Allyson Felix tore her hamstring in 2013 – but motivated herself to come back stronger after the injury

By Lindsay Kimble
July 25, 2016 01:00 PM

A career-sidlining injury may be an athlete’s worst fear, but, with motivation, you can come back stronger, says Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix.

The 30-year-old tells PEOPLE that after tearing her hamstring in 2013, she had to push herself – hard – to recuperate and get back to the track.

“I think you will always have doubts of if you’ll be able to get back to where you were and even be better than what you were before,” says Felix, who will be competing for Team USA in Rio next month. “Going through that injury has definitely taught me to really cherish the gift. You never know when it’s going to be your last race or if you won’t be able to do what you love again.”

Allyson Felix at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Beijing 2015
Yutaka/Aflo Sport/AP

Having her close-knit family – including mom Marlean – by her side, helped.

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What else gets Felix ready? A little Queen Bey. Specifically, the pop star’s 2008 tune “I’m a Diva.”

“I’m totally not a diva away from the track,” she tells PEOPLE, “but when I step on the track, gotta kinda get that attitude going.”

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