Coma to Competition: The road of recovery back from getting hit at 60mph
At Twisted Spoke, we come across many inspiring stories of the challenges our athletes, ambassadors and fellow cyclists have overcome. Tami Nelson is no exception. We asked her to share her story of recovery from a horrific cycling accident and how Twisted Spoke CBD has become an integral part of her recovery and training.
I’ve gone through quite the journey with cycling. Despite more downs than I’d prefer, it has never crossed my mind to give up, since cycling is a passion, something that I love and get a lot of fulfilment out of. It is an escape, a way to clear my mind, enjoy nature and push myself, a way to socialize and make amazing new friends, a way to travel and see new areas! Twisted Spoke CBD has helped me continue through some life-changing challenges.
First, a little background about me: I grew up riding dirt bikes and was blessed to have hundreds of miles of BLM land to ride. Once I had gotten my license, I began drag racing cars, as I have a need for speed. My focus went back to motorcycles after I purchased a street bike. Several years later, I began road racing on motorcycles. To better prepare for the race season, I began cycling to get more endurance and gain better fitness.
Little did I know that this would become my newfound passion! I got my first road bike and began cycling a few times a week, slowly working up the ability to go further and faster with each ride. Since I was enjoying it so much, I decided to purchase a gravel bike to allow me to test out new trails and go explore off the beaten path!
Then in May of 2020, on one of my gravel rides, I had to cross an intersection. Due to a bad gut feeling about that intersection, I took the crosswalk to be safer. Upon it being my turn to go with the hand signal, as I entered the crosswalk, a young lady ran the red light and smashed into me doing 60mph! I broke both ankles, my femur broke in multiple places (from her bumper t-boning me), 7 broken ribs, dislocated arm, grade 3 tears in my elbow and shoulder, broken wrist, broken nose and 2 skull fractures. I now have a titanium rod threaded through my femur bones, but I am very grateful to have all my limbs!
The Road to Recovery
I was in a coma for the first week and in the hospital for a month. I had to attend physical therapy to learn to walk again. I was able to walk a very short distance with the walker after the first month, but even going 20-30 feet would wear me out and leave me out of breath.
Upon getting released and being home, I was determined to get back to normal. I did yoga and exercised as much as I could tolerate. A little before the 2-month mark, I was walking shorter distances with a cane. At the 3-month mark, I did a 5-mile walk/light hike. At the 4-month mark, I did my first 50k ride on the bicycle! I had a small personal victory at the 5-month mark, when I finally was able to climb and pedal out of the saddle. It was a huge feat for me as my hip was so weak from the surgeries and trauma it had endured. My surgeon was amazed at how determined I had been and how much progress I had made.
Through my recovery, cycling has helped me mentally and physically. Walking had been difficult and often painful, but since cycling is non-weight bearing, I could exercise without experiencing pain. Being able to ride my bike during recovery helped make me feel “normal” because I could be active and resume life outdoors. The doctor predicted that I’d be able to walk without a limp shortly after the one-year mark. Not even a year into my recovery, I raced Unbound Gravel in Kansas. I finished Unbound Gravel in under my goal time and managed to finish 3rd for women!
How I got started with Twisted Spoke CBD
While still working on my recovery, I learned of Twisted Spoke CBD at the Sedona MTB Festival. The guys behind Twisted Spoke immediately blew me away with their product knowledge and the science behind what they do. I admired how educated they are and was excited to try their products. I was definitely not let down!
It has now been a year and a half since I was introduced to their products and now use them religiously and am so excited to share with all my friends the experiences I have had.
I was originally excited to try their chamois cream, but also got some CBD, and CBN to try out as well as per their recommendations. Later on, I also picked up the CBD gel, CBD gummies, and CBG to try out. All 6 of these are my staples, and here’s why:
CBD Chamois Cream
I had used several different chamois creams prior, and they were all just ok. After 20 miles, I noticed that they would dissipate and stop doing their job. The Twisted Spoke chamois cream has endured many 50-120 miles endeavors, always reliably leaving me and my bum happy! Even with the crazy Phoenix heat, I have not had issues with saddle sores (and yes, I am that crazy person out riding when it’s 106 out).
These are perfect to keep up nutrition while on the bike, while also enjoying the benefits of CBD at the same time! They are tasty and easy to pack. I rely on these for my 2-4 hour rides to keep me fueled! Riding without proper nutrients is difficult to sustain and hard on the body. To stay performing at my best, I try to stay consistent with my nutrients.
CBD + CBG Cooling Gel
I use this pre-ride if my legs are hurting from the injuries, but also rely on this post ride to help my muscles calm down. One downside to having such severe injuries is that my body is constantly compensating for other muscle groups, leaving random unexpected pain after rides. I rub some of the gel on, and it helps alleviate the pain within a few minutes! Some days I’ll just wake up out of bed and have pain, and this is my go-to for that as well.
CBD tincture has many benefits. Personally, I struggle with fairly bad anxiety. I also deal with a lot of inflammation from all the injuries. Thankfully, the CBD has helped me tremendously with both of these issues! After getting hit, my PTSD was so bad that I was fearful to leave the house to even drive to the grocery store. Even today, I still get nervous and anxiety before riding. The CBD has helped calm my nerves to allow me to resume a normal life. I have also noticed a big difference in my knee and hip since taking CBD daily. They do not swell up as badly as they used to, the mobility is better and no longer stiff to bend.
CBN Bedtime Tincture
I never had issues falling asleep, so I was skeptical about the CBN/CBD tincture at first. The guys from Twisted Spoke asked how the quality of my sleep was, and as I thought about it, I realized that I was consistently waking up throughout the night. Rarely did I ever sleep through the night without waking up less than 5 times. (I seriously feel like I would wake up 10-20 times in the night.) I realized that this was a severe problem and would lead to being tired mentally and physically the next day. When I’m on the bike, I want to be mentally alert, and that can be difficult when you’re exhausted. I gave the CBN a try, taking ¼ of the dropper like suggested, and almost immediately I noticed a huge improvement in the quality of my sleep! Within the first few weeks, I was barely tossing and turning and only waking up a few times. After consistently using for a month, I was sleeping through most nights without waking up, and if I did wake up in the night, it was only 1-2 times. My performance on the bike also started to improve, as I was well rested, and my body was ready to push harder and further!
I struggled with GI pain. I’m not sure if it was a result of constantly cycling, or where exactly it stemmed from, but it was uncomfortable. I would randomly get pains in my stomach for no reason, and nothing really seemed to help. I had tried multiple OTC products with no luck. When I mentioned this to the guys at Twisted Spoke, they suggested I tried the CBG/CBD tincture. I have been using the CBG daily for over a year now, and I honestly cannot recall the last time I had stomach issues. Which is a huge relief, since some days the pain in my stomach was so bad that it would keep me off the bike!
Recovery and Performance with CBD
Twisted Spoke products have helped me mentally and physically in my recovery journey! A good day out on the bike requires your body to be fully rested prior (CBN), proper nutrients to allow you to keep going (CBD Gummies), and recovery to continue pushing the next day (CBD Gel).
It has been my goal to get into better shape than before this accident happened, and I believe I have already surpassed that! Learning about how to recover my body with the help of CBD has been a game changer. Hopefully I am able to help or inspire others that have been or are in a similar situation!
You can find more about Tami on her website or follow her on Instagram.