Born and raised in England. Vanessa grew up in the great outdoors, getting muddy with escapism always being through sports. Whether that’s kite surfing, snowboarding or mountain biking, it’s always been about getting physical.
However, life took a turn in 2014 when Vanessa was hit by a red-light-jumping car while cycling. Since that day she’s made it her goal to make the most out of life.
With a 6.5 year recovery seeing 7 surgeries and two reconstructed body parts, it’s been a roller coaster for Vanessa, but through this she discovered motorcycles. Starting with cruising but rapidly ramping up to trials, adv and now even full hard enduro as her body healed. Bikes have swiftly become Vanessa favourite form of adventure; the open road, the power, the ability to simply disappear into the unknown and travel the world.
Vanessa is known for sharing her journey with the world, but not just the happy days you expect on social media. She’s real and honest, showing the rough and the tough days too
Vanessa’s love for two wheels has seen her riding all over the world in recent years, including Bolivia, Ukraine, Sardinia, Iceland and many more.
*** This episode was recorded live at the Armchair Adventure Festival 27th - 30th July 2023. Buy tickets now for #AAF24 - THE UK'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FESTIVAL. Mt Edgcumbe, Cornwall, 25-28th July 2024, Use TG10 to get a 10% discount on tickets. www.armchairadventurefestival.com. ***
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Who is Vanessa?
Vanessa’s early sports memories
Growing up in a very active childhood
Living on a remote island in Bahamas in her early 20s
Working as a marketing and PR for marine biology research
Going out doing shark research
Getting her first motorbike
Getting hit by a car while cycling
7-year recovery from the accident
Being diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders
Having a hard time dealing with mental health recovery
What Vanessa has learned from being in recovery and how it has given her a new perspective in life
Starting to post pictures of herself from before the accident
Wanting to be something real on social media
Quitting her full-time job
Why sharing her story helps her overcome the pain
Talking about Tunisia desert challenge
Getting stranded in dunes
Mindfulness and how it helped her manage her pain
Having the biggest panic attack of her life
Being in 46-degree heat with no shade for the day
The helicopter that saved her life
Advice for women who want to get into the sport
Nutrition and fitness; Fitness vs. Skill
What is the hardest thing to go through
The next big race, the Africa Eco Race
Working with a charity, Tools for Life
Doing free workshops in any school in the UK
Vanessa's words of wisdom
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