Five Things Brian Deegan Does Differently

The X-gamer’s life is the opposite of typical.

The X-gamer’s life is the opposite of typical.

Photo: Shane Ruiz / METALMULISHA.COM | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The most decorated Freestyle Motocross rider in X Games history, Brian Deegan has always done things differently. He nearly died helping push FMX into the mainstream—his own doctor didn’t think he’d survive one crash—and successfully crossed over to short course off road racing, winning gold at last year’s X Games’ Rallycross. Besides having a dangerous and fun job, here are five things that Deegan does differently.  

1. Gets up in the morning

Brian Deegan: I’ve had 15—20 surgeries, blown up and lost a kidney, spleen, broke femurs, shoulders. I have a compressed T9 vertebrae and that hurts the most. I crack and pop in the morning. I’ll do some stretching on the bed and I roll my back on a foam roller. Just basic stretching for 10—15 minutes. I can get up and walk around the house sore and in pain or I can stretch and it doesn’t hurt as bad. I have a hot shower and I always stretch in the shower. At breakfast, I’ll take 10—15 vitamins for kidney, blood, cartilage, multi-vitamins, brain vitamins, joint medicine. I’ll usually take one or two Advil after breakfast and it takes the edge off. I know it’s bad for my kidney and liver—I’ve researched this—but I can’t get around it.

2. Values his hardware

I think the surgery stuff is way gnarlier than the medals. I’d be more bummed if I lost my surgery hardware. I have them all in a paper bag. I had all my plates and rods taken out at once and the way they do it is so medieval—they use Makita power drills, saws and hammers!

Photo: Brian Deegan | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

That shit is cool to me. I have all the hardware that came out of my body. I feel that’s my story. I’ve been willing to put my life on the line to achieve certain goals and that’s what those things show. X Games gold medals are great and they’re locked up and they sit there, but it’s not like I sit there and think, “These things are everything.”

3. Wins

I’ve been competing since I was eight-years-old and won a ton of races as a kid, but I got away from racing. Freestyle motocross was something for fun, on the side. It was before it was a ‘sport.’ But freestyle got me away from racing and I didn’t race for ten years.

Photo: Shane Ruiz / METALMULISHA.COM | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Trust me, winning the X Games [for FMX] is exciting, but it’s way better when I win a car or truck race. When I won rally and beat the best drivers in the world in my second time at the X Games, it was the gnarliest thing ever. I was in tears. It was a feeling no drug could ever give me. It was overwhelming and took over my ability to control myself. I was surprised by it. I didn’t think it was going to be like that.

4. Does His Homework

I knew I could do something else [after FMX], but I just couldn’t find it. I was so addicted to the thrill of being scared, pushing myself past that limit. Rockstar Energy Drink offered me a deal racing cars and trucks and I went into it. It was a rare opportunity I had handed to me—it’s an expensive form of racing. I went in and gave it everything.

Photo: Shane Ruiz / METALMULISHA.COM | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

I wanted to be the guy who studied the hardest, learned the fastest. I took it to school: I watched videos, studied the best guys and their truck setups. I’d drive hours to just get in a seat in any type four-wheel vehicle. I was in dumb desert races in the middle of nowhere, off-the-wall driving school, sprint cars, midgets, stock cars and I feel that’s why I advanced so fast. In my first full season I won the championship and that’s unheard of—that was in Pro Lite, which is almost the best class. The next year I got into Pro 2, which is the best of the best, and I annihilated them and it was because I studied and studied. It was cool because I’d launched a whole new career.

5. Landscapes

I have a little dozer and right after it rains is the best time—it’s like fresh snow if you’re a snowboarder. I go out, push up the jumps, shape the hills and start carving out a freestyle park. It’s my time to get away, time to think and do my own deal. I love riding the equipment. If I could do that all day long, I’d be cool with it. John Deere would be a sick sponsor! I could see myself driving around a  tractor all day when I’m older.

Photo: Shane Ruiz / METALMULISHA.COM | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Follow Brian on Twitter, and watch him at this weekend’s RallyCross Race at the X Games!