Alex Martin isn’t ready to hang up his motocross goggles just yet.
But the Millville native has been around the sport his entire life, so he understands how rare it is for professional riders to compete at a high level into their mid-30s.
With that in mind, the 31-year-old who has been a fixture on the AMA Motocross Pro National Series for 13 years, has started to look ahead. Martin’s decade-plus in the sport has taught him the importance of fitness and nutrition, and he wants to pass along his knowledge -- what works and what doesn’t -- to young riders and young athletes.
Martin has joined forces with his trainer, John Wessling, to create Troll Training, a personal training business geared to help young motocross riders, as well as anyone who wants to become physically fit.
“I’ve been a student of health and fitness through my career for almost 15 years,” Martin said last week, in advance of the AMA Pro Nationals at his home track, Spring Creek MX Park in Millville. “Between (Wessling) and I, we’re channeling that knowledge, the trial and error we’ve seen over the past 15 years.”
The name of the business, Troll Training, is a play on Martin’s nickname (Troll Train) among fellow riders and die-hard motocross fans. While some of his clients are motocross riders, he said the training offered is catered to each individual client.
“It’s geared toward all athletes,” he said. “We even have a lady in Arizona who works with us who’s a dance instructor.
“I genuinely have a passion for health and fitness and training. That time (retirement from motocross) is coming eventually and I do want to hand down and share the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years. I love the state of Minnesota, and the young up-and-comers, I’d like to help them in any way I can because there’s a lot of trial and error to our sport.”
A ‘special’ day for J-Mart
Saturday’s races at Spring Creek were special for Alex Martin, who raced for the first time in more than a month after suffering a broken arm in early June.
They were also special for his younger brother, Jeremy, who was one of the favorites to win the national championship coming into the season. Back on a Yamaha for the first time since 2016, Jeremy Martin got off to a roaring start to this season, winning two of the first three motos.
Then, on the same day that Alex crashed and broke his arm in Lakewood, Colorado, Jeremy also crashed, suffering two broken fingers and aggravating a dislocated shoulder and a wrist injury he had suffered earlier this year.
All of that adversity made the scene at the Martins’ home track somewhat surreal late Saturday afternoon, as Jeremy stood on the podium accepting the trophy as the day’s overall winner, having won both motos.
“Today was really cool, really special,” Jeremy Martin, who jumped up to fourth place in the overall national standings, said after the races. “It’s been a terrible, terrible year for me obviously this year.
“To do this at the hometown track is just really, really good. I’m supposed to win at home, right? Hopefully we can carry this momentum into next week.”
Martin missed three motos due to his injuries, but has battled through the pain to stay near the top of the points standings. While a championship is likely out of reach -- he sits 68 points behind leader Justin Cooper -- there are still six rounds (12 motos) remaining in the season.
Martin’s practice time, though, has been limited. He said he rode one 30-minute moto in the week leading up to the races at Spring Creek.
“I faded about 20 minutes into it,” Martin said. “I was struggling, my hand was hurting. I’m able to start (practice) riding a little more. Guys out here are so fast, so getting that seat time in really helps.
“Sometimes I kind of wonder if I can keep it together. The biggest thing is, we’re in sports, you’re going to get hurt. I accept that my sport is risky. I just want to win and be the best, and I’ll do whatever it takes.”