THE NEXT STEP:
Jazzmyn Canfield had a fairly slow year throughout the 2019 racing season in terms of the amount of competition, but she decided to approach the year from the perspective of quality over quantity. The Yamaha backed rider found her flow at the beginning of the season with an overall podium finish at the Daytona RCSX in the Women’s class while also mixing it up in the 450 B class, but the crowning achievement of the year came during August in a little town called Hurricane Mills. Canfield pieced together 1-1-2 finishes at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship to take the top spot in the Women’s class after a couple of dramatic motos involving a few of her longtime rivals. The Floridian decided to have surgery on her knee following Loretta’s and effectively wasn’t able to race Mini Os or any races so far at the beginning of this season, so she has just been focusing on utilizing the break to focus on her fitness and mental clarity before returning to racing. We called Jazzmyn up for a conversation about training the next generation of female riders, bringing back WMX, and planning her return to racing.
How have you been spending your time during the quarantine lately?
So I've been just honestly working on exercising and just getting as fit as I can. I kind of was riding and I kind of wasn't, we made a turn track in the backyard and we were doing that just to be safer. Now we went back over to MTF and stuff, but I'm still kind of recovering from my knee surgery.
So you've been taking it pretty easy at the beginning of the year so far? Talk a little bit about your knee surgery last year and how the recovery process has been for you.
Yeah, pretty much. It was a pretty good procedure, I had a bucket handle tear so basically they snipped my meniscus and while they were in there they saw that I also tore my ACL. So I'll have to get that fixed too, but not anytime soon. They said after my career so that's pretty good, but they just had to cut my meniscus because I kept getting what's called a locked knee. They just had to snip my meniscus so it was unlocked and they did that; the recovery time was only like three to six weeks for knee surgery. I think that's pretty good and it's still sore sometimes, but it's getting a lot better.
How has it been doing your normal fitness routine and the little bit of riding you've done?
Yeah, it feels a lot better! It gets sore sometimes but it'll be like that for a little while.
You mentioned you've been riding a little bit, have you ramped that up since you've been back at MTF?
Yeah, we're back at MTF riding and I'm just trying to take it slow. Also when I hurt my knee I injured my back and I'm still recovering from that, too! I actually had to get an injection in my lower back, I had some inflammation in my lower spine; there was disc dehydration and a bunch of things wrong with my back, so I had to get a cortisone shot in my back just to help with that. It sucked! It was a huge needle, I was so scared. (laughs)
Is that starting to feel better now as well?
Somedays when we're doing motos it'll get really sore, but as far as off the bike I'm pretty much back to one hundred percent.
Are you missing racing at this point since you haven't really raced since Loretta's last year?
Yeah, I really am excited to race and stuff but it's been nice to breathe and just train, have fun and focus purely on having fun. It's nice not to have so much pressure to be ready for the next race, you know what I mean.
Yeah, that's probably a nice change of pace. What have you been doing with the extra free time you've had to relax and have fun?
(laughs) There's not really much to do 'cause I live at MTF in Cairo, Georgia, so it's a small town. Very country. But just hang out and binge watch Netflix pretty much, that's what I've been doing.
What have you been binging lately?
The Blacklist. That's my favorite Netflix series, so good!
In addition to your own riding and racing, you do some personal training for the younger generation of riders and help a lot of the girls out. How's that been going?
Yeah, that's been going pretty well. I really like working with females, it's honestly really nice. I work with Lily Pettus, Hannah Faulker, and Cami Young a lot, just some young girls coming up. It's really nice and refreshing, I love doing that and helping them. I just love it when a kid's really wanting to get better and they show heart. It gives me the motivation to want to keep doing it.
Going back to some of the racing last season, one of the biggest accomplishments of your season was winning the number one plate in the Women's class at Loretta's. What was that experience like?
Yeah, that was awesome! Winning the Women's class there was definitely one of the biggest highlights of my career 'cause now since we don't have a WMX Pro class, pretty much the Women's class at Loretta's is the pro class. Everyone racing there are all of the top girls that would be racing pro, so to win that was a great success. It was awesome, but I really just wanna get WMX back, you know. As crazy as that sounds, I've been training my whole life and looking at these girls that I train now and I just feel so bad 'cause they have nothing. They look up to me and I won Loretta's and that's all they have to look forward to. I've done that since I was on 85s, you know what I mean. I'm winning Loretta's again and I just turned 19 years old, I wanna strive for more and to make money in this sport. So hopefully me, Hannah (Hodges), and Jordan Jarvis can really bring back WMX to where it was when Ashley Fiolek and Jessica Patterson were out there making money and battling on pro teams. That's really what I want out of this sport, so hopefully we can do that!
There are definitely some fierce rivalries between all of you in the Women's class as you've been racing each other your whole lives. But it's interesting you say that because you all need to work together to try and help grow the sport.
Yeah, of course Jordan Jarvis has always been my rival. (laughs) Always. We've both been on Yamaha and both on the same teams, always trying to get better support. You know, I'm definitely down to work with all of those girls; Hannah, Jordan, and even Tayler Allred. She's getting a lot better now and she's top three, top four in our class which is really good considering how young she is. And you know, Colleen Millsaps is amazing here at MTF, she's pushing for women's motocross as much as we are.
Was it tough last year being at your home race at Mini Os and being forced to watch from behind the fence?
Yeah, it was so weird, it was so painful. I spent most of my time not watching because I wanted to race so much. I'd go and watch a race and I'd be like "Damnit, I wanna ride!"
You haven't done any racing at all this year, have you?
No, no I haven't. It sucks. I went to Daytona and I actually watched there 'cause I was dealing with some back issues and stuff. At that point, I was dealing with my back and having to get injections and then Freestone got canceled because of coronavirus, but when I was at Daytona I did some announcing for the Racer X Next program. It's so cool! It's a really good program they put together for riders that are injured to help get us into other things in the sport like announcing, videography, or photography and stuff like that. I learned how to do podium interviews and I even went up in the tower with Tim Cotter and we did full-on announcing, like what Jason Weigandt does and it was so cool! I had so much fun doing that. (laughs)
Is that something you might want to get into after your racing career is over?
Oh yeah, I enjoyed it! Absolutely, every race I can I'm gonna be announcing with Tim Cotter in the Racer X Next program so hopefully there's a Loretta's so I can do that as well.
Are you planning on taking Loretta's off this year or are you going to try and qualify through the Super Regionals?
I'm honestly not really sure. It just depends on how my knee and my back is, I'm struggling with that. My focus this year was B class and with all of the coronavirus stuff and me taking time off the bike; everyone's program kind of got messed up this year, so we'll see where I'm at when that time comes.
Have you thought at all what your plans would be for the end of this year moving into next season? Have you thought about moving up to the A class?
I haven't thought about next year! This year was supposed to be B class again because the previous year I wasn't able to race B class at Loretta's; I didn't make it to my Regional. I was gonna try and do B class this year, but maybe next year I'll move up to A class. I just don't wanna rush it. Being in the A class is a really big deal and you see a lot of people get hurt when they try to rush into A class so I want to make sure I'm ready for that step.