- Alyssa Roenigk, ESPN The Magazine senior writer
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Travis Pastrana has a busy summer ahead. By August, he will have brought his Nitro Circus Live show to the U.S., filmed for a 3-D movie full of first-time stunts, competed in Moto X Best Trick and RallyCross at X Games 17 and made his NASCAR debut in the Nationwide Series. And we'll have chronicled it all here, in a weekly(ish) column by Alyssa Roenigk, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and author of The Big Jump: The Tao of Travis Pastrana. So much for a summer vacation. Or sleep.
In the weeks since saying, "Yes," to Travis Pastrana's marriage proposal, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins has had to answer another question over and over again. "So, how'd he pop the question?" Her usual answer: "Google it." We asked her to do a little more work than that.
ESPN: Did you have any idea he was going to propose?
Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins: I really didn't. We've talked about it plenty, but I thought it would be some time before he actually popped the question. His take on marriage was always that one day, when we start a family, it will make sense to get married. I didn't expect it to happen that quickly.
Why do you think it did?
He said it's a lot easier to think about the future together when we're engaged and going to be married soon. I think, in his head, it made more sense if we were more official. I usually understand the way his mind works. This time, I have no idea. But I'm happy.
Did he give you any clues the day of the Nitro Circus Live show that he had something up his sleeve?
He kept telling me, 'You have to land your first jump. It's really important. It will be good for the whole show.' I was really confused, but he kept saying, 'You have to land that first trick.' After he proposed, it made sense. He knew my head was not going to be in skating after that. And it wasn't. I couldn't land anything. I was so flustered. And I fell on that first jump, too. It was big, having that stage and being one of only three skaters. There were a few things I wanted to do. I was bummed.
And then Streetbike Tommy scooped you up. What were you thinking?
I got off the ramp feeling pretty bummed and started running to get back to the stairs because I had a couple more attempts. Then Tommy picked me up and I was like, 'Maybe he's going to carry me to the stairs? What's going on?' Then I heard Travis talking on the mic. By the time Tommy spun me around, Travis was on his knee. Then I saw the cupcake and knew exactly what was happening.
Okay, explain the cupcake.
It's a plastic cupcake with a to-and-from tag on it. I saw it at H&M and thought; 'I'll put something cute in it and give it to Travis.' We started giving it back and forth to each other with notes or candy or little presents in it. He had it for a long time and I was wondering if he'd lost it. About a week before, I saw it in his backpack. I thought, 'Good. He still has it. Maybe he'll put something in it soon.'
Back to the proposal. So he asked, and you said...
I said yes and we hugged and kissed and he handed me the ring. I said, 'I think you should put it on me.' So he said, 'Which finger?' I told him the wrong finger. I thought it went on the right hand and the wedding band went on the left. I guess we're both amateurs.
Is there a story behind the ring?
He told me he had planned to give me a ring in a Cracker Jack box or make one out of a folded dollar or buy a big plastic fake ring. But a few days before the show, he thought, 'What if she thinks it's a joke or just for the show? I have to get a real ring.' So he grabbed his friend Malcolm McCassey and they made up this story that totally didn't add up and went out for a while. I thought they were at a photo shoot, or a meeting. But they were buying a ring, in Vegas. To be a fly on the wall in that store when he bought that ring.
How'd he do?
It's beautiful. The prongs on it were really sharp, though. I caught him in the eye right away and gave him a black eye and I cut myself on it. So I had it reset and just got it back today.
Did many people know he was planning to do this?
A few. Our moms didn't know. But Dan, who has been like my dad since my dad passed away, he knew. Travis knows Dan as my father figure, so he called and asked his permission to ask me. Dan's 12-year-old son Brock was in the car and overheard. He's the worst secret-keeper ever. After the show, he told me, 'That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life!'
When Travis stopped the show to propose, he said he was supposed to do it later in the show, but he was too nervous to wait. Was he really nervous you might not say yes?
Yeah. He meant it. It wasn't supposed to happen when it did. He was nervous. I told him once that if he didn't do something really cool to ask me, I would say no and tell him to ask again. I was mostly kidding. He had asked me about a month ago if I would say yes if he asked me at a baseball game in front of all those people and I said yes. He figured this was a similar situation. But if he had asked me in our room after the show in front of no one, I still would have said yes.
Have you started wedding planning yet? I assume there will be skydiving.
It's not going to be traditional. Put it this way, Travis got ordained on the Internet and recently ministered at Andy Bell's wedding. So Andy's going to marry us. That's already not very traditional. The wedding will be pretty small, just close friends and family. And we'll have a reception on the east coast and west coast.
Have you picked a date?
We're not exactly in a hurry, but we're not planning to wait forever, either. With us, if there is a weekend available, we have to just go for it. He has a weekend off at the end of October, so that could be the date.
So, will you be the skateboarder with three last names?
Since Adams is technically my middle name -- and my mom's maiden name -- I'm thinking about adding Hawkins to my middle name and taking Pastrana as my last name. It will still be a mouthful, but it will be easier for booking flights. Our friends have been joking that I should change my last name to Hawkstrana.
4hEric D. Williams