FreestyleXtreme Magazine Issue 25 - Page 73

André Villa “ I just love the sport, but I’m 36, I have 1.5 meters of steel in my body and 30 broken bones But something happened inside me while standing on the landing in Dubai that night. A huge weight got lifted off my shoulders, and man, I was crying like a baby under my helmet. I was so emotional that I could ride freestyle motocross again and compete with these guys; I really didn’t think I’d ever ride again after that Poland crash. But when the weight released, another energy swept over me that was like, ‘but do I want this anymore? Is another result going to make me happier?’ I kept continuing after that, and I still had the same love for the sport, but something happened to me that night that made me think ‘enough is enough’. I decided to transition to speed and style, and I won two X Games medals in that. Then I told myself that I’d stop competing when I became a dad, which is exactly what I did. I became a dad two years ago, and I stopped competing straight away. I definitely didn’t stop because I couldn’t do it anymore. I still had this huge passion for the sport and kept doing demos and stuff, but decided to start building up the sport in a different way as a promoter. It must feel good to have been able to go out on your own terms like that, and not have to retire due to injury or something. Totally, it was all my decision. My comeback from my femur was in 2012, then I made the transition to speed and style, and then we lost Eigo, which also hit me really hard. I told my sponsors straight up that it didn’t feel right in my heart and I didn’t want to keep competing. I lost a few sponsors over the decision, but I was ready to be challenged in a different way. I’d been hanging under my dirt bike for 15 years trying to better each trick, but everything has its time and I was ready to move on from competing to riding demos and being a promoter. This new path will keep me in the sport longer. I love the sport too much to just quit completely. So what does success look like? That’s a very good question, and it’s something I’ve asked myself many times. I can’t remember ever telling someone this stuff for an interview – I feel like I’m taking you on an emotional journey right now – but I always tell myself not to worry about the future. If I look back five or ten years on my life, I could never have guess where I’ve ended up. So instead of focusing on where I want to go, I just want to do my best and treat people with respect. But I hope I’ll work with something that makes me happy, challenges me, and ideally, makes life better for someone else. I will be working with dirt bikes for many years so I’m not sure if there’s a way of making that happen right now, but life as a way of working out and it will happen. If I can find a job I’m content with, maintain a healthy relationship with my family and make life better for someone else, that’s my dream, my optimal thing. But I still have to get that adrenalin kick. I will ride my dirt bike till the day I die. That’s awesome man. Much respect to you and all you’ve done for the sport. Appreciate you having a chat with us. Thanks so much! t /Villa.Andre @Andre__Villa @Andre__Villa | 73