By: Rick Allison
Hey this is Rick Allison. I was a Pro-freestyle rider back in the 80s. I wanted to write an article for my brother n sisters of today.
The new youth in our sport about caring today for your retirement of the future. Man all i cared for in my 20 some yrs of contests n live shows at Sea World, Disneyland n Phantasia land n schools world wide was me. Our sport is fun to ride with our friends n to show off in a public format. But to what extent do we say enough is enough?In my 20’s i remember riding hours n hours each day, sacrificing my relationships with family n friends to even dating just so that i could be recognized as a threat in our sport.
I remember x-mas to b-day celebrations for friends n family always always i was invited but i chose going on a airplane to the next big contest, i chose that over them. People always were attracted to my personality n abilities. I had dates n family’s blessings as i was top of my game. The more fame in magazines n touring to shows i did, the more it fed my ego n i thought those people i pushed aside would always be there wanting to spend time with me. My ego got so big that i forgot honestly the drive i 1st had when i 1st picked up my bike to ride. i was in it to win it and lost that passion to ride. I had sponsors, team mates, to other top riders that i wanted to be there hero.
The best, numero uno.
So around the age of 32, the live shows stopped.
I had to face i wasn’t current anymore, my style of riding was a time peace of the 80s…still i could put on a great show, but something happened i didn’t count on.
I got Hiv. I was immediately placed on heavy duty medications n was looking at a life expectancy of a few yrs to live. I couldn’t ride as i had double vision n i lost 40 lbs in my 1st yr of being diagnosed. I was dieing. So I took the easy rode out n picked up drugs to help with the pains n side effects of my diseases.
All the fame chasing n abilities could not prepare me for life’s challenges. All the family n friends i pushed away, i now in my 30s needed them more then ever. But why would they stand by me now as i did nothing to cement love n care towards them? So i made it thru some really hard times thanks to crystal meth .It took the place of my riding , my social abilities and my want to ride. it consumed me. luckily at the age of 44 i got out side help and have been in recovery for nearly 7 yrs now.
Now im 50 yr old .And im left holding the peaces of my life.i have to say ,if i could go back in time n tell my younger self anything it might be to set up a 401 k or some type of money savings for my future. Also to make time for family n friends. Be apart n not so obsessed with winning. I rode my bike for the love of riding .but somehow fame n fortune took over . Always follow your heart n passions. Make time to date n show ,even if your now married, show that person in your life that they come 1st.
God im 50 yrs old, super lonely and broke.
Thank God my family loves me but im so caught up in my past accomplishments , im finding it somewhat difficult to move into today. Being present that im, single, on anti depressants, and disabled. I did not think this could happen to me in my younger years. I was a superman in my eyes. i could do anything .The word cant didnt exist in my vocabulary.
So please listen to a person who’s been there n done that.
Who lived in the moment n sacrificed everything, I mean everything to be #1.
The fact is i never reached that #1 spot and even if I did , i’d still be the same person sitting in front of you today. I Wish i would have had a back up plan n a degree. So if your 20-30 something n your living your life thru your bike. Please make time for what really matters in life. Dont get me wrong. still ride n be the best you can be, but make sure you plan on being 50-60 one day too. Don’t get caught with your pants down. If Anyone has questions about growing up an athlete, or any other questions about growing up period from my perspective. Feel free to message me in FaceBook.
I believe you can have it all..fame, fortune, family, n a full life. Just i wanted to bring awareness to what could happen if your not aware.
Today im relearning my bike craft n following my passions as new ones arise. Im trying to incorporate friends n family back into my circle of life.
But its an effort today after so many yrs of being selfish with my time to open up n share the love that life has in my life today.
I hope this helps bring awareness to some of you so that you can make changes today to help safe guard your golden yrs.