Motivational quotes for injured athletes

Regular readers of this blog know that during my first marathon in 2007, I became a big fan of cheesy motivational quotes. They have helped me a great deal in my efforts to keep my brain in the right place while recovering from surgery on Feb. 24 to fix my the wrist I broke snowboarding, but this week, I recognized it was time to find some new ones, too. I reached out to runner friends on Twitter and in person, and came up with the list below. If you’ve got a favorite motivational quote you feel would help an injured athlete stay positive while she’s sidelined, please share it by posting a comment below.

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Gandhi

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” A. Camus

“He who argues for his limitations gets to keep them.” Richard Bach

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis

What else keeps you positive when you can’t run? Let me know by posting a comment below.

***EDITOR’S NOTE: If you found this post helpful, check out my recent shout-out to all of you who have posted here, Coping Tips for Injured Athletes. ***


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80 responses to “Motivational quotes for injured athletes

  1. Erica

    “Every wall is a door” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    It’s sort of my all-purpose running quote. When I hit the wall during a race, I remind myself that I have ways to find my way through. When an injury sidelines me for a while, I find other ways to focus my attention – crosstraining, focusing on nutrition, studying new techniques or training strategies. Every barrier presents an opportunity – every wall is a door.

    • Paige Vicari

      Hi my name is Paige and I’m 20 years old. I am a sophmore and I pole vault for a division one school. I am currently going on my fourth knee surgery which is going to be alot worse than the three before. I tore my ACL three times, MCL and PCL once and lateral and medial meniscus twice and I dont even have any meniscus in my left knee. This surgery I am basically getting a knee replacement. I’m 20 years old with horrible arthritis. After every surgery they tell me not to go back to sports, but it’s hard when after everytime I came back I went back a lot stronger and determined and reached goals that might have seemed impossible. I have a full ride to run track for a team who are indoor and outdoor champs two years in a row and soon to be three and I’m going to miss out, again. People usually dont go back after this kind of surgery but I am. I never give up because I dont want to live with regret. I want to say thank you to all of you because all your quotes are giving me hope when I begin to second guess myself. So thank you and keep posting more! thank you 🙂 -Paige

      • Lexie

        Hi Paige, I’m 16 years old and I’m a sophomore in high school. I play Varsity softball for a 5A school and I have started since I was in 8th grade. I have had three knee surgeries! And I am still recovering from my last one on January 4th. I had a meniscus transplant because like you, I had no meniscus left in my knee and my bones were rubbing on each other and disintegrating. They also replaced my patella band and reconstructed my patella. They made 3 large incisions on my knee. One being almost 8 inches long. 1 drill hole, and 3 scope holes. I’ve been to many specialists before this knee surgery, and all have told me that this surgery is not one you can return to sports from. I am only in high school but I already have many colleges who are interested in me and I am being recruited. It is heartbreaking to hear everyone tell you that you shouldn’t return, but you and I know better then anybody that nobody is going to tell us when to stop doing what we love. I have missed out on plenty of seasons, but I always have come back. And I know I will come back from this one as well. I wanted to share my story with you to just let you know that you aren’t alone and I know exactly how you feel. It is tough to go through and sometimes there aren’t very many people who actually understand what it’s like to stand up just to get knocked back down. And return to something that not a lot of people believe you will return too. Keep believing that you can do anything and it will show! 🙂

      • jordan

        wow… that helps me a lot cause im only 13 and i already have major problems with my knees and i play softball and basketball… thanks!

      • Dayna

        Paige I know how you feel in a different aspect. Your a pole vaulter. See I am too. I am a freshman now that is competing a the college level as well. I feel like it is a trend with vaulters, to be kind of on the crazy side. I feel like we have this determination and love for what we do that no one else would understand. I mean I played soccer for 16 years… and I am 19 years old. But it is different the feeling you get from achieving the goals you have set for yourself, because it is such a challenging sport. Well i basically got ripped of my identity this past week. Somehow I must of planted wrong, I was trying to get onto a new pole, and I guess I stalled out up top at 11 and lost grip and fell straight on my head from 11 feet. I was knocked out cold for a while I don’t remember anything, not the practice fall hit… nothing. After going to the hospital and having tests done I have a severe concussion and whip lash and strained neck. The bad thing about this all is I have had now this is i think at least my 5-6 major concussion. one happening just 2 weeks ago. I totally know how it is to be sidelined IT SUCKS. But open your eyes when you are injured. You will learn stuff. God puts you through these situations so he can teach you something. Whether it be opening doors or whether it just relying more on him. For me after playing tough girl and laughing off all my injuries and problems this time it was a wakeup call… a wake up call to my identity. We have to be careful where we find our identity. Because yes when you are involved in a sport that you literally practice EVERYDAY 6 HOURS a day…. it is going to become part of you. BUT it should not be your identity. All I know is that We will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of the testimony. You guys are awesome. Keep fighting NEVER GIVE UP on your dreams.

  2. allofmywords

    I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    2 Tim 4:7

  3. Mark Zimmerman

    Hey Amy, appreciate your post, and I’m glad you will be getting the cast off soon!

  4. Purple is my favorite color!

    “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
    Abraham Lincoln

  5. Alexis

    Ferris Bueller might argue that this could come as motivation to help you cope with not running

    “Life moves pretty fast. If you dont slow down and look around you might miss”

  6. After I get through the anger stage of not being able to run, I hit the zen stage. The place where I’m at peace with myself and my situation, and I start to actually enjoy the stillness of not moving so much. I enjoy the minute details that I don’t normally cherish as much, and I actually get to like my body a whole lot more, for the things that it can accomplish whenever I ask. It’s the “sitting with injury” that they talk about in yoga classes that’s the hardest part. But when I “sit” with whatever feels uncomfortable, it’s always a mental and emotional breakthrough and when I come back to running, I’m stronger for it.

  7. I couldn’t have run across this post at a more perfect time… One week ’til I find out if my stress fracture is healing properly…. Good luck to you. and thanks for sharing!

  8. I couldn’t have stumbled upon this entry at a better time. I have one week until I find out if my stress fracture healed properly (or, at all, really). So thanks for sharing!!!

