“It’s not like I hurt myself because I wanted to hurt myself. It came from passion, it came from an athletic drive, it came from inspiration and dreams. I just wasn’t an irresponsible athlete; I don’t want to call myself that. I might have been an over-optimistic and over-passionate athlete, as opposed to calling yourself bad names. Once I made the decision to stop calling myself bad names, that’s when the true sense of self-love and self-kindness came through. And that’s why I say, in those six months, I’ve learned more about self-kindness and self-love than the rest of my 41 years on Earth.”
Manal Rostom has been running since the age of 13. She rededicated herself to the sport in her 30s, and subsequently ran 13 marathons, becoming the first Egyptian woman to run five of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors. And, she climbed new heights; she’s also the first Egyptian woman to summit two of the world’s highest mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus.
Along the way, she built a career in sports and fitness, through partnerships with brands like Nike as well as through personal training. So when she found out, in December of 2020, that she’d have to take six months off to heal her Achilles tendons, she found herself fearful and devastated in more ways than one—physically, emotionally, and financially.
As she searched for a way to process her injury and recovery, Manal—who’s also the founder of her own Facebook group, Surviving Hijab—sought out community in The Injured Athletes Club. We’re so glad she did! And in this episode, which was recorded exactly six months to the day after she began her time off, she shares all the lessons she’s learned in that time about showing up for yourself and your community, reconnecting to your purpose, and trusting where your rebound will lead you.
A huge thank you to our sponsor for this episode: Fluid Running. Fluid Running makes it possible to maintain your peak physical fitness even when you’re injured through the power of deep water running. Listen for a special discount code in the episode!
In this episode, we discuss:
- How she’d say injuries are viewed among runners—and her unique perspective on that as an Arab woman in sport (7:17)
- Why she thinks, when it comes to injuries, “your biggest enemy is your ego” (11:31)
- How she felt when she learned she needed six months off (13:31)
- How her injury first developed and progressed (19:54)
- What she’s gotten out of the Injured Athletes Club community and the book Rebound (21:06)
- Why self-care is such a critical component of recovery for her (25:00)
- The specific struggles of having an injury as a fitness content creator (30:01)
- How she “remembered her why” (38:19)
- How she’s moving forward from here (42:35)
- The importance of listening to your body (49:04)
- Her final words of advice to injured athletes, about community, values, and joy (51:27)
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- Manal’s Instagram, including the amazing videos of her wakesurfing (one while eating a protein bar!)
- Surviving Hijab on Instagram and Facebook
To access more resources for injured athletes:
- Join The Injured Athletes Club mailing list, for news and updates
- Join The Injured Athletes Club Facebook group, for support and camaraderie
- Like The Injured Athletes Club Podcast Facebook page, for the latest episodes
- Email us at [email protected] with questions, guest suggestions, or other feedback
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.