One Week In August
August 1, 2006
Although it has been fourteen years since I
rolled up to the starting gate at the Loretta Lynn Amateur
Nationals. The events that transpired there are forever etched
in my mind. So it seems only fitting that on the eve of the
25th the annual Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals to be held
this week in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. that I would try to put
into prospective what these guys are experiencing for the
next five days. This prestigious race first started in 1982
and has produced the sport of motocross most famous champions,
such as, Bradshaw, McGrath, Carmichael, and Stewart just to
name a few ,all of which have won multiple titles there. In
my opinion this race is the Mecca of American Amateur Motocross
and on August 1st the gate will drop and 1,386 riders, 33
classes, and 42 per class will battle tooth and nail in the
most important armature event in the world. Just to qualify
for the event it is probably the single most difficult thing
they will ever do! Since early March all these guys have thought
about is......I hope I qualify in my area and also in my regional.
If that happens then maybe by some miracle a top ten at Loretta's.
So, now it all comes down to this week to decide what position
they will finish which will determine their ranking. This
race is tough! The nerves alone are enough to make you want
to puke on the starting line. The heat and humidity is unprecedented.
The competition is fierce. The top 42 guys in the nation in
your class are there( that includes Canada and Mexico). The
track itself is hollowed ground with a whoop section called
the ten commandments. It is easy to see why many people consider
this place to be holy. Rougher then you could imagine it is
still the most technical outdoor track I have ever ridden.
Deep rutts, holes and there is always an afternoon thunderstorm
to make the black soil rear its ugly head. As I steadily come
to terms with being thirty something and that my Loretta Lynn
experience is over now I can't help but feel a combination
of envy and excitement for the guys who are about to undergo
the best time of their motocross lives (I know it was mine).
My only advice would be to savor every minute of your time
there. Remember we sometimes don't recognize the most significant
moments of our lives until they have long past. I would like
to congratulate all of the riders for qualifying in 2006.
You have earned the right to be there, you are the elite!
So, ride hard with heart and never forget.