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Mind Over Moto by Leah Clarke

Leah Clarke is from the Ottawa Valley and rides a Yamaha 250F. Her home track is Sand Del Lee which is run by MX101. Along with Sylvain Brodeur, Leah helps organize the Eastern rounds of the Canadian Women’s Nationals. Leah has also just finished the third year of her bachelor degree and hopes to pursue a career in health care.

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Mind Over Moto

I just finished my last exams for the third year of my B.Sc. degree and it feels like I have jumped “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” As I gradually move out of my school hibernation mode I find myself bombarded with motocross and adult responsibilities. It is quite a transition to go from pulling all-nighters at the library and waiting for PCR results to finding a full-time summer job, racing motocross, and helping to organize (with some amazing people) the CMRC Eastern Canadian Women’s Motocross Nationals.

So after finishing my exams last Saturday I’ve found a job, talked to many sponsors about the Women’s series, but I haven’t really ridden my Wheelsport Yamaha 250F since September. With trying to get security clearance for this new government job and figuring out an honours project outline for my supervisor, I’ve realized that I won’t even have time to practice before the opening race at Sand Del Lee this weekend. It seems like the snow just melted and everyone has been out riding except me! Maybe I should’ve left the library more often to check current weather conditions… oh well.

As I was panicking this week about my job, honours project, moving out of my apartment, and motocross, I remembered something my Dad, Richard Clarke, told me a couple years ago:

“There are things in life more important than motocross.”

Although my Dad was a very experienced racer himself, as a 15-year-old I had no idea what he was talking about. Motocross was a huge part of my life, my identity. The people at the motocross track were my family.

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Five years later and as an adult, I can finally see what he meant. Ensuring that your future is going in the direction you want it to go and following the path you choose in life is more important than motocross racing (unless you are pursuing a professional motocross racing career of course).

Motocross is truly a sport that can consume all of your time and energy. That being said, I have learned that it is very important to keep focussed on what you want to achieve in life so that you can become who you want to be. It is important to keep balance in your life (whether you race motocross or not) and keep focussed on what you personally want to achieve, whether it be getting A’s in all your classes or being a great employee at your workplace. So maybe I won’t race this weekend, but that’s okay. I know that I’m where I need to be right now and I’ll be able to ride soon! Balancing motocross is difficult because it is such a demanding sport, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am so entirely grateful that I am able to do what I love academically and on a dirt track.

Good luck to everyone at SDL this weekend. I hope you all have a safe week riding and I’ll talk to you next week. Thanks for reading!

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