Preventing and Treating Cycling Injuries With Samantha Welter

I this episode, I’ll be interviewing Samantha Welter, an athletic trainer who specializes in working with endurance athletes, especially women, and she’s got a lot of great information to share with us on preventing and treating cycling injuries. 

Whether you’re suffering from chronic pain, or coming back from a crash, or even dealing with long-term COVID, you’ll appreciate and learn a lot from this episode. 

samantha welter

Stuff We Chat About In This Episode

  • How to treat road rash
  • Road bike vs mountain bike injuries
  • Importance of wearing protective gear
  • The proper way to fall in a crash
  • How to prevent chronic cycling injuries
  • Importance of proper bike fit
  • Why we need to do strength training
  • The best cross training for cyclists
  • What you can do at home to take care of your body
  • When to see a professional
  • Dealing with pain “down there”
  • Why you need to try lots of saddles
  • Coming back after injury and illness

Where To Listen

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Connect With Samantha

About The Host

kristen bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

IG: @kristenlbonkoski

Interview Transcript

samantha  1:34  

My name is Samantha welter, and I’m a certified athletic trainer, who also races mountain bikes. And I recently launched my own business in the sports medicine realm of treating endurance athletes, so runners and road cyclists and triathletes and mountain bikers, and I specifically focus on women. Because I feel like there’s this huge need out there for ladies, especially those mamas with children, to have someone come to meet them where they are with their with their health needs and with their injury needs. Because if you’re in pain, and you can’t get out and do those things that you love, then that makes for a really sad day. And I like to help guide them back onto the journey back to the bike or back to running.

Kristen  2:26  

So for cyclists, specifically, what are the most common injuries that you’re seeing?

samantha  2:32  

So we can break those down into acute and chronic injuries. And so your acute injuries are going to be those more traumatic ones. So what we see mostly are going to be scrapes and abrasions from a fall or a crash. So you get your road rash. And you can also see fractures or it’s kind of strange from those traumatic injuries, you go from just that mild abrasion, Road Rash, to then fractures, or even concussion and head injury. We see those mostly on that acute traumatic side. But then on the chronic side, which we probably see more of are going to be your low back pain and knee pain and cyclists and that knee pain can be anything from your patella femoral disease to your pelvis, patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, quadriceps tendinitis, some medial plica syndrome, patellar, tendinitis, things like that, on the chronic side are what we see most commonly.

Kristen  3:36  

So we’ll get to the chronic stuff in a minute. But starting with the acute injuries that you see, I was surprised that you mentioned scrapes and abrasions, because I don’t think I would generally think of going to a physical therapist for that or really even seeking medical care unless I needed stitches. What is within the realm of what somebody should be doing as an individual? How can they do that themselves and when should they actually be going and seeking medical help?

samantha  4:04  

Absolutely. So you’re right, for the most part, some of those scrapes and abrasions you can self treat. And the best way to do that is probably not what you remember from being a kid. We actually recommend that you just wash it with just regular soap and water as soon as you can. And make sure that you’re using either a soft washcloth or some gauze to just lightly to breed it. So you would just want to make sure that there there’s no sand there’s a little rocks that are left in there. And then with a very light layer of your triple antibiotic, your sporran type of ointment. You want to put that onto your bandage and you want to keep that cleaning covered until it’s completely healed. So until you get that nice, like pretty soft pink skin to heal back over it. You don’t want to let it scab, because it’s going to take longer to heal, it’s going to be more at risk for bacteria and infection. And it leaves more of a mark, it leaves more of a scar later, and a lot of us are proud of our scars. But if that’s not something that you do, then gave me that cleaning covered until it’s completely healed up is the best way to go. Even though you might think that’s just this little scrape, no one been public really wants to see that, right. And you also leave it again at risk for germs and bacteria and infection. Now, when you would want to go see someone for this is if especially an a really big road crash, and if you’ve taken off layers and layers of skin, and you can tell that there’s, there’s a nice little divot in there and it’s gone several layers deep, then you definitely want to seek medical care for something like that, because you’re going to want to have that medically degraded. And that point at sometimes that can even get into restricting some of your movement. And that’s when maybe a physical therapist or another type of occupational therapist, who really help you with that, to limit the scarring, and to limit the chronic pain that could come after one of those really traumatic injuries.

