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Shannon shares how her experiences with dance, injury recovery, elite competition, advocating, and parenting have defined who she is and contributed to her trail-blazing career.


“My successes tend to come after moments that felt like my biggest failures.” – Shannon Rowbury

It’s easy to view great athletes through just the lens of their training and results. But in this episode, you’ll be reminded there’s so much more to a balanced life.

Shannon authentically shares her thoughts on dance, recovery, competing, advocating, and parenting. Her intentional approach to every life endeavor is refreshing and inspiring.


(3:10) Life now, growing up with Grandma and Irish dance…

(8:15) How did the performance aspect of dance translate into successes in running?

(11:10) “The more that you can be present, and react to what’s coming around you and utilize those strengths and skills that you’ve sharpened through training, that’s when you have the highest likelihood of success.”

(14:22) The family bonding experience of dance and sports…

(17:16) A transition to running and the impact of a coach…

(20:25) “The role of a coach is to lay the fundamentals… if you want to be good, if you want to be great, it’s not going to happen at the end of high school. And probably not even at the end of college, it’s going to happen through year after year of hard work… And it’s teaching those lessons of how to show up and be a good teammate and ultimately reach that mountaintop over years of consistent effort.”

(23:22) An injury and a career turning point…

(24:51) “After feeling my feelings, which I did for a little bit, I really focused on understanding the root of the problem and making a thoughtful and patient plan to be back to my best fitness in a year from where I was rather than, “I have to be ready by the fall,” or, “I have to be ready by indoors…” Let’s just go through this recovery process in the way that it needs to be done.”

(29:04) Getting “permission” to be patient…

(31:31) The secret to getting the best out of yourself when the stakes are the highest…

(35:28) “I describe it like the pendulum. You can’t swing this way if you don’t swing that way. And, so really trying to find that balance in life so that you can be ready and willing and in the right space, mentally, physically, and heart, when it matters most.”

(36:00) Imagining More…

(40:25) On deciding to be a Mom… “I wanted to make sure she knew that she was my first priority, and I’m trying to make sure that she doesn’t ever resent running because it took me away from her. I try to include her in what I’m doing as much as possible. And it brings me such joy that she gets to interact with world champions and Olympians and incredible, incredible people.”

(44:15) “If you create a structure for success, our women will come back and do amazing things, but we really need to make it a more supportive, inclusive system.”

(45:42) What does Go Be More mean? “I’m really proud to have been someone that didn’t let the norms around me set my expectations for myself and that instead it was really, how can I go be more? How can I be the best version of myself? And as much as possible, trying to define what that is, rather than what has been. And so to me Go Be More is being a trailblazer.”

If you liked this episode, check out our interviews with Olympians Kara Goucher and Amy Acuff.

Recorded April 30, 2021.


Imagining More Foundation – website

Parity – website

3-Time Olympian Shannon Rowbury Turning 2020 Into Miracle Season –


Shannon Rowbury – website | Instagram | Twitter



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