Within the realm of motocross, you are often consumed with an abundance of stories. Ranging in wide variety, there’s a vast array of tales, detailing both triumphs and tribulations. However, there’s one in particular, that seems to be as heroic, and distinct as ever. Isaac Williamson is a young man who’s faced more adversity in his short tenure on this earth, than many will encounter in a lifetime. He’s viewed the disease of cancer straight in the eye, faced it with all his might, and has now come away with surging amounts of confidence and momentum. Intrigued by his story, Isaac was kind enough to provide us a detailed background of his road to glory, and what he plans to do from here on out.
So Isaac, how did you get involved in motocross?
Well, my Dad used to race motocross when he was younger. He raced at Malvern Motocross Park and Pymatuning Holeshot Raceway. Dad still had his old, shiny chest protector that said Williamson 77 and his first place trophies in the garage. He even won a six foot trophy. I always loved watching guys whipping it on the television. So, for my 4th birthday, my Mom and Dad surprised me with a PW50. It was hidden at the side of my house with all the riding gear and a bunch of birthday balloons. It even had my dad's old number "77" on it! It was such an awesome 4th birthday!
Can you tell us about your first experience on the motorcycle? Was it scary?
Heck yes it was! So, I was 4 1/2 years-old and I learned to ride my p-dub in the yard. My dad began teaching me holeshots. When I had that mastered, he convinced my Mom that I was ready for the track. So, in April 2016, I had my first race at Malvern Motocross Park in Malvern, Ohio. My Great-Grandpa, Papa Jim came all the way from North Carolina to watch me race my first race ever! When it was time for me to go up to the gates and the gates dropped. All I remember is all these other fast kids flying past me. I was in last place. The track was challenging; I kept falling over. Mom and Dad had to run beside me and my poor Dad had to keep starting my bike back up after I wrecked. Then, the third time around the track, I built up enough courage to give her more gas and I learned that the faster you go, the easier it is. There was this gigantic hill and a finish line jump ahead of me. Well, I finally made my way up the hill, went back down flying and pinned it at the finish line and I forgot that finish line jump was there and I cased it. I flew over my bike like Superman and my bike flipped end over end. My neighbor, Shawn was right there to help me get back up and start my bike again. I didn't get hurt, it just scared the heck out of me and I cracked my frame. That day, I made my first motocross friend; A kid named, Mason. I had it in my mind that was going to get this racing thing down because I wanted to be as fast as my new moto-friend, Mason.
You’ve had such an amazing story so far throughout your lifetime; can you give us a background on what you’ve had to overcome here recently?
Oh yes. I had a really scary operation back in October 2016. I had to end my race season early because I had to undergo leg surgery. My doctor told my mom that he was concerned that I had this disease called cancer and that he wanted to operate and get the cancer area out of my leg. The day of my surgery, I was allowed to wear my Superman cape and bring in my favorite stuffed animal with me to Akron Children's Hospital. I remember my surgeon and a few nurses pushing my hospital bed down to a really bright room and I fell asleep there. When I woke up, I was in a lot of pain and it made me cry. I had a 2 1/2 long incision on the top part of my leg and twenty stitches. It hurt so bad and I couldn't look at it because it made my stomach hurt when I would look at it. My Mom gave me medicine a few times a day that took the pain away. I had to lay on the couch with my leg propped up, on pillows, watching cartoons or playing video games for weeks. My mom had to give me a shower with a plastic bag on my leg and carry me everywhere. When I was finally allowed to go back to school, my Mom had to take me because I wasn't allowed to walk up the bus steps. At school, I wasn't allowed to play with my friends at recess, or participate in gym for eight weeks. It felt like the longest eight weeks of my life. I just wanted to run, climb trees, ride my dirt bike, or play ball outside with my friends. Not sit on a couch with my leg propped up on pillows and watching cartoons, or playing video games. When I went in for a follow-up appointment with my surgeon, he told me that I was cancer-free! That was the best news ever!
Is this your favorite, of all sports you participate in?
