Back in 2005, my older brother Peter was doing freeride and downhill mountain biking. Hence, my family owned a couple of mountain biking DVD, one of them being New World Disorder 1. Kris Holm had a section in this where he was doing both trials and mountain unicycling. Now you might think that that is what got me initially excited, but it wasn't. It was my dad who started it all by nonchalantly saying how cool it would be to have a unicycle like Kris Holm. My brother and I took that to heart and bought him a unicycle for Fathers' Day. Of course, he didn't ride it all that much - he gave it a few tries but it just ended up sitting in the garage.
That's when I picked it up. I started riding just for kicks - I had no intention or aspirations at the time to do the insane seeming riding of Kris Holm. Once I learned how to ride, it was only about the progression about the next hardest thing I could do: Drop off a curb, jump up a curb, ride a local trail, etc. One thing led to another, getting Universe 2 and a MUni as birthday presents. That's when riders like Kris Holm and Ryan Atkins became the role models for me. I'll also mention now that my brother has been and will always be a role model to me. I would go on rides to have lots of fun, with Kris, Ryan, and my brother in the back of my mind as inspiration. My first event was the Moab Muni Fest in 2006 and it was really the catalyst for the rapid improvement which I saw in myself over the next couple years. Before I knew it, I was competing at national and world level competitions with some of my best buddies from around the world.
Before I started unicycling I played soccer as a wee lad and later ran cross country. Neither of them clicked with me I guess since I don't do them, but unicycling stuck with me and here's why. Unicycling is self motivated for me. I learned everything I know now by teaching myself. I could practice whenever, wherever, and however I wanted to. There was no coach telling me what was right and what was wrong, I could make up my own rules! (at least outside of competition) Because of this "what you put in is what you get out" aspect of the sport, unicycling taught me the necessity of confidence and self belief for achieving goals. The most important driving force for unicycling for me was the enjoyment of the riding. My fundamental goal was to have fun, and you can bet that I did and still do!
My most proud accomplishment in unicycling for me is probably the knowledge that I can be a role model to other people. It shows that I'm doing something right, or new, or desirable and others appreciate it. It has given me the chance to give back to the great community that helped me to achieve my goals. My enjoyment of the sport of unicycling has expanded from self progression to helping others to progress in their unicycling skills, whether it be teaching new riders or pushing a buddy on an intense ride. It is also pretty neat to say I'm a two time world champion.