Quick Questions with Emily Adamic

Name: Emily Adamic
Socials: @emilyadamic
Current Age: 28
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but I currently call Tulsa, Oklahoma my home
Sponsors: Hoffman Bikes

How did you get into BMX? Serendipitously. I suppose it starts when I first got on a mountain bike back in April of 2020. The pandemic caused a premature end to my master’s degree at Indiana University, giving me four months of summer freedom before moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma that August. In those months, my amazing soccer friends introduced me to mountain biking… and not just mountain biking but shredding. With the help of my friends and my wonderful mom, I got a mountain bike, and that was my outlet for my first six months in Tulsa (plus weekend trips to northwest Arkansas). Then, on that fateful day – February 28, 2021 – I went to a free mountain bike maintenance clinic at the local bike shop. I asked a bunch of questions and made friends with the manager, Jake. After watching him do a three right there in the shop, I met up with him a couple of days later to pedal downtown (at the courthouse banks, an iconic Tulsa spot). There I first tried his BMX bike… “Be careful, it doesn’t have a brake.” Trying to bunny hop was one of the funniest things I had ever done, so the next day I rolled into the local skate shop with my credit card to buy a BMX bike (I got the Tulsa shredda Dravin Groove’s signature complete). I started riding and everyone in the Tulsa BMX scene was (and still is) so good to me, they welcomed me in and always took the time to answer my questions and teach me how to do something. I had never felt so good being so new at something. Eventually, I got pegs and experienced the raw satisfaction of my first feeble… I rode more and more over the rest of 2021 while BMX began to change my philosophy on life (including my style – I love loose short pants from the thrift store). Shredding puts value towards fierce self-acceptance in the face of failing more than you succeed, having good times with good people, and doing cool things for the sheer sake of doing cool things, all those great and hard qualitative experiences rather than living by neat quantifiable checkboxes on paper. So, I used to be just “a soccer player”, then a “soccer player who rode mountain bikes”, then a “mountain biker who played soccer”… now in 2023 I’m more of a BMX rider, who also does those other things.

What languages do you speak? English, but I would love to eventually learn Spanish (I practice a lot with my soccer friends).

What are your top three parks?

  1. The streets. I love finding the spots and the set-ups, the creativity in spot usage, and the variation in each spot having those little quirks that make the same trick different. I also like the defiance of being able to ride literally anything, things that weren’t built for riding per se, and exploring a place by pedalling or cruising around looking for spots. It’s such a unique way to interact with a city. Tulsa and the surrounding area has incredible street riding, that amongst the flat rails and alley ledges and loading docks etc. it’s hard to choose just one favourite spot… I’ve also rode amazing street spots in Tucson, AZ and Glasgow, Scotland. I can’t wait to explore more.
  2. Owasso Skate Park in Owasso, OK. I did my first double pegs and my first tires on the little flat rail here, and it has a nice mix of things bigger and smaller. The lights stay on until 11 too, which is very nice for the shorter winter days.
  3. Tempe Skate Park in Tempe, AZ. Very neat, has good vibes, and lots of cool set-ups.

Top three songs to get you pumped?

  1. The Chant by Gojira
  2. Not a traditional pump-up song, but A World Possessed by the Human Mind by The Tragically Hip. A legendary Canadian band.
  3. Space Bound by Eminem. I like to rap along.

Three people who inspire you and why.

  1. Alan Watts. His writings have changed my life.
  2. Brené Brown. She’s a social science researcher who my beloved sister Erin introduced me to, and her work on vulnerability brought immediate peace and acceptance to my life. Her eloquence in bringing the fruits of her scientific work directly to people is so admirable and something I strive for.
  3. Kilian Roth. I lost my mind watching Check and what he does is just silly, and so cool.

What is a trend in BMX you want to stop seeing? I’d love to see a rejuvenation of saving clips for longer edits and a trend away from just a bunch of quick-hitter reels. Admittedly, I am influenced by those who have been riding BMX long before Instagram, the days of ordering BMX DVD’s and magazines, and I just love that concept. I think compiling clips together into an edit is a special art form.

How do you spend your days off your bike? I am currently in grad school getting my PhD in Neuroscience, researching and writing about how your brain senses, perceives and interprets signals coming from inside your body (“how do you feel?”). Amidst my school work, I play soccer and drink beers every Sunday with the best Tulsa soccer community, and (although this is technically still a bike) I mountain bike with the homies, race enduro once a year or so, and just recently started coaching mountain biking for the Bike Club race team here in Tulsa (which is so fun and incredible)! I love reading (or listening to) books, mostly non-fiction and philosophy, as they give me a good perspective on life. And, I love driving around on big or small road trips, checking out the local spots, coffee shops, and breweries, camping, sleeping in my hammock, enjoying nature, camp food, and nights around the fire.

