Amelia Boone is a full-time corporate attorney, obstacle racer, and ultrarunner. Dubbed “the queen of pain,” she is a 4x world champion and one of the most decorated obstacle racers in history. Amelia has been profiled and featured in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Outside Magazine, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health, and Women’s Running. Over her career, she’s amassed more than 50 podiums and 30 victories in obstacle racing.
We were honored when Amelia agreed to participate in a Joovv AMA. So without further ado, here are her answers to your questions…
Although you're known as the "queen of pain", your skin looks great! Do you have a favorite skincare product? Or a daily routine that you can share?
Why thank you – it must be my regular mud baths (in the form of races)! To be honest, I do very little with my skin; most days I only use water to wash it. I’ve found that the more I leave it alone, the better it is. I think the key is that I am makeup free 99% of the time. If I’m doing a TV broadcast and have to put on makeup, my skin will react awful for the next few weeks. The one product I do use is called CaroCoco by Natural Culina (for moisturizing). I pretty much slather it all over my body, and it's great for the scrapes and cuts I get from racing.
What is one fitness activity that you hate doing the most, but yields the best results?
I’ll give you a specific exercise – Bulgarian split squats. I’ve gone away from traditional squatting, but I keep Bulgarian split squats in the routine because they are extremely functional for a runner – having single leg strength in that position is key. I absolutely hate them though. In general, I’m not a strength training fan. I hate being cooped up in a gym and would rather be out on the trails, but I know it’s necessary to stay healthy as an athlete.
What is one bad habit you’re trying to get rid of?
Just one? I’m working on my public speaking – it’s surprising to most people that an attorney isn’t that great at it (I’m a transactional attorney!). I have a nasty habit of ending sentences with “so…” and just trailing off – I’m working really hard on that. Otherwise, I have a really annoying habit of blowing air through my lower teeth that makes a whistling noise. I don’t notice it, but it annoys the crap out of the people around me.
You’ve had the opportunity to use the Joovv Max for a few months now. What intrigues you most about light therapy?
I was introduced to light therapy when I went through back-to-back stress fractures last year as a potential means of speeding up the healing process. There’s some emerging research in that area about its potential to speed bone healing and decrease bone edema. But, I had to go to a medical professional’s office to get that treatment. With Joovv, I feel like I can harness some of those healing benefits on a daily basis to help keep my muscles/tendons/bones healthy. I know there’s still a lot more research to be done in that area, but since starting with Joovv, I’ve been recovering well from my daily running and training.
Not many people have the ability to juggle the demands of a dual career and be successful at both. Can you give us 2-3 tips that contribute to your success on a daily basis?
- Train early: it’s easy to let workouts slip or have to shorten or forgo them if you wait until the end of the workday. If you set aside time beforehand, excuses go out the window.
- Move: I always thought since I had a desk job, I had plenty of “recovery” time from my morning training. Actually, the WORST thing you can do is go from running hard to then sitting hard for the next 10 hours. So, I take regular, mini walk breaks, do a flight or two of stairs, etc., throughout the day. If there’s a call that can be taken while I’m walking, I do that.
- Cut out the commute: if possible, this is key. I try to live as close to my office as possible. Considering where I live, that can be expensive. But the extra money is worth it to me for the extra time, because that extra time can now be spent training. People regularly spend 1.5-2 hours in the car commuting in California; that’s your training time!
You have won an incredible amount of races in your career. I realize it's a tough question, but is there a win that stands out to you the most?
I have to say winning World’s Toughest Mudder in 2012, coming in second overall, and only 9 minutes behind the 1st place male. I didn’t realize the gravity or importance of that at the time, but I’ve now come to appreciate what an accomplishment that was. But it wasn’t just the placement – it was how deep I had to dig mentally to get through those 24 hours in sub-freezing temperatures. It was really the first race that showed me what I’m capable of in terms of dealing with suffering and discomfort. Everything since then has seemed easy by comparison.
After an intense race, what are 2-3 things you do to help your body recover?
- Low-level movement: This may sound counterintuitive, but you actually want to keep moving after a hard race. I’m not talking about going to the gym or going for another workout, but slow walking, stretching, mobility, etc. The worst thing you can do after a hard race is to lay down and take a nap – you will feel like death when you get up. Walk around, stay mobile, etc.
- Legs up against a wall: so simple, yet so effective to help blood flow and decrease swelling. I actually do this on a daily basis, but use the Joovv as my wall (multitasking!). It’s also a great opener of the posterior chain, which tends to be really immobile for runners.
- Epsom salt baths: I’m a sucker for hot baths. The science behind Epsom salt in aiding recovery is debatable, but I choose to believe!
What’s your favorite quote? The one that you always go back to when you need some inspiration.
“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins” ~ Neale Donald Walsch. This was particularly poignant to me when I was sidelined for a year with two back-to-back injuries. It reminds me to always be grateful for what I CAN do, and that we really do suffer more in our imagination than in reality (which is another great quote!)
Thanks again to Amelia Boone for being a part of the Joovv AMA family! Also, don't forget to check out her website when you get a chance. Amelia’s articles are a fantastic blend of authenticity and inspiration!