Amelia Boone has become a legend in the obstacle racing world. Winning almost every race she enters, but managing to juggle her training with a full-time job as an attorney.
But this episode is not really about her successes, although we cover that, and how she got into obstacle racing in the first place. The focus of this episode is about her two stress fractures (femoral and sacral) within a one year period, and how gutting it was to try to come back after the second injury, knowing that she was the only one to blame.
We talk about how her priorities have changed since the injuries, how she has learned to say “no” to things, and what she has changed about her lifestyle since, keeping at least one rest day in every week.
We spend a lot of time talking about the mental side of returning from an injury, and how our paranoia can be crippling as you fear injury and fear that you will never get back to where you were.
Amelia talks about how to become a better version of yourself, and why being real and authentic is the way to go for every runner. Regardless of what level you run at, everyone has their own bench mark of what is good enough, and we all need to learn how to let go of those expectations.
Finally, if you are scared of trying obstacle racing, Amelia might have some convincing advice that may change your mind.
This is for you if you are suffering with an injury (or returning from an injury) and struggling to handle the fear and frustration of wanting to get back to where you were.
Three time winner of the World’s Toughest Mudder. Considered the Queen of Pain, and general bad ass! Oh, and she is a professional athlete while working full-time as an attorney!
What You Will Learn About
- How Amelia ended up the first page of Tim Ferriss’ new book, Tools for Titans.
- How Amelia fits in training, being an attorney (for apple), and recovery.
- Why if you think you don’t respond well to rest days, it is actually not the case. You are supposed to feel bad the day after your rest day.
- Why she was afraid to tell people that she had a sacral stress fracture because of the stigma associated with it.
- Amelia’s advice for dealing with the heartbreak injury brings and how to overcome fear on the road to recovery.
- Why Amelia recommends going to the races that you are missing through injury, rather than burying your head in the sand and pretending they don’t exist.
- Advice for how to handle a tough spot in a race when you think you are never going to be able to finish.
Listen to the Running for Real Podcast
Desk jobs are tough. I always thought it would be a perfect complement to high mileage and super hard competitions… look, I am sitting all day at work, I am resting, relaxing and recovering! But then I realized, I probably do the worst possible combination ever, which is train really hard, then stay static the rest of the day.
I remember getting on the [obstacle racing] course and absolutely loving it, and also realizing how bad I was at things… like monkey bars. You think, “oh, I did monkey bars all the time as a kid,” and you try to do them as an adult and you think, “oh my god, why is this so hard?”
All of a sudden, I found a purpose to work out, a purpose to train, to get better at these things I was awful at. For me, obstacle racing was kind of a challenge and a new goal, and it gave me new focus.
Through obstacle racing, I fell in love with running.
The stress from having an additional career outside of running, outside of competing, has to factor into recovery as well.
I have been feeling much better having one complete day of rest.
That second injury just gutted me, because there is no one to blame but yourself. I sat there thinking, “I blew my chance.”
It’s been a lesson in trying to make peace with my body and learning to trust it. Really, the only way to do that is through practice.
I can only really do what’s in the moment and just try to talk to my body, talk it through things.
Anyone who is going through a long-term injury, I promise you, it gets easier. You will have ups and downs, but once you get to that stage of acceptance, it is a really valuable process.
To try to return to a previous version of yourself is ludicrous, so I tell myself to give myself permission to morph into a new kind of athlete.
The more vulnerable I am, the more confident I become.
I have always had this ability to just endure and just to keep going. When I was little, and we were playing four soccer games in a day, I was the only kid in the fourth soccer game that was thinking, “woo, lets keep doing this,” and so being very well-rounded and being strong, and having endurance, but not necessarily being the best at anything, suits itself really well to obstacle racing.
“The fear of returning to running can paralyze us. @ameliaBoone on #running4real is inspiring!”
- Tools for Titans by Tim Ferriss (Amelia is on the first page)
- World’s Toughest Mudder
- Amelia’s blog post – I Fear My Own Return
- Matt Davis of Obstacle Racing Media
- Rise of the Sufferfests
- Beet Elite
- Amelia Twitter
- Amelia Instagram
- Marathon and Half Marathon Training Plans
Thanks for listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.
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Thank you to Amelia. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.