Favourite person to ride or train with? My love, Matthew Markese. Not only is he an incredible rider, but his ability to accept me, support me, and help me find perspective and believe in myself in my most frustrated of states is so uplifting, and I’m so grateful. Not to mention, his ability to sniff out a spot from a mile away is uncanny as well. Plus all the other Oklahomies… Jake, Derrick, Ronnie Railz, Randy, Dravin, Zac, Stryker, RJ, etc., all more amazing riders.

Favourite shoes to ride in? Vans BMX slip-ons, no question. It used to be only the Courage Adams ones, but I’ve recently branched out to different designs (as long as they’re mostly black or grey). This isn’t just my BMX shoes either, I wear laceless shoes almost exclusively – laceless soccer cleats, laceless mountain bike shoes, Blundstones, etc.

Most inspirational quote? “There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.” A lot to choose from, but this quote gives me an immediate sense of peace to know that happiness is a feeling you get from actively trying to perceive things a certain way with intentional gratitude, not “when I get this or that I will be happy.”

Best advice given to you? That “I am a human being, not a human doing.” This was given to me by my former counsellor, in a time before BMX when I was learning the strength in vulnerability but struggling after my competitive soccer days to accept my own path and not compare myself to others. Feeling like I underachieved, I was holding desperately onto “being good at things” as evidence for my self-worth… This advice came at a time when I needed to accept myself, appreciate my path, and seek the qualitative aspects of life where productivity is less important than presence and life isn’t all about just getting things done.

Your biggest fear? I don’t mind change and I’ve come to acknowledge that uncertainty is the way the world works, but I think I am scared of irreversible change, and especially that which would prevent me from riding. I also have a small existential crisis when I think about the future of the Earth, but that’s maybe equal parts fear and wonder at my conscious self-identity being such a small part of it all.

Your proudest accomplishment? It’s not a single moment, but I’m very proud of how I have built a life for myself in each new city I’ve moved to where I didn’t know anyone. Moving to the States after high school for college soccer in Memphis, then moving to Indiana for grad school, then moving again for more grad school in Tulsa, I’ve built ties to great people in each place while also forging forward to find new communities. Those new communities, although scary and uncertain at first, have led to incredible life experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, like adult coed soccer, finding bikes, and riding BMX.

Three guilty pleasures?

  1. Dark chocolate. Although I’m really not that guilty about it, I just love it and eat it nearly every day.
  2. B-roll. I love edits with good B-roll, perhaps a little too much, haha. I love showcasing the experience of BMX, riding around with your friends and the neat things you find, in addition to just the clips and tricks themselves.
  3. Coffee shops. I sit, sip a latte, and work on my computer or read a book and it is the most relaxing thing for me. Support your local barista.

Your worst habit? I have a tendency to get mad at myself when I make mistakes, and I orate that in self-deprecating ways. It’s not good, I’m not proud of it, and I cognitively know better, but in those moments when I’m faced with feelings of incompetence, the waves of frustration seem insurmountable. I’m working on it, but it is hard… giving myself grace, basking in the support of others, relaxing, laughing, and not taking it too seriously… believing in myself and feeling confident and swaggy while approaching the trick is key. That’s why BMX is the best teacher… you fail more than you succeed, and you learn to accept and appreciate that.

If you could hire someone to help you in some sort of aspect of your life, what would it be? A personal therapist, on-demand, would be wild. I’ve had very good experiences with counselling throughout the past couple of years, and a personal counsellor is somehow always there with me to help me ride the waves at the same moment I’m experiencing my strongest emotions would be incredible.

What is an amazing experience you had that couldn’t have happened without BMX? It may seem simple, but Wednesday night street rides. Looking forward to Wednesday nights all week so I can ride bikes with my friends, rebel against the typical work day, and watch some incredible riders do incredible things, all while appreciating the wonder of somehow finding myself riding BMX bikes in Tulsa, Oklahoma… not how I thought my life path would go, as a soccer player from Edmonton, Alberta. Also, burger night at the local pub afterwards is a treat.

Your top three future goals you want to achieve?

  1. Finish my PhD, then find a vocation that can combine my love for both neuroscience and physiology. And, find a way to share how the brain and body work in digestible forms for people.
  2. Continue pursuing BMX, patiently and with a long-term focus. Continue watering my seeds every day, enjoying the process, and practicing that emotion regulation, self-acceptance and self-belief.
  3. I’d love to help bring BMX to young lady shredders and provide exposure to the sport and a safe place to practice, grow and feel empowered doing so. But, also bringing BMX to old lady shredders and really any adult trying it for the first time. Development through sport doesn’t have to stop when you “become an adult”, everyone can have fun riding bikes with their friends after school/work, trying things, messing up, and having fun.

Similar Articles

Subscribe To The Bloom BMX

follow us

shop the bloom bmx

Most Popular