235: Hilary McCloy on Evolving as an Athlete

“I feel like I missed out on some great friendships, because I was stuck in this place where I, I guess was trying to get control because I knew deep down I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t really want to be on the US ski team anymore but there is no way out unless you’re hurt or old, and I was doing well, and I was young”
Hilary McCloy

Hilary McCloy is a backcountry skier, runner and physical therapist. She is a former Team USA skier, who began skiing at the age of nine. She works as a physical therapist and is deeply passionate about injury prevention for athletes. Hilary and her partner Andrew facilitate both ski and trail running events through Ski The Whites and Run The Whites in New Hampshire.

This conversation covers the following themes:

  • How she began skiing and her first exposure to endurance sports
  • Her younger years competing as a downhill skier
  • Being competitive from a young age, and making the US Ski Team
  • Dealing with Guillain-Barré syndrome and how that impacted her time on the US team
  • Struggling with the fallout of having an ‘invisible’ illness, and how that manifested into an eating disorder
  • Realising she no longer wanted to be on the US Ski Team
  • How a new coach helped her change her thought process and why choosing goals became important
  • Having an identity crisis post college, and her decision to become a Physical Therapist
  • Finding her ‘mojo’ again, and her desire to work with athletes
  • Trail running, her experience with Scott Jurek during his Appalachian Trail FKT, and being inspired by Krissy Moehl
  • Being in nature, and what the Chamonix Valley and UTMB race mean to her
  • Her goals for 2020

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