The sport that I am involved in has plenty of dramatic twists and turns, but the most significant turning point for me in recent years happened off the bike.

It was during the X Games in Minneapolis in 2017. I had a busted wrist and was limited in what I could do, but still ended up with silver (best trick).

recall sitting there watching the rest of the riders compete. They were all fit, healthy and being where they wanted to be.

It was a turning point for me.

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Right then and there I decided: “You know what, once this wrist gets better and I get back to 100%, I’m going to make sure that I give it everything I have for the next few years because I’m getting older. I’m not a young buck anymore. Time to take things seriously.”

I made the conscious decision to make sure that I gave it everything I had from then on.

The major change was treating myself more as an athlete compared to what I would have done in the past.

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That meant giving up some of the things that I loved, but that weren’t really helping me achieve what I wanted to achieve – like the drinking and good times and late nights out with friends.

I started to train a lot more. Prepare better. A lot of these things were off the bike, like spending a lot of time in a hyperbaric chamber.

I know now that I have to look after my body and do the things I need to do to be in the best shape I can be in to compete. A lot of these are just little things.

In isolation they aren’t going to be make or break my career. But add them all together and you put yourself in a situation where you can achieve much great outcomes.

Over the past 18 months, I’ve felt as though I am now definitely more motivated than ever.

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I can see that I have, or I feel that I have what it takes to be able to win contests and I know what I have to do to be able to do that.

I also know the work that’s required and the sacrifices required to make that happen and for the next few years I’m going to be giving 110% to try to be where I want to be – and that is on the top of the box every time. It is a case of just finding my way every day.

Having been involved in sport at the elite level for some time, I also am not a big believer in ‘talent’.

Sure, with things like hand-eye co-ordination, some people are born with a little more ability than others. But the more I look at the supposed ‘talented’ people, the more I see athletes who just work really hard.

They put in more than the person beside them. So, when push comes to shove, as far as I am concerned you can forget the ‘talent gene’.

It really is the work that an athlete puts in that gets them to where they want to be.

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So, with my youth now behind me I know that, for me, it’s a series of educated decisions that affect the overall outcome.

For example, running eight kilometres every morning might not be the sole thing that gives me the edge that I need to pull me in front of another guy, but if I’m doing that along with a bunch of other small things, than those one percenters will eventually add up and make the big picture – a more successful picture.

I am 26 and I have lived a pretty fun, cruisy lifestyle up until now.

I had a lot of fun, a lot of good times, but I think that now I’m at the age in my life where I want to chase something bigger. Right now that is solely X Games.

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There definitely are other things that I could be doing as well on the bike that could even benefit my profile – shows and tours and stuff like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all that, but for me, my real passion is competing. That’s what I love getting up each morning to do, or to prepare for.

There’s plenty of time later in life for me to do the demos and shows. So, now it’s not about the money and going out and trying to do as many shows and be in as many places that I can be.

Right now for me it’s just trying to compete and be as good as I possibly can be on the dirt bike against all the other guys.

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I have grown a real passion for competing … I guess I have always loved that competitive edge that comes with sport, but now I am in the fortunate position where I don’t have to go and do shows to earn the money to keep doing what I do.

I can stay home and concentrate on what I think is important at the moment – competing and winning.

I have no doubt my focus on being a better prepared athlete is the reason for some really good results in 2018.

Earlier this year I had a pretty successful time at the X Games in Minneapolis. I finished with best trick gold and silver in the freestyle. I was stoked with that result.

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The guy who took gold in the freestyle in Minneapolis – French rider Tom Pages – is unbelievably good.

I am really disappointed that injury has forced me to withdraw from the Sydney X Games (October 19-21) because I was really looking forward to going head-to-head with Tom in my backyard.

It’s riders like Tom who ensure that I keep putting together as many of those one percenters that will get me over the line … hopefully in front.