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)

Resources/links we mention:

You can subscribe to The Injured Athletes Club on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or a review in Apple podcasts. That helps other injured athletes find the show.

To access more resources for injured athletes:

DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational & informational use only and & does not constitute medical advice. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have heard in an episode of this podcast. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for proper evaluation & treatment. Guests who speak on this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions, and The Injured Athletes Club podcast hosts nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular treatment option discussed in the episodes of this podcast and are not responsible for any actions or inactions of listeners based on the information presented. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk.