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59 | Paralympic Medalist and Swimmer Mallory Weggemann: Now Doesn’t Define You

The Injured Athletes Club

Release Date: 08/12/2021

90 | Carrie Answers a Question: Jennifer’s Journey show art 90 | Carrie Answers a Question: Jennifer’s Journey

The Injured Athletes Club

“How can you navigate injury when living alone? An initial challenge for me was being alone (no spouse, boyfriend) and close friends not in the same city. Realize this is not the case for most.   One of the biggest issues was physical navigation of surroundings on crutches, no one to help, which leaves one feeling very frustrated initially. The other is an enhanced sense of isolation because nobody is there to obtain feedback, throw water on any emotional fire or otherwise provide distraction, fill air time or offer security. Ironically, being alone provides a buffer from unwanted...

89 | Olympic High Jumper Priscilla Loomis: Owning Your Narrative show art 89 | Olympic High Jumper Priscilla Loomis: Owning Your Narrative

The Injured Athletes Club

“Every twist and turn, it was obstacles, right? And so for me, all I did was thrive. I learned from those. I realized, I can either take it two ways. I can let it overpower me and I crumble, or I freaking thrive and I rise. So that's what I did—I took that road.”   When high jumper Priscilla Loomis caught COVID-19 in January 2021, she—and the team doctor—assumed she’d be fine in a few days. But instead, the illness kicked off what she calls “the scariest time of my entire life.”   A week later, she still felt dizzy and weak—and, most concerning to the elite athlete,...

88 | Carrie Answers a Question: Marvin’s Matter show art 88 | Carrie Answers a Question: Marvin’s Matter

The Injured Athletes Club

“Any suggestions on how to deal with family or a spouse telling you that you should quit your sport?” —Marvin   This week, co-host and mental skills coach Carrie Jackson answers a question from listener Marvin, who’s wondering how to handle a loved one who expresses a view that, for many athletes, is very difficult to hear.   Most often, your family and friends really do want what’s best for you. That’s where their concern about whether you should continue in your sport comes from, Carrie says. But hearing the suggestion from those whose opinion means the most, just at...

87 | Weightlifter and Mental Coach Mona de Lacey Pretorius: Don’t Go it Alone show art 87 | Weightlifter and Mental Coach Mona de Lacey Pretorius: Don’t Go it Alone

The Injured Athletes Club

"It was one of those that was like, injury leading to injury, and it was strange for me because in my over 20 years as an elite level athlete, I've never had really bad injuries. I've always been one—even though I used to train really hard—I was resilient. I would get niggles and things like that, but I never dealt with anything this big and had it set me back this much. So it really challenged me. I'd say, not just physically, but really on the mental side as well.”   After the 2018 Commonwealth Games—where she took home a bronze medal and broke multiple South African...

86 | Carrie Answers a Question: Cara’s Query show art 86 | Carrie Answers a Question: Cara’s Query

The Injured Athletes Club

“After being injured for almost 2 years, I finally found a PT that I could work with to deal with my traumatic ankle injury and have made huge improvements, to the point where I have been able to run pain free more often than not.  What I’m struggling with now is keeping up PT exercises. I’m so excited to be running again and quickly am finding that I’m putting all my energy into the sport that I love and am getting very inconsistent with the exercises that will actually keep me able to do it. An additional layer is that I have an autoimmune disease that leaves me with lower...

85 | Runner and Dietitian Starla Garcia: Empowerment in Recovery show art 85 | Runner and Dietitian Starla Garcia: Empowerment in Recovery

The Injured Athletes Club

“I always felt like I was supposed to help people in general, and then I just thought, ‘Well, maybe this is actually what I'm supposed to help people with, is navigating nutrition and navigating feeling like they don't belong.’”   So many athletes who cope with injuries and other setbacks emerge with a powerful drive to give back. For , that desire arose even before she’d reached the other side—when she was still a collegiate runner in the depths of an eating disorder.   Even in her darkest days, Starla knew that when she reached recovery, she would want to help other...

