Chelsey Hennig - Motocross/Snowmobiler (ON)

 

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Ontario, Canada

Weapon(s) of choice: 2017 Kawasaki KX250f
2017 Skidoo Freeride

What’s an average day for you like? An average day for me really depends on what I'm doing. I work as a legal assistant so one day I could be in a court house and the next day I could be riding my dirt bike.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? With regards to motocross, I'd say the most difficult part for a beginner is learning the foundations of riding a bike. I see too often girls who are racing who have terrible form. I am still technically new myself but I really focused on learning the proper form going over jumps, into corners, etc before entering a race. I still make a few mistakes myself with not having my elbows up but form is imperative and can really help to limit the chances of injury. I also think that a difficult part for a beginner is just not being scared of the bike, a lot of girls will switch from two stroke to four stroke because they are scared of the two stroke power, yet not thinking that a four stroke has just as much power PLUS all of the torque in there too. Not being scared is super important, if you're scared, you'll be rigid and make mistakes.
The easiest thing... I don't really think there is anything easy about this sport for a beginner... But it is really easy to make friends in this sport, every one is so nice and helpful!

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best thing about being a female in this sport is that so many women are friendly and willing to help. I have made better friends through motocross than I have my whole life. There is no drama, just friends.
The worst thing, I would say is that sometimes there aren't enough women who sign up to make a full women's class. There also isn't a lot of incentive for women to race in some series, but it is getting better!

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I would like to see more incentives for both ladies A and ladies B classes. A lot of the incentives (prizes, payouts, etc) are for the ladies A (pro) classes in the bigger series. It would be nice to have the same type of incentives, just not as big of course, for the lades B classes as well. I think it would help push the ladies in the B class.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? My personal style again, depends on what I'm doing. When I am working at the law firm, it's professional. But my casual is usually just jeans and a t-shirt. Pretty basic... I really like Harley Davidson clothing haha.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? FXR Racing for sure for my motocross gear and I'm not just saying that because I am sponsored by them, I have always loved their gear. It's very comfortable and colourful.
Stepping out, Harley Davidson, Guess, Lilly Pulitzer, Lucky Brand.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? I feel as if that "feeling" good, makes you "look" good. I personally have been working on my fitness and stamina a lot for the upcoming motocross season and as I am working out and improving my physical fitness, I am feeling a lot better about myself both mentally and physically. Being your personal best for me, is always trying something new, pushing myself and putting in the work.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Very dangerous. Motocross is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. Not yet. I've bailed pretty hard, got some pretty gnarly bruises but overall I try to be a very safe and cautious rider. My boyfriend bailed pretty hard a few years back off a downhill double, got a huge concussion and actually forgot who I was for 24 hours. It was crazy.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? The adrenaline. There is no better feeling than being lined up at the gate with 30 other women. I love it. The adrenaline for me, helps my Generalized Anxiety Disorder so for me, motocross is my medication! haha.

What is your favorite trick? I don't do FMX!

Do you own any other toys? I have a 2017 Skidoo Freeride 137 which I ride in the winter. I just bomb around in the powder. I have been snowmobiling all my life, since I was 3. I also have a 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax Diesel, not much of a toy but its my moto hauler in the summer.

What gets you pumped up for the day? Well, I love what I do. I love working in the law firm, and I am actually applying to law school in the UK for fall of 2017 so when I'm working at the firm, what helps me get pumped up is learning something new, meeting someone new or helping someone. When I'm racing, I'll jump up at the crack of dawn knowing I'll be riding my bike haha I love it!

