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49 | Pro Runner Vanessa Fraser: Celebrating Every Step

The Injured Athletes Club

Release Date: 06/03/2021

78 | Carrie Answers a Question: A Collective Confidence Boost show art 78 | Carrie Answers a Question: A Collective Confidence Boost

The Injured Athletes Club

“I’m continuing to struggle months after my stress fracture is ‘healed’ with new pain areas and fearing it is a recurrence of the original injury. How do I mentally get over that hurdle?” —Liisa   “I’m currently in transition from return to function towards return to play and every little flare gives me the jitters, if you happen to have any input on navigating. 🙏” —Sarah   “I think fear of reinjury is big too. Like, I don’t even know if I want to try getting back to running and surfing—or if that’s just fear—so help on thinking through those tough...

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77 | Quarterback Vad Lee: Purpose Over Position show art 77 | Quarterback Vad Lee: Purpose Over Position

The Injured Athletes Club

“That experience helped me to realize to cherish every relationship, to cherish your responsibilities, to cherish your opportunity when you have it, because it's not guaranteed tomorrow. You can be the hardest-working player, you can do things right,  you can be a great person and all of those things—that does not guarantee that you will finish the way that you wrote your story or the way that you want it, desire it to finish.”   fell in love with football at a young age. He thought he knew how his life would pan out—winning the national championship, getting drafted into...

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76 | Carrie Answers a Question: Gavin’s Glitch show art 76 | Carrie Answers a Question: Gavin’s Glitch

The Injured Athletes Club

“While I am not a professional athlete, I am a chef who has gone from 1 hour intense daily workouts and working 10 to 14 hours a day to doing nothing. Exactly one month ago today I fully tore my pectoral major off my humerus while bench pressing. I am itching to finally have my surgery completed this upcoming Monday.    I'm hoping you can provide me with some insight and guidance. Everyday I find myself in a battle with my monster and athlete. I know what I have to do to control my monster, but it is really exhausting having continuous arguments between the two. It feels like...

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75 | Another Mother Runner’s Dimity McDowell: Adventures Ahead show art 75 | Another Mother Runner’s Dimity McDowell: Adventures Ahead

The Injured Athletes Club

“The greater lesson of this is that I've helped open the door—a lot of people have opened the door—to talk about what running on the other side looks like, or not running, what the other side of that looks like. You can still have a creative, active, badass life without pounding on your body, if that doesn't work for you anymore.”   has been a runner for years. She’s also the author of many books about running; a sports and fitness writer who’s written for running publications; and the co-founder of the positive, thriving community   But the last time she ran a step was...

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74 | Carrie Answers a Question: Calen’s Chronic Injury show art 74 | Carrie Answers a Question: Calen’s Chronic Injury

The Injured Athletes Club

“I had arthroscopic surgery for FAI/labral tear six years ago, and it's been a long, slow road of recovery. I think my rehab program didn't focus enough on building back strength and mobility before I progressed back to running, so I've dealt with a lot of lower body injuries from overcompensation and bad movement patterns since then. I've been focusing more on mobility and strength in the last year and feeling better, but this week my hip has suddenly felt worse than it has in years. I've been trying to focus on what I can do for it right now and listening to my body, but it's been a really...

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73 | Carrie and Cindy Turn Your Fs into As show art 73 | Carrie and Cindy Turn Your Fs into As

The Injured Athletes Club

“When you think about it, how often is your mind completely absorbed in the task in front of you? How often do you catch your mind wandering off task? Our brains, you know, they like to wander off. Mindfulness helps us bring it back, rein it in, back into this moment.”   When you’re injured, it’s easy to get hooked by negative emotions—perceived failures in your past, frustrations about the present, and fears of an uncertain future.    You can’t rid ourselves of these feelings entirely; they’re a part of being human. But if they’re constantly hijacking your...

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72 | Carrie Answers a Question: Erin’s Exasperation show art 72 | Carrie Answers a Question: Erin’s Exasperation

The Injured Athletes Club

“What do you say to people after you get injured and their comment is ‘maybe your body is telling you something?’ This phrase irritates the heck out of me. Of course I’m always looking for something to be learned from an injury but how do they know what MY body is telling ME? I’m reading REBOUND right now (so good) and there are so many athletes with repeated injuries who push through to come back stronger, which is exactly what I want to do. But I wonder how many people told those athletes “maybe your body is trying to tell you something?’ What do you say to that annoying...

