So I’m not trendy. I get it. I run in a helmet. I ride in a helmet. But I wasn’t always a helmet girl. Nope, I rode in ball caps and cowboy hats. But one day in 2014, my son asked why he had to wear one and I didn’t. I didn’t have an answer. About an hour later I was being rushed to the ER from a freak situation that caused a lot of bleeding from my legs and my 10th concussion. I was 35. I was wearing a ball cap. I got clocked. I ended u spending the entire week of thanksgiving in the hospital. While I was sitting in that hospital bed, I invested in my first helmet.
You see, I had the “I got this” attitude. I am confident. I’m a good rider. I have good horses. But truth be told, I actually receive most of my hard knocks to the head on my sane, dead broke horses and one odd situation. We are literally placing ourselves astride a 1000-1400# Animal and putting 100% trust in them. But they are animals and they might react when we are not ready. This causes us to be unseated and well… the ground hurts y’all! I have actually been clocked by my horse with his own head hitting mine. I was young and this horse was going up a steep hill. He ran up the hill and smacked me in the face pretty hard. I don’t remember my runs. I don’t remember the drive back to the barn or driving myself home. I ended up passing out at school the next day. There was an ER visit and an order to stay down for 10 days. Fun times for a junior in high school for Spring Break! Had I been wearing a helmet, would it have made a difference? Yes. The helmet would have protected my forehead.
I have been in more “what the heck was that?” Situations that have left my head scrambled. I was told that 10 concussions is BAD. I’m up to 12 now. The 11th was pretty bad and had I had my straps right and had a helmet that fit properly, I would not have been puking my way through Easter weekend. But I had it on and if I didn’t, I would not have been conscious. So I can tel you my stories. I rather tell you about my triumph!
My first few races wearing my helmet was little awkward! I’m not going to lie! People looked at me sideways. My pictures were not as “cool”. But I was safe. What’s really cool is when I go win the 1D and I am wearing my helmet! People notice now but not in a negative way! They normally ask what brand and if they can try it on. See, they see me and they are curious. I’m all about it! I have actually found a new source of confidence while wearing my helmet! All of my students, child or adult, are required to wear one! My little kids adjust better than my teens and adults. I don’t give them an option. Why? Because it’s a safety thing. But then they see me sporting it too and it becomes a natural thing!
I challenge you to give it a try. Even if it’s at home! Give it a try! There are all sorts of helmets! Colors, shapes, whatever your heart desires! All price ranges too! Please note–they do expire. They do need o be replaced after hitting the ground. I don’t recommend buying used. If they have been through a crash, they can be cracked and won’t be as effective!
If vanity is the issue, get over it. “It’s not my thing”, “cowgirls don’t wear helmets”, I have heard it all. Heck, I have said it! But I’m a believer now! One more good smack and I could loose a lot. Vanity is out the window. I need to be whole to keep running. I need to be whole to raise my son. I now feel naked without it. So why not? What do you have to loose by wearing a helmet?
One last thing… if you see a rider sporting a helmet, support them. Complement them! Be kind! They are doing something to protect their brain!!!
My helmet is a Tipperary helmet as I have a long oval.basically my head is not round. Round heads, go with ovation or troxel. Amazon sells them! Ask me if you need help!