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My Helmet, My Lifesaver

MY HELMET, MY LIFESAVER

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COMMUNITY STORIES | 8.12.2015 | BY MEGHAN WEBKING

First bike ride since the accident!

First bike ride since the accident!

I feel incredibly lucky to say that today, nearly 5 months after my accident, I got back on my bike for the first time. And it was awesome. Riding my bike home from work one day in August 2014, I was “t-boned” by another cyclist. In a split second, I was on the ground with a deep gash on my chin, a scraped up face, a broken jaw, a broken hand, and a broken tooth. My helmet was smashed in and cracked all the way through.

Though I had a seemingly long, and honestly sometimes frustrating, recovery process, my injuries could have been so much worse. Months of meals through a straw, hand surgery (on my birthday of all days!), stitches, ten weeks on short-term disability from work, and weekly doctors appointments, really seem like the easy way out. 

Grateful to be able to soak in some mountain air while recovering in Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado.

Grateful to be able to soak in some mountain air while recovering in Mount Evans Wilderness, Colorado.

If I hadn’t been wearing my bicycle helmet that day, I could be learning to walk again, rather than getting my confidence back up on my bike. I could be retraining myself how to eat and swallow, rather than getting excited for my upcoming ski trip to Japan. I could be laying in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors, rather than working on my grip strength in my right hand so I can be back out rock climbing this summer. 

Helmets truly are cool (trust me, I own three) -- they allow those of us with a deep love for activities in the outdoors to do what we can to protect our brains. We all know that accidents happen, and participating in adrenaline pumping, active, and seriously fun activities can make those accidents even more likely.

A text from the cyclist who was riding behind me at the time of the accident. I am very lucky that he was there to help keep me calm post-accident, provide information about what happened, and I will never forget his kind words or this text message. 

A text from the cyclist who was riding behind me at the time of the accident. I am very lucky that he was there to help keep me calm post-accident, provide information about what happened, and I will never forget his kind words or this text message. 

My brain allows me to love, learn, ski, practice yoga, run, adventure, make plans, get excited, make sound decisions, travel, write… you get the idea. Without my brain, I wouldn’t be the goofy, adventure and adrenaline loving, excited about life, person that I am. Participating in the outdoor sports and activities that I love, risk is inherent. I choose to be active in the outdoors, and I therefore choose to protect my brain, and I think you should, too!