Kristen  6:28  

So do you see any difference in injuries from road bikers versus mountain bikers?

samantha  6:35  

Absolutely, um, you know, your road riders, you’re going to be more at risk for that that Road Rash that I just mentioned, that’s going to take like several layers of skin off. With your mountain bikers, when you see crashes like that a lot of time, we’re just getting bruised and beat up, right, like you feel like you just got hit by a truck then right. And mountain bikers tend to also wear more padding, so you elbow pads and knee pads really tend to reduce the amount of regions that we see with mountain bikers. So we see more bruising and fractures on the mountain bike side of things.

Kristen  7:16  

For fractures is it primarily collarbones or is it all over the place?

samantha  7:20  

You know, risks are actually one of the most common because everyone wants to catch themselves as they fall, right? Protect your face, don’t let the stick or the rock stab you in the eyeball. But as you put your arms out to try to stop and catch you, we call it a foolish injury of falling on outstretched hand. And that leads to a nice big crack in the wrist if you’re falling hard enough. And so one of the things we actually recommend going down in a mountain bike crashed, prevent that. Hold on to your handlebars. So unless you’ve gotten rejected from the bike, if you’re just falling off to the side, just hold on your handlebars, tuck your elbows in and roll with it. If you have been ejected from the bike, and you’re super Manning forward, it’s going to take everything that you have not to try to catch yourself with your arms. But again, if you can just tuck those elbows in, like in front of your chest and put your hands up to protect your face. Protect your body and close, don’t try to push the ground away from you. And that’s definitely going to lessen the chance that you snap a wrist. But then yes, the collarbone are going to be the second the biggest fracture site that we see.

Kristen  8:41  

I like I like that you mentioned that falling technique because I think that’s something that over years and years and years of mountain biking that I’ve kind of honed, you know, like the more crashes you have, the more you realize you got to take that little ball position when you fall and you get better at crashing as you go, I think.

samantha  9:00  

Yeah, you know, I actually laugh when I take some beginner women out. We talk about crashing, and if their game for it, we might even practice just a little slow speed, you know, tip over in the grass, just to really help hone that skill because that is a great thing to practice in a safe manner. So when it does happen, you’re ready for it and your body just reacts the way that you’ve trained it.

Kristen  9:30  

So aside from learning how to crash, what other advice do you have for us on how to prevent cycling injuries?

samantha  9:37  

Well, those acute ones are difficult to prevent. But if we move on to the chronic ones, well, I’m sorry, let me go back to the cute ones. For the mountain bikers definitely Always wear your helmet. And for the road cyclists, even if you’re just going out on the bike path, Always wear your helmet for One, you never know what a random squirrel or child or dog might do, even if you trust your skills, yeah, can never really trust what other users are going to throw at you. So helmet always and for mountain bikers, especially as you start to advance in your skills levels, and you start to take on more technical terrains, I would definitely recommend wearing the knee pads and elbow pads, you can get really comfortable lightweight ones that you don’t even can’t even tell that they’re on. And it will save you a lot of pain and blood and bruising in the long run.

Kristen  10:37  

What about for more gravity oriented writing? Do you recommend wearing armor and the neck brace and all that?

samantha  10:45  

You know, I think again, it depends on your level of technicality. So you know, trestle bikepark is the closest one to me. And what I see most people doing out at trestle or just flowy trails where they’re really keeping their tires to the ground, but they’re still, you know, they’re still on a gravity trail. And so knee pads and elbow pads and the full face, I think are perfect for that. But once you start getting off the ground and doing bigger and bigger jumps, especially once you’ve gotten up to doing some of those double Black Diamond, with the 30 foot tables, I would start adding in the hip pads and the chest protector as well. For sure. I really don’t think that the cowboy collar the neck brace is necessary until you’re starting to do like free ride tricks and things like that. You’re actually like turning yourself 360s and upside down.

Kristen  11:44  

I’m not doing that. So chronic injuries, what can we do to prevent those?

