Life changed dramatically when a red light jumping car took her out on her bicycle. Seven surgeries and seven years of a roller coaster of a recovery, and Vanessa has fought on, determined not to let her past control her future. Despite living and managing chronic pain, she’s on a mission to prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it… and that includes insane terrain on a motorcycle in a very male dominated world.
Also known as @TheGirlOnABike, Vanessa is a rider who’s not only pushing sporting boundaries and winning awards from the motorbiking community, she’s also inspiring a community of fans with her popular YouTube channel and social media accounts. And recently she added to her accolades, as the first – and only – woman to enter and finish the Tunisia Desert Challenge, an extreme rally raid over sand dunes and in blistering temperatures. The eight-day gruelling endurance venture was the toughest you could imagine.
It all sounds very impressive but… Vanessa’s background makes it even more inspirational.
Back in 2014, she collided with a red light-jumping car while on her bicycle, instantly changing life as she knew it. This impact led to reconstructive surgery and seven operations in as many years. It was while on her long road to recovery that this adrenaline-loving woman decided to take up off-road motorbike riding, and so The Girl on a Bike was born.
She says: "Back then I was fit, I was athletic, and I was healthy but that all changed when I got on my bicycle after work heading for a night of wakeboarding at the local lake. But I never made it to the lake.”
It was this bicycle accident of all things that got Vanessa Ruck into motorcycling. After being rushed to hospital, doctors failed to properly identify her injuries and sent her home. It was a fateful decision that would have painful repercussions and change the course of Vanessa’s life.
Vanessa has now had seven surgeries on her hip and my shoulder. “I didn’t have all of them in one go; it was more a case of one every year for seven years – when a previous op didn’t work, complications happened or things were missed. I’ve effectively got a reconstructed right shoulder and right hip involving bone work, ligaments, soft tissue, tendons and cartilage.” As well as hours and hours of rehab, loads of time on crutches and many days in bed, Vanessa’s mental health took a huge hit. “I’ve had some of the darkest days you can imagine; in fact, I’d say that the mental recovery has probably been harder than the physical and I’m quite open about that.”
“Mindfulness is now a big part of my life. When my hip is hurting particularly badly, most of the time I can cope with it but there are moments when I get angry and can quickly spiral down into a toxic, negative mental state. Through mindfulness, I’ve learned to be conscious of my thought processes and recognise early triggers.”
Vanessa has been battling with her body following the accident in 2014 and it was on this path that she stumbled upon Active Collagen. Unknown to so many, she is now on a mission to share her story in a bid to help others feel the benefits she has.
We’ll let Vanessa describe why she swears by Active Collagen in her own words:
“I started taking something called active collagen desperate to find something to help. Most will think of gorgeous smooth skin and wonderful hair but that’s not why I’m on it…although I won’t complain for those benefits. I’m on it because collagen contributes to the maintenance of ligaments and tendons, soft tissue repair, and protein synthesis, so recovery, healing and a smooth working body!
My hip is something I battle with every day and I’m big time feeling the benefits in it. It was amazing to see how the surgeon was blown away by how secure the previous reconstruction looked & I hands down put it on the collagen. I could not recommend it more highly! Even my right shoulder previously reconstructed & my left knee which niggles me are improved, no pain in the morning, skin’s improved too (bonus).
I made the decision to take active collagen as I was desperate to find anything to help the pain and get my body in the best state possible given it’s the only home I’ll ever have. You can’t put a price on feeling good. It’s not the cheapest but you get what you pay for and that’s still nothing for improved pain and healing and it’s a solid dose of multiple forms of collagen. It can take 3-6 months to get the full benefits but I started to notice it after just two weeks. I could not recommend it more highly. Even if you just take it for 6 months and see how you feel.
I have been taking Active Collagen for 3 years and there is unlikely to be another day where I do not take it. The benefits just feel too good!