Injuries are never fun. And every athlete competing at a high level has had to deal with them at one point or another. Some minor injuries have quick recovery periods of only days or weeks and others could be months or years and may even force an early end to an athlete’s career.

I recently suffered a rib injury and even though I was only out for a short time, I experienced a lot of frustration because of the obstruction to my progress and even anger at the limitations of my own body. Having this injury caused me to reflect on why I am willing to push my body to its limits or maybe even past its limits, why I am willing to hurt, why I am willing to sacrifice my comfort, and whether it’s all worth it.

I also thought about times when I had more long-term injuries. What kept me going? What made me put in the tedious day-to-day work only to come back to the sport less physically fit than I was before? I thought about one of my friends, who worked tirelessly for many months only to be told that she would probably never compete again - and yet -

even having pages ripped from an unfinished chapter in her life, she never lost her passion or her love for the sport.

Injured athletes are inspirational.

They are allowed to be frustrated, they are allowed to be upset. They should be praised for their progress and their perseverance and they should never be torn down or diminished, even if their progress is slow or if they have setbacks. The fact that they are willing to work through that pain and that frustration in hopes of healing their bodies so that they can get back to doing what they love shows their true character and their passion.

Injured athletes are inspirational, but sometimes they need a little inspiration too.

Here’s to the injured athletes.

This one’s for the days you don’t feel like doing your rehab exercises.

This one’s for the days you’d rather be doing anything but the stationary bike.

This one’s for the days you keep measuring yourself against your peak performance.

This one’s for the days when your mental battles are even tougher than your physical battles.

This one’s for the days you’ve stumbled and you wonder if you’ll get back up.

1. No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and came out on the other side stronger than ever” - Anonymous

2. “Turn your setbacks into comebacks” - Anonymous

3. “When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is” - Anonymous

4. “The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure” - Nike

5. “Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble” - Benjamin Franklin

6. “Never let a stumble in the road be the end of a journey.” - Anonymous

7. “Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I will do what others can’t” - Anonymous

8. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. I comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t” - Anonymous

9. “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” -Michael Jordan

10. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up” - Dean Karnazes

11. “Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over” - Anonymous

12. “The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.” - Anonymous

13. “Success is built out of faith, an undying passion, and a relentless drive” - Stephen Curry

14. “Remember the guy that gave up? Neither does anyone else.” - Anonymous

15. “The hard days are the best because that’s where champions are made.” - Gabby Douglas

16. “Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is” - Vince Lombardi

17. “Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle.” - Sanya Richards Ross

18. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” - Matt Biondi

19. “Goals should never be easy. They should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable.” - Michael Phelps

20. “Being challenged is inevitable. Being defeated is optional” - Anonymous

21. “My attitude is that if you push me towards a weakness, I will turn that weakness into a strength” - Michael Jordan

22. “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started” - Anonymous

23. “The ones who say ‘You can’t’ and ‘You won’t’ are probably the ones scared that you will” - Anonymous

24. “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” - Anonymous

25. “To persevere is important to everybody. Don’t give up. Don’t Give in. There is always an answer to everything.” - Louis Zamperini