2020 Handed me a torn Achilles. Here's How I Responded

2020 Handed me a torn Achilles. Here's How I Responded

We've invited several of our Earth Fed Elite Athletes to write about their trials in training through the difficult training seasons of 2020. Penn State grad and women's shot put world contender Rachel Fatherly had an especially difficult year. She dealt with Covid and a torn Achilles! Check out her story below.

After a strong fall of training, I was in the best shape of my life. I had climbed up the ranks in the US for women's shot put and had put out some serious early season marks. This earned me a trip to a popular indoor women's shot put competition, pitting me up against some of the best in the US! Six throws after the competition started, I was in first place and brought home a massive victory. My season was rolling and I felt incredibly strong.

We were preparing for a peak, the US national championship was about a week away. I was having the best practice of my life, throwing huge bombs and visualizing earning a national title.


That was the sound. The feeling was weird. Not painful, more numb. What happened? I was in shock, in pain, the seconds felt like hours. Suddenly it dawned on me.

“I may have torn my achilles.”

A few days later it was confirmed. I was sidelined for at least nine months. Not only would I miss the national championships I would also miss an opportunity to go to the Olympics. A flood of emotions took over, but I realized that I would need to be positive to overcome this injury. I needed to create a plan that maximized my healing and overall strength.

What could I do? I knew surgery was inevitable, I knew I would need to scrap to come back to the top. After surgery, Dr. John Giacolone, the Mobility Doc, teamed with my throws coach, Dane Miller, and they formulated a training, mobility and nutrition protocol.

Here are the five products that we used over the past nine month in order to heal and become stronger mentally and physically.

  1. Forty Winkz ZMA - In order to have a healthy recovery I needed sleep! We used ZMA to make sure I was getting enough rest in order to heal. This helped me improve my sleep and mentality, focus on the upcoming months of physical therapy and simply improve my mental clarity.
  2. Grass Fed Whey Protein- I love all of the EFM whey proteins and the whey helped with my muscle recovery and helped to decrease any inflammation in the tendon.
  3. Creatine -Transcend has helped to improve my brain function, muscle recovery and helped to fuel and rebuild a strong tendon.
  4. The Keystone Collagen has helped my joint health. When you tear a tendon the goal after surgery is to rest, heal and provide the tendon time to heal. Rest and the Keystone has helped reduce stiffness. 
  5. Morning Ritual Multivitamin -This has helped to provide any vitamin or nourishment that was missing from my diet.
The night before surgery I remember I had so many protein smoothies and shakes. Going liquid only the night before surgery was tough but the whey made the day a lot easier and extremely tasty. Each day after I continued to use all of these products because I realized long term this would benefit me so much and help to improve my recovery and healing process. After consistently trusting this plan one month after surgery I was able to bench 12 sets of 10 reps at 135 lbs with one foot evaluated.

These products helped to minimize the atrophy evident within my left calf muscle and promote growth and strength to the tendon. I am not going to pretend that this has been all sunshine and roses but I do believe that these products have helped me stay focused and determined in training. This has allowed me to center my thoughts on things that I could control.

2020 has been a year for everyone to remember. EFM supplements have fueled my recovery from an achilles tear, getting back in shape for the 2021 season, AND dealing with the risks of Covid-19. With regular supplementation, I have gotten back to bench pressing over 300+lbs, I have been able to power snatch almost a PR while creeping back toward the 18 meter line. I provide the motivation and hard work, and I know I can trust EFM’s top notch supplements for my recovery. I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming season!

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