Not five seconds into the race and our hearts are pounding & my brother, Cade Clason, wheels are already rubber side up….here is how it feels to watch your loved one perform in one of the most physically demanding & dangerous sports in the world, Supercross.
You see the riders get pumped up on the starting line….well that process starts in the car, on the way to the track. For Dallas SX it was all about the Uptown Funk!
As a sister, once I get to the track I know my role. I know when it comes to me and race days, I am on food patrol. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle & bustle of the racing and practice. If Cade isn’t reminded to eat he won’t and for anyone who knows him this is probably shocking news.
In Supercross, the day starts with three practices, the first is a free practice, the second two are timed, and it is important to get your fastest laps in to qualify for the “night show.” Sitting in the stands watching practice is not as nerve racking as the actual race. There aren’t that many people in the stands, and it is more of a calm environment. The most nerve racking part of practice is watching the lap times on the big screen.
Once the lights go down and the smoke starts billowing, that’s when the nerves kick in. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that it’s the good kind of nerves. People are cheering, yelling, and can’t wait for the gate to drop.
Cade says that the nerves on the starting line are the good kind. For me sitting in the stands, it is the OMG-holy-shit that’s a small first turn for twenty two riders to be charging toward. The roar of the crowd is usually an exciting thing. The worst feeling is sitting in the crowd & hearing them gasp. I instantly look twice to make sure that Cade is still on two wheels. 90% of the time I can sigh in relief, but the other 10% of the time, when I am waiting for him to get up, the worst.
An everyday person would think “why would you support a sport that could potentially leave you broken or even worse.” Supercross is one of the most physically demanding & dangerous sports in the world. However, what we would say to those people is you get nerves as a family member watching, but for most that have been around the sport for years, they know there is no place for nerves. This is what your rider loves to do; he could just as easily get hurt driving to the race, as he could when racing in it. Crashes are part of the sport & so is banging bars (racing battle) and throwing big whips (jumping big jumps.)
When Cade raced in Dallas, he did not have a great night. He had some crashes and a pile up in the first turn. Each time he got up, brushed it off, and got back on his bike. Those split seconds while Cade is on the ground…pure torture. However once he gets up I take a sigh of relief & breath easy. That is the determination & strength that he has to bring to every race because Supercross is full of highs & lows.
At the end of the day, nothing beats the sport of Supercross & the family you gain from it. It takes a village to support someone at this level; whether it is mechanics, brothers, sisters, or teammates. I have made life long friends while supporting Cade across the country, and nothing beats seeing him make his dreams a reality.