You know it is! I love motocross. Nothing is cooler than twisting that throttle, passing riders and getting air! I'm sporty. I play a lot of sports. I've played baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, wrestling and football. I've finally narrowed my sports down to: Motocross, wrestling and next month, I start football practice again. I play football for the Marlington Little Dukes in Alliance, Ohio. I play both offense and defense. I never really sit during the game, unless I'm tired and need to take a rest. I like playing football, but nothing compares to motocross. I like being my own "team." If I want to win that fist place trophy, it's up to me to do it! Motocross is more competitive than any sport I have played!
Where do you do the majority of your practicing?
When my surgeon finally lifted my restrictions, my Dad drove me to an indoor track in Pennsylvania, called Switchback Arenacross every week. I started indoor training at Switchback. I met some really cool, local pro riders there that gave me some amazing riding tips. Then, my sponsor, Pop's Auto, in Alliance, Ohio, made an outdoor track for me at there shop and most recently, I became friends with Bobby Noah. Bobby owns Summit Indoors and Malvern Motocross Park in Malvern, Ohio. Bobby has done a lot of work at Malvern and I started practicing there. Malvern is my favorite place to train and race. I consider Malvern my "home track."
What’s been your biggest accomplishment, thus far in your racing career?
Going from being the worst PW50 racer in Ohio, to the best PW50 racer in Ohio, in just one year! Right now, I am in first place for everything, Kames Night Series, Weisco Super Series, Battle for Ohio Series and first place for overall. If you would of told me last year at this time that I was going to be the fastest 50cc shaft drive rider in Ohio, I would of laughed because all I did last year was fall off my bike and wreck.
Are you aspiring to become a professional one day?
Oh man, yes! That's my dream. I can't think of anything cooler than to ride a fast dirt bike as my job! It would be so cool to do that.
Do you have a favorite pro rider? Do you try and copy their style?
Actually, I have two. I met a really cool pro rider at Switchback this winter, Dylan Slusser, he raced #558. Unfortunately, Dylan is no longer with us. I also recently met Ryan Villopota at Johnny K's Powersports. Ryan autographed the back of my chest protector and he had his picture taken with my Dad and I. I consider my autographed chest protector a good luck charm! I try to copy Dylan and Ryan's style as best as I can, but you know, I just turned seven, I'm a small guy.
What type of off the bike activities do you do to get in better shape? Running? Swimming? Cycling?
I like swimming in my pool, riding my bicycle, playing basketball, tennis, wrestling and football. I just like being outside and playing sports. I'm not really into video games or watching tv.
What other races do you plan on attending for the rest of 2017?
I am going to race as many OMA and local AMA races as I can for 2017. Plus, there's one more Battle for Ohio race that I want to win. So far, I've won first place in both battle races. My goal is to fill up my room with as many first place trophies as I can. Shiny, first place trophies are so cool! Plus, last week, I started training on my Cobra Junior. I think I am going to convince my Mom and Dad to let me start racing it more. I can totally handle the power of my Cobra Junior!
For 2018, are you hoping to attend any big nationals?
I sure am going to try. Next year, because of my age, I have to race a Cobra Senior and I'm short. Even with starting blocks, I can't really touch. At Switchback, I met a friend there. His name is Jonathan Stark. He was in a car accident when he was younger and lost the use of his legs. He races a modified dirt bike. So, if my friend can race without the use of his legs, I can race without touching. It's all in the power of that throttle and your riding abilities.
Any sponsor’s you’d like to thank?
Absolutely! My sponsor's are great. First off, I'd like to thank my Mom and Dad. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be doing what I love. I'd also like to thank my friend, Bobby Barr, from Barr's Competition for building me the fastest bike in Ohio. I'd also like to thank Bell Helmets, Spy Optic, Atlas Neck Brace, O'Neal, Factory Backing, Greg Smith at Motosports MD, Ryan and Robin McCoy at Ripped Vinyl and my local sponsor, Pop's Auto, LLC, located in Alliance, Ohio. I have a Facebook Page and Instagram set up for sponsors. You can friend request me and follow along with my racing career by searching for Isaac Williamson Motocross on Facebook. I also have an Instagram page. You can follow me at iwilliamson312 and I have a Hookit score of 2,400 and climbing!
DAILY BREAD BY / LOGAN MATTINGLY
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