  9. Madeleine Cho

    “Everything is still possible.” The best coach I’ve ever had told me this. I’ve been out for almost three months now and she told me this the very first day that I was out. Whenever I’m feeling negative I think about it, no matter how bad I think things are and no matter how much I think that I’ll never be able to achieve my goals, everything is still possible.

    • Madeleine Cho

      I rehabed my hip properly this past summer and it was doing well, unfortunately I injured my back a couple weeks ago and it started to be really bad yesterday so I went to the doctor. They took an x-ray and my back isn’t fractured, so they believe it’s a slipped disk, and that’s why I get the pain in my hips, butt and legs.
      I’m getting an appointment with the Orthopeadic doctor at BC Children’s Hospital sometime this week or early next. They’ll probably do a CT scan to see if it’s a slipped disk. The recovery period of a slipped disk can be a long time, but others have only take a few weeks.

      I’m in the anger stage right now. I’m pissed off and annoyed with having another injury. I have 93 days until Canada Winter Games and I need everyone of those days to train. Not only that, but I need to be training to be eligible for the provincial field hockey team.

      I did another google search and I wound up on this site again and I read my old post and it reminded me that “Everything is still possible!” I had forgotten about that, the second I read it, it gave me a little bit more hope and put a little smile on my face. The other quotes have also been a nice reminder to take it slow and that it’s not the end of the world.

      • So sorry to hear you’re having trouble! You’ve got the right attitude, though—you’ve come through injury before, and you can do it again. Good luck—I’m sending healing thoughts your way!

  10. RERE

    This post was right on time!!! How is your injury?
    I am so sick of being hurt…I am not a runner, but I play basketball. I tore my achilles tendon 11months ago and just got the go ahead from the doctor to start back to more normal exercise activities. I was also back to losing the weight I put on and getting my body back…well in the midst of that, I go and strain my back and now I have a bad lateral shift in my back! I am so mad and upset…!
    I can’t do much now and its back to physical therapy….but I am gonna remain tough and strong…because I can either give up and complain, or I can kick this thing in the butt and get well! I am choosing the latter! Thanks for your post!

  11. Denise Merchant

    I just found this at a great time lately i’ve been going through a lot of pain amd thinking a ton! My dad doesn’t want me to play softball anymore because I ruptured my ACL and had mayjor surgery cause I messed it up so bad. My doctor said theres most likely a chance that I won’t rupture it again but my dad disagrees. Softball is what I was made for what I wanted to to go to college for I had surgery almost 3 months ago and as of right now won’t be released to play sports for awhile 😦 I don’t want to give up, it makes me cry when I think about how I already missed one season of highschool ball and now i’m missing travel ball. But I won’t back down i’ll do whatever it takes to play again and prove everyone wrong because I am strong even if it means coaching and teaching younger girls for awhile and loads of therapy!

    My quoute is –
    “Don’t give up when you still have something to give, cause nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.”

    • Hang in there, Denise! You’ve got the right attitude, and it sounds like you’re funneling your strengths and energy into worthy causes while you’re rehabbing. Though it’s tough to have to sit the bench while your teammates are competing and moving forward, know that the mental toughness and perspective you’ll gain from the experience will make you an even fiercer competitor in the future!

    • joyce

      Great attitude!! My daughter plays softball as well, and just tore her acl during travel ball, after her injury she never missed a game or practice to stay mentally healthy. She had surgery yesterday… she’s in the beginning stages of recovery but hopes to play high school ball in march?? ugh…. hang in there! work hard! don’t give up!

    • Lexie

      I play Varsity softball for a 5A school and I have started since I was in 8th grade. I have had three knee surgeries! And I am still recovering from my last one on January 4th. I had a meniscus transplant because I had no meniscus left in my knee and my bones were rubbing on each other and disintegrating. They also replaced my patella band and reconstructed my patella. They made 3 large incisions on my knee. One being almost 8 inches long. 1 drill hole, and 3 scope holes. I’ve been to many specialists before this knee surgery, and all have told me that this surgery is not one you can return to sports from. It is heartbreaking to hear everyone tell you that you shouldn’t return, I have missed out on plenty of seasons, but I always have come back. And I know I will come back from this one as well. I wanted to share my story with you to just let you know that you aren’t alone and I know exactly how you feel. It is tough to go through and sometimes there aren’t very many people who actually understand what it’s like to stand up just to get knocked back down. And return to something that not a lot of people believe you will return too. Keep believing that you can do anything and it will show!

  12. Amar

    “God places the heaviest burdens on those who can carry its weight”. Not sure who said it, but it always inspires me. 🙂

  13. Tj Paehua

    If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.

  14. Colleen

    I could really use some inspiration. I tore my ACL playing soccer last week, and I just cant accept the fact that I cant walk, cant run, cant hike, cant dirtbike, most importantly cant play soccer…Im a very active girl, and this is killing me. The mental battle is so much worse than the physical battle. If anyone has any quotes that might help get over this mental hurdle, I appreciate it!! Cheers

    • Poor thing … know that it gets better from here! I don’t have any new motivational quotes to offer, but can say from experience that within a year, you should be playing soccer, dirtbiking and otherwise playing outside to your heart’s content without giving that knee a second thought.

    • I hope your okay! I tore my ACL in May 2011 & went 3 months not knowing what was wrong! It’s the most irriating thing not being able to run & I can understand that. But I hope everything went good for you! 😀

  15. Pingback: Motivotional quote for injured athletes: “I don’t care how long it takes.” | Amy Reinink

  16. PJC

    Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.
– Satchel Paige

  17. andrew s

    Hi my name is andrew and im 15so years old. On march 2, 2012 I was in a lacrosse accident. I was running to scoop the ball and before I could pick my head up another player and I hit going full speed with my head down. As I was falling another player un aware of what happened was running by and side swiped my head and my neck again and knocked me out. I was unconscious for 5 minutes. I was flown out to shock trauma in a helicopter and woke up the next morning un aware of what happened. I was surrounded by 15and different doctors and nurses. I have a type 3 concussion, a fractored bone in my neck and compressed and severely bruised spinal cord. I also only have about 40%you of feeling and streanght on the left side of my body. I have severe memory loss and forget most of my friends and some family. This has been the hardest esperience of my life. I am a 4 sport player and now I am done for a year or two. I have physical and cognitive therapy 3they times each per week. I never ever expected this to happen and its been so hard. I just want things back to normal.

