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“Being brave is not separate from being vulnerable. In order to be brave, you have to be vulnerable because you have to do something that’s hard or something that’s tough. Yes, I’m totally stealing this from Brené Brown…Whenever someone sends a negative comment or whenever does anything, I will always remember I was brave. Unless, you, too, can stand up, be vulnerable and say something that’s really scary and really tough, I don’t care about your opinion. I only care about the other people who are stepping up and doing something hard. Sometimes that’s the people who have to say ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I messed up’ or ‘How can I make it better?’ Some people have done that but not everybody has.” – Mary Cain
Mary Cain sits down in front of a live audience at Mile High Run Club (NoMad) in New York City to catch up since the last time she appeared on the show in May. In November, a New York Times op-doc was released where Cain reveals she suffered mental and physical abuse under the leadership of Alberto Salazar. She impressed many on the track with her talent but later broke five bones, misser her period for three years and had suicidal thoughts due to disordered eating that she developed under Salazar’s extreme training methods. It was one of the most impactful stories in the sport for 2019.
I followed up the New York Times piece by reporting and publishing a story for Sports Illustrated where several former Oregon Project members validated Cain’s claims and extended the timeline with stories of mistreatment going back to 2008.
Note: Important: Cain is not alone in telling her story. here are many stories about coaching being verbally and physically abusive, weight shaming and much more. Mary is not alone. If anyone else in the running community wants to talk about their experience, my email is [email protected]. You can also reach me on Twitter @ChrisChavez or Instagram @Chris_J_Chavez as my DMs are open.
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