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29 | Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols: Embracing New Identities

The Injured Athletes Club

Release Date: 06/25/2020

115 | Former NCAA Basketball Player Britt Hunter: Pour Into Others show art 115 | Former NCAA Basketball Player Britt Hunter: Pour Into Others

The Injured Athletes Club

“You need to equip your young adult for how to get through it on their own. So shepherd them. Get them the tools and resources. Let them mess it up a little bit. It's natural to protect, protect, protect, and direct, direct, direct—but your child needs to explore this time on their own a little bit with the right resources and the right people around them. They're going to go through this again and again and again at different stages of their life and going through an injury at a young age, they're going to have to grow up a little bit faster. So help them, but don't control them.”...

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114 | Coach Carrie Answers a Question: Jennifer’s Junction show art 114 | Coach Carrie Answers a Question: Jennifer’s Junction

The Injured Athletes Club

“ How do I walk the fine line between being independent and self-reliant in recovery—a positive—and opting to go it alone, which can be a negative? Separately, I’d love to know more about managing an injury in the context of a chronic condition. For example, I have epilepsy but seizure meds are not great for bone density. Flip side, reducing meds is good for bones but bad for the brain. Doctors can offer guidance but making the decisions is ours alone.”   In the seventh season of The Injured Athletes Club podcast, mental skills coach Carrie Jackson answers a question every...

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113 | Ultrarunner Amelia Boone: The Best Days Are Ahead show art 113 | Ultrarunner Amelia Boone: The Best Days Are Ahead

The Injured Athletes Club

“I would tell [Amelia of four years ago] that you may not believe it, but it's gonna get better, and recovery is possible, and honestly, your best running days are to come. And that's something that I've had to tell myself now too. I actually still do believe that, especially as we're seeing women in their 40s just blossoming in distance running.”   In this episode of the Injured Athletes Club, Coach Carrie and Cindy are grateful to catch up with our first guest ever—and first repeat guest—elite ultrarunner, championship obstacle course racer, and eating disorder advocate Amelia...

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112 | Coach Carrie Answers a Question: Amy’s Inquiries show art 112 | Coach Carrie Answers a Question: Amy’s Inquiries

The Injured Athletes Club

“ I have a question about the mental roadblocks when you are coming back from an injury. How can you handle the sensations you feel when you return to movement and the worry whether you made it worse; the patience to progress back slowly; and the fear that you won’t ever feel 100 percent again?”   In the seventh season of The Injured Athletes Club podcast, mental skills coach Carrie Jackson answers a question every other week about the mental side of overcoming injuries.    This week, in response to Amy’s uncertainty about her recovery, Coach Carrie outlines various...

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111 | Ballet Dancer John Lam: Open to Growth show art 111 | Ballet Dancer John Lam: Open to Growth

The Injured Athletes Club

“Dancing on a high level is—you have to be open. You have to be open that you can get injured. You have to be open that you will have to face things that you don't want to face. Because if we are not open and instead are close-minded, we cannot grow.”   In this week’s episode of The Injured Athletes Club, principal dancer at the Boston Ballet, John Lam, discusses his journey from a catastrophic injury back to the stage.    He details the physical and mental struggles he encountered during his recovery, emphasizing the importance of patience, personal growth, having a...

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110 | Coach Carrie Answers a Question: Kathleen’s Quandary show art 110 | Coach Carrie Answers a Question: Kathleen’s Quandary

The Injured Athletes Club

“ For the athlete who doesn't have a "staff": coach, trainer, PT. How do you get emotional support and guidance on a regular basis from doctors and PT you may see one or two times a week?” In the seventh season of The Injured Athletes Club podcast, mental skills coach Carrie Jackson answers a question every other week about the mental side of overcoming injuries.  This week, she discusses all the different types of support injured athletes need—and which types you can reasonably expect to get from your healthcare providers. She explains how to manage expectations in the healthcare...

