Welcome Cam Zink to the Just Live Team
An old French proverb states that “The tiredness of the body is the health of the soul.” If that’s true, then our newest Just Live team member’s soul has got to be among the healthiest in the world. At 34-years old, professional mountain biker Cam Zink has gone through 13 surgeries, including four ACL reconstructions and six other knee surgeries, to name just a few.
His career is a laundry list of accolades and significant firsts: Red Bull Rampage winner, Crankworx Joyride winner, freeride pioneer, 100+ foot world record backflips, and 360's off the biggest drops over the biggest gaps -- that’s just scraping the surface. But beyond the insane things he does on a mountain bike, Zink’s story can resonate with anyone: He’s just a guy who loves to ride his bike.
Cam’s reputation for going huge and constantly pushing the envelope in mountain biking have been hard-earned. His first five years as a professional were marred with alternating knee injuries. “I turned pro, essentially, when I was 17. Next winter, I had my first knee surgery and then the next year for five years in a row, I would tear one knee, have to run the whole year in pain, because I'm on the grind, I'm trying to get -- put on and rise up and make a career out of this. And as soon as I get the first contract, then I'm injured and then I have to stick through it and then next winter, same thing, or the other knee. Back and forth, five years of hustling all summer in pain,” he recounts.
Despite that bumpy beginning, Cam is widely regarded as a “true legend” in the sport of mountain biking. Fellow riders and fans alike marvel at the fact that he’s one of the toughest riders on the freeriding scene, never afraid to go all out while pushing the boundaries of his body, his bike, and the sport itself.
"The hardest thing about my job is that you just have to get gnarlier and gnarlier, and then you have all these injuries to overcome."
For Zink, overcoming injuries has been made more difficult due to the fact that he shies away from using traditional painkillers. “I've always refrained from using any sort of standard medicine and even Ibuprofen, let alone painkillers,” he says, adding that, “I'm just trying to push through the pain.”
And while he’s been dealing with injuries since long before CBD has been an option for pain relief and overall wellness, Cam now says, “It's taken something like CBD and a long time of just neglecting [my injuries] for me to see that there's a better way,” adding, “If I were to have CBD back then [at the beginning of my career], I think it would have been life-changing. The longevity of my career is going to be completely perpetuated by natural medicine like CBD.”
Nowadays, Cam acknowledges that “the only thing that's really going to hold me back is my body,” saying, “I'm extremely fortunate to actually feel this good. My knees feel better than I did when I was 18.”
Keeping inflammation down represents a shift from Cam reacting to injuries to taking proactive measures to prevent them. “CBD is the perfect remedy, way to mitigate injuries,” he says, speaking of the research that suggests CBD’s ability to reduce chronic inflammation and acute inflammation by affecting activity in the body's endocannabinoid receptors.
While he shuns a conventional daily routine in favor of being “able to fly by the seat of my pants and do what I need to do,” he always drinks 32 ounces of water as soon as he wakes up, and then he stretches. Adding CBD to that routine “fits into that well,” because, as “you're just continuously working on [cutting down on inflammation]. And as it becomes part of your routine, you just live healthier and feel better.”
Like most Just Live athletes, Zink acknowledges that sleep is one of the most important elements to his success. “One of the hardest things about riding a bike for a living is traveling, having to get up the next morning and go to practice or go to a contest or the night before you know you're supposed to film something gnarly, is not getting a good night's sleep. Because that anxiety. So to have a natural sleep supplement is so important for just your everyday and how much healthier you're going to be the next day by not getting hurt,” he says.
While traditional sleep aids can leave you feeling cloudy or groggy the next day, Cam says, “CBD isn't mind altering. So it's not going to mess with your focus. And if you get a better night's sleep, then you're going to have all hands on deck with everything firing.”
That says a lot from a father of two young kids, and his favorite Just Live CBD product reflects that. “The one [Just Live product] that I'm the most fond of is definitely the gummies because it's like, my kids eat Sour Patch Kids and I just eat the gummies all day. It cuts down on inflammation. It gives me some Vitamin C, perfect. And they taste amazing. I'm super excited to be involved with Just Live.”
We’re super excited to welcome legendary mountain biker Cam Zink to the Just Live Team.