84 | Carrie Answers a Question: Conveying Her Own Challenges show art 84 | Carrie Answers a Question: Conveying Her Own Challenges

The Injured Athletes Club

“It's been really interesting, this journey with the left shoulder, because I think finally, one of the things I've come to realize is that maybe I've been a little too patient with the process, sort of comparing it to the right shoulder. With my right shoulder injury, it was a different injury, and there were different things going on. And I knew it was going to be a minimum of a year of PT and that I really had to commit and dive in and trust that it was going to be a long recovery, but that it would pay off and it would work out and it did. And so I took that same approach with the left...

83 | Acrobat and Circus Artist Shelli Epstein: Expanding Your Identity show art 83 | Acrobat and Circus Artist Shelli Epstein: Expanding Your Identity

The Injured Athletes Club

“I’m walking again, I look like a normal person, I feel very able. But internally, the struggle is, I am not where I used to be. I cannot do the things I love. I cannot run. I cannot jump. So, I still feel the injury is a cloud hanging over me, and I've still got a long way to go. It's an interesting feeling and mental battle that I have with myself on a daily basis.”   It was January 2022, and Shelli Epstein was poised to make a big comeback. After an injury and then the pandemic, she was overjoyed to as Running Woman in Cirque du Soleil’s touring show . Icing on the cake: The...

82 | Carrie Answers a Question: Cindy’s Concerns show art 82 | Carrie Answers a Question: Cindy’s Concerns

The Injured Athletes Club

“What's the best way to remain confident and advocate for yourself when the medical system doesn't seem to be working for you? Recovering from this stress fracture, I've had a number of instances of having to push back. First there was the surgeon I went to for a second opinion who told me I didn't need surgery—but that my body was trying to tell me "something," namely that I'm not a gazelle and I should probably stop running long distances. Then there was the primary care doc who said she couldn't order thyroid tests, instead shaming me for not making an appointment with the specialist...

81 | Runner Pippa Woolven: Recovery from RED-S show art 81 | Runner Pippa Woolven: Recovery from RED-S

The Injured Athletes Club

“I think first of all, it is so easy to dismiss this diagnosis and think there must be something else the matter, because the symptoms are so extreme and it is hard to believe that it can be something as simple and as basic as an energy imbalance. But it really can. And until I was brave enough to get really honest with myself and almost reach a point where I had to admit that there was an energy imbalance there, it was hard to buy into it.’”   British runner Pippa Woolven was 19 and running collegiately when her once-promising athletic career took a turn. She began developing a...

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“I had the two black lines in my life, I had the black line that trailed the pages of my journal, and I had the black line that trails the bottom of a pool. And both gave me that place to be, that place to process, to grieve. I found the ability—with swimming specifically—to bridge my past to my present and lead me toward something in my future and allow me to understand that life was bigger than the moment I was facing. Swimming, in a lot of ways, brought me back to life.”


Though she’d grown up in the water, Mallory Weggemann was nearly ready to leave competition behind for other dreams. But when a medical procedure gone wrong resulted in her paralysis at age 18, she found herself back in the pool. There, she regained her strength and confidence—and excelled swiftly enough to win Paralympic gold four years later in London.


She had every intention of blazing forward with her athletic career and defending her gold in Rio. In 2014, though, she suffered another severe setback. At this second point of impact, she had to decide all over again why she swam, and whether it was worth the fight.


In this week’s episode—and her fantastic new book, Limitless: The Power of Hope and Resilience to Overcome Circumstance—the soon-to-be three-time Paralympian explains exactly why she didn’t give in, and all the teamwork, support, and strength it took to work her way back to the black line that made her feel at home.


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:

  • What the process of writing her book was like (5:56)
  • Why, and how, she kept a journal over the years—and the benefits it brought her (8:48)
  • What she means by “sudden moment of impact” (13:01)
  • Her second injury, in 2014, and why it was even more challenging to recover from emotionally than the one that led to her paralysis (16:28)
  • Why she had to stop comparing her current self to her past self, and how she did it (21:25)
  • How she used visualization both to preserve her mental health during a dark time and prepare when she returned to competition (30:03)
  • The reality of medical flashbacks, and how she copes with them (34:15)
  • “I can do it” vs. “We can do it,” and the balance of community and independence (37:06)
  • How she’s come to see the gifts her experiences have brought her (41:54)
  • The big realization that we can feel two things at once (44:20)
  • Her final words of wisdom for injured athletes and others facing setbacks (51:57)


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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.