Wright Out of the Gate: A Step in the Wright Direction By Dylan Wright The western rounds of the CMRC Canadian pro nationals are almost in the books. I’m looking back on the last month of my life and feel like I’ve been climbing a long staircase, taking one step at a time towards achieving some important goals as a racer and as an individual. I say this because in the past four weeks I’ve successfully achieved some key milestones that I’m really proud of! First, as a racer, I got to step up onto the pro podium for the second time in my career, but for the first time as an actual pro. I felt like I was floating in my Forma boots as I stood on the platform soaking up the exhilarating feeling of that hard-fought 3rd place position in moto 1 in Calgary. It’s a wild feeling when you finally reach and pass a racer that you’ve watched, respected and chased (albeit mostly in practice) for so many years. It’s a struggle to contain your excitement and yet try to maintain the composure and focus required to make the pass stick … all the way to the end of the moto. Jeremy Medaglia is a fierce and relentless competitor. With a couple of laps to go, the pressure of knowing he is going to be on your butt trying to pass you back before you reach the checkered flag was huge. The shot of adrenaline that ran through my veins was an exhilarating boost of confidence that … somehow … also proved to be a calming influence that kept me focused to the finish line. I was so close to a podium finish in the overall … but was denied … this time. I have seven more rounds to reach that step on the staircase of pro motocross racing success. Now that I’ve tasted the podium and know I can be there, I’m more pumped than ever. On a different note, I also got to step up onto the stage at Centrepoint Theatre on Friday, June 19th, to receive my high school diploma as a 2015 graduate of the Collège Catholique Franco-Ouest. My twin brother Ryan, my girlfriend Krista Casselman and my buds celebrated our graduation at our prom on Wednesday, June 17th. On these occasions, I traded in my FXR gear and 6D helmet to put on a suit, a graduation gown and a graduation cap. Yes folks … I finally completed high school!!! I have to admit that trying to achieve balance between my studies and the training required to compete at the pro level was no small feat. To be honest, the second semester of the past couple of years was really challenging. My folks always said that going to school was our “job” while they went off to work. So, I always took it seriously and put in the work to get good marks. Well … I turned pro when I was 16; so that became the “job” I really wanted to focus on. I count myself lucky that my parents and my school understood and were flexible in trying to help me do both. I won’t kid you … there were times when I wanted to drop the school work to just focus on motocross. I figured I could always go back and finish it later. (Not likely I suppose. I didn’t want to now … so why would I be happier doing it later. Right?) My parents wouldn’t hear a word of it! Now that I’m done, I’m grateful for their persistence. I believe front-loading my first semester of grades 11 and 12 while I went to school and doing online courses in the second semester proved to be a great way to get it done while I was still in “study” mode. So … to those of you who hope to race pro someday … take it from me. Getting your high school diploma is a must. Do it now. Balancing racing and school can be a challenge … but it’s doable … and it’s worth it! I have chosen professional motocross racing as my career. However, I do so knowing that being a racer is not the type of career choice that can last until the normal retirement age of 65. Who knows where the motocross industry will take me. What I do know, is that with my diploma, I now have the ticket I need to pursue whatever my second career might be. Here’s a quote my mom showed me that I thought was pretty appropriate to go with this blog: “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must. But take the step.” I have and I’m really proud of the choices I’ve made. I guess you can say that I am confidently headed in “the Wright direction” … whatever that may be. (LOL) Now, I can finally turn my full attention to training and racing. Oh yeahhhhh!!!! I’m really proud of the steps I’ve completed, but I still have a few more steps I want to reach and hope to be able to get to this year: an overall finish on the podium and a moto win. School is done. Prom is done. Graduation is done. Now … it’s back to business! I’m off to Regina tomorrow. Then, the Canadian motocross nationals are coming back to my backyard and I’m more pumped than ever!