I remember hearing the news three years ago that one of the two snowmobile-flipping Moore brothers from Texas had sustained life-threatening injuries in the ESPN Winter X Games. My Facebook feed was filled with #prayforCaleb and #31style hashtags throughout that weekend as Caleb Moore fought for his life after being speared in the chest by his snowmobile when a freestyle trick went tragically wrong.
Horrifically, the young athlete did not win his battle in the hospital and passed away within a couple days from the injuries he sustained. After praying for comfort for his parents, his friends, his fans, and the other athletes in extreme sports, I focused on praying for his little brother Colten. Even though I’m not an avid follower of extreme athletes, the Moore story had made it to my radar and it was my understanding that the two brothers had an inseparable bond.
“Catching the Sky” by Colten Moore is a fantastic story about family, the sacrifices that parents make for their kids, the silly things kids do when they’re young, the pioneering spirit of people in general, and dealing with the inevitable hole that is left in one’s life when they lose a close friend of family member.
Colten’s description of he and his brother Caleb doing tricks on trampolines and jumping off the roof of the house took me right back to my childhood memories. My friends and I would shoot arrows into the air and see how close we could get them to land next to us or jump off a 20’ deck with a bed sheet to see if it would act as a parachute on the way down. It was fun reliving some of those memories as the book brought me back there instantly.
The book also takes the reader through a very interesting history of how the ESPN X Games came into being from the actual players; the history of Polaris snowmobiles and an inside look at how the sponsorships of these extreme athletes work by the likes of Rockstar Energy Drinks and others. As someone that doesn’t follow this industry, I found it very informative and entertaining to learn about.
Perhaps most enjoyable was the window into the Moore family. The dad that sacrificed everything to get his sons the equipment and tools they needed to hone their craft. Shoot, they built a $30K foam pit in their back yard! The mom that loves her sons so much that she was always worried about them. And the beautiful bond between Caleb and Colten. Caleb went out of his way to help put Colten in the spotlight and he took care of his little brother. And Colten looked up to him. Seeing that relationship play out throughout the book really gives the reader perhaps the tiniest glimpse into the pain that Colten must have experienced (and I’m sure still does experience) when he lost his older brother.
I can already tell that “Catching the Sky” will leave a lasting impression on me. As I watch my five young kids grow up, I’m going to watch a bit more closely for those signs that they are loving one another and taking care of each other. I’m going to support their dreams no matter how wild they may seem. And I’m going to hug them a little tighter and a little more often because we never know how much time we have on this Earth with our loved ones.
I highly recommend purchasing “Catching the Sky.” It’s not about extreme sports – it’s about so much more.