44 – Mara Abbott Moving on from Olympic Heartbreak

Meet Mara Abbott former (barely!) professional cyclist. That means she literally rode her bike for a living. I say that loosely because as you will hear, women cyclists don’t really make a living in the sport, compared to the men. Mara is one of the most accomplished women ever on the bike, winning the Giro and fresh off a bittersweet 4th place finish at the 2016 Olympic Road Race, after a brave breakaway in which she held the lead for much of the race.


She has officially retired (after an earlier retirement stint that we’ll talk about) and is in that uncomfortable place of transition in life, which she is navigating with grace and humility. I know you’re gonna enjoy this one.


Today we talk about:

  • How we identify ourselves by what we do, sometimes to a fault
  • The Rio Olympics
  • Giving everything you have and not being good enough
  • The difference between retiring and quitting
  • Eating disorders & eating weirdness
  • The Excuse Game & the Blame Game
  • Quests for perfection
  • Organic farming: The farm Mara works on in Niwot is selling pigs this weekend!

You may also want to read her New York Times article about her race and watch her TEDx Boulder talk here.

So there you have it. At the ripe old age of 31, Mara has already started and retired from the sport of cycling. I think her story is relatable on so many levels. Not the part about going after Olympic gold, clearly that’s not something everyone will attempt, but the part about trying so hard to control the things around you that you end up hurting yourself. She’s definitely going through this in-between stage with a good amount of grace – as she says – when you give yourself permission to fully devote yourself to something, you can never do that unless it’s something that matters to you completely authentically. Sometimes it’s hard to admit the things that matter to you most authentically, because we judge those things.


Thanks for tuning in. Please leave a review on iTunes so we can keep getting the podcast out there! You know what time it is. It’s time to Run This World! Have a great workout and we’ll see you next week!