    • Wow—what a terrifying experience that must have been! I wish I could offer you something beyond a few inspirational quotes, and a promise to send you my warmest, healingest thoughts through the interwebs. Be well, and stay strong!

  18. Jessie

    My name is Jessie and I am 15 years old. I have been a dedicated gymnast for almost 10 years and I am a level 8. My life has revolved around gymnastics for as long as I can remember. On January 5th, I was tumbling at practice, doing a double flip pass, the day before my first meet of the season. Somehow my ankles gave out, and I landed on my neck. At first, I couldn’t move my legs, the doctor said they may have been paralyzed or in shock from the pain for a couple minutes. He told me that I broke both of my ankles. There are two breaks in each ankle and also both severely sprained. I was put in two casts up to my knees and in a wheelchair for 2 months. I was not able or even allowed to go to school for 6 weeks. The doctor told I would be out of gymnastics for 3 months minimum, which was the whole part of the season. I am in physical therapy now, but I have not decided if I want to go back to gymnastics. Only 8 months before this, I broke my hand in 5 places. I had reconstructive hand surgery and got 5 skrews in. Overall, I can’t even count the amount of bones I have broken from gymnastics. I’m not sure if I want to keep hurting myself, with only 2 years left until I graduate. People always told me, that gymnastics is not worth it, that it is a legal form of child abuse, and it burns your body. And now I wonder what I get out of gymnastics. Since I was 12 years old, I have had to go to the chiropractor for my back. I was conditioning at practice even when I was in casts, doing arms and abbs to stay in shape, but more to look brave for my coach, because I wanted her to have high expectations for me and be proud of me. Then I began to felt like no one began to recognize me. Everyone just expected me to be strong about it. I guess I was just overwelmed. I’m taking the whole month of April off to think things through. I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to continue to do gymnastics. I do not want to disappoint anyone. People say there is a difference between letting go, and giving up. I’m not sure what it is that I’m doing. I do not know who I am without gymnastics. I’m scared that I will regret it for the rest of my life. Now I guess I am just looking for some inspiration.

    • Sweet girl! I hope this post brightened your day a bit, and that you draw on the mental toughness I’m sure you’ve gained in the wake of your injuries as you make some tough decisions in the days ahead. Sending you peace and strength!

      • Jessie

        thank you

      • Caity

        So sorry to hear this Jessie.. but it sounds oh so familiar to me!!

        I was a competative gymnast for 13 years (in australia, level 9) and in my first competition of the year in 2008 I was on floor when i was doing my first tumble pass of my routine, and I under rotated a back twist and I landed straight on my back… the same as you I couldnt feel any part in my bod, which led me to uncontrable tears and distress.. As you could imagine it was extremely scary for me as a 14 year old!! I ended up with 12 fractures in my thoraxic spine and 5 hurniated disks… I was on bed rest for 9 months!! Going from training 30 hours a week to then NOTHING at all.. It was hard!! I went into a great depression when the doctors told me I would never be able to compete gymnastics again.. Being told you may not be able to walk unassisted again is really hard for any person to hear let alone a 14 year old girl

        Don’t get me wrong Gymnastics did me soo many wonders over the 13 years I was involved like meeting new people, creating life long friends not to mention teaching me the art of dicipline 🙂 But its soo hard to think about those good things when they are soo weighed out by the cons of the preassures and training of the sport… I am know 18 years olf and know live with arthrits and oesteonicosis and have been diagnosed with the spine of an 78 year old but I am very luck i can walk! (after extensive rehab and treatment) NOTHINGS EVERY IMPOSSIBLE
        since then have broken so many bones (this year so far I have disslocated my shoulder, broken my left foot) including my leg which i only broke 4 days ago haha hence why i am looking through inpirational sotries to keep me going

        I sitll look back at my gym photo’s and think wow I wish that didnt happen, I wish I still did gym but it does get easier Jessie I promise.. ofcourse you will miss it for the rest of your life but you need to treasure the memories you have made and keep looking foward!!

        I know compete sports aerobics which has helped me build up the muscles around my spine keeping it stable and in place… I am know stronger and mroe felxible than I was back in my gym days 🙂 Ironic huh!

        I hope that me telling you my story makes you feel less alone in your decision 🙂
        all the best for the future and please keep me updated 🙂


    • Shelli

      Jessie, with all the injuries you’ve suffered, your body will remind you of it every day for the rest of your life when you get older, I mean just a few years from now. You have endured, you have gotten back up and you will again, from this. You are the inspiration for many. Maybe this is no longer meant for you, but you will find something to replace gymnastics, you’re destined to continue to pursue. I just know, whatever you choose to do, you’ll be great at it, how can you not after you’ve gotten back up so many times, I don’t think anything can keep you down! Best wishes!

  19. Francis Teruel

    I had a really bad Injury from soccer 3 weeks again, due to the pain and swelling the doctors couldnt tell what it was. They told me that it most likely was an meniscus tear and could heal in 6 to 9 weeks. It seem Like I had finally over come the strom. My mri results came today and the doctor told me that i completly tore my acl and almost completely tore my mcl also there was very bad bone bruises, they honestly didn’t know how i had been walking without crutches. I’ll be out for the rest of the year :/ I’m captain of both my soccer teams and my dreams have been crush, well it feels that way. Any goof quotes that can motivate me ?

    • One not listed above: “The heart is a muscle the size of a fist. Keep loving; keep fighting.” It’s a good one when you’re struggling to get your quad to work again in physical therapy, and a nice reminder that you can come out of this a stronger, mentally tougher athlete. Hang in there, and good luck with your recovery!

