myself right.

Walking away from motocross meant no sponsors, no money and no riding. I had a handful of issues to sort though, and no matter how frightening it appeared, I had to take time for myself and figure out what life was all about.

With all that being said, let me tell you where my journey started. At one point around 2005, I told myself I was done and needed a change. I was never going to look back or ride again. That fight was tough and didn't last. Motocross seemed far away (I was living in Seattle) but I couldn't escape who I was. Being a dirt bike kid was in my blood and every time I thought I had escaped it, I was wrong. Somehow, some way, it kept appearing back in my life, without me even trying. I don't know if it was just written on my face or if I sucked at telling everyone that I was over it. Deep down inside, I knew I loved riding more than anything in the world and I would give anything to have another chance when I was physically and mentally ready. I remember sitting at the vet, and this woman was talking to me about riding. I remember her saying something to me. It wasn't meant to be much more than a simple piece of advice, but it changed my mind about riding. She told me, "Make sure you stay in touch with everyone." From that moment on, I vowed that I was going to do everything in my power to make it back. This was December 2010.

Fast forward to 2011. I spent every single day reflecting on my life -- who was I, who do I want to be, how am I going to achieve that. I know it takes time to change your behavior. First you have to change your thoughts, then believe them, and only then can you change who you are. I had been up in Seattle off and on since the end of 2008 and though I was working on myself, I really didn't grasp the true meaning of dedicating myself to getting better till that day in December 2010.

I haven't rode since '05-'06, but for the last year, I rode in my head every single day.

--Doug Parsons

In 2011, I found myself with an opportunity to come back to Calif., with the chance to get back on the bike again. I can't tell you how alive I really felt. Floating through the air and doing tricks was better than any destructive behavior I had engaged in. People asked me how long it had been since I last rode, and I would tell them the same thing: "I haven't rode since '05-'06, but for the last year, I rode in my head every single day."

Riding was going better than it has ever been. I felt like I had improved so much compared to the time prior to my break. Then, unfortunately, I broke my ankle not long ago.

Breaking my ankle was not in the cards. With an injury comes the mental and physical effects of being hurt. At first, I wasn't in a lot of pain. But after coming home and vomiting from the pain medication at the emergency room, I tore up my prescription and threw it in the trash. And then comes the metal effects of injury: what am I going to do, how will I make money, is everyone going to forget about me and what family and friends will be there for me during this time. It's never fun, but it does get better. So here I go again down this road that I call my passion for what I love to do. I don't know where I'm going, but I know that I love this sport more than anything. And any chance I have to contribute to it both on and off the bike, I can promise you, if you tell me what you want done I'll show you how I can do it better than everyone else.

A big thanks to everyone that's helped me out off the bike and on the bike: Fox, DVS and Von Zipper for keeping it fresh.

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