As a child, many of us dreamed that we could make a career out of something we enjoyed as much as riding bikes. For 35-year-old Rob Darden, though, that dream became a reality. As a professional BMX rider, Darden gets to see the world, while also enjoying life as a stay-at-home dad and photographer. We recently caught up with him to see what he'll be up to for the rest of the year now that he's finished touring for 2016.
BMX riding has been a passion of Darden's for the past 23 years. What started as a fun way to get to school and spend time with his friends became a career path when he began competing in high school. A friend that he rode with in school began competing and pursing BMX as well. Darden is a California native who relocated to North Carolina in 2001 to pursue his dream of being a professional rider. It turned out to be a great decision, since he's been going strong in the BMX world since.
Though Darden has competed in the X-Games, traveled the world and snagged sponsorships from a variety of companies, like SFH and Rogue Fitness, he still manages to think of BMX as something he enjoys, rather than merely a job.
"BMX has taken me to almost 40 countries, so I've gotten to see the whole world," said Darden. "I've made a ton of friends and met a lot of people. That's probably one of the biggest things. I always wanted to travel when I was younger and BMX has allowed me to do that."
To keep in shape for riding, Darden makes sure he stays fit and healthy. He spends four days a week at his local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Tier 1 in Greenville, North Carolina. While he enjoys the popular fitness regimen, he spends most of this time at CrossFit Tier 1 power lifting. As SFH users know, a workout, especially one so rigorous, just isn't the same without protein powder. In addition to loving SFH's fish oil, Darden is a regular user of SFH's PURE in chocolate or vanilla.
"It's pretty much everything I look for in a protein supplement product," he said. "I couldn't ask for more."
Life outside of BMX
After a long year of competition, the self-proclaimed family man is excited to spend the rest of the year at home in Greenville. He has two children, Lily, 6, and Jax, 1. Though the two kids were born five years apart, they share the same birthday. When Darden isn't hanging out with his kids, power lifting or practicing, he gets the opportunity to exercise his creative side as well. Darden is an avid photographer and videographer. He photographs a variety of subjects, from other riders, to landscapes and some exciting scenes with steel wool.