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  • badhombrebigdo

    Great article and a truly heart wrenching ordeal to hear about and all that much more to live through I’m quite certain. One thing that the concussion didn’t take from Mr. Frederick is a really great skill for writing. I mean that. Lent a lot of perspective with this piece. And it’s so timely considering what happened to Toms Skujins the other day during the Tour Of California….

    • Ben Frederick

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

      • badhombrebigdo

        Not a problem. Thank YOU. And please, do keep writing and fighting.

  • Nathan

    Very well written and insightful.

  • Kiwicyclist

    Poignant writing and, along with the other recent articles, timely as I have a 15 year old daughter recovering from a mild concussion at present.

    • Simone Giuliani

      Wishing her all the best for a very speedy recovery.

      • Kiwicyclist

        Thanks Simone. Her’s was quite a bit milder than either of you but none the less a concern as its the second time in 6 months and not ideal for a young and growing brain.
        Best wishes to you and Ben for your respective recoveries too.

        • Ben Frederick

          The thing doctors have stressed most to me is, “It isn’t as much the total number, as it is the space between the injuries”. Brain tissue takes ~6x longer than soft tissue, in the years to recover. It is crucial to not re-injure the brain in the early stages. 8 months in, I hit my head on a gabled ceiling and it set me back over a month. That was only a dink on the head!

  • Mate

    Listened to your story back around christmas on Crosshairs Radio. Good to hear now that, although slowly, things are improving.

    • Ben Frederick

      Thanks so much

  • Simon Van Rysewyk

    Thanks so much for sharing, Ben. I am the Communications Manager at Brain Injury Australia. http://www.braininjuryaustralia.org.au/ Are you interested in sharing your important story on BIA’s website? Let me know.

    • Ben Frederick

      I am interested. Shoot me an email at frederbj (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Patrick Murphy

    Thanks for sharing, wish you all the best. I recently crashed racing (well brought down but same deal), I was on the floor (conscious) for about a minute before getting back on the bike. I then carried on but decided to leave it for another day. It wasn’t until driving home that I noticed that the back of my helmet was smashed. I think I got lucky but it’s a serious subject and perhaps riders need to be protected from themselves sometimes.

    • Ben Frederick

      Agreed! We are tough to our own detriment sometimes. Im glad you took your hit seriously. A second impact could have terrible consequences.

  • Yossarian

    Thank you for making the effort to write down your thoughts Ben. Well written and well done. I know exactly how you feel. I had a brain tumour removed last year and the recovery, as you say, is anything between a week and forever. It’s been 10 months and I still can’t ride on the road, my neuro pathways don’t provide the stability I need to get back on the road just yet. I have a stationary trainer, I connect it to Zwift, it enables me to ride all over the world and I’ve embraced it, I’ve grown to love it.
    Those people who became your friends, they’re precious, you need them and they appreciate you. By writing about your journey you cultivate your network, keep doing it, people are inspired by your journey, your struggles to overcome, your maturity in dealing with your injury. You’ve entered into a new phase of your life, you appear to have embraced it, which is a sign, as well, of maturity. You have a great story. As maori people say “Kia kaha” brother.

    • Ben Frederick

      Thank you for those kind words and encouragement. A hard part is changing a mindset from Acceptance (which has a settling or negative connotation) to Adaption. It makes you less of a victim to what happened, gives you more control to move forward on your terms. You are doing a great job with it. Instead of being down about not riding outside, you’ve adapted and “embraced” (great word) a new fun community! You are such an inspiration. Keep up the good work, Cheers.

  • Amy Van Valkenburg

    Thanks for sharing. My 11yo daughter suffered a concussion in a soccer game 3/18. It’s been so hard. Concussions are misunderstood by people, including schools and medical professionals. I appreciate your post to help people understand concussions can be so much more than a headache for a couple of weeks. The anxiety component is especially real and especially misunderstood. While I feel let down by the doctors around us, I know she will get through this from support of a few key people.

    • Ben Frederick

      Empathy and understanding are next to impossible to those who haven’t experienced this. Even those who have, have different experiences with it. I had a friend who suffered a concussion and was knocked out for minutes. She was able to recover and start riding (and racing) again within a month! I tried to use her as my measuring tape, and quickly found that every injury is different. My recovery is personal to me and trying to make it someone else’s leads to lots of heartache.

      I hope you are able to use the resources and support networks that are starting to become more and more prevalent in brain injury recovery. Take the time. Give it its due diligence. It WILL get better.

  • Mike LeBlanc

    Thanks for writing this and sharing your story Ben… Reading it sounded very similar to my “snowflake” in so many ways… Almost 11 months now since my brain injury and I am able to ride again a bit but it really feels like 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. And with every step back I struggle to not get too discouraged. Like you said, it will get better with time and patience. Peace

  • Ryan McKinney

    Wow Ben. I had no idea that this had happened to you. I am terribly sorry. Terribly. Thank you for writing about your experiences. Your efforts to share this info will not be wasted. There are only two types of cyclists…those who have had a concussion and those who soon will as a result of this fantastic and dangerous hobby of ours. I have students who do their end of your science project on concussions and will refer them to this page. It will help them bridge the gap between what they learn in a textbook or on a website, and the reality of how concussions impact a persons life. I am so sorry that you are in this situation. I really am. I can’t even imagine how terrible you must feel. My family and I will send our energy your way in thoughts and prayers. I hope you are well soon. -Ryan McKinney


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