    • Jill

      I am having the same exact problems. I am the goal keeper for my high school and travel team. i am a junior. ( we have no senior goal keeper this year, its me and this girl that trys to comperte with me) I hurt my right knee ( punting leg ) one night playing soccer. i felt a pop and some pain but kept playing. the next morning i couldnt straighten my leg with out me collapsing to the ground, so i went to my theripist with out gettin a MRI or any test done. He thought it was a pulled hamstring and told me to stretch it out. With me being hard headed, i did it with no questions. even though i was sitting in the floor crying with pain. 2 and a half weeks later, it hadnt gotten any better. it had gotten worst. so i went to see my dr that has always treated me with my broken bones. well he said i had torn my meniscus and so i got an MRI done and thats what it showed. so he wanted to have surgery and while i was under he wanted to do some more stuff to me. but i didnt want to do all the extra stuff cause it would just keep me out of season longer. so i decided to get a 2nd opinion. now it has been 3 months since i have hurt my knee. this new dr. examined me an he said i was more flexable than normal, but he said that my right knee, it felt like something was lose cause hed do something to my left an right knee an my right knee was so bad it looked broken it was so lose, so he wanted someone else to read my MRI and when they did they found NOTHING wrong. so here i am crying everynight for 3 months now with pain an they are telling me my MRI shows NOTHING! i have to wait 2 more weeks and we are going to schedual another MRI and go from there. but untill futher notice, i cant do any sports activity. I have played soccer ( goal keeper ) since i was 3. this is extremly hard on me, especially when i have younger girl who is tryn to take my spot as starting goal keeper. so any quotes would really really help! Thanks!!

      • Brie

        I completely understand what you are going through. In the beginning of the 8th grade I tore my miniscus playing basketball, and it was tough getting back from it being repaired through orthoscopic surgery. Once I got back from that I had a great summer of playing basketball,Going into my Freshman year in highschool I was about 3 weeks into being COMPLETELY pain free and I fell and retore my miniscus with additional soft tissue damage under my patella. My same doctor went in and took out what he said was 30% of my miniscus and scraped the damaged tissue under my patella out. After this surgery patients are expected to be up and going soon after this surgery, We did everything he asked and finally he asked us to travel 2 hours twice a week to his facility to be treated by a sports medicine therepist at his office. We did exactly as he said and after 3months they seemed to get sick of me relapsing.. I would do good for a week or two and then be extremely bad for a few more. They cleared me to do as I wanted (basketball, cheerleading, and RUN my heart out) I began to train, about 3 weeks after being cleared I had my daily run to around 4.5miles. I was constantly weight training and in the gym. Until the pain came again. I coudnt walk and ended my Freshman year the same way I started, ON CRUTCHES. We went back to the doctor and he insisted I had patella femoral syndrome and sent me to PT out of my home town but wouldnt do anything else to help me. After 3 weeks in PT I was still on crutches and in extreme pain. So my PT recommended a new doctor. After getting an MRI I have found out I have an additional tear in my miniscus and about 90% medial miniscus deficiency meaning theres nothing there to protect my bones from rubbing together while in motion. There is also a stitch loose from my 1st operation and we are waiting to see if there is patella problems. I am currently in a PINK brace for 1 month and my new doctor is allowing my to cheerlead with limitations to keep my spirits up. I also have to wear orthotics in othodic tennis shoes and cant wear anything under my brace. Meaning when school comes its all baggy sweatpants and T-Shirts for me. I also have started being treated for migrane headaches for what my doctor says is from the stress of my other medical issues. Going into my 3rd year of all this is pretty depressing but I always seem to find a way through it, I have found out who my friends are and learned to be strong but knowing when I need to cry. Being a 16 year old girl this doesnt happen to alot of people but I am one of them and I swear I am going to come out of this a better person and athlete than I every was before. All I know is if you are physically able, DO NOT complain about it. You have no idea what people with injuries go through everyday.

  20. Sarah jane

    ‘Pain isn’t the injury itself, pain is not being able to play to your full ability!’

  21. Caity

    I’m so happy I came across this site when I did. I am a runner as well…I have been plagued with injuries since I was 14 when I broke my hip while running. I am now 23 and getting ready to run my second marathon and while on a training run last Wednesday I was hit by a car that ran a stop sign. Thankfully I was not seriously injured but it is still inconclusive as to if I’ll need surgery on my knee. I’m trying to keep my head up as I come to terms with the fact that I will not be running for some time and I may have to postpone my marathon. I LOVE me some Steve Prefontaine and I have a quote of his on my mirror so everyday I see it and take it to heart. “To Give Anything Less Than Your Best Is To Sacrafice The Gift.” Sometimes that gift is an athletic ability but sometimes the gift is just living another day. I am very fortunate that I could walk away from my accident and I will never take another day for granted. I will run again and I will truely live each and everyday that I am given!

    • I love, love, love your sense of perspective, and needed to be reminded of this myself: “Sometimes that gift is an athletic ability but sometimes the gift is just living another day.” So true! Wishing you a speedy recovery full of that perspective and sense of gratitude.

  22. Timmy J.

    I’m a 15 year old, who lives, eats and breathes sport… I like a fair few others on here ruptured my acl amongst other things while playing football. I got my surgery done 5 days ago and it is set to be a full 12 months before I can play sport again, meaning I miss out on representing australia for cricket in Dubai and many footballing opportunities… I have already found myself in the gym, doing boxing sitting down to keep up some fitness and hand balling footballs on one leg or seated. I can’t wait to start rehab and am glad that the surgery us out of the way so I can be on my road to recovery and back to sport, but looking ahead i find myself already searching for motivation for these next twelve months and with thoughts about the facts that my knee might never be fully right again lingering in the back of my mind. I was not only in search of a quote to inspire me, but perhaps a story? A real life example, so any book, movie, article suggestions?? A story of success would be greatly appreciated 🙂

  23. Kayla

    I love these quotes, I have been running track as a sprinter for 10 years now I was a senior in college at a big meet in California and I popped my hamstring, not a regular tear but an allusion from the bone…it’s pretty uncommon I guess. Well it ended my season early and I was upset for. While I had surgery the day my relay teammates were running a nationals. It was hard to accept but now I can focus on healing so I can be the best coach to my own athletes in the future.

