During her long career as a wheelchair racer, Amanda McGrory has accumulated seven Paralympic medals and more marathon finishes than she can count—including first-place and podium finishes at many of the sport’s prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors.
Her half-decade’s worth of experience has also brought her something less tangible but incredibly useful: an ability to see the bigger, broader picture of her career and life.
She benefited from this perspective last October, when the flare-up of an old injury required her to make a difficult decision that will likely resonate with most athletes. Should she push through the pain to stick to a timeline, potentially worsening her problems and imperiling her next Paralympic Games? Or should she rest and heal, and risk losing time and fitness during a critical preparation period?
Amanda joined us this week to discuss her choice and her experience, telling us:
- How injuries are viewed in wheelchair racing, and the technological developments in equipment and training in the past decade that have reduced their risk (5:37)
- The recurring injury that has plagued her career, and the decision it necessitated (9:50)
- The surprising thing that happened when she competed on 12 days of training after taking a year off (15:38)
- The lesson from that experience she hopes to take forward into her future competitions—and how that echoes what Carrie often hears from other injured athletes (17:57)
- What she was able to do in her time out of her racing chair to continue to build strength and endurance (22:12)
- How that period of time changed her perspective on retirement and life after sport (23:47)
- Why she, and her coach, believe athletes perform better when they have something besides sport in their lives (25:19)
- What mentoring younger athletes has taught *her* (27:20)
- Her new service dog, Calvin, and what role he’s played in her health and well-being during her recovery (24:57)
- Why she’s actually feeling a bit more anxiety now that her injury is fully healed, and how she’s managing that (38:02)
- The downside of training with the best racers in the world when returning from injury, and the key change she made to manage that in her most recent buildup (39:40)
- Why her Twitter and Instagram handle are @alittlechipped (47:24)
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