How CBD helped one athlete deal with a mysterious condition and a brutal training regimen
Barbie Keck, a former undercover narcotics officer, was in her vehicle, following a suspect one day in Iowa, when she inexplicably got into a motor vehicle accident. What she didn’t know at the time was that a fatty tumor in her brain had interfered with the synapses that controlled the left side of her body. It took two years for her to finally discover her diagnosis.
“For the first few years, nobody could tell me what was going on… I was practically banned from WebMD,” she joked. “It just turned out that the MRI that we were using wasn’t strong enough to see the part of my brain where the tumor was.”
After two long years of no answers, she finally received her diagnosis: a movement disorder called dystonia. Dystonia is a movement disorder in which a person’s muscles contract uncontrollably.
“Eventually, I was put on medication, but I was still having episodes, including traumatic seizures, three to four times a week,” she lamented. Her condition disrupted her whole life, but, most importantly, it disrupted her athletic training.
“I played ice hockey my whole life. I grew up on a lake. My father played and both my brothers played in college,” she remembered. Eventually, she came to run an extreme sports representation agency. This is where she first learned about ice cross. Ice cross is a winter extreme sporting event that involves direct competitive downhill skating on a walled track featuring sharp turns and high vertical drops.
“I had two athletes contact me for representation who are in [ice cross], so we started looking up the videos to research the sport, and I was hooked.” Now, she trains regularly 6-8 hours a day for her ice cross career, competing nationally and internationally, as well as in the Red Bull Ice Cross series.
But her dystonia condition was a major obstacle to overcome. “If I had a full-blown episode, I would feel like I was hit by a Mack truck,” she explained. Her solution would come from an unexpected place.
“I was living in a small town, literally a 10,000-person town, and there was a pharmacist who was a big advocate of CBD. He’s also a bodybuilder, so he picked out a set of supplements for me.” Keck started a regular regimen of CBD, and almost immediately saw results: “I started taking CBD and both my boyfriend and I noticed, within the month, that I was having significantly less episodes.”She soon began looking for a company to partner with, and found Venga CBD.“ Just the fact that it was made for athletes, I was impressed for sure. That’s when I reached out and talked to them. “They sent me samples, and I’ve been taking Venga ever since. I take one [capsule] daily at least, and I’ve had only one episode since I started taking it two months ago.”
That’s one episode in two months, compared to her previous ratio of three or four per week.
“Venga CBD is noticeably different than any other CBD product I had tried. With most others I experimented with, I had difficulty deciding how much and how often was effective for me. But when I was introduced to Venga CBD, they provided a suggested guide for optimal dosing. This really helped me ramp up or down my dosage depending on the training I was putting in that day.”
Venga’s products don’t only help lessen her episodes, they also help her stay in top shape for her brutal training regimen. “When it comes to training, I don’t get sore anymore,” she explained.
This is only more impressive once you learn what her training entails. She does ballet and belly dancing for balance and core. She does yoga twice a day. Even though a standard Ice Cross qualifier race is only about one minute long, she does extensive endurance training. Plus, she’s had considerable body realignment done in the name of ice cross.
“They’ve realigned my entire body, from my ankles all the way up to my shoulders,” she explained. “The realignment process is painful. I had runner’s knee, so they made me wear braces that pull your knees out for almost six months. They then pulled my hip flexor out to the side and began strengthening my back and stretching my front.”
Despite the rigorous training she goes through on a daily basis, Venga CBD helps her stay confident in her body: “I’m not afraid of anything – like getting injured – anymore, or being sore, or holding back because I’m sore.”
Along with her daily capsule, she also utilizes Venga CBD Recovery Balm to target specific areas. “If I tweak a muscle that I don’t normally use, in ballet or whatever, I use the balm. It just turned out to be my go-to for everything. I feel like I tweaked my ankle? Okay, put the balm on. It’s fine the next day.”
This was a discovery that was particularly exciting for Keck, as she has been allergic to NSAIDs (which includes ibuprofen) for her entire life, meaning she has had limited options to deal with soreness and swelling.
If anybody has a need for a pain solution, it’s Keck. “I’ve got some messed up body parts, for sure. I haven’t had the proper amount of cartilage in my knees since I was 19, mainly due to overuse. I also have a bone spur in my right knee,” she began.
“Right now, they’re readjusting my shoulders. They’re crooked because of a motorcycle accident I had. So yeah, you could say I’m fairly messed up.” In the past, to manage her soreness and injuries, Keck was limited to ice compresses. Now, Venga CBD keeps her going. “If I use CBD halfway through the day, I don’t notice any discomfort in the afternoon.”
While Keck was plagued for most of her life by soreness, injury and of course, the episodes caused by her dystonia, CBD has been a miracle.
“The Venga products have given me back my life. I have more time to spend with my kids because I’m not sore or laying in bed. I can do more things with them during training season.”
“My kids will tell you that I’m more active with them now than I have been in the last three years, and that’s not just because of my difficult condition, but also because of having more time, not having to lay with ice or take another salt bath. It’s been a miracle for me. It’s been life-changing, let’s just say that.”