samantha  11:54  

Sure. So as I mentioned, like the biggest chronic injuries are going to be your low back pain and your knee pain. And a lot of that comes from either having your bike set up the incorrect way. And so definitely always recommend with every bike purchase, and then once a year after that, because our bodies change getting a bike fit, fit done. So you know that you’re in the correct position. Because if your saddles too high or too low, or too far forward or too far back, and you’ve got too long of a reach, any of those things could start to wreak havoc on you. Even incorrect positioning of your cleats on your shoes, if you’re clipping in, can torque your knees in a way that you might not notice right away. But after 30 miles after 40 miles, you’re going to start feeling a little twinge and not quite know what’s going on. But it could be as simple as you just put your cleat on in an angle that’s not allowing your body to move in the way it wants to move. And so bike fit, number one for injury prevention. But then number two is you’ve got to take care of your own body and realize that cycling we’re in a very just static position. So set on that saddle and you’re just pedaling forward, there’s no side to side movements, there’s not there’s no rotational movements, your legs are just pedaling forward in that plane. And over time, we start to lose some strength in some of those supporting muscles, especially around the pelvis and in the back. And being able to just add a few of those preventative exercises, and even stretching to make those muscles happy after rides really can do wonders. The strength training research is out there telling us that for endurance athletes, if you add that strength training just even once a week, doing a 30 minute routine can increase the length of time you can ride your bike, it can help you go a little bit faster riding your bike, and it helps your body be more resilient after doing these, you know, pedaling motions over and over and over again. That it can help prevent those things from happening because a lot of the time your low back pain in your knee pain are coming from an imbalance in strength and flexibility in certain areas.

Kristen  14:38  

Yeah, I think the strength part is such a challenge for so many women like myself who just love to get on the bike. Like that doesn’t feel like exercise. It doesn’t feel like something you have to force yourself to do where for me at least like my strength training is something I have to actually put on the calendar and schedule because otherwise it’s Not something that I feel passionate about doing. But it really is important not only for our performance on the bike, but just like our performance in life and our longevity. And I don’t think any of us want to be the little old lady who can’t lift the five pound rice bag.

samantha  15:15  

Exactly, no, I feel you there are two I mean, I, I know this, I make a living off of helping women stay pain free and live these healthy lifestyles. And I struggle as well to even get my 30 minutes in each week to prevent, you know, the hip pain or the you know, the back pain that that I have, and I struggle with in knowing what to do. So it’s definitely one of those bikes are still fun. But yeah, the gym is not. Yeah.

Kristen  15:50  

Aside from strength training, is there any cross training you recommend for cyclists or yoga? Or is there any, any other good exercise that we should be doing for ourselves?

samantha  16:02  

Yeah, so anything that’s going to challenge you in a different movement pattern, and so finding what’s fun for you. I think that trail running is a really great cross training for cycling because you’re having to navigate the different obstacles by jumping to the left and to the right and up this rock and climbing down this once you’re just challenge your body in a different way, and hiking. In that same way, if you don’t want to head out for a trail run, I think hiking is really great. But other sports too. If you’re interested in team sports, like think of the movements that you would do in soccer, or like sand volleyball, anything like that wouldn’t necessarily land you in the gym to get your strength training if you could incorporate it into another sport that you really love. Stand up paddleboarding is one that I’ve recently taken up. And it’s wonderful for core stability and core strength, as well as upper body strength, which for a mountain biker is really crucial to be getting up and down the obstacles. But the core strength is something that we could all work on. And I think stand up paddleboarding is the way to get you out into the sunshine. And it’s a really low stress activity, but really high gains from that.

Kristen  17:29  

I can’t do it without sitting down. I’m terrible. But I do like to trail runs. I’m glad you mentioned that one. Um, so once you do start feeling knee pain or lower back pain, what are some things we can do at home to deal with those? And when should we go seek professional help?

samantha  17:53  

Yeah, I think that, first of all, just reflect on your routine. Have you been stretching? Have you been doing any kind of yoga? And what? What can you add back in if you haven’t been doing it, and by that, I mean, if you’ve been stretching, have you just been stretching your hamstrings because someone told you in the past that tight hamstrings were the leading cause of low back pain? Well, actually, tight hip flexors are one of the big culprits of low back pain because your hip flexors, specifically your so as muscles, and they attach to the base of the spine. And so if they get tight, because they’re in the front of the hip, and you’re bent over the bike, and they start tugging on the low back, because they’ve gotten they’ve tightened up, and that now we have low back pain just because we’ve been bent forward on our bike. So we actually stretching our hamstrings isn’t going to do anything. And so I’m really recommend, you know, opening up and stretching the hip flexors and the quadriceps. Really getting into the hip rotators as well. So into that figure four stretch that gets the outside of the hip and the piriformis hamstrings are great, as well as getting some of those low back stretches in like your cap cows and your child’s pose and then even rotating to the right and to the left in your child’s pose. So basically making sure you’re hitting 360 degrees around the the hips and the pelvis area. I think that would definitely something that you can do on your own. But if you’re doing that, and it’s been, you know, it’s been a week, maybe 10 days and you’re not getting anywhere you’re not feeling any relief. That’s when I would go ahead and call a healthcare professionals and athletic trainer or physical therapist and get in for an assessment because you can spend a lot of time diving into the rabbit hole And trying to, you know, solicit your peers on social media to see what have you done? And what can I do. And when you get into that, that self treatment, rabbit hole, when you really dive in there, you can spend a lot of time and a lot of hours that we don’t have chasing dead ends. And so I think that I would give yourself about 10 days. And at that point, if you’re not feeling any better, find that healthcare professional to to really dial in what’s going on?

