“I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.”
– Amelia Boone
After Amelia Boone happened on obstacle racing it quickly took on a life of its own. Today, she juggles both a career as an attorney and obstacle course racer. Even though Amelia wasn’t involved in obstacle racing from a young age, she discovered what it takes to succeed. The proof is in her more than 30 victories and 50 podiums.
In her conversation on the Tough Girl Podcast, Amelia shared her journey to becoming an obstacle race champion and the actions that helped her succeed. No matter what challenge you’re interested in, learning how to deal with the tough things and keep pushing like Amelia will help you get to the next level.
Make the Decision
With her first Tough Mudder under her belt, Amelia immediately asked herself, “What’s next?” She loved the constantly changing aspect of obstacle races and the complete feeling of accomplishment that came after.
Amelia got an email about the first World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour race in New Jersey in December where competitors run as many laps as they can of a 10-mile Tough Mudder course. Right away, Amelia knew this was her next challenge, even though she had no proof it was something she could actually do.
Amelia calls this the most impulsive decision and the best decision she ever made. This outrageous challenge led her to the life she lives and loves now.
When you’re feeling called to a specific challenge, even one that seems crazy, sometimes it’s good to go with your gut. You never know how it will change your life and what it will lead you to do.
Build Your Confidence
In the first World’s Toughest Mudder, 900 participants started and only 13 finished. Amelia was one of them. This is the point Amelia looks back on as when she realized obstacle racing was what she was meant to do. She related, “If I could get through that, there was so much out there I could accomplish.”
Because of accomplishments like this, Amelia brings an extra confidence back into her career. She knows she can get through hard times. While Amelia will at times still underestimate her abilities in her professional life, racing has helped give her extra confidence when she has to dig down deep and work really hard to get something done.
Once you make the crazy decision to pursue a challenge, you give yourself the opportunity to build your confidence in a way that you never have before. Keep this in mind as you go through your daily life and wear your achievement as a badge of honour.
Dealing with a really tough, long challenge can overwhelm the best of us, but there are ways to cope. Amelia realized if she broke a race down obstacle by obstacle, it became so much easier mentally. It’s not about the entire race, it’s about the task at hand in the next few minutes.
Certain obstacles get worse the more you do them, including things like crawling under electric wires. You can psych yourself out because you know how tough it can get. When it gets really hard, Amelia sings to herself. To this day, Amelia has a song for every race that she plays in her mind. It becomes a distraction and a meditation.
As you progress to attempting feats that are more and more difficult, you’ll begin to discover the things that help distract you from the hard parts. Pay attention to what works and try new things to help you endure.
Find a New Normal
Sometimes what’s really difficult is not the challenge itself, but an injury that stops you from taking on a challenge. Amelia fractured her femur and it’s been a long road of recovery. Her best advice is to find a new normal. You simply have to make adjustments.
It was important to Amelia to stay in routine, waking up at her regular time and doing the training and therapy she could do. Although it was hard, she went and sat on the sidelines of every race she was signed up for. Surprisingly, she found going was fulfilling and she gained a new perspective.
“Don’t shut yourself off from the community, you’ll have a new appreciation when you come out the other side,” Amelia advised. Maintaining a positive perspective through injury can be truly difficult. Find a new normal and work up to your goals to get past grief and pain.
Do it With Friends
Ready to try a new challenge? Amelia says the best way to get started is to do it with friends. Don’t put any pressure on your results, have fun, and go from there. Having other people with you can push you to finally try something out that you’ve been interested in.
Even though you may be participating in a race, it’s still a community event. Amelia is all about the community spirit and the challenges that draw people together. Once you get out there, be open to meeting new people and you’ll open up your life to incredible adventures.
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