  24. I am a personal trainer/ fitness professional and I love to write as well. About a month ago I tore my ACL while playing basketball. I started a blog that is taking people through my recovery to show that it possible to get back into shape and stay healthy! It shows on my blog that your blog had referred people…I really appreciate it, the support is definitely helping me through this recovery. It is difficult to go from such an active lifestyle to barely being able to walk. Please check out my blog- – I’m hoping to inspire someone to make the right decision and not let fear take control!

  25. Cody Stamann

    I am a professional mixed Martial Artists. It is my job, and my life. I Partially tore my acl 4 months ago and have had 2 mri’s, and 3 months of physical therapy. Still unable to work or train. Now I am being told their is something wrong that that mri was unable to see and I will need surgery. I have spent nearly 10,000 dollars in this ordeal and have missed out on countless opportunities. It has been a mentally and physically exhausting experience. I am doing everything I can to stay positive and work through it. It really does help hearing that other are going through the same thing. I wish you all the best of luck. Know that everything happens for a reason and you will be a stronger person for it. Injuries give you a chance to find beauty in other things in life. God bless you all! Stay Strong! there is light at the end of this tunnel!

    • Wow … how true this is: “Injuries give you a chance to find beauty in other things in life.” Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with your rehabilitation!

  26. Sarah

    I’m so thankful I found this post! Last week while working out I suffered a traumatic knee dislocation. I tore my mcl and ripped a quarter inch of cartilage off of the back of my patella. I had surgery four days ago to repair the damage which ended up being more extensive than my physician originally thought and now instead of two weeks on crutches and eight weeks until full recovery I will have to be on crutches for six weeks and full recovery after three months. I am an active 25 year old martial artist and martial arts instructor who LIVES for physical activity. At first I was devastated. I was so angry and frustrated that I focused on everything I couldn’t do instead of realizing all of the things I can do (like teach my class while sitting down ;D )! These posts have helped me realize that focusing on the positive will make this process more bearable and more productive. My two favorite inspirational quotes for injury are as follows:
    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t– you’re right” – Henry Ford and
    “If we had no winter, the Spring would not be so pleasent; If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”- Anne Bradstreet

  27. Paige Harris

    I injured my ankle really badly in soccer and I am in the position as you! The road to recovery can be tough, and at first I couldn’t stop thinking how much it sucked and how bad I just wanted to get back out there onthe field, but you know what? Every injury is also a good thing for an athlete to over come. They can only get stronger from this and by over coming their injury they can achieve and reach for higher limits because they pushed themselves. Now everyone who is injured out there just take a few deeps breaths and tell yourself you will get through this…its just another curve ball that life is throwing at you. Push yourself to get past it and move in. And then once your all rested start back up and don’t look back. Just make it a memory of how you got through this hard time in your life! You can do it and your not alone ❤

    -Paige Harris
    Cobourg, Ontario

  28. Lauryn

    Hey everyone, my name is Lauryn. I tore my ACL on 9/11/11 playing soccer. I had surgery a month and a half later and went through a long hard 9 months of rehab and i was released june 6th 2012. Those 9 months were probably the hardest 9 months of my life. I thought there was no point of life because i couldn’t play soccer. I’m a really involved athlete and not being able to play killed me. But now i’ve really hit a wall, getting back into shape. I’m pretty sure i gained weight over those 9 months and getting back into shape is just really hard.My first practice for fall club soccer starts in a week :/ Everytime i go for a run, my knee hurts. The doctor said i’ll always have knee pains. I just wish i didn’t have this. I know God has a plan for everything and knows i can handle this. But this feels like a 4,000foot hurdle that i just can’t get over. Any quotes or advice for me?

  29. Morgan

    Hi everyone, my name is Morgan and I have actually been in Physical Therapy for 2 and a half years now. Playing Powderpuff Football on April 23, 2010, a girl yanked my right arm and tore my shoulder very badly. A year and countless therapy sessions later, they found out that PT alone wouldn’t help my case because of the extent to which she tore my shoulder. In late May of 2011 after I graduated high school, I had surgery on my right shoulder. Still in therapy for that injury, I had overcompensated for my right shoulder with my left and ended up tearing it even worse than the right. A year and a week after my first surgery I had surgery number 2 and, although I am 11 weeks out of surgery and still in Physical Therapy 3 times/week, I can barely use my arm and do not go a day without intense pain both in my joints and down my arms – (nerve pain, I have had intense nerve complications with both surgeries). I am starting to give up hope that I will ever get better. I have had to change my career plans because of these injuries (I once wanted to major in Musical Theatre) and this has truly changed the course of my life and taken over my free time.

    Any words of inspiration? I know that I can’t stop the daily physical pain but I am running out of hope. Trust me, I know it could be much much worse, it’s just so hard being alone in this battle.

    Thanks to you all. Everyone is in my prayers!

    • cody stamann

      You are not alone in this battle. I am a professional fighter. My life has been designed around my work. Everyone I know and every conversation I have is based around “when my next fight is”. Seven months ago I suffered from a knee injury (partially torn acl). I expected to be back in 2 months. Now the doctor tells me I will need surgery. Which could put me out for a few more. My friends have stoppetalking to me, I have lost countless opportunities, and a lot of money. Yet, in the middle of chaos I am happy. I have become an unbeatable optimist. As long as you stay positive this hard journey can be one of self discovery. Find things you can do and focus no those. I do alot of yoga, meditate, and give back every chance I can. That has been the key to my happiness. I hope this help and you Will get better and this dark stop in your life will make the rest much brighter. Best of luck!!!

  30. karli

    Hi everyone, my name is karli and i got surgery 2 months ago on my acl that was torn playing soccer, it had probably one of the most emtional things i have every gone through and im only 14. When i found out and got the call from the doctor i completley broke down and havent been myself ever scince. Before my surgey i thought about quiting soccer multiple times. But in a split second decsion i decided to stay with it. I am taking my injury as a time for me to get better and stronger, After i thought about i realized i love soccer and that i was ment to do this and that it was my destiny. It is still very emotional, i will be missing my freshmen soccer season and hopefully be ready to play in december. It is still very emotional for me to watch my premiere team play and i sometimes i just cry and i know i have to suck it up and move on but i just think about all the injuries ive had in the past and think abiut how much i was imporving before the injury and i just wonder why me and i bet thats a question that goes thought alot of your minds but it has been going through mine non stop. I guess everybody goes through there hard times and i am going through mine right now.I have started therapy and really need some motivation to just push through the oain suck it up and move on. Does andyone have any mentally inspiring and physically inspiring qoutes that can help me through my jouney?

