Jessy Nelson isn’t a person who gives up easily. An accomplished racer since he was young, his passion for motorcycles began when he first hopped on a 50cc bike in his hometown of Paso Robles, California. And while he hasn’t looked back since, his road to becoming one of the top professional racers in the US hasn’t been smooth.

He was once the top amateur prospect in the country, winning just about everything you could at only 11 years old. Jessy would continue to find success until 2016, when it all came to a screeching halt in the chaos of a crash at the Pro Outdoor Motocross Nationals in Unadilla, New York. Jessy ended up breaking his T4 and T5 vertebrae, stretching his spine and causing paralysis from the mid-chest down.

At first, Jessy struggled with this massive life change. He could no longer walk, let alone ride a motorcycle. “I just kept holding on to that light at the end of the tunnel,” he said at the time. “Like hopefully something will come from this.”

Jessy was at rock bottom, but he realized he could only go up from there. He kept a good mindset and received endless love and support from both friends and family. Soon, he had made his way through the many long months of intensive physical therapy and even found a way to get the same rush he got from motorcycles by driving, using a modified Polaris RZR side-by-side.

Today, Jesse is back competing in events such as King of The Hammers and the World Off-Road Championship Series. And when he’s not racing, you can find him offroading or sharing cold beers with friends over a campfire in the California desert. So, while he still isn’t one to shy away from a challenge, he’ll also take any excuse to slow down and enjoy life with good company.