If you want to be the best at motocross, you need toughness, focus, and of course, a dirt bike.
Jackson Gray is a Forsyth, Ga., racer who got his first bike five years ago. He hasn't been off of it much since then. The 11 year-old is one of the best in the world, for his age group, and he's about to ride for the red white and blue.
He's known bikes nearly half his life.
At 11 years old, Jackson Gray is tilling the track,and soaring high above it. Gray has a method to his moto-madness.
"Don't be crazy, and try to stay safe."
Even though he's careful, the track still gets the better of every rider, now and then. Last summer, Gray ruptured his spleen during practice for a race.
"It didn't feel good."
It was the second time Jackson ruptured his spleen. He also broke five bones in the fall. After two months of rest and 10 months of practice, Jackson is on a list not many kids find themselves on.
He's in the top five for riders in his age group (9-11), and got an invite to the MX Masterkids international race in Commercy, France.
"All I've ever asked of him is to do his best no matter what he does. I think if he goes over there and does his best, he'll represent the USA well," said Robert Gray, Jackson's father.
Robert never rode motocross. He's watching his son blaze a trail, and battle back from a bruising that would make most kids hang up their goggles for good.
"It's amazing to watch him get back on the bike and continue to ride and continue to strive to be better."
The younger Jackson is striving for more speed, and new heights.
"It'll be my first international race, and I'm really looking forward to that."
Looking forward is the key. No time to look back at falls or stumbles. Just crank it up, and ride with the rest of the world.
The MX Masterkids race in Commercy, France, is a three-day event. It starts July 12, and Jackson is one of over 700 kids from across the world who will hit the course, and one of 120 kids from his age group.
Follow 13WMAZ's Wes Blankenship on Twitter: @Wes_nship