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71 | Wheelchair Racer Susannah Scaroni: A Newfound Gratitude show art 71 | Wheelchair Racer Susannah Scaroni: A Newfound Gratitude

The Injured Athletes Club

“I remember not knowing whether I was going to be able to race that day. I felt so emotional, I was crying. I had tears on my face and I was just thinking about just how weird the circumstances were, and just feeling how it was taken from Daniela, but it wasn't from me.”   Susannah Scaroni had one career high in summer of 2021—she won her first two Paralympic medals, a gold and a silver, at the Tokyo Games. This past May 29, she had another, when she set the world record in the 5,000 meters for the T54 category.   In between came one of her greatest challenges. In September,...

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70 | Carrie Answers a Question: Jamie’s Jumpstart show art 70 | Carrie Answers a Question: Jamie’s Jumpstart

The Injured Athletes Club

“I find it difficult to keep up with daily PT after all these years of rehab and feel like I let myself and my PT down in recent months. This is not the state I want to stop and I want to keep getting better, but the vision of that seems hard to see some days. For the injured athletes that are on long-term recovery tracks, how do you stay motivated and engaged with PT and training when the recovery process is much slower than you want to, or are trying to return to sport but your body is still not fully ready?”   This week, co-host and mental skills coach Carrie Jackson answers a...

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69 | Carrie and Cindy Talk the Talk show art 69 | Carrie and Cindy Talk the Talk

The Injured Athletes Club

“It's so important to pay attention to how you are talking to yourself, because your words influence everything. So you really need to understand your self-talk and start to dive into it a little bit and know, OK, is the way I'm talking to myself right now—is that helping me or is that actually hurting me?”   Imagine you’re walking past two sets of coaches and athletes on the tennis court, track, or soccer pitch. One coach is yelling at an athlete for her poor performance, telling her it’s all her fault and she’ll never improve. The other is offering encouraging words, letting...

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“I just wish I could go back and tell myself a year ago how great I'm feeling a year later ... to have that kind of foresight that it's going to get a lot better. I'm going to look back on this one day and think, wow, I won't even be able to believe that I was there at one point. I'm going to be feeling so much better, so much healthier, and so much stronger.”

 

Heading into 2020, elite runner Vanessa Fraser of the Bowerman Track Club had her sights set on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. She’s fast enough at the 5,000 meters—her personal best outdoors is 15:07.58—that she’s long been considered a contender for making the Tokyo team.

 

But as the big date neared, some minor pain she’d been feeling in her Achilles tendons since 2017 was worsening. Time off didn’t heal them; neither did any of the other remedies she tried, from oral anti-inflammatories to shockwave therapy to a medication patch system called iontophoresis.

 

Just when the pain became nearly unbearable, the pandemic changed everything. Vanessa took the opportunity to have bilateral surgery to repair Haglund’s deformities, bony bumps on her heels that were damaging her Achilles tendons. A year to the day after she left the surgical center in two walking boots, she toed the line again at her comeback race, Sound Running’s Track Meet, on May 15.

 

In this week’s episode, she walks us through everything that came between—from revising expectations to overcoming yet another setback to maintaining her fitness through deep water running—and why she’s even more excited about her big dreams for the future. 

 

A huge thank you to our sponsors for this episode: Fluid Running and ProStretch. Fluid Running makes it possible to maintain your peak physical fitness even when you're injured through the power of deep water running. And ProStretch offers uniquely designed products to stretch and massage muscles easier and more effectively than conventional methods. Listen for special discount codes in the episode!

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How injuries are viewed in pro running (8:11)
  • Her early start in Girls on the Run (11:03)
  • The earliest signs of her Haglund’s deformities, and how they progressed to the point that surgery was the best option (12:27)
  • How she decided exactly which procedure to have, and found a surgeon she felt confident in (22:16)
  • The way she navigated changing timelines, and why she’s actually glad she didn’t fully absorb how long her comeback would take (28:51)
  • How deep water running—and specifically, the Fluid Running system—aided in her recovery (34:04)
  • How her teammates and coaches—including Shalane Flanagan, who had a few notable injuries and recoveries as a pro runner herself—supported her (37:36)
  • What it felt like to come back to running after her first real break, and how she developed another injury during that time—but had the tools to cope (43:19)
  • Her advice to other injured athletes (53:13)

 

You can subscribe to The Injured Athletes Club on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, 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:

 

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.