Many members of our ElliptiGO family are no strangers to pain. Whether from a particular incident or simply from overuse, aches and injuries can be both physically and mentally anguishing. What if you had the power to help others overcome them? Our December 2021 Rider of the Month is not only an accomplished rider and active member of our community; she is also a physical therapist who ensures her patients can get past pain and get back to moving their bodies. This month, we’re honoring Anna Thatcher!
Recovery from chronic injuries and surgeries is what first brought Anna to seek out ElliptiGO bikes in 2012. She recounted, “I randomly saw an ElliptiGO ad while searching online when recovering from my second hip surgery. Not knowing how much ElliptiGO would change my life, it wasn’t until I found out I needed a third surgery a year later that I bought an ElliptiGO bike.”
Those chronic hip injuries came from a very active lifestyle. Anna was a competitive gymnast into college and then began running up to half marathons after graduating. Even though she had to step away from these sports, Anna says that her ElliptiGO bike provides her with the same opportunities to challenge herself and get in epic workouts that push her fitness to the next level.
Anna told us, “For me, training for and completing cycling events is definitely just as rewarding and satisfying as other athletic events even though they usually are not really ‘races’. In some ways, cycling events are even better as I find I can enjoy the scenery even more than when running in a race!”
Anna owns both a stand-up bike and an elliptical bike, riding up to 7 days a week depending on her goal events, work schedule, and if there’s a Global ElliptiGO Riders Club challenge in progress!
Anna says that her bikes have unlocked a whole new view of her own athletic abilities.
“I guess the ElliptiGO converted me into more of an ‘endurance person’,” Anna said. “Not having an athletic event to train for was one of the major reasons I was so resistant to give up running. But after getting an ElliptiGO, I realized a whole new set of athletic challenges! I started training right away for a century ride and just squeezed into the Century Club at #99.”
She continued, “The next year I made my goal of riding up Palomar in the World Championships. Then Keri got me interested in training for the Tour of the California Alps (aka “the Death Ride”), so yes those three events definitely challenged my fitness and pushed me farther than I ever thought I could GO! Even though it was not an organized event, I don’t think anything can match the anticipation and then the accomplished feeling of riding to the top of Stelvio Pass in Italy!”
It’s worth noting that Anna has competed in the Elliptical Cycling World Championships every year since 2014 – what a streak!
Anna has gone above and beyond on her rides – and now she’s taken her love of ElliptiGO to the next level. She’s just become an Enthusiast serving the Phoenix, Arizona area. She feels so confident sharing the unique value of ElliptiGO bikes as a medical professional who works with athletes.
“As a physical therapist, I definitely know the importance of low impact exercise like the ElliptiGO to minimize further damage from running on cartilage injuries like what I had in my hips. But even having the medical knowledge, it was not easy to stop running and it took me until my third hip surgery to make the decision to stop and get an ElliptiGO instead. I had no idea how great of a workout or all the experiences the ElliptiGO was going to provide, or I would have started riding ALOT earlier!”
With all of these accomplishments under her belt, we had to ask Anna: what’s next?
She told us, “I’d love to ride a century again this year, definitely ride up Palomar in the world championships again, and hopefully just continue to be able to travel to rides in new areas. As soon as my work allows, I’d love to get back on another Europe ElliptiGO tour with Pete and Lynn Van Nuys!”
Anna has a big cheering squad as she goes after these goals. She is an active part of our ElliptiGO community of riders, and she says it makes a huge impact on her experience.
“The ElliptiGO community has encouraged me to explore new athletic challenges and experiences that I never dreamed were possible,” Anna said. “When I bought my ElliptiGO, I knew I was getting a fun piece of workout equipment, I had no idea the awesome community that came with it! To say the ElliptiGO bike and community is life-changing is an understatement!”
Anna, we are so proud of you! Thank you for bringing your expertise and your enthusiasm to all that you do on and off the bike. We’re so excited to watch you keep pushing the limits and enjoying every mile.
If you’re located in the Phoenix area and are ready to give our bikes a GO, Anna is your gal! Be sure to head over to her Enthusiast page to schedule a test ride.
Contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!