My Story

My story is one of dark days, pain but with a burning fire inside to never give up.  I feel it would be an uplifting and inspiring energy for people to hear. Especially now I’ve completed Red Bull Romanicas, infamous as the worlds toughest enduro rally.

7 years ago, 25th of 2014, in a single moment life as I knew it was taken away by the momentary lapse in judgement of a red-light-jumping car while I was cycling. My recovery to fitness took a little over 6 years with 7 major surgeries and I’m now partly bionic with a reconstructed hip and shoulder. I’ve been through incredible pain, wildly dark moments where the world seemed to close in on me and I’ve pushed on, determined to come out a stronger version of myself. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not aware of the physical implications and I’m unfortunately destined to need a full new hip in the coming years. BUT that is not going to stop me getting up, pushing through the pain and doing what I love – which is now riding motorcycles in extreme off road conditions.

From simple things like getting stuck in a tight jumper because my shoulder doesn’t function like it used to, to pushing on through pain picking up a 100kg motorcycle in the mud. In many cases pain is the body’s way of telling you to stop and rest, however once you’ve had significant injuries it’s possible that the pain just never really goes away. If I always listened to the pain and rested, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now. Even now as I write this, I’m only 8 months post my most recent surgery and I sit here with pain – but I won’t let that pain define me. I have one body for my life, one home, and I can’t let one accident take away my drive and determination.

Though many years later,  I am somehow grateful for what happened. Not because of the pain and excruciating battles I’ve endured through my recovery, but because of the journey it’s taken me on. While shattering the world as I knew it, closing so many doors, it also opened others and has taught me things that have helped me grow stronger and more resilient. I have a new level of appreciation and gratitude and an energy to be the best version of myself – even if that person is a slightly reconstructed person. I’ve maintained my body with a healthy diet and pushed fitness wherever possible through my recovery. Looking after my body as best I can, as after all, it is the only home I’ll ever have.

My Advice

I’ve learned that these battles are here to make us stronger. Our journeys can hurt like hell and make absolutely no sense but giving up would be a waste. Instead, I set goals. I started small like making it to the toilet on my own and moved on to swinging my leg over a motorcycle. I couldn't even sit on my first off road bike for the 5 months, but it sat there as a daily reminder to do rehabilitation. Goals drive me forward and I’d encourage you to make goals too!

Also, I wanted to share about riding motorcycles. This was something I started post-accident but have become my love and passion. If something in your life has been taken away, find a replacement like I did. If you’d ask me 7 years ago whether I would be racing off-road motorcycles I’d have probably choked on my drink! But life takes us on some amazing journeys.

Thanks for reading my story. I hope it encouraged you.

My business card

The Girl On A Bike

Motivational Speaking

Vanessa speaks from the heart, and as such will take your audience on a journey of emotions. They will feel they are with her through the adversity and adventure alike and will come away from the presentation with a renewed vigour and outlook

My typical customer

Brand, club or corporate looking for a unique, engaging and inspirational speaker to help energize the audience with a new perspective. Vanessa is able to hold the audience on her every word and have them leaving with a new energy for making the most of every day. It's empowering and her lessons are relatable for coping with every day life challenges, both big or small.

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What an inspirational story Vanessa. I spent six months on the floor with a herniated disc, therefore, I can empathize a little with you. I love you whole attitude towards pain and impairment. It is such a positive outlook you have to not only continue but thrive and find new passions. Love it!!

Val Smith says:

Wow Vanessa, what an inspirational story. Makes me wanna get on a bike!
You are one strong determined lady. Well done. 👏👏😊

Vanessa says:

Aw thank you. I say do it, get on a bike!! Hehe it’s never too late to learn

What a fabulous story Vanessa! What incredible courage and grace! <3 congrats on your fabulous inpspiring journey!

Peggy Bodde says:

What strength and what an over comer! Wow. Thank you for sharing your story and the encouragement of “finding a replacement.” Keep on conquering!

Kristin Nelson says:

Vanessa! What an amazing, healthy “bionic woman” you have become!!! You are a pillar of strength and I admire your ability to pull the precious out of each circumstance! Your story has inspired me and also is a wonderful reminder of the importance of goal setting!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

What a powerful and motivating story! Your power and spirit inside is far greater than any circumstance outside. Endurance, Grit, Trust, Truth, Heart are a few words that came to mind as I was reading your story! As an athlete myself, and one who likes to push myself, I can appreciate all that you had to endure.
Nothing can stand in the way of a WHOLEHEARTED approach to LIFE. You are all in and will continue to inspire, encourage, and empower others to overcome any and all adversity!
May your heart always continue to shine!

Vanessa says:

Oh wow. Thank you for your kind words

mark goldman says:

Vanessa, thank you for sharing this incredible story of loss, hope, perseverance and triumph with us. I read your story while sitting next to my wife who hit me after I told her I was in love! I ride dirt bikes too not quite at your level but nevertheless I do ride. You are an inspiration to all. Keep twisting that throttle girl!

Mark Goldman

This is such an inspiring story- to push through pain and adversity and determine to make the most of the life we’re given!

Gary Rogers says:

Vanessa, I can see how competitive you are when I asked you to share your story and told you that you’d be the 2nd one from the UK to share- and then turned your story around in the next 30 minutes it seemed! #1 in that race! Seriously, I am thankful that you shared your story and overcame the injuries you endured and took you away from a previous path. Your story is impactful and there are others that will be encouraged through it! We’re cooking a crock pot meal over here and it’s set on the longest setting! Thanks again for sharing and looking forward to sharing your Nominations if you choose to continue with our process.