Earlier we learned of the physical and emotional stress that Tommy Hahn has endured over the course of this race season, along with the many others of his 22-year career. If you did not see part one, give it a read at “Tommy Hahn’s Summer Of Hell : Part One.” The conversation continued and Hahn shared with us the startling conclusion that his career as a professional racer is coming to an end, per his choice, in part two. It is a decision that many born and bred to race will never make on their own, as they will instead cling to every last fiber of the “professional racer dream,” no matter the toil on their lives. Tommy made it clear that nothing is yet for sure, as he still holds a small hope for a ride in 2013, but a plan for the hereafter is in place.
When you are off the bike for so long and get the chance to ride again, how is the feeling of being back? And as a racer, do you get frustrated because you know you are not going as fast as you can right off the bat?
Anytime you get back on the bike after an injury, you ride in your comfort zone to make sure that everything is good. It is like a test flight. You don't over do it; you just go out there and feel great in your comfort zone. I do, at least. My biggest thing in riding the last couple of days has been that I'm not an ass anymore. It's like my medicine and that's why I have to ride. I haven't had it in so long that I was second-guessing myself about things. You don't even start to think straight after a while. Now, I am in a better mood, I am more motivated to do things now, and it makes everything okay. If I could explain it better, I would.
At 26 years old and have this be what you put your whole life in to, if you were to step away and not race again, what would you do? Would you want a job in the industry, or would you think it would always tease you to race again?
I would go in different direction, but I will always have moto. My brother does it and I will still do it religiously because I need it. But like I said, I'm 26 and have 22 years into a profession. How many people can say that? I have gone places, seen things, met people I will be friends with for the rest of my life, and I still have a whole other life to lead. That is what is hard about dirt bikes. Yeah, I am going to step away from them one day. I want to start flying private jets; my dad flew, my uncle flies, and I grew up in airplanes and I loved it. That is what I am going to venture off into and see how much I like it. I will do some motocross schools on the side, and I am really good at that. I like helping the kids and anyone that wants to learn. And of course, I will be my brother's number one fan and always be there for him and anything that he needs.
To clarify, are you done?
I am still waiting on one other deal to hear back from for Supercross and outdoors. That is why I started riding; because I want to get back on the bike and be ready if the opportunity does come. But I am not sure if that opportunity is going to happen. If it does not, I won't pursue it.
That's heavy, but I have to give you credit for having a mature mindset. There are a lot of other guys that are in your situation who don't know when to step away and they keep putting their bodies through hell.
It has been a fun eight or nine years. I have met so many people, and there are a lot of people close to me that are completely beside themselves that I wouldn't try to keep fighting. I still have a lot of talent and when I get on my bike, like today, I had to slow myself down a little bit. I have that confidence and talent to go really fast on a dirt bike whenever I want, but I am not strong enough to do that right now. Luckily, I realized it. I have speed still and a lot of people think it's crazy that I would even be considering this, but I have to look at the big picture. This (racing) will only be for a little while longer and I will have to do something else, so either I can start now or I can delay it two more years and ruin myself even more. I can just enjoy now, because my glory days are about to begin by riding Vet classes.
Well, even though this is not a formal announcement of retirement, I still have to congratulate you on the way you realized it and put things.
It's not a formal announcement, because there is still a chance. I could be wrong. Someone could call tomorrow and say, "You need to be in California on Monday," and it would be, "Here we go." My whole heart and soul will be in it, but if I can't make a living racing dirt bikes, I have to do something else. I can't ride for free. I need a guaranteed living and I don't think I will be the only one over the next couple of years to have to prematurely retire because of the financial situation of things.