Pain is measured differently by every person when you speak to them. First there is the type of pain you may endure. Not to mention the length of time you will be in that particular type of pain. My personal favorite is how you mentally cope with that pain. When you meet someone and have never experienced the type of pain they are graphically describing, your mind is left to wonder and compare to your own history of pain. Why bring this up, because currently I am healing up from some of that pain. It is a rare injury for most and they can only help but wonder how they would deal with it. When you are healing up from a serious injury, you have some time to take a good long look at yourself and your new situation.
I remember the first time I found out what pain really was, put me out of my misery pain. It is a pain so awful that you just don’t have a mechanism to cope with it, but let me come back to that. Are you like me? The kind of person who is hanging out and someone starts to tell you about being hurt, not only can you relate, you probably have a better story. There is this scene in a movie with Brad Pitt and the adoption agency known as Angelina Jolie. They have just got done beating the tar out of each other followed by some other adult things, when they start having an injury contest. This is not foreign to me (the injury contest part) and unless Travis Pastrana stops by my house, I probably won’t loose one of those contests anytime soon. See you can turn everything into a competition. When you haven't raced in a while, you take the win when you can get it. This is a little funny and a whole lot of sad, but also true and has allowed me to become very familiar with pain.
All of that aside, I vividly remember the first time I really knew what physical pain was. Sitting across the pool from me a 10 year old girl showed me and anyone else lucky enough to be in that room what real pain was. This was many years ago and my memory is still clear about that day. After rupturing a disk in my back and getting several months of the insurance run around, surgery was finally done. After that I got another stint in therapy. When you are in that much pain for that long, you are sure you know what pain is. This was only reinforced when a lady who had the same surgery told me she would give birth to all 3 of her kids at once, rather than have to endure that again. So after a broken back a few years prior and now a long drawn out blown disc, yeah I knew what pain was.
Looking at that picture it made me think. What ever happened to that pain so bad would make you pass out? You see it on TV, the guy gets hurt and overwhelmed by pain and then he hits the deck like a sack of potatoes. Yeah that is not really common it turns out. In fact I have yet to meet such a lucky sole. It hasn’t happened to me and boy I have tried several types of pain. So anyway back to the 10 year old girl. My therapist use to have a heated swimming pool, really nice and warm, not hot, just perfectly warm water. I was sitting in the water giving a half hearted effort, because remember this was REAL pain. Come on, I was a man and if I hurt it must be bad. That is when without so much as a word my life was changed by a little girl.
She was wheeled into the pool area and judging by the systematic approach she was a regular. One thing I should mention about the pool, it was in the basement of a hospital and patients came there too. She sat patiently in her chair as the brakes were applied and 3 people prepared to place her in the water. One therapist gently lifter her from the left and the other from the right, while the third was ready to receive her at the pool. She tried not to scream, but the tears poured from her face as they touched her. As she was placed in the pool you could see her level of pain drop, but still she was in excruciating pain.
My therapist said that she would show up once a day to swim. Really she was mostly just floating, but due to the waters effect she was able to actually move. The disease she had made it incredibly painful to move and was destroying her muscle tissue and joints. She was so happy to be in that pool and in twice as much pain as me. You can’t help but be inspired by someone like that. Who the hell was I too slack off when therapy would help me get better! She was over there knowing that therapy wouldn’t fix anything, just doing it for the pure joy of it. She could have been upstairs getting pain medicine and been much more comfortable. A 10 year old girl showed me right then how strong someone can choose to be.
Since that injury I have found new ways of breaking myself. Each time my mind rolls back and thinks of her. To be inspired by someone who had no intention of doing so. The greatest gift I can remember getting was a show of courage from a 10 year old girl. How a person measures pain is up to them and only them.
Truth be told, is that when a medic or doctor asks me “how much pain are you in?” I am forced to beef up my number on the old 1-10 scale if I want to be taken seriously. Most people just can’t fathom that a separated shoulder is only a 5 to you or a broken back is an 8. You can measure pain several ways and deal with it any way you like. Maybe your level 10 pain is after a really long hill climb or at the 24th mile of a marathon. In my world a 10 is measured by that little girl in the pool.
So, HOW MUCH PAIN ARE YOU REALLY IN?
One of the three well-known California road racing clubs; AFM offers a place where you can participate in races, watch as a spectator, or even take part as a turn-worker on the course. There are competition classes for almost all motorcycles; you can race what you own, build a bike specifically for racing, or maybe even pick up a pre-set-up bike through member want ads. Competing in expert club racing can be used to qualify for a pro racing license. Explore the website for further information.
Women race with the men?
Yes, races are structured by bike size. Women race in the same classes as men that have the same sized bike. However, there is a growing interest among women in racing , so many racing clubs have added a women’s class to encourage the ladies to give it a try.
Formed in 2001, SMUSA is now the premier Pro/Am supermoto series in the country. Many of the well known American road racers such as Bobby Fong, Joey Pascarella, Cameron Beaubier, Elena Myers, Tyler O'Hara, Garrett Willis and others all competed in Supermoto USA's Nor Cal Championship where they developed their skills.
PC Dirt Track in Sacramento, Ca holds a series of the oldest and most traditional type of motorcycle racing, flat track - sometimes referred to as “dirt track” racing. A uniquely American type of motorcycle racing. Riders finesse their machines sideways through the turns, just inches apart from each other.
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. The AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. No one who has ever seen an AMA Pro motorcycle race ever forgets it.