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Emmy MaJuly 10, 2023 at 6:12 AM4 min read

Injured? Transforming Setbacks into Personal Growth for Women Athletes

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Injuries are an unfortunate but inevitable part of being an athlete. When you’re on the mend, it can be challenging and frustrating to keep a motivated mindset. Take a moment to think about the characteristics you embody to be the stellar athlete you are — you’re persistent, hard-working, resilient… the list goes on and on! Injury is an unexpected setback that can be thought of as an opportunity to focus on other aspects of your well-being and personal development.

Here are just a few ideas on what you can do to make the most of the time you have away from training!


1. Feel your feelings.

In between all of the doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments, and your new-found free time, it’s okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated, or like you just want to scream into a pillow. Holding in negative emotions can actually create further complications in your mind and body through biological and physiological processes that can make it harder to live your life — even after you have healed and returned to full-time training. Take time to reflect on things you’re grateful for in a journal or with a trusted friend or family member – the list might be longer than you expect.


2. Set new goals for yourself.

Creating goals and what you need to do to achieve them is light work for us athletes. What hobbies have you always dreamed of picking up and what materials do you need to acquire to learn them? Envision your dream life and each part of it, whether it’s your finances, career, travels, bucket list items, relationships, or personal growth – what steps would you have to take to live in that reality? Your work ethic is unbelievably powerful, so put it to use!


3. Pick up new hobbies.

Thinking about the next skill you’re hoping to master? Here are some ideas:

  • Arts and crafts: Crochet, knit, collage, coloring books – the possibilities are endless. Take yourself on a date to your nearest craft store, pick up the supplies, and let your creativity run free!
  • DJing: A perfect way to make your dream dance party become a reality. TikTok is a great platform to search for information about equipment for beginners and find inspiration for whatever genre you’re most interested in mixing. This is also an opportunity for you to get more familiar with your favorite artist’s tracks, research DJ’s that you love, and get moving in a fun way!
  • Latte art: Add a little more joy into your day by sprucing up your morning cup of joe. Here’s a basic tutorial you can get started with.
  • Try new recipes: Level up your cooking skills to fuel your recovering body. Want an extra challenge? Make a list of foods you historically dislike and try them again, especially if it’s been a while. You might find delicious or nutritious ingredients that you can incorporate into your meal prep routines or use to impress a crowd at a dinner party.
  • Pick up a new language: The benefits of learning another language are endless. In addition to reaching your daily Duolingo goal, understanding the cultures that speak the language you’re picking up is a great opportunity to diversify your perspective. You could read children’s or comic books, explore new music or films, enroll in classes, or even book a trip – in the process, you’ll find that your understanding of how you learn something from scratch most effectively grows as well.
  • Online certifications: Boost your resume by enrolling in online courses to learn any skills you’ve even had the slightest interest in! Grow with Google is an incredible resource to get professional job training in a variety of subjects. Learn at your own pace and stand out for your current or future career goals!


4. Curate effective, grounding routines in your day.

Daily routines can support the progress of your healing journey by maintaining a sense of consistency. Include time in your day for mobility work, stretching, and injury-specific rehabilitation exercises. Ensuring a full night’s sleep can only benefit your recovery and help you feel your best in no time!


5. Discover new tools/equipment to speed up your healing.

Whether it’s new visualization techniques, cryotherapy devices, or percussion massagers, there are so many tools and products out there that can accelerate your healing, reduce inflammation, and provide pain relief for your injury. One of our favorite devices is the DNA Vibe Jazz Band, which is a wearable that uses intelligent red light therapy to increase circulation and cellular oxygenation in the area you use it on. It’s lightweight and easy to use at home or on-the-go so you can do more of what you love.



During the recovery process, it's essential to surround yourself with a supportive community that understands the challenges and frustrations you're going through. Seek out online forums, social media groups, or local support networks where you can connect with fellow athletes who have experienced similar injuries. Share your journey, exchange advice, and find solace in the understanding and encouragement of others. Building a strong support system can provide the emotional support and motivation you need to stay positive and focused on your recovery goals.

Remember, while injuries may be setbacks, they can also be opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. By embracing the challenges, exploring new interests, and utilizing innovative recovery techniques, you can come back even stronger. Stay resilient, maintain a positive mindset, and trust in your ability to overcome obstacles. Your dedication, determination, and commitment to your well-being will pave the way for your triumphant return to the sport you love.


Emmy Ma

Emmy Ma works as a Content Intern at Parity. She has been involved with the company since 2021, not long after retiring from professional figure skating at age 20. During her athletic career, she represented both Taiwan and Team USA at international events. She graduated from Boston University in 2022 with a B.A. in Advertising and a minor in Psychology.



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