  31. mack wallace

    Hi everyone, My name is Mack. I found this site really looking for some words of encouragement. I am usually a very confident and positive person but recently I had my world flipped upside down. I was working at a summer camp in Michigan as the head golf instructor this past summer and with just a few days left of camp I suffered a serious knee injury that ended my upcoming final year of college golf. I was wake boarding on my time off, I jumped the wake and landed fine but then I was falling so I let go of the rope and fell towards my back. The water caught my board like a sailboat as my knee continued going the other way. I ended up fully tearing my ACL, and PCL, while also tearing my Popliteus tendon, calf muscle and fractured the top of my tibia. I have never been seriously injured before and I am finding myself so depressed. I am used to living such an active lifestyle and used to being so independent. Having to rely on people for so many things has been a real challenge and and makes me feel so incompetent. I know that I am lucky and it can be so much worse than it is, but I can’t help but feel so alone because so many of the things that made me me have been lost somewhere and I am having a hard time getting them back. I dont think I have ever posted a comment on any site in my life, I don’t even have a facebook. But, I could really use any advice or thoughts to put things in perspective to help me make it through this difficult time.

    • Sarah

      Hey Mack,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your injury. I posted on this site in July about my own experience with injury and the recovery process. As an active person I completely relate to the identity crisis that unexpected injury can spur. You are more than your activities and interests. This is a unique opportunity to explore other aspects of yourself that may have taken a back seat. You can have a life during recovery and you will have a life after. One of the things that helps me, even after three solid months on crutches, is to not fight my feelings of frustration or depression. I accept them and I acknowledge that they are completely appropriate to my situation. Then I do a reality check, this situation ISN’T permanent, this situation doesn’t remove your independence it is only TEMPORARILY altered, You WILL recover. Best of luck Mack, you’ll get to the otherside.


      • mack wallace

        Thank you Sarah, i really liked what you said about it being a unique opportunity to explore other aspects of yourself that may have taken a back seat. I also think that constant reality checks can be very helpful, its so easy to forget to remind yourself of these things, i guess you just have to learn to make a habit of it. I know that in the long run this will be an experience I can look back on and see that its made me into a stronger and better person but I need to learn to have that attitude everyday. Maybe seeing my school therapist would help, just being able to talk about what im feeling with someone seems to really help, even if that person is someone I dont even know over the internet.

      • Sarah

        I would definately encourage you to check out your school’s counciling services. Feelings of depression are serious, especially when they are persistent. You don’t want the mental/emotional aspect of your injury to go unresolved and negatively impact your recovery. You will feel so much better if you have the opportunity to acknowledge and move through your feelings of depression and frustration.

      • Sarah

        * sorry, autocorrected Mack to Mark on my iPhone

  32. Phyllis Cornett

    I just fractured my wrist; had surgery. Was preparing for my first half ! I fell while on a training run! It has been so hard for me! I’m only 2 weeks into it and have a ways to go! I crushed my wrist:( thanks for encouragement !

  33. Pingback: Motivation Monday: The ‘motivational quotes for injured athletes’ edition | Amy Reinink

  34. MariaLuisa

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m sitting here in my apartment at school, feeling sorry for myself after attempting to run for the first time in three months. I didn’t make it more than a few short strides before feeling a shooting pain up my leg and in my knee. After a run in early August this past year I felt the same pain, but since I didn’t know what it was, I figured it would go away on its own. Unfortunately, it developed into full blown ITBS. At one point it was so bad I couldn’t even walk. Before the pain developed (and even when I was training through it), I was in the gym at least six days a week, twice a day for at least two hours each, did crossfit three times a week, and went on runs of six miles or more at least twice a week, on top of regular cardio and weights. I also had a five mile bike commute each way to my job. All this to train for collegiate lightweight rowing.

    I used to consider six miles a relatively short run, used to do jump squats, suicides, and prowlers without a problem and itch to do it more. Now I walk with a limp and can barely run a few feet before feeling intense pain. Luckily I have an incredible support system that is rooting for me and helping me get better, although this has proved to be the worst thing I have dealt with so far. I’ve seen more doctors and therapists than I can count on one hand, each telling me a different thing, giving me a different painkiller, and suggesting I try something else. One even gave me a cortisone injection that proved to be completely worthless. But nobody can seem to pinpoint the cause of the problem, or help me fix it. I know it takes time, but its time that I don’t seem to have. I’ve been injured for most of my rowing career, but I’ve always seemed to shake off whatever came my way (shoulder impingement, back strains, intercostal muscle strain, shin splints, tendonitis in my wrist…). This has been the most recalcitrant injury I’ve ever had.

    I cry a lot lately. My life doesn’t make sense without rowing. Actually, it doesn’t make sense without workouts to bookend my days and to make me feel like I’m improving at something, and feeling strong. Its been going on for so long I lose hope every day that I’ll ever feel normal again. I’m supposed to run a 5k race tomorrow and the reality is slowly setting in that I won’t be able to do that.

    I’m really glad I stumbled upon this thread (I was looking for something to cheer me up after my dismal attempt at running this evening). It definitely put things into perspective for me. I know that as bad as things seem, they could be worst. We’re all fighting a tough fight. I’m trying not to lose hope that someday I’ll be back where I’ll belong: in a boat, and in the gym, going hard. I’m going to keep dreaming that what seems impossible is possible.

    I refuse to sink.

