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  1. #1
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    Are You Ever Really the Same?

    Four years ago I went over the bars and had a severe concussion-moderate traumatic brain injury. I was in the hospital for three days and with the double vision that ensued my recovery was six months. I have ridden a lot since then with probably more than 50 races and thousands of miles. But in all of my races since then I have noticed going down hill I am cautious and let riders go past. In fact I seldom seem to pass anyone. I lose a couple of minutes but I figure at least I am within my abilities.

    I remember reading about the pitcher Herb Score who was hit in the head by a baseball. At the time he was hit he was maybe the best pitcher in baseball. He was never the same afterwards. So what do you think, did your injury slow you down permanently? BTW if I have another serious injury I will probably retire to roadbikes.

  2. #2
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    I've never had any super serious injuries. I've seperated my shoulder (just a few weeks ago) and had some decent cuts. But, there was one time I was riding and the back tire slid out while I was leaning into a turn. I skidded a few feet and ended up with a cut on my leg, nothing serious at all, didn't even get stitches. Now, roughly a year later, I won't lean into turns like I used to.

    I think in both of our cases we saw the consequences of our actions and have set up a mental barrier not to do the same thing again because of the very real possiblities of the same consequences. I mean, when you burn your hand on the stove your hesitant to put your hand on the stove again. I guess the only things you could do would be to try ever so slowly to regain lost ground, or accept your cautious riding style (which there is nothing wrong with that). Either way, good luck.

  3. #3
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    No way....

    ....at least not if you get seriously injured can you ever be the same. I just spent essentially all of June in the hospital and still can't even walk or drive for another couple of weeks. I got hurt racing. I don't think I'll ever even race again because I know that I'll be too tentative and I'll be listening to that little voice in the back of my head telling me to be careful.

    Maybe they can copy the Tour de France and have a "King of the Mtn." competition inside mountain bike races? That way I can go all out on the way up and not feel so bad about taking a couple of hours to make my way back down.

    Props to you for sticking with racing and riding in general! Take care...remember even the little hits will start to accumulate. Your body has a memory too!

  4. #4
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    I"ve not been as seriously injured as you though I have landed on my head pretty hard. My neck is not quite right after 1.5 years from last one. Riding wise, and same with other sports, I have to be pushed and I get past my fears. I spent one sweet day on some very technical flowing singletrack (coalville or something in washington) and was so focused on riding, I forgot to be scared and it stuck. I was forced to solo a spine to free a stuck climbing rope and I got over a 15' fall on my butt....
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  5. #5
    Team Chilidog!
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    I thought I would never get over my other biking injuries (broke front teeth at age 8 OTB and got stitches in my chin at age 18, now broken wrist at age 33). Completely worked my left knee skiing at age 26 (one of those "one more run" fatigue accidents, like my wrist is also a fatigue accident).

    Since I know it was fatigue, I'll probably keep my rides short initially, but that's cool. It'll take a while to rebuild my endurance. I just have to remember not to go to fatigue.

    Shite happens. You can get past it. If I can, anyone can
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  6. #6
    Three sheets to the wind
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    I might walk a lil funny but my walk is me, I might stutter when I talk but I say what I see...just kidding...
    I took a kickback off an industrial tablesaw when I was 18, besides the damage to my face and skull (front & rear). That shot put me in the hospital for a few days with my brain turned off. A few weeks later, after plenty of face surgury I was fine.
    After that as I got older I felt that my short term memory had changed for the worse, and being aware of that I kind of have to try harder when doing something which will require that portion of my memory, such as when I first meet someone, trying to remember their name, or putting down a tool, etc...Like the man says, I'm in good condition for the condition I'm in...

  7. #7
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    i'm still get nervous

    when I was riding about a year ago, i was doing a series of jumps. when i went to roll my back tire over the jump my bike flipped out and i feel about 5 feet straight on my butt. Many have done this before without hurting, but i hit a nerve ending and I compressed my vertebrae. I lay on the ground shaking and didn't move for 30 min. I don't do those jumps the same anymore. Its just that thought that gets me. Its all mental, but thats the hardest thing some people have to overcome.
    Quote Originally Posted by ilikemybike011
    You don't like a fork because it's popular? That's the most retarded reason I have ever heard of.

  8. #8
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    I have hurt myself (several times) No you are not the same. Beyond the physical issues, ther are a lot of mental issues.

    But I am still learning.

  9. #9
    Dirt Abuser
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    Quite a few of the accidents that I have had in my life were from biking. OTB's, stiches and hospitals, not a memorable outcome but one that haunts my mind when I ride.

    I'm consciously aware that I am going 20+ MPH on a ST with lots of trees and one slip may be the last slip I do for a while. (Human body + bike - into a big tree, which one wins?)

