Jessica Stratton Shares Difficult Journey To Make Difference

"It took an injury that bad, and multiple of them, for it to sink in for me [that] what I was doing was wrong." - Jess Stratton, University of Delaware sophomore

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Jessica Stratton began the first cross country and indoor track and field season of her collegiate career at the University of Delaware.

Over time, things started to change.

In April of 2020, Stratton suffered two stress fractures right after the other and experienced more injuries. She began to suffer low iron and was having a negative relationship with food. 

The 2019 Old Saybrook (CT) High School graduate realized her races were fluctuating between very solid performances to races that didn't meet her expectations. She thought at first it was her body's way of adjusting to the intense workouts.

Now, looking back, she believes that wasn't the case for her. 

There were signs that something wasn't right. Stratton didn't realize it until later on. 

It took a decision to get help and to have conversations with her doctors and her coach -- along with those she trusted -- to get out of that difficult period. She started changing her relationship with food, journaling and listening to podcasts to help her change her approach.

Stratton knew if she didn't change, her track journey would look completely different.

Interview Questions for Stratton:

[01:27] -- Why did you want to share your story and what gave you the courage to speak up?

[3:23]-- When the stress fractures came were there any signs leading up to them that something wasn't right? What signs were they personally for you?

[5:43] -- Did you think that change in your body from different training styles (from high school to college) was your body's way of adjusting to the different things going on in your life?

[6:40] -- Are you officially recovered from your stress fractures? 

[7:25] -- What are some of the changes internally that you had to make for yourself? What was that shift from the Jess a year ago to now?

[11:46] -- Was not having a menstrual cycle for a long extended period of time alarming to you?

[13:54] -- Have you always been that vocal about what's been going on in your life? If not, what gave you the courage to speak up to those that you trust about what you've been struggling with?

[16:28] -- What was the conversation like between your 32-year-old male coach with your collegiate coach about these types of conversations?

[19:25] -- What would you say to a female student-athlete who's going through a similar journey? What would you want to pour into them so they could find the light to make positive changes?

[22:13] -- Where do you see yourself by the end of this year when it comes to your health goals?

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