  35. Hello everyone, my name is Marvin. I have dislocated my left shoulder 7 times playing football, once my freshman year and twice my sophomore year in high school and 4 times this junior year. I had to wear 3 shoulder braces to play football this year which was really uncomfortable trying to run and breathe in all the padding. I was to wait until the season was over to have surgery. I was supposed to be starting and playing every second of every game but thanks to my injury, I was only subbed in every once in a while and sometimes played entire quarters. I was depressed the whole season but just tried staying strong. Finally, when our last game was over and everyone on the team went out to eat, I went home that friday night and just broke down and cried for hours. It had finally hit me, that my junior year of football was a failure. I recently had rotator cuff surgery 6 days ago and will be out for a minimum of 4 months. I’ve been told by teachers and classmates to just quit playing football after all the dislocations but that is not an option, I won’t give up. I also do track and run both hurdle events. I wanted to train in the winter so I could brake both the 110-meter and 300-meter school hurdle records. Doctors have told me I might not be able to run track this year but I will keep the faith. My dream is to run hurdles in college and possibly do football. I am glad I found this thread, it has really helped me by reading all of your stories. I’ve had a lot of time to think lately and I think that this setback will make me stronger and make me appreciate the things we take for granted. I will no longer complain about practices or workouts when I’m feeling lazy and will work 10x harder once I am good to train again. Time is precious. I wish you all luck and hope to hear from all of you on how you’re doing. Lastly, I will leave you with this quote.

    “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

    • Maria

      I’m a freshman in highschool, and played my very first season of volleyball, I was doing great! Until in the last game of the season, I dove backwards and somehow tore my ACL completely, and needed ACL surgery. I also play softball & basketball, however, my doctor says in out for the year, or longer. I’m only a freshman, and supposed to be playing varsity basketball. I’m so angry & upset. I feel like no one understands, and I’m letting my team down, I feel useless. All I want to do is get back to the courts and field. It’s my passion, I need an escape before I explode!

  36. Pingback: Coping tips for injured athletes | Amy Reinink

  37. Cara Clark

    My daughter just found out she severly strained her MCL – tore her Miniscus – and yes, tore her ACL. She is a junior in HS, Varsity starter since Freshman year, third baseman. Has been on the softball field since she was in the 7th grade. It is ripping my heart out, but SHE is determined to WIN this most important game in her life. I came across this site when I was searching for motivational things to text her each day to keep her “in the game” She will have surgery in a month but is very distraught that her Junior year summer showcase is gone and “noboby will want me since I hurt myself”. I am the bigger crier than she is. I’m very proud of her, but I know there will be times when she breaks down and feels “unworthy of her team”. I, as a parent need you guys to give me words of wisdom to share with her and keep her on the track she has worked so hard to build. Parents, kids with the injuries, I’m all ears!

    • Lexie

      Cara I am a sophomore in High School. I have played Varsity softball for my high school since my 8th grade year. Awhile ago I tore my meniscus and had to give up pitching during the varsity season to just play outfield as pitching was too much strain on my knee. I had surgery three days after our season was over and when I tried to return to softball in the fall playing college showcase tournaments I was in too much pain and could not. I was then sent to orthopedic specialists at Iowa City to try and figure out what I had done, or why I was still having pain. I recently on January 4th, had a meniscus transplant and a patella reconstruction. I can no longer return to the level of softball I was at. My mom has been my biggest supporter through all of this and definitely the source of my will to recover even though I find myself saying the same things as your daughter. “Nobody will want me because I hurt myself.” I will not be able to walk for some time longer nor return to school and they say it is possibly over a year recovery to get back to every day activities. I find myself wondering why I bother with all of the rehab and the hope that I have to return to softball if Im not even sure I ever will. It makes me feel better to know that I am not the only one who is going through something like this and to know that somebody else shares the passion and love for the game of softball as I do yet is not able to play.
      Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Cara

      I’m proud to tell you all. One year later, my daughter’s first Varsity game back as a Senior is next Friday night. Almost one year to the day of her injury. I was so sad in my post then but I am so proud now. Athletes are a special “breed”. They work hard and come back stronger. By the way, she will be playing at the same field, in the same tournament she had her injury…..her words ” mom I can’t wait” Never give up!!!!!!!

  38. Meghan

    I am a competitive cheerleader and I understand the idea of half way there, for me it was half way through the routine, when you’re tired and out of breathe and ready to collapse but your team is still counting on you to complete the rest of the routine flawlessly. I am 21 years old and am now recovering from my 4th major surgery since I was 15. I have just had my hip operated on for a labral tear along with other issues, I am just reaching the half way recovery point, 3 months down… 3 to go. I have looked up inspirational quotes every week to get me through this long journey of rebuilding my strength.

    my first qoute is one from my highschool team
    “Expect Nothing, Earn Everything”
    then I started looking up a new workout quote every week and I found this
    “Personal fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase” Joseph Pilates

  39. Arie

    I’m a junior in high school and I recently (this past season) injured BOTH my shoulders swimming. I wasn’t allowed to practice for an entire month & as a result, struggled to make the needed times in my events. It was the not only the most absolute physical pain I’ve been in during my life, but I think what people don’t realize about athletic injuries is the mental side of it. It killed me that I couldn’t practice with my team. I think the worst part is when the doctor told me my shoulders are now permanently damaged. They’ll never make a 100% recovery and I’ll have to be okay with that for the rest of my life. He said I’m still allowed to swim (thank God) this last final season – my senior year next year- but I’ll always have to be watchful of re-accuring & maybe even further injuries. I know I’ll have to work harder & longer than most, but to me it’s my sport and I will do whatever it takes. I’ll definitely be bookmarking this site for later use if injuries occur. Anyway, good luck to all those facing current injuries, you’ll be back at it before you know it! 🙂

  40. Hunter Beggs

    Keep going for it! You have such great endurance Arie! This site has been helpful. I just finished my freshman year at college. During the women’s indoor track season, the third metatarsal in my foot got a stress fracture. The trainers didn’t think it was a stress fracture so they just kept me cross training in hopes that I could make it through the last meet. Well, I didn’t. The third metatarsal in my foot broke while I was running the mile at our Conference Indoor track meet. That was February 9th and it’s still not fully healed. I had to deal with crutches at college for practically a whole semester and a boot. Every 3-4 weeks that I go back to the doctor, I expect to hear that I can start the back to running program soon, but the x-rays show that it’s still not fully healed. It should have finished healing a month and a half ago. I have done (and still am doing) everything they tell me: eat calcium + supplements, bone healing system, and following their instructions about when to use the crutches and boot. I thought I’d be over the anger stage, but it just keeps flaring up with tears of frustration every time I see the x-rays at each appointment. The doctor even said if it wasn’t healed by the next appointment they would cast it. On top of that I’m a waitress, so now I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back to work or if I’ll still have my job by then. I also play volleyball, which is my first love, at college, and I’m the only setter this season. It’s so frustrating to be on a deadline and the foot isn’t healing like it should. I keep biking, doing ab workouts, and lifting with my arms. It’s so inspiring to hear people have come back from so many worse injuries and I admire all of the patience and determination. Patience and calmness are my biggest problems right now. Thank you again!

