We were fortunate to catch up with professional mountain biker and SOMA sponsored athlete, Liz Sampey between activities.

Liz taught us how she relates mountain biking to life, the benefits of using tropical cream, the future of cannabis in Colorado, and the role of the cannabis community. We wanted to share our experience with this unique athlete, enjoy and please leave a comment for Liz.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t relate something I am dealing with personally to what I go through in an endurance race.” – Liz Sampey

Interview Table of Contents

Liz Sampey

Career: Professional Endurance Mountain Biker

Location: Crested Butte, Colorado CA

Mantra: “No feeling is permanent—neither pain nor pleasure; they will all come and go. So, when you’re feeling good you take advantage of it and you go hard.”

Background: Biking is the backdrop in most every facet of Liz’s life, the canvas on which she paints a complex self-portrait. She relates many of her day-to-day life experiences to the sport she loves.

Liz Sampey, excited for the start of the race.

Liz Sampey, excited for the start of the duathlon

During our interview with Liz Sampey, we learned about how she relates Colorado mountain biking to life, the use of cannabis topical creams as an alternative to traditional medicine, and the role she feels the cannabis community should embrace.

Let’s review the lessons we learned from this well rounded athlete, who supports the cannabis movement.

In Life and Mountain Biking, No Feeling is Permanent

“It’s really just a microcosm of life in general,” Liz Sampey says of professional mountain biking. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned from endurance racing is that no feeling is permanent—neither pain nor pleasure; they will all come and go.

So, when you’re feeling good you take advantage of it and you go hard.

When you’re feeling crappy, which you will from time to time, you just focus on keeping the pedals turning as efficiently as possible and conserving energy, but still moving forward no matter how slowly. Same goes for life.”

Sampey is not immune to personal challenges. Prior to her racing career Sampey describes herself as having “completely lost who I was and what I loved in life.” Salvation for Sampey emerged in her decision to compete on a professional level. “It was bike racing alone that saved me,” says Sampey on her website. Her experiences have also reaffirmed her faith in the resiliency of the human spirit.

“It is possible to walk through the fire and come out brighter than ever before. I’ve done it. Twice. Having this personal experience has not only changed the way I live but the way I teach.”

Liz Sampey Racing Photo Gallery

Personal Benefits Of Using Topical Cream

Liz giving her physical therapy advice at the Ladies AllRide Camp in Keystone, CO

Liz giving her physical therapy advice at the Ladies AllRide Camp in Keystone, CO

Liz Sampey earned her doctorate in physical therapy before beginning her racing career and her education is an important aspect of recovering from the inevitable injuries that are part of being a professional athlete.

After a serious racing accident in 2013 left her with a bruised pelvis and badly torn shoulder, Liz Sampey first became exposed to the use of cannabis in the form of a topical cream for treatment. By her own admission, Sampey had some doubts in the beginning.

“It honestly blew me away how well it worked. I would rub maybe a nickel sized amount into my shoulder, and could literally feel the pain dissipating over about ten minutes. I really think I might have gone crazy had I not had the cannabis balm during that time.
Based on her own experience using a topical cannabis cream, Liz Sampey began to recommend the balm to her own clientele as a physical therapist.

“It was effective enough that I could focus on my work, ride my bike for coaching events, and most importantly, sleep.” – Liz Sampey

Dixie Topicals Relief Balm“After having this experience, I never hesitated to recommend topical cannabis to any of my clients who are dealing with pain from an injury or surgery or even arthritis. I have a number of older clients who are using it successfully for arthritis pain and it is helping them to maintain an active lifestyle. In my mind it is a great alternative to traditional pain meds.

Many of my clients have found it can simply be a substitute, and others have found it greatly reduces the amount of pain meds they have to take to be effective. I also recommend clients take cannabis lotion to their massage therapist for an added pain relief in massage. I am a huge fan of it.”

Colorado is Leading the Cannabis Movement

Sampey taking in the beauty of Colorado.

Liz taking in the beauty of Colorado.

As enthusiastic as she is about the use of topical cannabis lotions, Liz Sampey understands the controversial nature of the subject. Nevertheless, Sampey takes an optimistic approach when discussing the future of legalized cannabis in Colorado and other states.

“Everything has difficulty when it’s new. I remember when many ski resorts didn’t allow snowboarding. A lot of people were really against it—especially when some of those resorts started to allow it. It took quite a while for the opinions of the general resort skiing public to accept it. Now, people don’t look twice at a snowboarder on the slopes. I see a similar thing happening with cannabis,” said Sampey.

She continued, “Its legality is new so we’re hearing a lot of polar opposite opinions: people either love it or they hate it. I think over time seeing a person with cannabis will be like seeing a snowboarder. No big deal. I think Colorado is leading the movement. I would expect cannabis legalization to spread like wildfire over the next few years, especially if example states like Colorado can show tangible benefits of it.”

It should come as no surprise that Liz Sampey’s academic background and teaching experience contributes to her thoughts on changing perceptions about those who consume cannabis or use it in other forms such as topical creams. Once again, Sampey is quick to refer to her own experiences with Crested Butte mountain biking to offer an example of how forcing change in the viewpoint of a person can be a difficult task.

The Cannabis Community has a Role It Must Embrace

Liz embracing a rider during a race in Guatemala.

Liz embracing a rider during a race in Guatemala.

“The public perception of people who use cannabis will change over time the more it becomes mainstream. I do think it’s important that the perception changes, but I also think it’s something that can’t be forced.”

Sampey is quick to note the responsibility borne by cannabis consumers in removing stereotypes.

“I think the cannabis community needs to do the same. I personally always take the opportunity to share the benefits of cannabis as I have personally experienced them, and people who trust me have been open to trying it, and as they see the benefits they tell others. The more people are open to talking about it in a positive light to their inner circle, the more the perceptions of cannabis users will change over time.”

“The best way to show that what we are doing deserves to be accepted is to gently, but firmly continue to prove it.”

Educating others on how to consume cannabis (Marijuana) safely is only one part of changing public opinion. Sampey believes that it is just as important to promote alternative methods of use.

“I really can’t say enough about how topical cannabis has been a benefit to me in dealing with injury and post-surgery pain. It surprises me how many of my clients, both in physical therapy and in coaching, have never heard of it. Most people don’t know that there are other ways to use cannabis besides smoking and edibles. I am in support of forwarding responsible cannabis use in general, but I really do think it is important that the word gets out about the topical creams so more people can use them as a resource. Even people who would never think of ingesting cannabis are usually open to using it topically for pain and are getting great results. I would be doing my clients a disservice not to educate them about it.”

Whether she is biking or teaching or just enjoying the act of living, clearly Liz Sampey has found a sense of fulfillment on her own terms.

Interested in Trying Topical Creams?

Stop by our cannabis lounge to learn more about the benefits of topical creams in your life. Our Marijuana Dispensary in Crested Butte specializes in alternate treatments for pain relief, nausea, muscle spasm, and we also grow our own cannabis for wholesale / bulk purchases.

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