#SockTalk: Paralympian Tatyana McFadden exemplifies courage

Julie Foudy and 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden talk about how she developed a fierce drive and determination to succeed.


As four-time winner Tatyana McFadden completed the Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing fourth in the women's wheelchair race, the word impressive comes to mind.

Add in the news that McFadden spent over a week in the hospital this past month due to three blood clot surgeries and still competed, and the word "wow" also comes to mind. Yet, this news should not be surprising as this mentality perfectly sums up McFadden.

Indeed, there are many things we could point to that exemplify how impressive she is just 27 years into her life. Start with her upbringing: Born in Russia with spina bifida, placed in an orphanage and learning to walk on her hands as a child because she was paralyzed from the waist down and had no wheelchair. Or that McFadden has won 17 Paralympic medals with Team USA. Or that McFadden has accomplished the grand slam in marathons -- winning Boston, London, Chicago and New York in the same year -- four years in a row.

To most people, leaving the intensive care unit of a hospital just two weeks ago and still saying "yes" to racing in the Boston Marathon would be unthinkable. For McFadden, it is simply a matter of why not? When most people would wonder if they could do, or had the capacity to do, McFadden just does.

But McFadden is not immune from negative thoughts or a lack of confidence at times. It is just more a matter of how she deals with those thoughts. McFadden shared her strategy on undoing doubt when we sat down for my book interview. Here is McFadden's WHY NOT story and strategy excerpted from my book, "Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously YOU":

Choose to Matter: Being Fabulously and Courageously YOU
Choose to Matter: Being Fabulously and Courageously YOU

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