Swizcorner "You Know Who The Hell I Am?"
This is a quote I have always loved.

Any idea who I pulled that quote from? I’m not gonna let the cat out of the bag just yet but suffice to say, the guy who uttered those words is just as stubborn and confident as who I am conjecturing upon at this very moment. Chad Reed.
We are on the dawn of the 2018 Supercross Series, Anaheim 1 will mark the 15th consecutive Premier-class debut for Chad which puts him (I believe), second to only The Rock Mike LaRocco in the consecutive debut category (The Rock went an astounding 17 seasons!!). Chad has 2 Supercross titles, the largest fan-base of any current racer, is revered for his frank thoughts on current events in racing and is one of the few racers who actually see's product on shelves move due to his endorsement. These few key factors all add up to an indication of why a sponsor may want Chad to line up for another year of battle but more interesting to me is what is going on in Chad Reed’s head that motivates him to put in the work and commitment to line up again?
1. Familiarity- This aspect is something that is not unique to Chad, it’s something anyone near the top of the game in a sport over the span of time Chad has been involved, can relate to. Just as normal as punching the clock in a field of work you’re not only incredibly talented in but you really enjoy, the familiarity become your metronome. It’s the tick and tock of how you live live day in and day out, it’s just who you are and to stray from it not only feels confounding, it can serve to stifle your enthusiasm for life itself and that is scary as hell.
2. Stubbornness- Anyone who has been a fan of Supercross for years has heard the stories of Chad being hard-headed and knowing what he wants and not one to suffer fools (fools could also be replaced with “anyone disagreeing with Chad”). How do you argue with him though? He’s been successful as hell in so many aspects of his racing career both on the track and in the execution of Two Two Motorsports being formed from nothing into a title contending team and highly respected team in it’s first year. I should note that all of these factors are closely relatable to one another because a big part of the stubbornness to walk away is due to that familiarity. Likewise, familiarity is also leaning on the next factor, physiology.
3. Physiology- Chad’s physiology has been formed over decades of pursuit of a single goal: to win. The pay off is endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline… the naturally produced rewards of achieving the end game of all the hard work, commitment and execution. It’s no easy task to shut off the switch that essentially marks the death of those rewards, on this level anyway.
4. Vanity- I don’t care who you are, if you’ve spent 15 years being regarded as a king, one of the best to have ever been at your chosen sport, the respect you’re given and awe that you are targeted with by fans is a reward in itself. Chad has never shy’d from confrontation, honesty and gamesmanship which only elevates the level of admiration he has been regarded with over his career. Simply knowing that admiration exists or existed is no substitute to seeing it in the fans faces every Saturday night when they look at you face to face when you’re geared up moments from battle. Can you blame him?
5. Enjoyment- Here it is. The culmination, the sum of the parts. It’s the simplest explanation of why the two-two is working his ass off to embark on another season of Supercross. His stubbornness tells him he can win and achieve the physiological spoils as well as the financial which result in the sustained admiration of the fanbase and the lust for life.
Call it what you will but I see a guy who still puts in the work because he loves it and knows it’s completely in the realm of possibility for him to once again achieve that highest level of reward. Whether it’s one race, two or the culmination of a season’s effort, Chad isn’t preparing because he needs the money, he’s doing it for the only reason he’s ever known… just like Evil Knievel quoted to Jim Rome when asked, “why do it?”…