When you first meet Challen Tennant he seems like any other young adult. It doesn’t take long to realize that he is not only smart and nimble, he is fearless. You see, Challen Tennant is a professional supercross racer. Racing under the Yamalube Star Racing umbrella, Challen is enjoying the fruits of his labors that began when he was just 10 years old. A homegrown Texas boy, he has worked his way from amateur racer to pro, one race at a time.
But his success has not come without pain.
Lots of pain.
An Athlete Unlike Any Other
Most people are familiar with motocross. Specially designed dirt bikes are ridden through long tracks constructed with jumps, slopes and other obstacles. In the end, whoever completes the track first, wins. Supercross takes all of the bumps, jumps, spills, and thrills of motocross and packs them into indoor or outdoor stadiums filled with dirt. It takes hours of training to build the muscle strength and endurance to perform at the highest level of any sport, but particularly one where the athlete takes such a beating in the process.
In Challen’s case, that beating came in the form of a compression fracture in the middle of his back in 2016. The rectangular bones of his spine were essentially crushed by the impact of an accident. Surgeons put two small rods in his back to hold the spine in place while it healed and told him it would take a year to recover. What most people don’t consider is that having titanium rods and bolts in his spine also increased Challen’s risk for sustaining an even worse break above and below the repair.
The Body’s Ability to Heal Needs a Little Help
For Challen, the recovery process began right after surgery. Our first goal was to minimize scar tissue build up as much as possible and support his body’s ability to heal itself after an injury like that. Around that time, Sandstone Chiropractic began using Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) to help heal Challen’s fractures and increase his bone density to prevent future injury, along with cryotherapy to help speed up the healing process and minimize pain. We also used rapid release technology and MLS laser therapy to break down scar tissue and release muscle spasms in Challen’s back, keeping him flexible in his joints while he healed.
Once the fractures began to mend, we turned our attention to strengthening Challen’s body enough to have the rods and bolts holding his spine together removed. Titanium is not known for its flexibility and Supercross riders are not known for riding slowly and leisurely around a track. If Challen was in a second accident with rods and bolts in his spine, he ran the risk of sustaining an even worse injury. As Challen’s treatment plan turned from healing his injury to strengthening his body for his return to racing, his trainers were baffled by his speedy recovery.
His year-long recovery was cut almost in half by his hard work and commitment to supporting his body’s natural ability to heal.
Today, Challen is enjoying the fruits of his labor as a professional Supercross racer. While he is the first to credit his success to his faith and family, we know it is this extraordinary young man’s perseverance that will carry him to the top of his profession.