|Photo borrowed from MonsterJam.com|
So you can imagine how delighted I was when I was approached by the PR peeps regarding the current Monster Jam series where a very empowering female driver, Becky McDonough, will be behind the wheel of El Toro Loco during the Monster Jam® - Expect the Unexpected tour of Australia.
This woman had a MONSTER dream and she did not give up until she turned that dream into her reality. Of course I had to interview her.
First things first, what is Monster Jam®? Well, it's where bloody big monster trucks do big monster truck things in a seriously monstrous way to the delight of the crowd who are monster mad.
With three out of four cities sold out at their last Aussie tour, there's no doubt this stuff is indeed MONSTROUS.
I can imagine that being a monster truck driver is not for the weak. I can also imagine it would be a fairly male-centric sport. So I was very excited to hear that women are climbing behind the wheel of these beasts and dominating at events like Monster Jam®.
I was keen to chat to Becky to find out more about her journey into monster trucks and to get a feel for how she turned her dreams into reality.
Grab a cuppa and come join Becky and I as we shoot the breeze on how she created her success.
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When was your first monster truck experience? How old were you and how did it make you feel?
Becky: When I was in 9th grade I went to a Monster Jam show with some of my friends – I completely fell in love with the trucks. I always loved big trucks and all sorts of racing, and here they were, all in one! I walked out of that event knowing I was going to be behind the wheel one day. There was so much adrenaline packed into one show.
I love that so many women are choosing unique and exciting dreams to follow. Was Monster Jam a particular dream of yours or was it just something you "fell into"?
Becky: Since the ninth grade, my heart was set. This was my dream. There was no “falling into it” about it. I took a Car Services class in High School, along with a couple welding courses. I attended WyoTech after graduation and studied High Performance Engines and Chassis Fabrication. In 2006, I started off turning wrenches, eventually moving my way into a Crew Chief position, and then behind the wheel full time.
I'm all about helping women to "age positively". To embrace the skin they're in and take life by the horns. Do you have any tips and tricks (or have you been given any advice from others) about ageing?
Becky: Tips or tricks? No! But if you have some I’d love to hear them!! I guess I’ve always believed “happy girls are the prettiest girls”, take things in stride and be grateful and happy for everything you are and have.
If you weren't a monster truck driver, what would you be doing with your life right now?
Becky: That’s a hard question! I honestly don’t know. From early on, Monster Jam was everything I wanted, in my mindset, there was no other option. It was going to be all about Monster Jam trucks one way or another.
I am assuming that Monster Jam allows you to travel. Where are some of your favourite places to visit?
Becky: Monster Jam related, I think Germany makes the top of my list to date. Otherwise it’s kind of hard to say, each country has something unique and awesome about them, whether it be their food, sights, or culture in general. Outside of work travel, it’s Minnesota hands down. Monster Jam keeps us travelling quite a bit throughout the year, and I now live in California, so to get to go “home” and be with my family and friends is definitely my favorite.
What sort of challenges do you face as a monster truck driver? How do you overcome them?
Becky: I would say the challenges of being gone on the road so much. Schedules get hectic, and time zone changes can make it extremely tricky to keep up with back home, especially when we travel for weeks on end.
What happens after monster truck driving? What will your next chapter look like?
Becky: That’s a scary thought!! This sport has always had my heart. I don’t think there will ever be a day I’m not involved with it in one way or another. I would love to have a big family, so I will definitely have to slow it down and step back some when that time comes.
What are you most afraid of?
Becky: Losing a loved one. On a lighter note, snakes and lizards! I can’t deal. Those things freak me out like no other. I would rather be faced with a bear.
What/who inspires you? Why?
Becky: My Mom. She has always been my rock and foundation. She believed in me through it all, even when I started doubting myself and my “Monster Jam dreams” because all the kids at school would be mean to me about it. She would constantly remind me it isn’t up to anybody else what I do with my life. If I wanted it bad enough, work my butt off for it and don’t take anybody’s slack.
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How great is she! (And on a side note ... how great is her mum.)
I tell you what else is great - Monster Jam® is touring Australia in October and there's a very strong chance you can catch it in a major city near you.
These shows feature four unique Monster Jam driver competitions – Monster Jam Wheelies, Racing,
Donuts and Freestyle competitions, with the Freestyle Motocross and Quad Wars also thrown in to keep your heart racing.
Each city will also host one Party in the Pits ahead of a show, where fans can get up close with their
favourite Monster Jam trucks, before meeting the superstar drivers. Wahoo!
The 2016 lineup includes a number of fan favourites, with ‘Grave Digger’, ‘Monster Mutt Dalmatian’
and ‘Max-D’ back from last year, alongside new additions ‘Alien Invasion’, ‘Pirates Curse’ and Becky's yellow ‘El Toro Loco’.
Standing nearly four metres tall and four metres wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed
machines that weigh around 5,500kgs. Yep, that certainly sounds monster to me! Built for short, high powered bursts of speed, the powerful Monster Jam® beasts perform breathtaking stunts and can accelerate from 0-100kph in under 3 seconds.
Apparently they literally fly – covering up to 50m in a single leap (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 12m skywards. Weeeeeeeeeee ....
How great does that sound?
WIN, WIN, WIN
Well, the greatness of this monstrous post does not stop. Yep, you guessed it. I've got Monster Jam tickets to give away. PLUS pit passes. PLUS a bunch of other cool stuff.
Thanks to Becky and the Monster Jam crew I have TWO FAMILY PACKS to win valued at $492 each as follows:
- 4 x Adult tickets to Monster Jam Melbourne 2pm 8 October
- 4 x Pit Passes to Monster Jam Melbourne 8 October
- 2 x Merchandise Bags
- 2 x Year books
- 2 x ear muffs
- 2 x Mutt Dalmatian trucks
- TOTAL VALUE = $492
To enter, tell me, if you were a Monster Jam truck, what would your name be?
I think I'd be the Deep Fried Fruitinator! Yay or nay?
You can enter via blog comment, Deep Fried Facebook, Deep Fried Twitter (#DFFMonster), Deep Fried Instagram (#DFFMonster), or email (leanne at leanne shea langdown dot com).
The competition is open to Australian residents only and you must be able to get yourself to Melbourne for 8 October. All travel and accommodation is at your own cost.
Please make sure you leave me enough details so I can easily contact you should you win.
The competition is open from the date of this blog post and runs through until the end of August. Entries close on Wednesday night 31 August at midnight.
The competition combines skill with the luck of the draw. Judging will take into account creativity and applicability to this monstrous occasion, The top FIFTEEN Monster Jam names will be selected by myself and my Deep Fried Monster Crew. Those top 15 will then go into the draw for random selection of the final two.
For those of you who would like to book your own tickets for Monster Jam outside of this comp:
Monster Jam events are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting from just $28*
Tickets for Brisbane & Perth visit Ticketmaster: www.Ticketmaster.com.au/MonsterJam or call 136 100.
Tickets for Melbourne, Adelaide & Sydney are through Ticketek: www.Ticketek.com.au/MonsterJam.com or call 132 849.
With over 170,000 tickets sold nationwide last year, Monster Jam fans are encouraged to purchase
their tickets early to avoid missing out.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.MonsterJamOnline.com.au. Follow them on
A great big thank you to Monster Jam for trusting me with this promotion and gifting me with tickets to their show, to Becky for answering my questions and being such a great inspiration for kids and women everywhere, and for the PR people who make these posts possible.