It’s never too late to turn your life around.
That’s the hope-infused message from ex-motocross champ Brent Worrall, that permeates his autobiography, Motocross Saved My Life From Its Darkness.
The adrenaline-soaked sport of motocross morphed into a redemptive force for Worrall, allowing him to “overcome the unthinkable” after the life-altering crash in August of 2011.
“My life hasn’t been all blood and guts — there’s been a lot of glory too — but right now, it’s imperative that I tell you the story of how motocross saved my life…while the clock is still ticking,” he writes in the introduction to his book.
Born and raised in Chilliwack, Worrall is coming to town to launch the autobiography and thank the motocross community at Heritage Park on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.
“My mission in sharing my story is in the hope that others never give up on their own personal dreams,” Worrall said. “I am living proof that no matter how desperate one becomes, or how far down the ladder they have fallen, there is still always hope.”
The former champion is convinced he’s still here for a reason, and part of it is the potential for inspiration.
“Not in a million years would I have ever imagined such a beautiful life fate, now that mine has come full circle. Returning to the sport that defined me as a youth, even though I later suffered a spinal cord injury; is a fate that I am content with.”
In writing the book he was out to “paint compelling and visceral” images of his struggles, as well as what it was like coming out of the darkness “to embrace the full power of the human spirit.”
The book, which made it to the FriesenPress bestseller list, covers his formative life in Chilliwack, like the highlight of being nominated by City of Chilliwack’s recreation and culture department as ‘Athlete of the Year’ in 1981. That was on the heels of winning a national racing championship in Quebec in 1980, and then placing 10th in the world at an international race.
His incredible story continues along a bumpy road to many years later with the almost-fatal 2011 crash. It was a mechanical malfunctioning of the bike that occurred while he was midair over a huge jump that sent Worrall into a sudden nosedive.
Worrall broke his back and neck in six places, fractured his clavicle, sternum, ribs and collapsed his lungs. After flat-lining on the operating table four times, his doctors finally managed to stabilize him.
The ex pro moto racer wants the world to know he has returned to the sport that defined and shaped his youth, but in a wholly new way, as a paraplegic with a spinal cord injury, who has to do everything with his arms.
Worrall’s autobiography takes the reader on a fantastic ride of his ups and downs, through the gut-wrenching darkness of his depression and addiction, to the hard-won accolades of his soaring achievements. It covers his steely-eyed demon-slaying, his tenacity to stay sober, and some of the heroic figures he met along the way.
“I consider myself a much better person today than I ever was back in my dark addictive world,” he said. He talks about getting sober from a 25-year alcohol career, gambling and even getting off pain meds for a time.
Worrall felt he had no choice but to painstakingly work at regaining some semblance of a life — again.
The Chilliwack grad hosted the Canadian Moto Show for four years from his home studio while reinventing his life. He also earned a position as a senior writer at Motocross Performance Magazine throughout those painful years.
But he stopped everything in 2017 to take the time to write his book as a “final gift” to the motocross community.
His story is clearly a succession of comebacks. Proof of that was delivered to him in 2016 when he was nominated for a Coast Mental Health ‘Courage to Come Back’ award.
“It was a pretty big deal for me to get nominated and be recognized that way by my peers,” Worall said.
Another milestone will see Worrall presenting himself as a “human book” on Nov. 28 at Coldstream elementary in Vernon, where he’ll be sharing his uplifting story with about 100 kids.
“This has me over the moon,” Worrall said about the potential for inspiring young people with his story of overcoming so many obstacles.
At the time of his devastating crash, Worrall had only recently just come back to the sport of motocross racing in the over-40 category, after many years of absence due to struggles with alcohol, gambling and depression.
While still in hospital, he committed to committed to joining The Ride To Conquer Cancer in 2013 on a hand-pedalled wheelchair, going from Surrey to Seattle in two days.
So the Chilliwack book launch is a chance to shake hands with and thank the very people who made such an indelible mark on his life, and the opportunity “would certainly be a bucket-list checkmark,” Worrall writes on his website.
“Being Chilliwack born and raised, nothing would be better than to see many of my old friends make an appearance to mingle with myself and those of you, whom I have come to know and love in the motocross community.”
The official book launch/signing for Worrall’s Motocross Saved My Life From Its Darkness, will be in Chilliwack on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. during the opening rounds of the Future West Arenacross series at Heritage park, 44140 Luckakuck Way.
“After participating in what seemed to be the longest and most gut-wrenching marathon of my life in writing this book, I am very excited about this celebration.”