In freestyle motocross, and action sports in general, the name of the game is progression.
Competitors and athletes are not about improving scores, home run statistics or batting averages, they're about progression and invention of new tricks. This progression is much different than that of a traditional sport.
Along with this stark contrast of progression comes injury. An athlete's career can be defined by the amount of risk he is willing to take, as we have recently seen with the semi-retirement of Andre Villa.
Australian rider Jackson Strong, 21, is a perfect example of someone trying to push boundaries while pushing his athletic limits. The two-time X Games Moto X Best Trick gold medalist started the year by trying to translate his FMX skills in the Snowmobile Best Trick competition in January at X Games Aspen. He crashed in his first trick attempt, but was able to walk away uninjured.
"Aspen was really fun and I had a lot of fun riding snowmobiles, but at the end of the day, I didn't have any wheels under me," Strong said later. "I was definitely upset with how things turned out, but given another shot I might do it again either here in Australia or maybe back in America."
Strong was back on his bike at X Games Foz do Iguaçu earlier this month and on the verge of a groundbreaking run as he started with the first front flip in an X Games Moto X Freestyle competition. But a short time later he under-rotated a back flip and crashed, breaking his right leg and suffering a concussion.
Within a few days of the accident, "Jacko" was making jokes on social media and thinking about his return to competition, perhaps as early as June for X Games Munich.
"What we do on the bike and the accomplishments we make, define who we are as a character," Strong said. "My character wants to win, and it's that character that drives me."
Had he pulled it off in Brazil, Strong's run would have definitely continued action sports progression.