Cynthia Gauthier Loves Monster Jam Truck Driving and CrossFit
Cynthia Gauthier is a bonafide, certified adrenaline junkie.
The 33-year-old Canadian first got into motocross racing as an 18-year-old after her father planted the seed, taking her out to enjoy his passion in life
“I was in love with adrenaline growing up and my dad used to take me to all kinds of races, so for me starting to race was part of my journey,” said Gauthier. “I’ve always enjoyed the sound of the engine and the smell of the fuel, I was always hooked on going to the races.”
However multiple injuries including a full reconstruction of her knee meant motocross racing was not in the cards anymore for Gauthier. Of course, she tried to get a normal job, working as an accountant after graduating from university with her degree at the age of 24, but she said there was no decision, her mind was already set.
“I knew I was not going to be able to work in a cubicle,” she added about her thoughts of having a normal life with a normal job. “I do love numbers but at the end of every day I would say to myself, ‘Something is missing here.’ So when I did move to the US to follow my racing career, I had to make some sacrifices.”
Gauthier knew this was where her heart was, and belonged, driving a machine fast and taking big jumps.
“And so being part of the racing was always a no-brainer. As soon as you get on the starting line, that feeling is impossible to describe but it’s something you want every week.”
Gauthier first got into off road racing in 2013 after relocating to Ohio, and said while the move was tough on her, which required jumping through a bunch of immigration hoops and upping her English skills (she is French Canadian), she looks back on it as a the best decision she ever made.
She then applied to drive a Monster Jam truck, and was accepted, starting her career in 2015, getting behind the wheel of a 10.5 feet tall, 12.5 feet wide, 17 feet long and 12,000 pound vehicle that can generate upwards of 1,500 horsepower. She said that first ride inside was one she will remember forever.
“When I got to be in the seat and hear the engine from the inside, it was a feeling that I will never forget.”Cynthia Gauthier
“When I got to be in the seat and hear the engine from the inside, it was a feeling that I will never forget. That nervousness you get when you get into the truck, it never goes away. It’s so weird to explain but it’s a passion and the first time I got to jump the truck I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ You feel so powerful because the vehicle is 12,000 pounds.”
Gauthier now competes all over the US and the world in a number of different ways with the monster trucks which include her favorite, the freestyle portion where she has two minutes to try and pull off the most gnarliest tricks to win over the judges. Drivers are now regularly doing backflips in competitions, tricks that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.
Turns out, part of Gauthier’s training regime when it comes to handling a massive machine, is CrossFit. She first got into the sport back in 2012, and has gone to boxes all over the world. She said she was hooked from her first workout in California, a five-kilometer row where she ended up having bloody feet from poorly fitting shoes. But of course, Gauthier was not deterred, rather intrigued.
“That feeling of getting something done, and as much as it was a competition it was also a friendly competition, I fell in love with it. That’s fun and I got adrenaline and it keeps me in good shape so the next day I went again, and again.”
When Gauthier looks back on her decision to leave a comfortable job in accounting for the adrenaline fueled days as a Monster Jam truck driver, she knows she made the right decision to throw caution in the wind.
“I have no regrets about it, I enjoy every part of the adventure, the ups and downs, so I have been pretty impressed with the way life has turned out. But obviously I have worked hard to get where I am in life.”