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Alison Tetrick is a force to be reckoned with.  A cowgirl at heart (literally, she grew up riding horses on a cattle ranch), Alison’s attitude, work ethic in all areas of her life, and commitment to excellence makes her stand out.  She has a very impressive list of accolades in cycling including a Bronze Medal at Road TTT World Champs, multiple Sea Otter wins, has raced the Giro de Rosa and more recently, has made a name for herself in the gravel world with 1 win and 2 podium finishes at Dirty Kanza.  Alison loves to ride her bike and it shows with the ultra-endurance gravel events!  Not only is Alison an incredible athlete (and need I mention she played NCAA tennis and won the first half ironman she entered), but she has quite the academic resume.   She has a BS in Biochemistry, a nutrition degree, and an MS in Clinical Psychology. But things haven’t always been easy for Alison. In 2010, she suffered a traumatic crash in a road race, shattering her pelvis and incurring a severe Traumatic Brain Injury that left her reeling for months and even years.   When her pelvis healed, she returned to racing not realizing the seriousness of her head injury.  And when she suffered a second concussion, things changed. She couldn’t read, she had to question her identity, and she would get lost in airports.  With the help of a neuropsychologist, she got back up on her feet and also had more perspective on her goals.   After feeling like she had accomplished everything she needed to in road racing, Alison transitioned to gravel and on Dirty Kanza on her first try.  If you’re not familiar, Dirty Kanza is a 200-mile self-navigated race on Kansas gravel roads in the Flint Hills.  Since then, she has tackled every long gravel event she could find, including one in Iceland and a bikepacking adventure on the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan.  In this episode, you’ll laugh, you’ll be inspired, and you’ll learn a lot about competitive spirit, athletic maturity, the power of perspective, the danger with external validation, and even some interesting tidbits about both road and gravel racing.  We talked about her crash and how it has changed her priorities and identity and so much more.    

Topics Discussed in the Podcast 

  • Alison’s competitive spirit in school
  • growing up on a cattle ranch
  • where her incredible work ethic came from
  • how women’s road racing has evolved
  • the team dynamic of road racing
  • her big crash breaking her pelvis and getting a Traumatic Brain Injury
  • how the crash changed her and her identity
  • going all in
  • discussion on external validation related to self worth
  • Mantras and perspective
  • Athletic maturity
  • Transition to gravel & the gravel community

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