  41. ironbear

    THis site is pure convergence to what I am going through…

    I am a triathlete down with an eye injury which has prevented me from doing any physical activity.

    I look for the inspiration to HOPE because the past three months have been like a reality unfolding of the possibility of totally giving up what I love so much.

    Nonetheless, as every day goes by, I hang on to hope that one day, I can once again enjoy the feel of the water and the wind on my face as I swim, bike, and run.

    As for you, I wish you all the best in your speedy recovery.


  42. Zoe

    Hi there. My name is Zoe and my body is a magnet for all injuries. I’m a cross country and track runner. Lets see, I had a stress fracture in my shins. Went 3 months of getting back in shape, then had a stress fracture in my hip, then after only a couple weeks of recovery, I got a stress fracture on the top of my foot and developed a severe case of knee bursitis.
    So far, I haven’t gone a week without being injured. I need all the motivation I can get!

  43. rockwitralph

    Hi Amy,

    We’re almost in the same boat. injured my left wrist too and like you I’m a survivor and a believer

    Here’s my quote

    “you become what you think”

    “your reality is in your mentality”

  44. Hannah

    Hi, I am 16 years old and a in high school . I love to run cross county it is my passion and my joy. 3 days ago during a race I dislocated and fractured my left patella. They told me I am done for the season and I went through surgery yesterday where they put a screw in my knee. The worst part is that I am a week away from my league championship and I was on the road to state. I know I will run again in 4 months but losing state is a constant pain. I just tell myself that I love running because I push myself to new heights and when I am tired I don’t stop. So in recovery I will push myself to new heights and I will keep working until I come out of this stronger. Keep running, don’t ever stop.

  45. Henry Scott

    My name is Henry and I am 17 years old,
    I just moved out to a new school in Colorado from North Carolina My senior year. My sport has always been lacrosse, and it’s really been my connection to friends back in NC. It’s always been my chance to push myself and reach another level. As an all-conference player last year and an all state hopeful this year in the 4A public league this spring season has seemed like the most important thing In my life for a long time. I’ve trained since last summer and have forgone soccer just to further improve myself as a lacrosse player. This past winter break I broke my ankle in two separate places during a warm up scrimmage, in a showcase. I received 2 screws and a wire on Christmas eve of 2013. This was about as far away as I needed to be in my preparation for the spring season. Instead of hitting the gym and practicing with friends everyday I was doped up on a couch for two weeks and was told I wouldn’t be able to run until march which is when our first game is. I was heartbroken. After having my sights set on being a captain and a starter on a competitive team I lost sight of the fact that anything can happen. As my recovery has developed I have gone from needing a full cast for 8 weeks to only 4. I’ve still been able to hit the gym every day and do what I can, and I’ve realized that even if i am sitting and just playing wall ball by myself at practice, or I’m the only one in the gym on crutches that I’m making progress every day. Injury is a terrible place to be, but falling into self pity is even worse. As competitive athletes we all know this. However after seeing all of the above stories and hearing of much more competitive athletes coming back from much worse conditions I’ve realized that even though we may not be able to speed up our biological recovery we can stay positive psychologically. As long as we keep our goals and set our heights higher we can still make it. Recovery takes time, but if we work hard enough we can reach the places we were, and even pass our old expectations in due time. I’ve come to embrace my situation as a challenge, and I know that if i press on and give it my best that I’ll be back stronger than ever. With the spring season fast approaching I smile. I have only 15 days left in my cast and then I start rehab, and I think of how much stronger I’ll be as a person, and as an athlete when I beat this.Time and even life may not always be on our side, but it’s important that we stay on our side, and that we never give up on ourselves.
    When there’s a will there’s a way.

  46. Morgan W.

    Hi my name is Morgan. I am recovering from an ACL and meniscus surgery and I have been dealing with depression for months before the incident even happened. When I found this page, I was looking for a quote for a graphics tech project. My plan was to find a quote that would be about having an amazing comeback to the sport you love. From this page I found more though, I found stories that broke my heart and ones that inspired me to get back to becoming who I need to be. I was being recruited by Division 1 schools and getting looks for both Basketball and Volleyball when I took a wrong step going for a fast break. The event changed my life. Instead of deepening my depression it caused me to be my own medication by becoming better for next year. Only 16 years old and a junior in high school, I have next year to seal a scholarship at a University. But it gave me more. It gave me the opportunity to stand back and observe who I was becoming. And now, only a month and half after my surgery, I know for a fact that I may not be stronger physically, but my emotional and mental toughness is through the roof.

    “Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” – Robert H. Schulier

  47. Amy, What a wonderful collection. (I especially love the Helen Keller one.)

    It really got me thinking about my favourite quotes for runners. I pulled them together in this post:

    I managed somehow to avoid the ones you picked out (not sure how!).

    You’ll see I’ve also added a link to you (and a couple of other bloggers) to say thanks for the inspiration. I’d love to know what you think of the post.

    Here’s to injury-free running.

    All the best

    Jamie de Sylva

  48. Eni

    Dear Everyone,

    My name is Eni and I am 16-year-old track and field runner. I have been suffering from unexplainable shin splints for 4 years already.
    People have told me it would be better to quit, give up my power and core stability trainings that I still do every day to keep my body fit.
    Every single time someone tells me to quit, I get to feel this extra drive to keep going, keep believing.
    Because I know I have been made for running, I know that one day I will prove them all wrong.

    True talent isn’t in the body, it is in the mind.

    All the best

  49. Jenn Graham

    Thanks for sharing! Not much out there on the mental and emotional struggles that comes from an athlete-pro or recreational-being out of commission. Love these quotes!

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