My brother and I have a track behind our house that has some cool jumps, curves, bends, and hills. We would ride almost every weekend around the track and in the woods, doing tricks and revving up our motors as high as they would go. We are racers, and super competitive in almost everything we do – whether it’s a foot race to the car, or on the race track, Austin and I are competing.
I had to force myself to stop riding my dirt bike about three years ago when I got into two serious accidents. They weren’t life threatening, and I’m thankful to be able to walk away, but sometimes I think back on how lucky I was to be wearing the proper equipment during my accident.
I had a very deep cut in my leg that was several inches long when a piece of the dirt bike pierced my leg. It could have been a lot more serious if it had hit one of the major arteries. I don’t remember a lot of pain in my leg, just being in shock.
Then, I broke my two major bones in my lower leg, my fibula and tibia. Both obviously very important bones in my body to be able to race each weekend. After that accident, I made a pretty difficult decision to give up dirt bike riding.
Racing has been a huge part of my life in the past 10 years. It’s been around me for my entire life, but since I began racing on a regular basis when I was 12, I realize that I sometimes have to give things up that I really enjoy doing. I look back to the accidents that I was involved in and how it kept me out of a race car for a long time. Thankfully, doctors today are equipped with medical treatments that healed my leg quickly, and I was able to get back to racing quicker. I was even able to get back into our Richard Childress Racing ARCA Series car in 2011 and win the series championship.
Overall, I’m a believer in living life to its fullest, making the most of everything you are given, and live life with no regrets. I’ve learned a lot since hurting my leg a few years ago and spent a lot of time in-and-out of doctor’s offices. It’s hard not to ride my dirt bike anymore, but racing in the Nationwide Series this season in the No. 3 car is important. We’re focused on winning another championship and my health is an important factor in doing so.
My grandparents started the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma in 2008. The Institute’s goal is to help seriously injured kids get the best treatment possible when they need it the most across the U.S. I’m lucky to live in a place that has great EMS and a high level of medical care available 24 hours a day so that when I was injured as a child, I had a great outcome. Not everyone has that fast access.
In racing, it takes speed, technology, talent and great equipment. The same is true for helping injured kids get the best care in an emergency. In the race to save more injured kids, the Institute is helping improve those odds.