Fanning flees sport norms

Maialie Fitzpatrick, Staff Writer

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On a usual weekend, Nate Fanning ’16 races to the finish line while swerving his full-size off-road motorcycle around a dirt racetrack in full motion and jumping over every bump and hill seamlessly.

However, motocross is anything but effortless.

According to Motosport.com, “Studies of motocross riders in past years have compared riders against athletes from demanding sports such as NFL football, professional basketball, track and soccer with results showing that riders, overall, were at a higher level of physical fitness.”

Fanning agrees with the statement and understands how the sport may look as if the athlete is just being pulled by an engine “but in reality there is an incredible amount of strength and endurance required to stay in control of a 220 pound machine at top speed for 15-30 minutes,” Fanning said.

Dirt biking isn’t the usual sport Staples students partake in, but Nate was drawn to it ever since watching an episode of a show his father used to watch called “Red Green”.

“In one of the episodes he tried to duct tape a chainsaw engine on a bicycle and my brother wanted to do the same, but my parents thought it safer to get him a dirt bike instead,” Fanning said.

Since the age of 10, Nate has been committed to riding and spends the weekends of his summer camping at the track to prepare for his races.

Friend Michelle Partner ’16 vouches for Nate’s dedication to dirtbiking, “I used to always ask him what he was doing over the weekend in the fall, and he would always say he was racing or practicing on some track a few hours away.”

With motocross being a big time commitment outside of school, Nate says how it can often be a drawback, “Teachers are a lot less understanding about needing an extra day for schoolwork if I will be away all weekend for a competition.”

Although dirt biking is a demanding sport, Nate isn’t planning on giving it up any time soon. “Once you get into it, motocross becomes a lifestyle.”

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