    I ride a bit passively now knowing that I can't afford to be out of work for a long period of time, nor do I wish to be. I love biking in the forests and love the outdoors, plus I need to get into better shape so I'll continue mtn biking. Just on the slower side.

  10. #10
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    ivew notice that injuries that have long recovery times usually causes mental issues with that area, because last time after i crashed on a turn and hit a really bad case of posion oak the first time i went down that mountain again i was scared as hell i had the same feeling as the time my brakes burnt out on a steep descent on my road bike, i almost couldnt do it and its been a month since that first recovery ride. im riding down alot faster than the first time but still not as fast as i use to before i crash im still working on it, but luckly my fear seems to be only on trails wwere posion oak is visible, so my mental thing is relativelty small

  11. #11
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    Bashed up so many times I can't count

    My list of injuries is long and continues to grow. Seems I have one really bad wreck each year. Thing is, I still keep riding. You do recover and things do eventually turn out the same over time. The mental scars are a trip. I still have one section of trail where I smashed my self up so bad it wasn't funny that I still walk to this day. Some day I know I'll get over it and ride it again. But not now.

    Wrecks make me remember that mountain biking is inherently dangerous, that the human body is not invulnerable, that concentration is a virtue, that riding is a gift, that balance is not dished out equally to everyone, that there are worse things in life than busting three ribs and a wrist (not riding for six weeks, for example).

    Most of all, though, wrecks have taught me that that life is fragile and amazing, and that each day on Earth (on or off the bike) is a tremendous gift that should never, ever be taken for granted.

    Rejoice in every sunrise and, as Warren Zevon so aptly put it, enjoy every sandwich.

    --Rev. B. Butt
    "You'll thank me when it's all said and done"

  12. #12
    AndyFSR
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    Ever be the same?
    Short answer, NO.
    Worse than before, probably not, bettrer than before, maybe.
    It all depends on how you view your recovery, physical and mental.
    Years ago I was hurt racing Motocross- never had the nerve to jump things with wild abandon after that, but the rest of my skills improved and I evntually approached double jumps as just another technical session that required more concentration.
    As to the MTB side of my life, well I got older and slower and finally succumbed to a wreck (freak accident) that was devastating, broken back, ribs, torn rotaor cuff, and hamstring plus a concussion and numerous contusions and such. Am i the same, NO. Am I going to recover, yes, and I still jump, rail corners and bunny hop all I can find, but I now know I am no longer 20, actually more than twice that, but I can still ride technical sections better than most. How you ask, easy, I crashed there before and now know how not to crash there again.
    Ride on-Enjoy what you do well and learn to deal with and overcome what freaks'slows you down-You may never recover the secure feeling but you may be able to overcome the downhill portion by exacuting it in a new way. Basically chalk your last wreck up to experience and learn from it- Did you not fall when you first started riding a bike? Probably, yet you still got better with experience.
    I've rambled long enough. Good luck.
    Andy
    ...I go downhill like a falling safe...and climb like I'm dragging one.

  13. #13
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    I know what you mean...

    One of the greatest fears I have in life is being paralyzed. I've experienced lots of injuries in my active life; some fron MTBing, some not. I've broken my arm, broken fingers, even broken my eye socket. I've had more ER stitching sessions than I can remember and even had surgery once because my injury was too "mangled" for the ER Doc to deal with it. Funny thing is, the threat of those types of injuries doesn't really bother me. But the threat of going OTB and ending up with a broken neck sometimes has me so worried that it just ruins my day and I obsess about it. Once I even gave up riding for a few months because I felt that our sport was far too likely to lead to a broken neck. I still struggle with that fear occassionally, like after last week when I went OTB and ended up with a stiff neck and tingling fingers...makes ya think...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by borregokid
    Four years ago I went over the bars and had a severe concussion-moderate traumatic brain injury. I was in the hospital for three days and with the double vision that ensued my recovery was six months. I have ridden a lot since then with probably more than 50 races and thousands of miles. But in all of my races since then I have noticed going down hill I am cautious and let riders go past. In fact I seldom seem to pass anyone. I lose a couple of minutes but I figure at least I am within my abilities.

    I remember reading about the pitcher Herb Score who was hit in the head by a baseball. At the time he was hit he was maybe the best pitcher in baseball. He was never the same afterwards. So what do you think, did your injury slow you down permanently? BTW if I have another serious injury I will probably retire to roadbikes.
    Just depends on how bad the injury how old (you are) and how you take it psychologically

    I got hurt real bad after a fall going about 20 mph on gas powered skateboard. Was not mindful of the path and was racing a car and hit a pebble.

    Am still recovering from it 4+ months later..but I'm an old guy and not made out of rubber. A kid would have shrugged it off. The older you get the harder the fall. My bruises healed up but my internal injuries are still there. Was just able to start doing push ups a few weeks ago. Prior to that could not do one push up as arm would buckle under.

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