6 years ago today in a single moment life as I knew it was taken away by the momentary lapse in judgement of a red-light-jumping car while I was cycling. Now years on I am somehow grateful for what happened. Not because of the pain and excruciating battles I’ve endured through my recovery but because of the journey it’s taken me on [without it The Girl On A Bike would not exist]. While shattering the world as I knew it, closing so many doors, it also opened others and has taught me things that have helped me grow stronger and more resilient. I have a new level of appreciation and gratitude and an energy to be the best version of myself – even if that person is a slightly reconstructed person.
My recovery to fitness so far has taken a little over 5 years with 6 major surgeries and I’m now partly bionic. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not aware of the physical implications. From simple things like getting stuck in a tight jumper because my shoulder doesn’t function like it used to, to pushing on through pain picking up a 100kg motorcycle in the mud. In many cases pain is the body’s way of telling you to stop and rest, however once you’ve had significant injuries it’s possible that the pain just never really goes away. If I always listened to the pain and rested, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now.
I’ve learned that these battles are here to make us stronger. Our journeys can hurt like hell and make absolutely no sense but giving up would be a waste. Instead, I set goals, starting small like making it to the toilet on my own or putting my own socks on, through to swinging my leg over a motorcycle and battling crazy terrain in extreme enduro. The goals drive me forwards and saw the start of The Girl On A Bike.
I’ve also asked for help, it’s ok to ask for help. I believe that we all need help and support once in a while. And this is perfectly fine. Life is tough enough and we cannot and shouldn’t expect that we can do it all on our own. There are lots of different types of therapies that could help different situations.
Motorcycles, something I started post-accident, have become my love and passion. If you’d asked me 6 years ago whether I would be racing off-road motorcycles I’d have probably choked on my drink! But life takes us on some amazing journeys.
My biggest goal is to help encourage others to get up and get out there. It doesn’t matter what it is, but we all start somewhere and if I can do it, so can you!
For anyone else battle on, stay positive and fight on #youvegotthis
Read more about my accident here.
If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.
You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.