“I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t think. He was very matter of fact. He said, ‘You have a complete medial meniscus root tear. That means your meniscus tore off the bone. You need surgery — not today, but in the next couple days. Tokyo isn’t an option.’”
Professional Puma-sponsored runner Aisha Praught Leer was living every athlete’s dream this summer. She’d secured her spot on Jamaica’s Olympic team, and was training in St. Moritz with her Team Boss teammates Emma Coburn and Cory McGee. She was feeling fit. Fast. Ready to race the 1500 in Tokyo. But then, just a few days before boarding the plane to Japan, Aisha was warming up before a track workout when she felt a pop in her knee. That pop turned out to be a torn meniscus. (“Like meniscus fully dangling off the bone,” Aisha explains.) In this conversation, Aisha reflects on that day at the track in Chiavenna, and talks about what it’s like when all of your dreams are ripped away from you in an instant. She talks about her decision to race anyway, and talks about what she says was the hardest part of this injury. (It wasn’t the race. It was calling her loved ones.) Plus, Aisha — who is now two weeks post-op — discusses her surgery, her recovery, and her big dreams for what’s next.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- How Aisha made Jamaica’s Olympic team this year (11:40)
- How Aisha’s training was going leading up to the Olympics (19:30)
- The day Aisha heard that “pop” at practice, and the aftermath (22:30)
- The journey to Tokyo, and what Aisha says was the hardest part of the injury (49:00)
- What it was like racing the 1500 on a torn meniscus in Tokyo (1:05:20)
- Aisha’s goals for the future (1:17:45)
- What Aisha’s watching right now (1:19:00)
What we mention on this episode:
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