This is sort of a rehash of the page titled “Who is Motodork Jen?”, but here you can get to know me and this blog better.
Whether you call them action sports or extreme sports (or even alternative sports), they are the last thing most people think a self-proclaimed nerd like me would be interested in. It’s hard to explain exactly what makes extreme sports so appealing to me. They’re exciting, and that’s the part my friends and family get, especially after I make them watch with me. The part they’re not so sure about is why I act as though the X Games is the Super Bowl (remember, I’m from Texas) and why I idolize these crazy individuals who risk their life for one trick.
Even though I always say that it was the 1999 Summer X Games that started it all, the spark of interest goes back further. When I was maybe 9 or 10, I checked out a book on Rollerblading, an after school hobby of mine. There was a section on aggressive in-line skating. It talked about using a Coke can to practice your jumps, which is what I did (except I didn’t have a Coke can so I used a book). Then Disney made a movie on aggressive in-line skating called Brink! Yes, it was a cheesy, and I initially tuned in for the cute actors. However, something about the characters and their carpe diem attitude really appealed to me and made me want to learn more about the subculture behind extreme sports.
That eventually led to the 1999 Summer X Games, where I found my heroes in Tony Hawk, Fabiola da Silva (who did stunts in Brink!), and Travis Pastrana. They took risks, pushed themselves, never gave up, and just enjoyed life. Watching extreme sports and occasionally attempting to do tricks on my Rollerblades and bike provided a break from the routine that, while I was normally okay with, made life boring. Freestyle motocross became my favorite sport because it was the opposite of what I was familiar with (and because the riders go bigger than all the other athletes).
Extreme sports also gave me a sense of identity. It was the first interest that I developed on my own, and my love of the X Games became somewhat of a defining characteristic in high school. It made me interesting and unique. It gave me a place to belong, as I chatted with fellow freestyle motocross fans on message boards. This is why I have hung on so long even when my focus shifted to other interests.
Even though it’s been years since I’ve stepped on a skateboard or tried to jump my bike off a homemade ramp, I still love extreme sports. I want to reconnect with the community, which I dearly missed when I grew too busy to post messages and follow the latest news. Maybe I am an outsider, but I want to showcase a different perspective of a world that is usually connected to punk rock, rebellion, and young men with lots of free time. I may be a small Asian girl who knows more about science and Japanese culture, but I’ve been following action sports for over 10 years now so that ought to count for something. Or at least make a few good “Remember when…” posts.
Listening to: “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” by Stone Temple Pilots