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The Injured Athletes Club

May 23, 2019

In the past few weeks, Carrie has done several interviews related to fear and anxiety, including this one for the New York Times running newsletter by injured runner Jen Miller.

There’s good reason to expand on this topic. Of all the emotions you’ll encounter in your injury journey, fear and anxiety are among the most powerful. Often, they can tell you something important: that even if your body’s healed, your mind may not be ready for you to return to training and competition.

This week, Carrie offers a tool to help get your physical and emotional recovery back in sync. It’s called the anxiety pyramid, and it provides a simple but effective way to visualize going step by step to gain confidence during your comeback.

On this episode, we discuss:

  • The situations that are most likely to provoke fear and anxiety in injured athletes
  • The important reason we have those feelings in the first place
  • When anxiety is facilitative—and when it begins to hold you back
  • Why denial and avoidance sometimes work to relieve anxiety, but often have limited long-term usefulness
  • Why thinking about the things that scare you most, and ranking them, can help you begin to tackle them: “you’re no longer spending energy pretending they don’t exist”
  • How exactly to build your own anxiety pyramid, and what to do with it to boost your confidence
  • Some ways to modify the pyramid for overuse injuries
  • What role simulation training can play in easing your anxiety and progressing your recovery
  • What happens when you reach the top of the pyramid—and how ongoing mental conditioning can help you deal with new triggers
  • How you can use the anxiety pyramid outside recovery and even outside your sport


We hope you’ll take a listen—you can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and if you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or a review in iTunes or Apple podcasts. And reach out anytime at 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.