In 2011, Jed Mildon seemed to have done the impossible. The triple flip.
Mildon was the first BMX biker ever to accomplish this feat. And although his good friend, and, by default, his rival James Foster executed the triple jump four days later, very few others have been able to accomplish this extremely difficult stunt. That’s because to complete a triple jump, the rider is going as fast as the BMX bike will allow him to go. Gravity makes it extremely difficult for riders to make three revolutions. But, that didn’t stop Mildon or Foster. In fact, it only motivated both of them to go even further.
On the day Mildon completed the flip in 2011, he remembered his parents asked him, “What’s next?”
“I confidently said then, ‘I’m gonna do four now,’” he says.
Now, in 2015, after four long years, he’s finally followed through on his statement. He not only conquered the quadruple backflip, but he also conquered gravity. Check it out here:
Although practice accounts for a major part of his success, Mildon attributes some of the credit to Catherine Pell, an Olympic trampoline coach in New Zealand. Mildon sought out a coach after he completed the triple flip because he knew that if he were going to complete the seemingly inconceivable task of a quad flip, he would need to be perfect.
“It was just that the quad flip was so much more of a violent kind of rotation that it took so much to commit to,” Mildon said. “The quad flip and the triple flip are as fast as you can possibly go on the BMX unassisted. I’m basically maxing it out. And then my next step was that I had to learn how to spin even faster. So, I went to [Pell] and she helped me out.”
However, for Mildon, perfection took time. For the past nine months, Mildon has been focusing exclusively on perfecting his form. In fact, two months ago, he tried the stunt and failed.
“I had probably the three biggest crashes of my life, all in a row, all within about 15 or 20 minutes. So, it was probably the gnarliest, most scariest 20 minutes of my life. I just had to go to a different level of consciousness ever since and just fully believe. Being in that position, we know the ramifications of what you’re about to do are real,” says Mildon.
The ramifications certainly were real as Mildon injured his spine on the runs. Not only is he still sore two months later, but also, after he completed his feat, he told us, “I haven’t got it x-rayed yet, but it’s probably a crushed vertebrae sort of thing.”
After his crashes, he continued increasing his level of focus until he knew he would complete the stunt.
“Basically, I just visualized it the whole way, from start to finish. Even the celebration at the end, you visualize that part. So, it feels like you’ve already done it even before you’ve done it. Then, when you do it, it’s exactly how you pictured it. Like anything in life, just picture it, see it and if you got the belief in yourself to do it, then you can do it.”
In the end, Mildon’s visualizing paid off. He completed a flawless run and now, his name will be etched in the BMX record books forever.