#54 Travis Hawkes, Producer / Editor, Monster Energy Supercross


Instagram: @travhawkes

Travis Hawkes,
Monster Energy Supercross, Producer / Editor  

Paid In Full

Ever since I was running in middle school, I wanted gold shoes. Throw “Michael Johnson” into a YouTube search and you’ll see why.  

...and I’m really not that guy. I never stunt. Well... very rarely, but I sincerely take into account whether what I’m wearing or saying or portraying is audacious and I make sure I don’t stand out, making myself a target. Being the new kid in elementary school will instill that mentality real quick. 

A favorite quote of mine from the movie The Devil’s Advocate is “Never let em see you coming.” I love it and live by it because, for one, in my eyes, “the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” (Name THAT movie...) I also love being a surprise and garnering a reaction akin to “I didn’t think you had that in ya, Trav.”

But it’s different with regards to running because that’s what I was: a surprise that other runners didn’t see coming until I was already past them. I was great and didn’t mind letting people know it. ‘White Lightning’ was a given nickname in high school and college and I did it justice. Anytime I’ve even been remotely challenged to a race, I’ll smile cast the proposed opponent to the side. “Oh, you wanna run? That’s cute.”

I feel weird even writing this. I’m a confident guy but who talks like this and isn’t looking to get slapped? 

Anyway, I could spiral on about how these shoes mean an immense amount to me because they remind me of spots I've ran through, how comfortable they are and how responsive the soles are and how the song “Paid In Full” by Eric B. & Rakim is a staple in pump-up playlists of mine, but at the core of all of this, it’s simple: I love running fast and feel like I run even faster if I’ve got gold-gilded shoes on. 

Having them in my possession means there’s a debt to be paid (...see what I did there?) where if I don’t hold up my end of the “keep running fast” bargain, then I don’t deserve the shoes.

It’d be pretty embarrassing if I was galavanting through Chicago streets or weaving in and out of suburban Florida driveways at a snail’s pace...while wearing gold shoes... with rap lyrics on them.

But I’d like to think I meet the gods halfway. I earned these Nikes and although I’ve bought running shoes since, I’m not done with these yet and I’m always down to see whether they, and you, can keep up.