When Molly Seidel stopped trying to be perfect she ran the race of her life.
Standing on the start line of the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, next to a who’s who of American distance running, Molly Seidel felt relaxed. A curious emotion when you think of what was at stake: A place at the summer games in Tokyo. As a multiple time Footlocker and NCAA champion Molly knew what pressure felt like, how easily it could squeeze the air out of the most robust balloon of confidence. But this time around things were different: She didn’t need to win.
In 2015 Molly had been on top of the world, or so it seemed. She’d just won the second of two NCAA indoor titles having come off an NCAA cross country victory. She was fast, fit and finally delivering on the promise she’d shown in high school. But inside she was struggling with a destructive eating disorder.
“Truthfully, in college, especially toward the end of my college career, specifically my final indoor national championships, I was in such an unhealthy place mentally that those championships just brought me no joy [...] Nothing was enough. I had to constantly keep pushing and pushing and I wasn't finding this value in myself.
"I wasn't finding any value in myself and I wasn't getting it from running and it was just hard."