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Pro on the Go
Cody Janssen, sitting down inside his race trailer, he has come very far and trained so hard to make it here and can’t let people down. As the sweat drips down his face and the sun’s horrid rays beat down on all of them. He now knows its time to put his race face on. Sitting here thinking, this is one of the biggest pro rookie races for 2010. He has worked his way through the qualifier and the regional to advance to this race. Racing quads against the fastest people in the world is something you have to work and train for; you can’t just come here and expect to be the best without working for it. He puts countless hours in this sport for fifteen years, and now it’s his time to shine. Putting on all his gear, getting ready to go to the line, he gets on his bike to warm it up as his sponsors do the usual by grabbing his goggles and water. As he gets closer to the gates, he squint’s his eyes and grips his handle bars tight. He pulls up next to his class and shuts his bike off, sits there relaxing and thinking about how he is going to make it to the top.
The gates dropped and they were off. About 20 quads raced for the whole shot. Cody Janssen the pro rider you may know today is always out on the track. Today he races in France for the pro rookie 2010 of the year. Janssen on his Monster energy pro circuit Kawasaki 250f, has taken the win; it has been his greatest accomplishment yet.
This professional four-wheeler racer has his schedule memorized. Every week it’s a repeat and every race works the same. Every day of the week he gets up early, goes to the gym. He has therapeutic shock therapy next. Depending on the day he gets cortisone injections for his knees and shoulders. Later he must get all of his gear together and head over to the track. He test rides, and practices for the afternoon. If he has a meeting he must attend, but if he doesn’t he gets some time to himself. Cody goes back to the gym once more and then comes home and goes right to bed. Besides on Tuesday and Thursdays he attends classes at a college university to become an athletic trainer.
Every Race Janssen has little to do in the beginning but a lot towards the end. Normally when he has a race on Saturday he will fly out Wednesday morning. Thursday he will meet with a bunch of new people and have a media day, which is when you talk to the press. Friday is practice day. Then finally Saturday the big day, Cody gets up, has interviews in the morning. After that he has timed practices. Which are when you see how fast each lap around the track is and how long it takes you to finish. It’s great for competition. He signs autographs, and then has the opening ceremonies. They enter there first Moto, and after that they are allowed to rest and sign more autographs. After the break in between they get to enter there second Moto to see who takes first, second, third, and fourth. He has a press conference after and then gets to fly home right after that.
Walking down the stairs to his basement this tall broad shoulder boy showed me around. I stepped foot in his bedroom and it had posters covering the walls. Dirt bike helmet’s all over his dressers and some of his old gear hanging up in his closet. The first thing I thought of was my little brother. There rooms are just alike. The things they love are scattered all around there rooms. Janssen’s room was filled with pictures that were sketched o him, and stickers allover his dresser. These stickers were his sponsors. He must have had over a dozen. Many of the stickers were different. His rear window of his little white truck was also covered with them.
Cody Janssen is sponsored by many companies even if it’s as little as a shoe store to a huge company such as monster. He has the greatest respect for them all. Janssen doesn’t expect much from a lot of people, it’s more of him. He puts so much effort in to something he loves doing. The fear of him not having respect or expecting himself as a great rider would be ridicules his younger brother told me. “He is a great racer and puts so much in to it. I have never seen anything like this. Even when he was little he didn’t give up.”
It all started when he was three. His father owns Janssen Motorsports in Kaukauna. He has been around quads his whole life. When he was two all he liked to do was, “Play on his push four-wheeler” Mr. Janssen said. He didn’t know how far Cody could go with this so then he finally decided to buy him a real one. His family didn’t know how far he could go with this but after the years grew and when he got older this is what he was used to. Quad racing has turned in to Janssen’s life. I wondered when he started if he had any fears but he didn’t. He was just doing it for fun in the beginning and rode at his own pace so he was not afraid of getting hurt.
The things Cody did for racing have been incredible. He gave up hanging out with his friends from school on a daily basis. He had to make all new friends at the track that he saw more. He can’t eat the same thing as us, because being a quad racer means you must me in great shape and ear healthy. He told me it really changed his whole life style.
I asked Janssen what he all needed for a race and the thought of him saying only myself and my race gear made my mouth drop. I didn’t understand how that could be possible. Cody went in to detail by saying that is all he needs because the business’s who sponsor him ship their own quads out there so he can race them. Looking at Cody I was guessing he did not have a job because he was always so busy, so I needed to ask. He told me that Moto is essentially his job; he gets paid for doing something he loves. He takes this very seriously no matter if its working out, eating right, studying tapes, watching films or riding at the track its all focused on racing and it takes all day everyday.
The things racing can do for you are crazy! Janssen is known all over the place for being a great racer and looking out for many people. Racing changed his life by giving him many more opportunities, and it has made him some people’s idol’s and for Janssen, that’s what it’s all about. Racing keeps him out of plenty of trouble. You think of what all the teenage boys could be doing during the week or on the weekends. Well not Janssen his days are all set in stone. He refuses to miss racing, he is very dedicated.
Janssen goes out of the state and the country very often. He has been to basically every state. Also he has traveled around Europe, France, Australia, some of central, and South America. The greatest place he has traveled to has been France because it is some place very different were you never would expect to go to.
This big all start didn’t always know how to be a good competitor. One thing he said he never understood was winning. He always knew winning should be the greatest feeling ever. Janssen told me that he is “So scared of losing, I scare myself to win.” After the years Cody has experienced the ways to take on a race. One of the best feelings now his winning he said because “It makes all the sacrifices and all the hard work pays off.” The support his family gives him is more than one hundred percent. They have been there since day one and no matter what they always will be his number one fans. He has learned from his lovely family how to be a great roll model out on the track for the ones younger than him. He does support and give other riders advice if he see’s they need it. Even through all the injuries he has supported himself and others during his race career. He has broken his back, wrists, arm, let, collar bone, plenty of ribs, and he has rechecked his shoulders and knees. Also he has gotten many concussions. “The time off mad me come back even more dedicated.” He showed me that racing is more than anything to him, it was his life. When Janssen is out then he comes right back in ten times better.