Sims at nationals

Listening to Cody Sims list all the injuries he’s suffered since last December competing in his favorite sport — a leg puncture and two broken bones in his arm in separate accidents — this 2017 Farragut High School graduate said he’s

nevertheless fired up about motocross [motorcycle] obstacle course racing.

In addition, going back to 2015, “I spent the whole, entire summer in a cast. They said I fractured my growth plate,” Sims said.

Attempting to bounce back this summer after breaking those two bones in his arm, “I was scared to ride for a couple of weeks after I got released,” Sims, 18, said.

But Sims not only overcame his fears, but achieved one of his goals this summer: racing in 250C class of motocross, he earned a trip to Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National in Hurricane Mills, Middle Tennessee, last month.

“That’s definitely my biggest accomplishment,” Sims said about his roughly five years of motocross competition statewide and across the southeast. “That was my goal, really, was to make that race.

“And to make it back next year. … I’ll have to move up to B class,” he added. “I’ll have to keep on riding throughout the year.

“… And hopefully get sponsored by major companies.”

As for more intense preparation for his 250C class qualification at Loretta Lynn’s, “I trained down in Albany, Georgia, with a pro trainer for about two months,” Sims said about a process, which began in late May. “Being down there, surrounded by other kids who would be attending the national that I was going to, it really, like, opened up my eyes.

“I realized how much goes into being one of the top riders at these nationals,” he added, “and how much time you have to put in to be one of the top guys. We would ride five hours a day and work out for another two every day. We only

got one day off a week, and that

was constant for two months. Just non-stop.

“It’s not easy to stay upright for an entire race,” Sims said.

In fact, the dirt surface “gets so rough that it’s hard to hold on sometimes. They’ll be races where pretty much the only person riding who hasn’t fallen down will win.”

While the 250A class competitors are about to turn pro,” the B and C class are kids who look for “factory ride sponsorships,” Sims said.

“250C is probably one of the harder classes you can compete in at Loretta Lynn’s because everybody’s new,” he added. “When everybody’s going all out, it’s hard. … There was a kid from Canada in my class. There were a couple of kids from South Africa. There was a kid from Brazil and [from] a couple of other South American countries. And a couple from Europe.”

Among a 42-person field, “I had a little bit of bad luck, I ended up 30th overall,” Sims said.

Motocross season begins for amateurs in mid-February.

To advance, “you have to get top eight at an area qualifier,” Sims said. “If you get top eight there, then there’s regionals in June.”

Once at a regional, “We all race to get top six,” he said. “Once you get top six then you’ve made it to Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National. There are kids from all over the world who come to the United States to compete in this race. There’s about 1,000 riders, but there’s a bunch of classes. There’s only 42 riders per class. About 35,000 try to make it.”

Although Sims said his season ended at Loretta Lynn’s and he

is preparing to start his college

career at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the season lasts “until late-September, the middle of October.”