Leadership Lessons: Amelia Boone

Leadership Lessons: Amelia Boone

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Picture of ultramarathon runner amelia boone training
Amelia Boone is an athlete. Her sport is obstacle racing at which she is currently one of the most decorated competitors of all time. The title ‘obstacle race’ conjures up childhood images of bean bag throws and jumping through hoops; the races Amelia runs however are more like ‘largest pain threshold’ competitions. The World’s Toughest Mudder, for example, which she has won three times, makes the regular ‘Tough Mudder’ literally look like a walk in the park. To win you must complete the most laps of the 5-mile course in a 24hour window. Winners typically rack up 80miles which is over three marathons in distance. Beyond the running though, that distance also includes crawling through ice cold water, over 10ft walls and under barbed wire. Oh, and electric shocks. The average competitor in 2017 managed to complete 40miles which shows how elite and prepared anyone who even thinks about taking this on is. Amelia is this and then some, winning with twice this distance…! She is a machine of unfathomable strength. Her other major wins amount to more than 30 victories and 50 podium finishes. Major victories include the Spartan Race World Championship and the Spartan Race Elite Point Series, as well as being a 3 time finisher of the DEATH race (about as horrendous as it sounds). Evidently she finds some pleasure in the extreme.
Her achievements in obstacle racing inspire great respect. The intensity and consistency of training required to take the mind and body to where she’s taken hers are beyond what most could even imagine. What makes these victories even more remarkable though is that for Amelia her training isn’t a full time pursuit. Despite earning from her sport Amelia has another job… she’s a full time attorney at Apple. All that training and competing is done in her ‘spare time’ when she has a break from that casual side job in law. The me time that always seems to be in short supply, Amelia Boone commits to training for competing in Death races at the weekend. Of this she claims to be fortunate in having “two passions”, though acknowledges she “may not have the greatest social life“.
When asked what she would put on a Billboard, Amelia answered  “No one owes you anything”
So what about her training? The truth of it is, she has a remarkable work ethic. Exercising twice daily, her routine involves running/endurance workouts most mornings (4am-7am) and then CrossFit or strength training 3-4 days a week. Any rest days? She claims to try and take one full rest day a week to give those muscles half a chance at recovery (though this day still involves some light mobility work). Her competitive nature drives her out running in the rain and cold, comforted by the knowledge that her competition is probably opting out. This is an example of rehearsing the worst-case scenario to become more resilient; an approach which can be applied to any goal where you’re looking to achieve over others. Many professionals and athletes preach the virtue of this: pay in practice, don’t presume to rely on adrenaline.
“Define your universe by what is important, then it is possible to do what you want.” – Amelia Boone
Oh yeah, and she finds time to write about it: http://www.ameliabooneracing.com/blog/

Fun Facts:

Her post race treat is wine.

Her pre-race treat is pop-tarts.

She has no toenails and many barbed wire scars on her shoulders.

She can deadlift nearly double her body weight and press her body weight over head.

“For me, it’s realizing that you have to play the long game. You’re not going to be able to have everything all at once. In this instant-gratification culture, it’s important to have an over-arching plan. You can’t do everything all at once. In college, I gave up athletics to focus on my studies. Sometimes you need to focus on one part of your life, get that in order and then move on to the next part.” – Amelia Boone

Lexy is a writer, DJ and marketing professional living in London. She is a gemini and a feminist who loves coffee and leopard print. Instagram.com/lexonthedecks

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