T.J. Lavin's latest "Real Life Adventure"

T.J. Lavin, of course, is most recognized as the host of MTV's "The Challenge" and prior to his Dew Tour accident last October, was known as a a hugely influential and Gold Medal winning X Games dirt rider. More recently, Lavin has partnered with Soyjoy for their 'Show Us Your Real Life Adventure' Contest, which launched July 7 on Soyjoy's Facebook page. The contest asks consumers to share the ways they add adventure to their everyday lives through video submissions -- something Lavin knows a lot about. After the entries have been submitted, Lavin will select three winning teams who will all embark on a real-life, all-expenses-paid adventure to New York City to compete in the Great Urban Race. Knowing this, along with the tumultuous year T.J. has experienced, we decided to catch up with him for a chat. Here's T.J.

ESPN.com: How's everything going? How's the recovery?
Lavin: Things are going good. It's just a real, real slow [process]. I never expected it to be this slow. It's going great though, I can't complain. Just working hard to get better, I work hard everyday. Going to Yoga, Pilates, everything, it's crazy!

Have you ridden at all?
I rode my bicycle in my backyard three times. Like three to five jumps a piece, and it was jumping the resi. I haven't jumped a real dirt jump or anything, but I did jump the resi and that was really cool. But it was very hard, and it felt like the first time I rode my bike. All of my skills are completely out the window. In my brain, I know how to ride, like I feel like I know how to ride, but I can't put pen to paper.

Jared Souney

"In my brain, I know how to ride, like I feel like I know how to ride, but I can't put pen to paper," says Lavin.

So that's all due to the traumatic brain injury?
Yeah, that's it.

Are you kind of like not worried about riding again at this point?
Riding bikes is definitely on my list of things to do -- my life is way less exciting now days. I'm just chilling all the time. I work out real hard, and then I just chill and work on getting my business, Forgiven, going. That and just trying to get better. In the future, I would really like my life to go back to being the "action guy" because it's so much more fun.

And what are you up to for TV stuff now?
I just finished up doing the MTV show 'The Challenge.' The new season just kicked off. But I'm open to any cool ideas for TV shows in the future.

Can you elaborate on your business, Forgiven?
Yeah. I've been around alcohol my whole life. I was never really a gnarly drinker. But I came from a long line of drinkers. I never developed a taste for alcohol. And all of my friends have. It was always so annoying to be somewhere and have everyone being completely hammered and you be the only sober guy. And this product lowers your blood alcohol 50% in one hour and it really works. That to me is like reinventing the wheel. It's great.

Jared Souney

Lavin, seen here at X Games 12, possesses one of the most stylish tabletops in BMX.

And I see you guys are sponsoring some athletes too?
Yeah. In the BMX world we just picked up Jed Mildon, a guy from New Zealand who did the triple backflip on the MegaRamp. We have Cam White, a dirt jumper. We have Anthony Napolitan, and we just had a meeting with Coco Zurita.

That's awesome but I think you need a hard partying street rider on the team.
Who do you have in mind?

I was thinking Troy McMurray in his heyday?
I'm thinking about Troy McMurray now (laughs).

Justin Kosman

T.J. Lavin, seen here in early 2010, wrote the book on proper superman airs.

I think that's a good idea. Actually, now that you mention it, what are your thoughts, as someone who has seen firsthand how a crash at a competitive level can change a life, on someone like Jed Mildon doing a triple backflip? Is it worth it?
Yeah. It's up to the guys what they do. What Jed did was amazing and changed the sport for sure. That's what action sports is all about -- progression. But I really hope the Dew Tour and X Games implement some full-face helmets rules on dirt and park. It's already a rule for vert, as it should be, but the dirt guys and park guys run skate helmets. We do just as dangerous things.

Okay. You're also, you're designing the Dew Tour contest, right?
Yeah, everything. I'm designing it and I'm flying out to oversee the build, because I really want the jumps to be good.

Who's part of the construction?
Elf [Shawn Walters], Magilla [Jeremy Reiss], and I think Adam Aloise might be in there.

I was psyched when I heard about this, what was your inspiration for the design?
To be honest, I really want to see some trail riders get in there. I'm kind of tired of the box jump/foam pit kids just winning and not having a problem with the jumps. I want to see someone like Chris Doyle win one because he deserves it.

That's awesome. Can you speak specifically to any trails that have inspired the aesthetic for this though?
Yeah. my backyard is a very big inspiration which has a lot of rollers and hips. The old Stephen Murray and Cory Nastazio house, back in the day. Of course I learned how to build jumps and do all this stuff from Fuzzy. I've spent a lot of time at his house learning from him.

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