Updated: Apr 22, 2022
Injuries happen, it is that simple, and you can’t control how & when exactly they do occur. My name is Max Martins and I have been participating in & living my best life through sports for as long as I can remember. Through my sporting career, I have reached ultimate highs carrying my college baseball team to a conference championship & NCAA tournament birth, and seen deep lows as well while spending far too much time sidelined by injuries.
My college baseball career ended injury-free (whoa!), but as I have transitioned into “real adult life” and become a dedicated runner I have been tested over and over again both physically and mentally with injury after injury. It has become my reality, being forced to sit out yet again, yet I refuse to let injury define me and stop me from achieving fulfillment in my physical performance. Back to basics, live & learn, grow & evolve, whatever it takes find a way to persevere and be my best self. So here is my perspective on how to be resilient, and refuse to be stuck when injuries hit . . .
3 Things I Would Tell the Athlete in Me Prior to My Injury
Slow down to accelerate.
This may seem contradictory, but it is clear that one key to longevity in endurance sports is learning how and when to slow down. Listen to your body, anticipate the hurt and force yourself to reflect before and after each workout so you are fully in tune with your fitness and physical being. Take the time to connect your mind & body, and give yourself a break. You’ve earned it, and a little extra time off to recover will allow you to push yourself to new heights in the long run.
Do not forget to enjoy the ride.
Enjoy who you are, what you are working towards, and always stay grounded in what your purpose is within each activity. Appreciate what you just did, praise yourself for what you achieve in each workout instead of letting yourself be fully focused on what comes next. Be present, you are allowed to feel good about who you are. Don’t let the end goal affect how you feel about your current state, because if you do you will miss out on all of the joy that the journey to achieve that goal may bring.
Be open to seeking & collaborating with a community of athletes just like you.
Running is inherently an individual sport, which is great, but be open to leaning on others to help you through the highs and lows of training. I have majorly opposed even considering actively participating in running groups, and honestly, this has been a detriment to my mental health as I have deprived myself of the massive support system a running group can offer. Even communicating with/running with a group once a month would help me expand my social circle at the very least. I have underestimated the positive influence that socializing my training can have. I love making connections and networking, so why not bring that into my training and lean on and give back to so many other’s just like me?! What is the worst that can happen . . . I make new friends, I expand my circle, I grow socially, I have a built-in support group . . . sounds like a win/win!
Max is a former lefty pitcher turned runner post college baseball career, and while his day job is running the Business Operations at The Ely Center (a social cognition therapy center) he is always focused on improving his own health & wellness while enjoying life with his amazing wife and fun-loving pup!”