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109 | NFL Quarterback Alex Smith: Small Steps, Huge Dreams show art 109 | NFL Quarterback Alex Smith: Small Steps, Huge Dreams

The Injured Athletes Club

“ A lot of times you're stronger than you think you are. You just keep going. You don't necessarily have to see all the way to the finish line. You just keep finding that next step.”   In the seventh season of The Injured Athletes Club podcast, we—mental skills coach Carrie Jackson and journalist Cindy Kuzma—continue to delve into athletes' resilience in overcoming injuries.    We kick off with a can’t-miss interview with pro quarterback Alex Smith, who shares his journey of returning to football after a severe leg injury and life-threatening infection—and then, a...

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108 | Carrie Answers a Question: Contemplating the Crossroads show art 108 | Carrie Answers a Question: Contemplating the Crossroads

The Injured Athletes Club

“How do I keep trying in the face of chronic health issues? Sometimes giving up feels like the more sensible choice.” —Sarah   “That’s my question too. How do I accept that structural issues are real and we need to accept and move on? There's a lot of discussion here about 'going back to' what we did before, but for some of us (all of us at some point) that is just not possible. I'd rather be able to walk for life without an assistive device than run for a year and then need a walker or cane for the rest of my days. Can you explain how to put the 3 A's (accept, adapt, act) in...

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107 | Elite Marathoner Maegan Krifchin: Trust in Yourself show art 107 | Elite Marathoner Maegan Krifchin: Trust in Yourself

The Injured Athletes Club

“At this point, it’s knowing the warning signs and when you can keep pressing on the gas and when you're kind of like, ah, I gotta, I gotta step on the brakes a little bit … If you've been unlucky and had an injury, you kind of know what it felt, what it feels like, whatever led up to it. You can think, ‘Ooh, this is similar. So maybe I just want to take a day or two off and go in the pool or do some kind of cross training just so I don't repeat history.”   Pro marathoner (and full-time occupational therapist) Maegan Krifchin had a pretty incredible fall last year. After what...

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106 | Carrie Answers a Question: Julie’s Adjustment show art 106 | Carrie Answers a Question: Julie’s Adjustment

The Injured Athletes Club

"I just turned 56 years old and have been making great strides in the mental side of my tennis game and competing. However, last May in a doubles match, I tore a piece of articular cartilage in my left knee. As my orthopedic surgeon has explained to me, that cartilage will never grow back as it was. She has given me suggestions for things that I can do to try to create fibrocartilage, including cross training with cycling and taking Osteo Bi-Flex. Those things, I think, have helped me maintain my ability to play. However, I’m more susceptible now than ever to my knee swelling up or the pain...

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Basketball, ski racing, sprint kayaking, surfing—Alana Nichols’ athletic career has brought her to the highest levels of a wide range of sports. Still, she tells us on this week’s show, as a Paralympian she often struggled to get the same care for her injuries as her able-bodied peers.

But fight she did, and her advocacy has carried over into her newer roles as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation and mother of baby Gunnar, who turns one year old in July (and whose dad is previous guest Roy Tuscany). For Alana, it all began when she came to terms with reality and set small goals. Eventually, they took her farther than she would have imagined, within sports and beyond them.

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 Paralympic sports and the added obstacles adaptive athletes face (5:42)
  • How that connects to a bigger movement for access and equality (9:03)
  • The way her initial spinal cord injury influenced the way she coped with subsequent injuries (10:15)
  • How sports helped her through the process of adjusting to disability (13:38)
  • Becoming a new mom, and how that required her to readjust to her identity all over again (16:26)
  • Her last major injury, which led to her retirement from ski racing (19:18)
  • Vicarious trauma and how that factored into her life and decision to retire (28:47)
  • How lessons learned from injuries are helping her navigate the pandemic
  • Her work with the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the way it’s transformed her even as she’s aiming to transform the world (36:44)
  • The challenges women’s sports face in the wake of the pandemic and how they’re hoping to address them (42:15)

You can subscribe to The Injured Athletes Club on Spotify, 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.

 

Resources/links we mention:

 

To access more resources for injured athletes:

  • Join The Injured Athletes Club mailing list, for weekly news and updates
  • Join The Injured Athletes Club Facebook group, for support and camaraderie
  • 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.