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37 | Former WNBA Player and Ph.D. Candidate ShaRae Mansfield: Coping with Chronic Pain

The Injured Athletes Club

Release Date: 03/11/2021

60 | Carrie Answers a Question: Adrian’s Anger show art 60 | Carrie Answers a Question: Adrian’s Anger

The Injured Athletes Club

"Of all the emotions I have felt after injury, the one I'm having the most trouble dealing with is anger. I'm mad at myself, my coach, and at the medical professionals who I feel have failed me. I know some of this is justified. But I also feel trapped by it. What can I do to move forward?” This week, co-host Carrie Jackson answers a question from Adrian O., taking out her emotional metal detector to help injured athletes see what lies beneath their anger—and how to handle what they uncover.

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

The Injured Athletes Club

Though she’d grown up in the water, Mallory Weggeman 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 excelled swiftly enough to win Paralympic gold four years later. She had every intention of extending her athletic career, but in 2014 she had another serious injury. At this second point of impact, she had to decide all over again if swimming was worth the fight.

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58 | Carrie Answers a Question: Aisling’s Obstacle show art 58 | Carrie Answers a Question: Aisling’s Obstacle

The Injured Athletes Club

Aisling C. asks: "Could you discuss how injury shows up the fault-lines in your relationships? Injuries change the dynamics, and certainly my back-to-back injuries have made me feel less in control, less independent, and probably facing the relationship issues I was literally running away from." Carrie offers insight on the dynamics that affect those around the injured athlete, too.

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57 | Carrie and Cindy Build Your Team show art 57 | Carrie and Cindy Build Your Team

The Injured Athletes Club

When you’re an injured athlete, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. There are a lot of legitimate reasons for this, and factors that make it challenging to reach out and ask for the support you need. In this episode, co-host and mental skills coach Carrie Jackson talks us through exactly why support matters so much. And, she gives you specific tactics for determining which support you need and when you need it, and how to assemble a willing crew around you to offer it.

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56 | Carrie Answers a Question: Ric’s Request show art 56 | Carrie Answers a Question: Ric’s Request

The Injured Athletes Club

This week, Carrie responds to a request from listener Ric J. He asks: "How do I come to terms with or accept that I can no longer do exactly what I had hoped to do? I never let that dream go. After four years, I should but I can't."

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55 | Runner and Mountaineer Manal Rostom: Accept, Adapt, Act show art 55 | Runner and Mountaineer Manal Rostom: Accept, Adapt, Act

The Injured Athletes Club

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. This week, she shares the story of the injury that sidelined her for six months, and what she learned about adapting, motivation, and self-love along the way.

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54 | Carrie Answers a Question: Sarah’s Sadness show art 54 | Carrie Answers a Question: Sarah’s Sadness

The Injured Athletes Club

"There are days when I feel utterly hopeless and cry a lot. How do I keep it together? My doctor prescribed therapy and counseling, but there are no available spaces in my area. Besides yoga and meditation, what can I do to stay or return to positive?" This week, co-host and mental skills coach Carrie Jackson suggests some ways for listener Sarah B. to accept the emotions she has and to process them in a way that allows her to move forward.

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53 | Skyrunner Hillary Allen: Courage and Curiosity show art 53 | Skyrunner Hillary Allen: Courage and Curiosity

The Injured Athletes Club

Hillary Allen’s amazing story is actually the very first one we highlight in our book Rebound. In 2017, she fell off a ridge during Norway’s Tromsø Skyrace, tumbling 150 feet to what could have been her death. Her injuries included two broken ribs and wrists, a fracture in her back, and a ruptured ligament in her foot. Her compelling new book Out and Back tells the tale of her accident and recovery. On this week’s show, we delve into some of the emotional components of that incredible journey.

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52 | Carrie Answers a Question: Carla’s Challenge show art 52 | Carrie Answers a Question: Carla’s Challenge

The Injured Athletes Club

How can I handle the pressure of not being able to train with the fear of losing fitness as a competitive athlete? This week, co-host and mental skills coach Carrie Jackson answers a question from listener Carla F. She suggests Carla reset her goals and remember that her fitness will come back in time, once she allows herself the time and space to heal.

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51 | Paralympic Javelin Thrower Justin Phongsavanh: Building a Dream show art 51 | Paralympic Javelin Thrower Justin Phongsavanh: Building a Dream

The Injured Athletes Club

This Saturday, Justin Phongsavanh will have six throws of the javelin to earn his way to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, when he competes at the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials for Track & Field in Minnesota. In this week’s episode, he shares with us the incredible journey that brought him to this point—and how the power of sport has carried him through some of life’s toughest moments.

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“It was like being a part of a book and finally figuring out the cause of all the pain, the cause of the injuries. Everything started coming together. Just thinking back, I had to ask myself, how in the world did I continue to play?”

 

ShaRae Mansfield was a superstar on the court during her four years at Western Kentucky University. In 2001, she was a third-round draft pick for the WNBA’s Houston Comets.

 

All this success came despite the fact that ShaRae was in near-constant pain. By the time she graduated, she’d had six surgeries on her ACL. She loved the game, but her injuries eventually cut her career short, a development that sent her into what she calls a “basketball depression.”

 

Unsure of what to do next, she went back to finish her degree, then sought help from a psychologist. Little by little, she began to grasp the ways in which losing her athletic identity impacted her, and to work through it. Then—a decade later—a surprising medical diagnosis helped her comprehend all that had happened in her body.

 

Out of all this pain and challenge came a fierce determination to help others in similar situations. She’s now an advocate for people with chronic conditions (and leader of the Beautiful Warriors support group). And, as a Ph.D. candidate in psychology, ShaRae is studying the difficult transition period out of sports—aiming to smooth the path forward for the next generation of retiring athletes.

 

A huge thank you to our sponsors for this episode: Fluid Running and 2Toms. Fluid Running makes it possible to maintain your peak physical fitness even when you're injured through the power of deep water running. And 2Toms provides advanced sweat proof, waterproof blister and chafing protection products that keep you moving. Listen for special discount codes in the episode!

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How injuries are viewed in basketball—and the struggle not to see them as weaknesses (6:40)
  • Her earliest experiences with injury and pain, and some of the red flags that popped up as early as elementary school (11:19)
  • The biggest regret she has about her collegiate career (13:53)
  • The huge high of being drafted into the WNBA, and why it was tempered by a feeling of uncertainty (19:15)
  • The “soul-crushing” news that came after that (21:51)
  • The challenges she faced when her career was truly over (30:48)
  • The big revelation, a decade later, that finally explained her extensive injury history (36:58)
  • What it felt like when she finally was able to move without pain (43:56)
  • What she’s studying now, and how she hopes to help other athletes (54:34)

 

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:

  • ShaRae’s Beautiful Warriors support group for people with chronic conditions
  • More of her story on the Arthritis Foundation website



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.