What are three things you could not live without? My dirt bike, hair straightener & my boyfriend.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? Well, in January of 2016, my goal was to race at least ONE motocross race and clear a double. I did WAY more than that. I moved from ladies B to ladies A half way through the season and came 2nd place overall in ladies A for the season. I raced TWO national caliber events and placed 5th at the Madoc National in ladies intermediate. I killed it last year and I'm so proud of myself.
For 2017, I want to improve on my riding overall, I will be taking professional training in the spring. I plan on racing the full Canadian Womens Motocross National series in July and August and plan on racing a national event in Quebec as well. I don't plan to win any of these events as they are HUGE but I just want to experience new things and race with women who are way faster than me so I can push myself to stay with some of these girls. I really want to be consistent with my form, racing and ability this season.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? HANDS DOWN my boyfriend. Back in 2011 before we started dating in 2012, I had a pretty bad crash on a bike into a tractor blade so I was totally against dirt bikes. In 2012, he helped me learn properly and encouraged me to ride. He has been a huge support and he is the reason why I have excelled so much in the last year. Also, my sponsors, St. Onge Recreation, Horizon Networks, FXR Racing, Mototape, SheShreds & Spy Optics.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter? Ashley Fiolek & Ami Houde. These two women inspired me to start racing. I would love to meet them one day.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? Working or sleeping, lol, basically that's it.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? Snowmobiling helps keep me in shape in the off season, along with working out.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? For 2017, I want to improve on my riding overall, I will be taking professional training in the spring. I plan on racing the full Canadian Womens Motocross National series in July and August and plan on racing a national event in Quebec as well. I don't plan to win any of these events as they are HUGE but I just want to experience new things and race with women who are way faster than me so I can push myself to stay with some of these girls. I really want to be consistent with my form, racing and ability this season. I'll attend a few smaller races but those are my main goals.

What do you do to prep for a competition? Workout, eat well, take my BCAA's, and my anxiety medication lol.

What competitions and other awards have you won? Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - I didn't win this but I worked my BUTT off for it haha
Miss Northern Ontario Pageant 2012 - Entrepreneur award
Miss Northern Ontario Pageant 2012 - Scholar Award
Miss Northern Ontario Pageant 2012 - Beauty with a Purpose award

Truck build featured in Diesel Power Magazine X 2 - 2011/ 2013
Truck build featured in Diesel World Magazine X 2 - 2012/2013
Truck build featured in Diesel Tech Magazine - 2012
Truck build featured in Ontario Sideroads Magazine
Current truck to be featured in Diesel Tech Magazine next year

Motocross:
2nd place overall championship - ladies A - BRMX Series
5th place - Ladies Intermediate - MMRS Madoc National

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? I originally started riding in the forest, hare scrambles and enduro type stuff. I enjoyed it but I always knew motocross was the way I would end up going. I love riding on a motocross track 10x more than in the forest, it's fast and I love the flow. On a snowmobile, I love riding in powder and in the backcountry.

Favorite conditions? Motocross, I love riding when it isn't 100000 degrees out. So I love the fall and spring temps. I also do well in the mud. Snowmobiling, sunny blue bird days.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? East Coast USA. There are some amazing tracks on the east coast of the USA.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? I don't listen to music while riding.

What turned you on to your sport? I've always been into motorsports, motocross was a natural fit for me. My boyfriend really helped me to learn properly and then it really took off from there.

Any new moves you’re working on? Just working on being faster and more consistent and aggressive over jumps, in corners, etc.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? Probably when I came 5th place at the MMRS Madoc National. My first trophy ever. Pretty stoked about it.

What other extreme/action sports are you into? Snowmobiling!

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? Would probably be done law school by now! HAHA

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? I've only ever owned Kawasaki bikes. I like the reliability of Kawasaki.
Snowmobiles, I've owned both Polaris and Skidoo. I defiantly like the Skidoo more due to the resale value, and I love my 2017 Freeride colours!!

What’s the trick to riding and not hurting yourself? Proper form & protective gear. I'm guilty of not wearing knee braces but I will start in 2017.

How would you describe your style? I've been told I'm a smooth rider.

What would you say is your signature move? No tricks!

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding? BCAA's

What do you want to be when you "grow up"? As mentioned before, I applied to law school in the UK for fall of 2017. I don't really want to go to the UK but it's a 2 year program as opposed to 3, and I can get my degree done super fast. I will also miss out on fall motocross races but I realize I need to make sacrifices to get where I want to be. Once I am done law school, I want to basically be an international sports attorney for contracts and any legal matters athletes need assistance with internationally.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Facebook / Instagram: @Chels_mx