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105 – Emma Coburn Just Blew My Mind

Emma Coburn is delightful. Yes I said delightful. I never call anything delightful. I don’t think of myself as someone who calls things delightful. One of my friends, Jillian Lakritz, founder of Yoee Baby and a previous guest on the podcast, once said, “Wilder was delightful” when she was there for a play date. And it sounded totally natural and I thought I wonder if I’ll ever call anything delightful. Well guess what? Emma Coburn is delightful – pure and simple. She is fundamentally grounded. She admits her flaws and faults and takes ownership and responsibility for them. The flaws make her human and the ownership of them make her likable and relatable. She is clearly a superstar, like a physical specimen of a human being that in my opinion was created to excel in physical activity. But there’s so much more than meets the eye.


Yes, Emma is drop dead gorgeous. Her body is a beautiful, finely-tuned machine that she treats with love, care and constant attention which she should because it’s the vehicle by which she makes her living. But at the end of the day what is really cool about her is that she has perspective. So many athletes are caught up in the grind when they’re chasing their dreams. They are emotional, easily demoralized and completely consumed by what they are doing, often sacrificing other things that are critically important. They just can’t see it at the time. Not Emma. She is definitely consumed, but she also sees and respects that world around her, it’s not all about Emma all the time.


She has remained solid, grounded and yes delightful, even though she has been racing on the international pro circuit since she was 21 years old, has won countless races, an Olympic bronze in 2016 (the first American to medal in steeplechase), and she followed that by becoming the first American to ever win the world championship.


I think part of this may be due to her upbringing in both Boulder and Crested Butte. If you think Boulder is a bubble, Crested Butte is undoubtedly even more so. Emma believes so much in what Crested Butte has to offer that she launched the Elk Run 5k to help promote the town and give back to Living Journeys, the local nonprofit that helps so many families deal with cancer. It’s Sept 29th this year – the race itself sounds amazing, but it’s truly about the experience. I highly recommend you get out there – make it a girls weekend!


We recorded in the Skirt Sports store after-hours so for a little inspiration, be sure to use the code RTWPODCAST15 for 15% off too!


Today we talk about the above and much more:

  • Steeplechase: What the heck is this crazy event
  • Being married to your coach
  • Winning World Champs & then getting beat
  • Raising the bar
  • Growing up in a small mountain town: Crested Butte Rocks!
  • Gaining weight in the off-season
  • Elk Run 5k – be there or be square – Emma will be picking up trash and setting up cones!
  • Surrounding yourself by the right people


If you have a chance, pop over to my Youtube channel to see this episode on video! Yes, I’m playing around with that format too. There are always some funny little quirks you can’t catch on the audio version.


Finally and very importantly, we’re sending Emma off to kick ass at her biggest race of the year! Follow her on IG and FB – I say we send her a message or post on her page. One thing that you loved about this interview. Do it! It will give her even more confidence and joy that she is surrounding herself by people who have her back; people who really care. Because after all, that’s what makes this life truly special.


All photos courtesy of Emma Coburn’s Instagram feed!


Find Emma Here: