Hayden Robinson: My Night at JFK Airport

October 26, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Hayden Robinson's night at JFK

Tell most 14-year old boys flying alone that their late-night connecting flight has left, so they are going to need to spend the night sleeping in New York’s JFK airport, and you are sure to set-off a serious panic in the stranded flyer.

But BMXers are different. BMXers pick up the way of the worldly traveler, often before they’re in middle school, so when this kind of thing happens once they are flying solo, it’s a shrug and a search for the comfiest place to set up camp for the night.

Such was the adventure of 14x Factory Ssquared ace, Hayden Robinson on his way back to upstate New York from Oldsmar a couple weeks back.

Was it a “Night at the Museum” experience, or something more hum-drum til the next morning’s schedule started up? We had to know, and hit-up Hayden to tell us the story, in his own words.

They say all good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This one begins with me lying face down in the dirt. I have to give John Sawyer props on the new Oldsmar track…that dirt is packed pretty darn good. It was like hitting a brick wall. That first jump had me screwed up all weekend and it took me until the 13-14 semi opens on Sunday to finally meet my enemy face-to-face—literally!

As the medics helped me off the track all I saw was RED! I was covered in blood head to toe. My jersey was red, my pants were red and my brand new helmet was red – sorry Jim Buchanan. I got checked out at the medic tent, my nose stopped bleeding and as Jim and I started walking back to the trailer, we realized I still had time to get back up there for my class semi. People were in dis-belief that I made it back up there after such an awful wreck. Everyone said how tough and strong I was to race that soon after the wreck but to me, I did what any good team member would do, I got back up there to do my job. I had to do what I could to help my team win. It wasn’t pretty but I made the main.

The middle of my story starts when Jim drops me off at the Tampa International Airport. We got checked in, plane was scheduled for an on-time departure, we said our goodbyes and I was off to my gate walking a little slower than normal because of my road-rashed knees. It was at that time I realized how much my nose hurt.

I thought to myself, “all I want to do is get home and take a hot shower.” That didn’t happen-at least not that day. My flight out of Tampa was delayed, and by the time I got to JFK my connecting flight had already left, despite my mom’s frantic calls to JetBlue representatives, they just couldn’t hold the plane for me any longer.

There I was, stuck for the night at JFK airport. The JetBlue representative said they could get me a cot, if you want to call it that. It was this hard plastic thing that was raised off the floor. I didn’t have a pillow or blanket so I used my sweatshirt to lay my head on. I really wasn’t mad, sad, afraid, nervous, or anything– it was just something that happened and I had to go with it. When things don’t go as smoothly as planned, our family motto is, “It’s all a part of the experience!” And that’s how I viewed this…just another experience.

Finally, the end of the story. Halfway through the night I ditched the cot and I ended up on the floor, not too different from how my story began – lying face down! I think I got, at the most, two hours of sleep. Around 4:00AM people starting coming into the terminal for their early flights. I got up, and man did my body ache all over! I started walking. I was looking for a place that was open to get something to eat. I finally found a pizzeria and ordered an egg and cheese Stromboli.

It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. I went back to the terminal, my home away from home, and waited for my flight, thank goodness it was on time today. I made it to Rochester and I finally felt a little emotional when I saw my mom. Even though we still had a two hour drive, I felt like I was finally home. I slept most of the ride and the first thing I did when I got home was take that hot shower I had been dying for since the day before. I slept the rest of the afternoon and when my dad came home from work, he said, “You ready to do some sprints?” And just like that, we were back to our normal routine!

My parents keep telling me that I am wise beyond my fourteen years and that I am gaining so many skills and qualities through these experiences that I don’t even know I have: determination, self-discipline, responsibility, adaptability blah, blah, blah. I’m fourteen! All I know and care about right now is that I’m gaining great friends all around the country and the world and I am having the time of my life!

I am grateful for having the opportunity to travel because of BMX and the overnight in JFK was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life! I am on the best BMX factory team there is!

Go VOTE for SSquared for factory team and bike of the year, Tyler Whitfield for A-Pro of the year, and Justin Posey for Pro of the year for the 2015 Golden Crank Awards!!

—Hayden Robinson

This story is a great example of the life skills BMX Racing brings, off the track. Way to go, Hayden— thank you for taking the time to bring it to us. The good news is that the website rates Jet Blue’s Terminal 5 as “The cleanest and most modern of all the terminals (at JFK).”



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Ssquared Bicycles Website