But that's not the case for 19-year-old Ashley Fiolek, who's deaf.
"Motorcycle riding is a hearing sport, really," Fiolek told CBS News correspondent Seth Doane. "Being deaf you have to rely on the vibration."
At just 110 pounds, Fiolek throws around her 220-pound motorcycle. She's turned a childhood passion into a full-time profession.
"Sometimes it's frustrating for me - being deaf - because I think people look at me that way - and think that I'm not capable," Fiolek said. "But that's actually motivation for me."
This two-time X Games champion is among the fastest female motocross riders in the world. Half a world a way, another young rider was watching, and was inspired by her story.
Noora Moghaddas grew up in Iran. There, almost everyone told her that riding motocross was not something a girl should do.
"I thought she was somehow like me," Moghaddas said.
So they started a friendship via email. Moghaddas wrote of not giving up on her dreams, and the hope of one day meeting Fiolek. That dream came true when Fiolek's sponsor flew Moghaddas to compete. The two young women bonded over their shared obstacles.
"We both have some challenge - for her the deafness - for me, being a female in Iran," Moghaddas said.
Though Moghaddas lost the motocross race, she gained a friend and role model in Fiolek.
Together they showed determination which makes life's twists and turns easier to navigate.