Kristen  20:36  

And how does somebody go about finding that healthcare professional? Should we be looking for a sports specific physical therapist? or What tips do you have?

samantha  20:44  

Definitely, I think I’m looking for a physical therapist or an athletic trainer, I think would be your number one, going to your general physician, your general practitioner, they’re great for when you’re sick, and when you’re when you’re ill, and when you’re just not feeling well. But a lot of times, their advice for an orthopedic type injury is just take two weeks off, and none of us want to do that. And do all that rest would do is mask your symptom. And when you start writing, again, it’s just gonna come right back. So word of asking your friends, if they know anyone, I think is one of the best ways we word of mouth, is the best type of advertisement for someone who really focuses on cyclists or runners or athletes when it comes to those types of injuries. And so, referral, number one, and then number two, Google is a really great friend for looking for those resources as well. And you can just type in, like, you know, athletic trainer in my area, or, you know, physical therapist, runner. And if you’re lucky, you’re going to ping on someone real quickly. And if you’re not so lucky, and you’re having a really hard time, I would love to help find someone in your area, because I know a lot of people around the country who do similar work that I do, and a lot of us are accepting telehealth consultations as well. And so you might be able to find someone over Skype or zoom that can even help you out if there’s not someone locally in your area.

Kristen  22:35  

I love that I think that’s the best thing that’s happened from COVID is the ability to do so many more things from home. And, you know, virtually,

samantha  22:44  

it really has. And it’s really what sparked me launching in power performance therapy because I wanted to be able to, as I said at the beginning, meet women where they are. And if you have an hour long physical therapy appointment that’s 30 minutes across town and you’ve got to drop the kiddos off somewhere in that’s what, three, four hours out of your day. Or someone can just meet you online or just meet you at your home and take care of the same thing. And now we’re only an hour out of your day and you didn’t even have to get into your metal box and drive 30 minutes away then how great is that?

Kristen  23:21  

So two tools that I use a lot at home when I’m having any kind of issues are a foam roller and kt tape are either of those things you would recommend or they’re things that we can be using on our own or should we really be using them under the care of a medical professional.

samantha  23:40  

Those are two of my favorite modalities to yours. Absolutely. Most of my most of my clients end up with either a tennis ball or foam roller to work on that self myofascial release for sure. It’s really great post exercise to start flushing out some of that those yucky toxins that your body is produced while you’ve been exercising. But also it works as a massage so it brings blood flow to the area as it stretches and loosens up the muscle fibers and the fascia. And so it really helps expedite recovery as well. And as you loosen up all of the the muscle tissue around the hips, then of course you’re going to alleviate any kind of tensions that might be traveling from the hips through the knee or from the hips up into the low back and so that can definitely release some pain and kt tape. I think kt tape is wonderful. Katie is actually a brand the kinesiology tape is the name of the method and with the kinesiology tape. I do think that’s something that until a medical person Rational has taught you how to use it. If you just slap it on yourself, a lot of times, you’re not going to get great results. Because there is a ton of science behind the amount of stretch that you put on the tape, the direction of stretch you put on the tape, and then knowing the anatomy and what you’re actually trying to treat, I think is really crucial in the success of the kinesiology tape working. But it works wonders when it’s done correctly. So a lot of time if your practitioner is used it on you just ask them how they’ve taped it. And then you can continue to do that yourself from then on out. Very good.

Kristen  25:40  

And the one thing that we are talking about chronic pain that we haven’t talked about yet, is the female undercarriage. And I know that that’s something that so many women suffer from pain, and really discourages I think a lot of women from the sport as well, what advice would you have for those ladies? 

