WEBSTER CITY - Every five-year-old kid has been asked the question: what do you want to be when you grow up?
Astronaut. Firefighter. Pro football player. Ballerina. The list of tried and true answers goes on and on.
That's the thing about childhood dreams, however; most of the time, they're just that - dreams. Are they fun to think about? You bet. But, eventually, the real world usually comes calling.
Woolstock resident Brennan Myers knows all about dreams. His involve humps and bumps; hills, thrills and spills. And, oh yeah, speed. Lots and lots of speed.
And this weekend that dream will become reality.
From that little kid who was beyond excited to receive his first dirt bike at the age of five to the present 14 years later, Myers will jump into the ring with the big boys on Saturday when he makes his pro debut at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek Motocross in Millville, Minn.
This is what the 2013 Eagle Grove High School graduate has worked for, trained for, and now there's just one thing left to do - seize the moment.
"This is when your dreams come true," Myers, who will compete in the 250 class, said earlier this week. "The nerves are definitely up there because qualifying and all of that stuff are on national television and I'll be going up against the best of the best. This is the NFL for us."
Reaching this stage has been anything but easy. He's got enough trophies from amateur events over the years to fill several rooms, and his list of injuries - two broken ankles from one crash, a broken hand and several concussions, just to name a few - seems significant, although he says he's actually been lucky in the health department.
Myers' big break came last August at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Competing in the Open Pro Sport and 450 A classes, he finished 29th and 28th, respectively, and accrued enough points to secure his pro license.
"Like I said, I've dreamed of (getting the pro license) since I was five years old, but when it happened it kind of broadsided me," he said. "It was crazy ... a weird feeling."
But getting the call up to the Show isn't the end of the grind. The truth is Myers is still a long shot to made headway against the best riders in the country and world, and he knows that. He isn't a member of a sponsored team, not yet anyway, and he wasn't born with the financial windfall needed to train morning, noon and night.
The truth is, Myers works full time at C & S Products in Fort Dodge while maintaining a full course schedule at Iowa Central Community College studying electrical technology. The 19-year-old says he wants that college degree, but he also makes one thing clear - that's his fallback option.
With much of his time dedicated to work and school, Myers admits his training isn't where it needs to be currently.
"Right now it's ride as often as I can," he said. "I try to ride twice a week or run and workout as much as I can.
"Being from Iowa and having a full-time job and going to school, it's hard to compete with (the best riders). There are a bunch of people that want it just as bad as I do, so it's not easy moving up."
Myers said his expectations will be tempered in the moment's before he takes one last big breath and cinches up his goggles on Saturday. Approximately 90 riders will compete in the two motos, each lasting an exhausting 30 minutes plus an additional two laps, and only 40 will qualify for the main event. Reaching the "fast 40" on a consistent basis is a necessity for young riders looking for one of those coveted spots on a national team.
"The goal for this race is just to get into the show," Myers said.
A lot can happen over those 30-plus minutes on the bumpy dirt track and Myers is well aware of what he's putting on the line on a daily basis. But the potential pitfalls are in the back of his mind when the gate goes down.
"It may sound a little cheesy, but every time you're on that gate your life is on the line," he said. "We don't have a roll cage ... we're going 60-plus miles per hour and 20 feet in the air. It only takes a bobble to put you down. But when you're riding and racing, it's almost like it's peaceful. Whenever I can ride my dirt bike it's my own little place. That's where I go to get away."
The trip north will be the start of several grueling weeks of chasing the tour across the country. Myers plans to compete in Washougal, Wash., on July 26; in New Berlin, N.Y., on Aug. 9; in Crawfordsville, Ind., on Aug. 16; and in the season finale in Tooele, Utah., on Aug. 23.
Myers may leave the nest of his family on some of those long trips, but the sacrifices his parents, Scott and Robin Myers, and his sister, Sierra Myers, have made to help him pursue his dream won't be forgotten.
"My dad has been the 100 percent financial backing through all of this. He's bought my bikes, he's bought the race gear ... it's all about the people who believe in you," Myers said. "The people behind the scenes that don't get in the spotlight give me the determination I need."
Myers will be the only one on his bike this weekend, but the backing of his family is sure to provide great benefits. Scott and Robin Myers will get the chance to watch their son accomplish his dream ...
Is there anything better?