Mechelle Lewis Freeman had put everything on the line to achieve her Olympic dream. She’d walked away from a successful career in advertising, moved to a full-time training facility, and calculated everything from the hours of sleep she needed to the grams of protein she ingested to the positive mantras running through her head. (The impossible is nothing. I can do all things. No weapon formed against me shall prosper.)


Injury threatened to derail her progress, keeping her away from the track for four months in the leadup to the 2008 Olympic Trials. But because she’d already invested so much in training not only her body but also her mind, Mechelle was able to see the opportunity in the obstacle. She took her training to the pool and returned months later to make the team in dramatic fashion, as she explains in this episode. 


This optimistic, ambitious mindset not only took Mechelle to the Games in Beijing later that summer, it now informs her work as a relays coach for Team U.S.A. and fuels her mission to mentor the next generation of athletes through her non-profit, TrackGirlz.


A huge thank you to Fluid Running H2GO, the only app-based deep-water running system in the world, for sponsoring this season of the Injured Athletes Club. CLICK HERE and use code IAC 30 to take $30 off the full system or the digital bundle.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • How injuries are viewed in sprinting (6:11)
  • Her earliest memories of injury, and how they led her away from sport (9:09)
  • What drew her back to it years later (13:49)
  • How she has been able to use comparison as motivation, rather than a reason to doubt herself (18:19)
  • The steps she took to fully commit to her new goal (20:00)
  • The injury that kept her away from the track for four months during an Olympic year, and how she stayed dedicated and focused while dealing with it (22:22)
  • The big secret she kept from her family about her selection for the team, and why (32:16)
  • What actually happened during the Games that summer—and one of the hardest moments of her entire journey (44:04)
  • How she moved on from that experience and translated her gifts into the next phase of her career (55:44)
  • The ideas she has for instilling resilience in young athletes—and for further integrating and diversifying the running community (1:01:23)


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