samantha  26:00  

Absolutely, that is a huge issue. The first thing is finding a saddle that works for you. And there is no formula A plus B equals C to tell you which saddle is going to be right for you. You just have to keep trying them out and know that if you’re on a cruiser bike or hybrid, you can get the big thick saddle and you sit more upright. But if you’re on more of a sporty type of fitness bike, a road bike or mountain bike, your position on that bike is going to be a little bit more aggressive, which rotates your pelvis forward, which puts a lot of pressure on your on your carriage there on all your little bits. And the pressure on those bits can end up causing a lot of pain, a lot of soreness, chafing and swelling even. And that’s definitely not an area you want to end up in. And so trying out a lot of saddles, there’s been some really good innovations with like a trough or even a hole that alleviates the pressure of the vulva and the labia. And so I would look for saddles like that if you’re going to be in a more aggressive position as especially if you’re road riding and have aspirations going for long distances, that’s going to be a game changer for you. But also shaving cream, shaving cream and more shaving cream, and you want to apply it everywhere in between the cheeks in between the thighs, and all the little crevices that you can find externally. Shaving cream is going to be one of your best friends if you’ve experienced saddle sores, or chafing in that area. And so those are the two ways to prevent that from happening. And we always talk about because it can never be said enough. Always wear the padded bike shorts, and never wear underwear with them.

Kristen  28:03  


Unknown Speaker  28:06  

Definitely can never be said enough. So those are your prevention. But if you do find you’re getting saddle sores. Number one, you want to rest you don’t want to get back on the bike with the saddle sore. But one of the really like genius tricks that I found just over my years of working in sports medicine is hemorrhoid cream. Cream shrinks it and takes away the pain and the redness. And so that is my little hack for you. If you do experience saddle sores, to utilize that little trick there and you’ll find that you’ll get rid of them fairly quickly in that manner. But also, if you end up with the swelling down there definitely goes to your gynecologist right away. That’s not anything that you want to ignore, because that could lead to some really serious medical issues down the road. If people have even had to resort to surgery when it’s become chronic enough. So that does happen to you. You know, a nice warm bath with the Epsom salts and then go see your gynecologist as soon as you can.

Kristen  29:18  

One a really interesting thing I read was that some women like myself, I think are like more outies and have more, just more tissue down there. And so where other women don’t have that and so I think it’s so important that we do have this wide range of saddles and that you spend the time to like really invest and find a saddle that works for you because everybody’s just so all over the board. Like what works best for me doesn’t necessarily work for the other ladies I ride with.

samantha  29:48  

yeah, and my mountain bike saddle is different than my road bike sale. Yeah, absolutely. And so, yeah.

Kristen  29:56  

What saddles do you ride?

samantha  29:58  

I ride Bontrager saddles, my cycling teams actually sponsored by trek so I have the Oh, you know, I’m totally blanking something I should have prepared for. Oh, oh, no, I got it. I remember. The Bontrager Arjuna. saddle is the one that I have on my road bike. And then my mountain bike is the same one I do believe. Yeah, I just bought a whole bunch of that one because it had the nice trough down the middle. And I just went with it. on that bike and the mountain bike. Yeah, sorry, blanking. I know a good one. But

Kristen  30:42  

That’s one I haven’t tried. We’ll have to check that one out. 

samantha  30:48  

Specialized has a new technology with a like a little sling in their cut out. That I’ve heard is really, really nice.

Kristen  31:01  

Yes, I have tried that one, the specialized. It is a great one. I really personally like the SDG Allure. The Ergon saddles are really good. And so luckily, they’ve just been quite a few really good saddles coming on the market in the last couple of years that weren’t there before.

samantha  31:20  

Yeah, I recommend that Ergon saddle to a lot of women as well. They’ve done good things with that one, too.

Kristen  31:27  

Agreed. And so you mentioned there your team, can you tell us a little bit about sugar beet cycling?

samantha  31:33  

Oh, yeah, sugar beet cycling. That was a passion project of mine that we launched in late 2017. I’m in Fort Collins, Colorado, and they were several of us women, just riding and racing on our own, just private to your style, and wanting to make our way up to the professional ranks, but not really having an avenue for that. And there weren’t really any women’s mountain bike teams in the area. So we decided to start one. And one of our goals was to bridge the gap between that upper level of cat one racers to the professional stage. And but to also eliminate barriers with more women in the community because I moved to Colorado from Missouri. And we have a decent mountain bike scene in Missouri. I loved it. But most of the time, I was racing against four, maybe five people. And if there were six people in my field, wow, that was a huge women’s field. But then I moved to Colorado expecting to race like 15 and 20 in my field, and I was getting two and three women in my field. And so the other part of sugarbeet cycling, we host group rides and community clinics. And we really try to put out even some virtual challenges, to encourage more women to come out and ride and to ride with us. And to eliminate any of those barriers or any of those worries about racing. Because a lot of women are intimidated to they don’t know where the races are. They don’t want to enter them because they don’t know how to pass and they’re worried about being the slowest one that’s out there. Yeah. And you know, we tried to go over and talk about all of those issues and just make them more comfortable and make them more confident into signing up for a race. One of my favorite things that we’ve done is we before the pandemic had local Tuesday night races, and we would host a pre ride. So before about an hour before the women’s race was scheduled, we would just get any women together who were in the area and wanted to ride and we would go over the course and talk about great places to pass etiquette, if someone is passing you, and where can you drink, where can you eat, and things like that. And everyone seemed to really enjoy it. And so I missed that. And I hope we can get back to doing more of our group events soon.

