Injuries are so common in this sport that a broken collarbone seems as routine as a morning cup of coffee. But every now and then there’s a big one, and earlier this year in Glendale, Chris Blose’s number came up. The FXR/Chaparral Honda Racing rider sustained a huge list of serious injuries that at first glance, suggesting he’d be out of action for a very long time. But, like most motocross athletes, Blose is tough, knows how to heal, and received clearance to start riding again last week. We caught up with him to talk about his recovery, getting back to racing, and dad life.
Race X: Chris what’s up, how are you?
Chris Blose: Doing good, just put the little guy down for a nap.
Well I’ll just jump right into this interview then, I don’t want to use up the whole nap. That time is like gold, isn’t it?
Oh, it’s amazing isn’t it?
Let’s start with your list of injuries. Impressive might not be the right word, but that’s the most impressive list I’ve seen in a long time.
Yeah, I’m not sure if I should be impressed, or if everyone else should be impressed, but it was not very fun to go through. I had four broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a fracture in the greater trochanter, which is your upper femur bone that goes into your hip, and I dislocated my wrist, which was the biggest and most complicated one. There were fractures in that too. I also hit my head pretty hard.
No big deal.
What do you even do for a laceration to the liver?
It depends on the severity of it. Mine just healed on its own. I guess if it’s big enough you need surgery, but I was lucky enough to not need it.
I don’t think my liver would heal on its own. It’s already under a lot of duress, especially during quarantine.
I can only imagine.
Earlier this year I talked to the team owner, Michael Lindsay, and he said you were hoping to make it back to supercross this year. And this was before the schedule was delayed! What were the odds of you actually making it back?
That was my goal, to be back before the season was over. The more I went through the healing process and really started to understand the severity of it, the goal of trying to be back started going away little by little. I got cleared to start riding about a week ago, so it wasn’t completely out of the question. It was just unknown.
That had to be a pretty stringent physical therapy schedule.
I’m still in physical therapy and I can think of a hundred things I’d much rather do. It’s definitely no fun, but it’s still needed. When you get hurt, your emotions are such a roller coaster. When I first got hurt I was in the hospital and I was like, ‘I’m done, I don’t want to race anymore.' It was probably one of the worst injuries I’ve ever had. After a couple weeks, taking care of my kid, during that whole time, it was miserable. Trying to get up, carrying him with one arm, it was tough. It’s been a crazy roller coaster but I’m pumped to be getting back at it and back to racing.
I can’t even imagine how hard taking care of a baby would be with those injuries. I had a single fractured rib once and trying to take care of my baby girl felt impossible.
Rib pain is the worst. Out of all the injuries, pain-wise, the ribs were the worst part ever. To take care of a seven-month-old, have surgery, with a leg that wasn’t very strong and one arm… Sleeping was miserable too, I slept in a chair for a few nights. Just getting up and down was miserable. There’s nothing fun about it, the injury itself. There was a lot of sitting on the couch, holding it down to make sure it didn’t float away.
You gotta do it. You don’t want to lose the couch. It’s gotta be done.
Yeah, it’s gotta be done. But my wife and I watched this documentary called The Game Changers about being vegan and having a plant-based diet. I switched my whole diet over to being vegan to help with the healing process and inflammation. I did a bunch of research on it and got into infrared light therapy. I got one of those for my house. My doctor said my hand injury was very severe and that he’d never seen anything heal like my wrist is healing.
So you said you got clearance to ride. When are you going to start?
I’m going to start this week. I picked up a bike from Michael over the weekend and I’m just going to go out and take it easy and see how it goes. My wrist is starting to feel better and better each and every day. I don’t know how it’ll be, but the doctor gave me a green light to start riding so we’ll see out it goes.
How many people have called you Zombie Blose on social media?
Oh god. It’s everywhere. All the time it’s Zombie Blose. When I was in Australia literally every day someone would come up to me and call me Zombie Blose and ask for a photo. It’s traveled the whole entire world.
There’s been some talk of supercross coming back in May. Would you be up for it if it comes back?
If I was 100 percent, yeah. I’ve been training for the past month-and-a-half with my trainer, Jared Becker, and things have been going great. With the broken wrist I’ve still been able to train. Nothing arm related or anything, I couldn’t pick up anything, but I still was able to get on the bicycle. If we do go racing, I don’t know where I’ll be at. That would be, what, three weeks? Being from Phoenix, which is where they’re saying the racing would be, we just went from like, zero deaths to a bunch of deaths. So who knows what’s going to happen. I know they have some backup plans, but I predict they’ll move it to the fall. That’s just my opinion.
You talked on Twitter some about the difficulty of getting things shipped on time. Do you think that could have an effect on things?
Besides the big manufacturers and big factory times, I think a lot of the teams would struggle a little bit. A lot of these teams don’t have massive budgets and team personnel who are still getting paid and are still working. It would definitely make things harder on the privateer teams. What happens if they run out of parts or can’t get a certain part? And is it safe to be racing with the possibility of getting hurt and ending up in the hospital during these times? There are so many possibilities and so many questions that need to be answered. It’s just crazy. Who knows what’s going to happen.
What’s your personal opinion on it? Should racing start again in May or not?
I see both sides to it, and the pros and cons to each side. For my own selfishness, I’d like to be 100 percent so I’d say push it back to the fall. I’d rather be 100 percent to race supercross. But I don’t know, the times are different right now. We haven’t had to go through this before.
Yeah it’s not like there was motocross a hundred years ago during the Spanish Flu.
Right [Chuckles]. Do you get your seven races in or do you wait a little bit so that you can get a better system down and let this thing run its course so we’re not the guinea pigs? Our sport is already dangerous enough, and we don’t need to add to that and possibly have riders going to the hospital where they’re in danger of contracting the virus.