John Dole (photographer),
Lauren Lusk (writer)
In the “go big or don’t go at all” world of action sports, mortality is omnipresent. While the athletes take calculated risks, they are still gambling with their lives every time they practice and compete, and it is that double-edged sword that commands a large audience for their stunts. Jeremy Lusk was at the top of his game, having recently earned medals in the Moto X World Championships and the X Games, when a competition in Costa Rica cost him his life. On the final trick of his run, Lusk just under-rotated the bike during a Hart Attack Indian Air Backflip and died as a result. He left behind a legacy in motocross and a devoted wife, Lauren, who has stitched his attitude into a clothing line called In God’s Hands, a name taken from one of his tattoos.
Being an “action sports wife” was a fairy tale for some time. I had a good life, traveled with Jeremy, and experienced so many amazing things with him. We had lots of great friends who were like family, and we all lived parallel lives. I loved my husband and supported him 100 percent. The love and life he gave me is something for which I will be forever grateful. The “action sports wife” title is a little different for me now because Jeremy is not here. I have lived and breathed both worlds, the highs and lows, the glory and the grieving. I guess now I am just so grateful for what I had, and so I try to find peace each day. I still can’t help but get anxious before big contests. The FMX community has lost some really amazing guys, all too young. Loss has become a painful reality for me. I don’t want any of my friends to have to feel the pain that I did and still do.
I am so grateful that Jeremy and I shared tattoos. It is something I will cherish for as long as I live. I was, and still am, proud to be his wife. I don’t really agree with people who say it is bad luck to get a name tattooed on your body. We had been together for so long, grew up together, and were finally married. We were committed and in love, and our tattoos were just another way to express our unbreakable bond. It was a special day when we got them. A friend of ours did them in our home; it was super mellow and perfect.
Jeremy had a lot more tattoos than I have—but I think they meant the same thing to both of us. He was just more daring about getting ink! Tattoos express a mix of our love for art and a way to express ourselves, to make a statement. Jeremy would get an idea or inspiration from somewhere we were traveling and have to get it tattooed. For example, we traveled all over Europe and always tried to make time to sightsee. We enjoyed the history behind the old cathedrals, and during one trip to Prague we visited a really old Gothic-style cathedral that was amazing. We took tons of pictures, and as soon as we got home, he had the pictures drawn up and got the cathedral on his arm. Jeremy also loved skulls, crazy faces, and castles. And there’s a deeper meaning behind many of his tattoos, such as his last name on his back. Everyone has his last name—but Jeremy was truly proud of who he was and where he came from, and he wanted to show that.
The story behind Jeremy’s “In God’s Hands” tattoo was that he was inspired by the surf movie In God’s Hands; he was always pushing the limit, pushing himself and everyone around him—but he always knew that at the end of the day everything was in God’s hands. Jeremy accepted God in his heart, and his faith was unwavering. This tattoo expressed his heart and his truth. Personally, I love anything that stops me in my tracks and tugs at my heart. I’m always drawn toward lettering and inspirational words or verses. My “Faith” tattoo symbolizes a really dark time in my life when I felt lost and alone, and had to have faith that I was being led in the right direction.
Jeremy and I always planned on doing our own brand one day. I was grieving and needed something positive to focus on, something I could be passionate about, something that gave me the freedom to express my feelings and creativity. The name was obvious for multiple reasons—it symbolized the past, present, and future. In God’s Hands has evolved so quickly; the clothes and message speak to a variety of people from all different ages and backgrounds, especially the jewelry—my nieces and my grandmother love it.
I hope that people are inspired by Jeremy. I want him to be remembered for the things that were so important to him, like talking to his fans. I want him to live on through In God’s Hands. I know that Jeremy is here with me every day, pushing me to keep going and giving me the strength and resilience to live my life. This year I partnered with not-for-profit organization American Widow Project to support widows of fallen soldiers with a portion of sales from a custom IGH tee, as these women have similar stories. Not only am I passionate about our line, I want to make a difference by positively impacting others who have suffered tragedy. I believe my purpose now is to carry on Jeremy’s legacy while continuing to pursue my dreams. I want to use my wisdom, faith, and spirit to inspire hope.