The Injured Athletes Club PodcastExpert advice and inspirational stories on coming back (stronger!) from injury
We first spoke with this week’s guest, pro distance runner Alia Gray, in person during Olympic Marathon Trials weekend in February in Atlanta. She’d chosen not to run the race despite a qualifying time and an injury-free stretch—a choice made from joy rather than fear, she says, and one she describes at length in this episode. We caught up with her again in late April to find out how she was faring since the coronavirus pandemic upended her season.
In slalom water skiing, Matteo Luzzeri says, “you’re playing tug of war against a 6.2-liter engine boat.” Injury—both from overuse and from sudden, traumatic events—comes with the territory. On this week’s episode, Matteo—who’s also a Ph.D. in sport psychology—shares the story of his most serious injury, a ruptured Achilles in September 2014. Support and mental skills techniques both helped him come back stronger, he explains.
This podcast—and our book Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries—exist primarily to teach mental skills to sidelined athletes. But we’ve always known these lessons and techniques can transcend injury, and even sports performance. While we never imagined we’d be applying them to a global pandemic, here we are—and both of us, Carrie and Cindy, have been finding the same mental drills we use to bounce back from injury surprisingly relevant. Here’s how.
Angie Fifer first enrolled at Penn State with a plan to become an athletic trainer. But during a class in sport psychology, she instantly knew she’d found her calling—to prevent other athletes from having the same experience she had. When she was 16, a serious fall on the uneven bars sent her to the hospital and threatened her future in the sport. Angie shares more about this experience, her transition to endurance sports, and her work helping athletes and others “be their best a little bit more often
After overcoming multiple injuries to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in the nick of time, 5,000-meter runner Jessica O’Connell faced another series of setbacks as she prepared for the Games. Through it all, she’s realized adversity strikes everyone—the best (and luckiest) among us are those who can persevere. It’s an attitude that’s served her well throughout her career. She views injuries as disappointing but not devastating, in large part because she now has a plan to deal with them.
Jen A. Miller has been writing about running for The New York Times since 2010. Last year, she sustained a serious setback, a stress fracture in her tibia. In the weekly running newsletter she now writes for the Times, she chronicled her journey, from the anger and frustration at her diagnosis to an emotional comeback, running the New York City Marathon with her mother. On this episode, Jen—the author of the memoir Running: A Love Story—shares her experiences.
If you ask Joey Wagman to describe his baseball career, he’ll tell you it’s a bit unorthodox. He’s played in both the minor leagues and several different independent leagues. Since 2017, he’s also pitched for Team Israel, which is now headed to the 2020 Olympics. On this episode, he explains that the high he’s riding was made all the more meaningful due to the lows from which he’d recently emerged—a shoulder injury that required surgery and affected his mental health in ways that caught him o
During her long career as a wheelchair racer, Amanda McGrory has accumulated seven Paralympic medals and more marathon finishes than she can count—including first-place and podium finishes at many of the sport’s major races. Her half-decade’s worth of experience has also brought her something less tangible but incredibly useful: an ability to see the bigger, broader picture of her career and life. This week, she joins us to discuss how that perspective in managing injury.
One of the biggest challenges of injury is seeing your goals and timelines slip through your fingers. You may know, objectively, that these plans no longer make sense given your new situation. Still, each time you realize you’re not reaching them can provoke feelings of failure. This week, Carrie talks through an exercise designed to call attention to your achievements. Using Redefine Success, you can learn to truly celebrate your wins and fuel yourself with confidence and motivation.