Red Rush Athlete Jedidiah Snelson learned hard work, determination, and discipline growing up on a farm in Buhl, Idaho. As a child, he loathed the mind-numbing repetition of the hard and thankless chores, but as an adult he appreciates the values that the life agrarian had instilled in him. These values helped shape the man he would become, a man who climbed to prominence in the Motocross world, became famous for training champions and not only survived a devastating, life-altering accident, but rose above it.
Jed Snelson knew he would never be the fastest dirt bike racer in the world because most Motocross/ Supercross racers begin their training while still in short pants. (The difference between the two types of races are based on how the courses are created and when they are raced. Supercross is indoors and starts the season. Motocross is outdoors and comes second). Snelson began his obsession with the sport, riding around a homemade track on his Idaho farm in his teens, a veritable silverback from a scouting standpoint. Not to be deterred, Snelson focused on fitness. To the untrained eye, Motocross doesn’t seem like a physically demanding activity, but studies have shown that the cardiovascular demands of Motocross athletes are higher than those of professional road cyclists racing on a similar course. Snelson compares the strain of racing Motocross to doing weighted front squats while your legs are being disrupted by electroshocks.
And soon Snelson made a name for himself among the professionals as an endurance rider. The races are usually composed of two rounds lasting over thirty minutes each. In basketball or soccer, you might be able to rely on your team to catch a breath, or if you’re a cyclist or rower, you’re doing one repetitive motion over and over again and can train for that. Motocross is infinitely varied. The rider has to adjust and adapt to every curve, every bump while being buffeted and jarred with no rest. While the other racers faltered in the second round, Snelson’s superior fitness allowed him to excel and win.
When one of Snelson’s colleagues, Jake Weimer, received a “factory deal,” the sponsors told Weimer that he needed to hire a personal trainer, and so he hired Snelson. Weimer found a lot of success after making that decision and podiumed several times during his breakout, big-league season, even winning one of the larger races. Snelson soon gained renown as an elite conditioning coach. If an up-and-coming junior racer was almost old enough to go pro, Jedidiah Snelson was the person they wanted to see about proper fitness and conditioning. Snelson’s training focused on strength, balance and reflexes. The riders could feel confident and secure, able to move fluidly with the flow of the bike to improve their overall speed. Snelson had his students stand on fitness balls, swinging kettlebells, or passing weighted medicine balls back and forth to get riders used to having to apply strength and move rapidly while maintaining perfect balance.
Snelson eventually retired from the fast-paced life of a professional Motocross trainer and moved back to Idaho with his wife and daughter, but began racing in the Idaho Vet Class for fun, even picking up a couple of regional titles last year. After a long winter, the first scheduled race took place on a sand track. On a chilly 27-degree F morning, a dozer came out and disked up the steep-graded, downhill course. The race began. Jedidiah came around a corner and hit a patch of soft sand thatsent him off the racetrack and down the side of a hill. He didn’t panic. He maneuvered his bike, attempting to coast to safety, but at the bottom, he hit a large frozen divot at 35 miles per hour and was thrown over the handlebars, landing forty feet away face first on the icy ground, his helmet crushed. The force of the impact caused his heels to collide with the back of his head. He rag-dolled for another thirty feet and was knocked out for over a minute. Snelson’s spine and shoulder were dislocated; his sternum, four ribs and spine were fractured. His lung was punctured and when his left hip dislocated, it sheared off the top of his left femur. He would never walk again.
Put in a position that would break so many of us, Jed Snelson, always stronger in the second round, drew strength to strive and thrive from the perspective he learned during his bucolic upbringing and his faith and trust in God. Ten months after the accident, Snelson applied and was accepted into Red Rush Athlete program. He says AIM’s Red Rush™ helps with his circulation which has been affected negatively by his injuries. He’s currently training to become a downhill cyclist. (His bike will be a customized model with hand pedals). He’s also a motivational speaker, sharing his story with those who may be able to draw strength and hope from his experiences.
Read the extended interview here: