We often talk about moto dads – who often fill the roles of coach, mechanic, and gate pickers. They are awesome without a doubt spending endless hours both on and off the track. But what about the silent contingent – the motomom?
What is a motomom?
Fierce – determined- protective – momma bear – and you don’t mess with a momma bear.
People ask why we do this- spending weekend after weekend at the track, working overtime to fund the sport, missing family events, massaging injuries, and always having sand in our shoes. The answer – well to those in the sport no explanation is necessary and to those not in the sport no explanation is possible.
Back in 2019 my son Sam had a training accident while riding in Florida – I got the dreaded phone call, and while he was being airlifted to a trauma hospital in Florida, I was digging out of yet another Canadian snowstorm. I knew he was getting the best care possible, was with wonderful people, and tried not to hit the panic button. Then the update – conscious, aware, feeling in all extremities but he had a broken vertebrae and bruised lungs. Ok, now we had some idea what we were dealing with and I booked a flight south – nothing can keep a momma bear away when her child needs her (even if he doesn’t know it).
As most of you know by now Sam ended up healing up with no issues, but what followed after the accident was also difficult. The questions and unwanted advice flooded in – most with the common theme – why don’t you make him quit? What kind of parent are you to let your child do this dangerous sport ? Agreed this is the worst part of the sport – injuries. However, judgement without knowledge brings out my momma bear. I get it- it’s scary – my heart rate goes from a casual 57 to 120 at a gate drop – but that is my issue not my sons.
Accidents happen in all sports, we saw lots through our hockey years and through my daughter’s competitive dance and soccer days. It’s a fact – unless you are a couch potato you risk injury. My rule was and still is – wear every piece of safety equipment there is – the best helmets (never cheap out), a neck brace, chest protector, knee braces, mouth guard (mainly for concussions), good boots, and a well-maintained quality dirt bike. I am certain if he didn’t have all of these safety measures his injury would have been more significant. Things can and still do happen. We can’t bubble wrap them.
I love my son more than I can ever express and I respect his decisions – it is his life and I am along for the ride. We insisted on him finishing high school, he kept his end of the bargain and I will keep mine. My fears and trepidation are mine and my job as a good parent is to support his dreams and goals. When I saw my son after his injury, I said I have just one question and I will support you either way – is it worth it? I am not naive, this injury in all likelihood will not be his last if he continues in the sport. He said yes absolutely without question – that is all I needed to hear. He quizzed the doctor on healing time – the do and don’ts and when he can start training again to prepare for the Canadian series. I see his determination, drive, and passion for the sport and I am there 100%. To disallow it or discourage his talent and passion would be unthinkable. Pain is temporary but to quit is forever. I never want him to have the regret of what might have been because of someone else pressuring him. Our job as a parent is to lead and guide them to be good respectful people and at the end of the day, I am so proud of the confident, compassionate talented man he has become. His life, his choice. I will always have his back and he will always have my support.
So what is a motomom – we are strong, resilient, and fiercely supportive of our riders. We may be standing on the front line, pacing in the stands, or gritting our teeth, but we are proudly there to watch and support without regret.