Country: United States of America
Profession: Retired Athlete – 800m
- 2017 World Relay Championships 4×800m relay gold medallist
- 2015 World Relay Championships 4×800m relay gold medallist
- 2014 World Indoor Championships 800m gold medallist
- 2014 World Relay Championships 4×800m relay gold medallist
- 1500m and mile pacer – During her pacing debut in 2015 she helped Genzebe Dibaba to a 1500m World Record
Chanelle has been elite runner since 2008. She took the decision to retire after the 2021 season, which she says was her best season in her career (she ran a new PB).
You recently retired after having been a professional athlete for over 10 years, looking back, what is a treasured memory from these years?
Oh man, I have so many treasured memories! I think when I won the 2014 Indoor World Championships will always be my favorite memory. I was a high-school phenom, but I really struggled during my college career because I put way too much pressure on myself. I almost stopped running after college because I was so drained, but my faith helped me to keep fighting. When I won the 2014 Indoor World Championships, it was such an emotional moment for me because it was finally the breakthrough I needed. I had struggled for so many years and it was just like, “Thank God I didn’t give up because now I’m a World Champion!”
Injuries and comebacks can be daunting. What advice would you give to athletes that might be going through the same challenges?
I would say feel what you feel! Like you said, injuries and comebacks are daunting. It’s okay to feel upset, overwhelmed, disappointed, angry, and defeated. Don’t mask those emotions. Let them out. But once you do that, it’s time to come up with a plan. Figure out how you’re going to do to overcome this injury. With the help of your inner circle (your coach, your physical therapist, your sports psychologist, your nutritionist, your family, etc.) devise a game plan. And then take things one day at a time. Try not to think about tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. All we have is today, so focus on doing your best today. Also, understand that every day is not going to go as planned. Coming back from injuries is very, very tough. There will be good days, and there will be bad days. The journey is not going to be a straight line. It’s a roller coaster ride, so be prepared. Hold tight to your “WHY”. If your “WHY” is strong enough, you can overcome anything!
What are you looking forward to most in ‘normal’ life?
Eating whatever I want! Just kidding, LOL. I’m going to be mindful of what I put into my body, but I’m definitely going to splurge a lot more than I did when I was competing! I’m also looking forward to being able to spend more time with my friends, family, and fiancé. The life of a professional runner requires us to miss out on many momentous occasions like holidays, weddings, baby showers, birthdays and vacations. I’m really looking forward to being able to spend those moments with the people I love.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
Hmmmm… that’s a tough question! I would say a lioness. I’m very stoic, and I’m aggressive when I need to be, like when I step out there on the track! I’m also extremely protective over my loved ones, like a lioness is with her cubs. And of course, I’m fast :).
What would you like to achieve with the Running with Chanelle series?
Being active is something I take very seriously. We all–young or old–need to do at least 30 minutes of some type of exercise per day. Running is something EVERYONE can do. That’s what I love about running. The Running With Chanelle Series was simply to motivate people to get out the door and start running! You don’t have to go fast. You don’t have to go long. Just start somewhere. I used each part of the series to walk people through important aspects of running- warming up, cooling down, nutrition, etc. Hopefully the series motivated my following to get out the door and run!
Can you tell us more about your partnership with St. Luke’s Hospital?
St. Luke’s University Health Network encourages the community I’m from to live a healthy lifestyle. I partnered with them because I love this mission. Mental, physical and emotional well-being are crucial to me. I use my social-media influence to encourage my following to prioritize these aspects of their lives. I also gave my following a behind-the-scenes look of what it took for me to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Trials and encouraged them to go after their dreams as well.
If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first things you would buy?
A house! I’m getting married in September 2022, so I’m really looking forward to buying my first home with my fiancé!