The Injured Athletes Club PodcastExpert advice and inspirational stories on coming back (stronger!) from injury
Mechelle Lewis Freeman had put everything on the line to achieve her Olympic dream. She’d walked away from a successful career in advertising, moved to a full-time training facility, and calculated everything from the grams of protein she ingested to the positive mantras running through her head. Injury threatened to derail her, but because she’d invested in training her body and also her mind, Mechelle was able to see opportunity in the obstacle—a mindset she maintains as a coach and non-profit leade
Chris Mosier has made history before, as the first transgender athlete to represent the United States in international competition, appear in the ESPN Body Issue, and be sponsored by Nike. In January, he once again blazed a trail at the Olympic Trials for the 50K racewalk, becoming the first transgender athlete to qualify and compete in the Trials in the gender with which they identify. However, injury nearly robbed him of the chance to make it to the starting line. Chris shares more on this episode.
Basketball, ski racing, sprint kayaking, surfing—Alana Nichols’ athletic career has brought her to the highest levels of a wide range of sports. Still, she tells us on this week’s show, as a Paralympian she often struggled to get the same care for her injuries as her able-bodied peers. Alana’s advocacy has carried over into her newer roles as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation and mother of baby Gunnar,
The second time Amanda Ferranti tore her ACL, she had a feeling her soccer career was over. Even as she coped with the challenges of recovery and retirement, she was working on another project: a system to help other injured athletes manage their emotions and thrive through, and beyond, their rehab process. In this episode, Amanda—now a soccer coach and certified mental performance consultant at Ferranti Empowerment—outlines the process by which she journaled and planned her way to a successful future.
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.