Kristen  34:10  

Yes, yeah, that has been the hardest part of this last years then just riding by myself all the time. Not having any races to go to. But what races are you planning on doing this year?

samantha  34:25  

I am recovering from long haul COVID and I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to just do fun races. And so so far I raced the grand enduro in Grand Junction and, and next weekend, I’m heading to Arkansas for an enduro there, and I’m gonna do some single speed cross country races. So instead of putting the pressure of the pro race on myself, I’m just gonna knock it down a little and race my single speed and just have some fun. So few local Colorado races and Probably the national championships as well,

Kristen  35:03  

That doesn’t sound so easy.

samantha  35:09  

I think one of my teammates was like, only a single speeder would say, I’m going to chill out this year. 

Kristen  35:19  

That’s funny.

I’m sorry to hear about the long haul COVID. But what symptoms have you had?

samantha  35:26  

You know, I had COVID, back in early November. And I just now feel like I’m turning the page with it. But it’s been exercising tolerance. So just not being able to get out and get my heart rate above 140 without my body just wanting to shut down. So you get this bone tired feeling is how I describe it, just every movement is so difficult, just one pedal revolution makes, you just want to stop and lay down on the side of the trail and sleep. But that also leads to this extreme fatigue, and just trouble breathing at a higher heart rate. And so, we’ve been treating that. But I think what the big thing to learn about that is, even as we’re coming out of this pandemic, you know, COVID-19 is still out there. And so if you do end up getting infected, just have grace and compassion with yourself, because it’s gonna probably take longer to recover than you think it’s going to. And some people are in and out really quick. And then the lucky ones like myself are, you know, struggling just a little bit longer with these just really all over the board symptoms. I mean, those details are my experience, but long haul COVID can encompass so many other things as well.

Kristen  36:54  

I think that that know, the idea of this long haul COVID, it’s very, probably very similar to overcoming an injury, or coming back after a crash. And I liked what you said about giving yourself grace. Is there any other tips you have on like that mental aspect of getting back on the bike after illness or after injury and regaining your confidence?

samantha  37:18  

Oh, for sure. I think the hardest thing mentally is knowing that all of your friends are still out there doing it. And you see people riding bikes on social media. And the missing out i think is the hardest part and what leads to, you know, more of the anger and the depression, overcoming any kind of injury, you still go through those five stages of grief, those five stages of trauma, grief. And that, to me, I think was the hardest part. Because after you know, you’re injured, you know, you can’t, even though you try, you might bargain with yourself, like I’m just, I’m just going to try to go do this. And then riding that 10 miles lands you on the couch for three days. And you’re, you’re like, why would I even go do that. But we just love our sports so much that not being able to participate is the hardest part. And so I think that one, keeping yourself engaged in the community, even though it’s difficult, just trying to shift that mindset a little bit to, you know, going out and supporting your friends. And going out, you know, now that we can, you know, going out for an ice cream with your bike riding friends and you know, maybe talking about other things or being there to help support them and hand up water bottles during a race or an event. I think those are ways that you can stay engaged with that community. And it gives you a feeling of purpose as well. And then going out and discovering other things when I was injured last year, I separated my shoulder and broke my elbow and a mountain bike crash. And I already thinking I went and discovered we have so many beautiful natural areas in this Northern Colorado, that I went and hiked areas that I normally wouldn’t go to because they don’t allow mountain bikes or it’s just such a simple flat trail that you wouldn’t have too much fun mountain biking around this one mile loop over and over again. But to go out and to hike it and to explore and notice the wildflowers that are growing or what type of snake was that that just slid by my foot or, you know, engaging in some of them were water activities was really, really good for me. And so I think the two things mentally or stay engaged with your community and find a hobby that you normally wouldn’t engage in, because you’d rather ride your bike but in slowing down a little bit and doing a little something different is really great to keep yourself positive and to move forward through that process.

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