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26 | Water Skier and Coach Matteo Luzzeri: Strength Through Support

The Injured Athletes Club

Release Date: 05/14/2020

36 | Carrie Answers Your Questions show art 36 | Carrie Answers Your Questions

The Injured Athletes Club

We—Carrie and Cindy—also operate a Facebook group that’s also called The Injured Athletes Club. It’s a thriving, positive community of other people who just plain get it. This week, in our final episode of season 3, we asked members for their questions about the psychological and emotional aspects of the journey. Here, Carrie responds to concerns about fears, doubts, and understanding what makes you tick, among other things.

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35 | Cyclist and Heart Transplant Recipient Mike Cohen: An Incredible Journey show art 35 | Cyclist and Heart Transplant Recipient Mike Cohen: An Incredible Journey

The Injured Athletes Club

From cancer to health. Back to the hospital with a heart attack—and home with a new heart. And finally, across the country on a bike, twice. Mike Cohen’s life has taken him to places he never could have imagined. In this week’s episode, the San Diego-based athlete—who calls himself a professional cyclist riding for a cause—takes us through some of the highs and lows of his travels.

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34 | Runner, Coach, and Author Anji Andrews: Facing the Challenge show art 34 | Runner, Coach, and Author Anji Andrews: Facing the Challenge

The Injured Athletes Club

On most days, British runner Anji Andrews lives the athlete’s dream, working in the running industry in several capacities. But this summer, a foot injury that had begun to develop earlier this year worsened just as the country locked down due to the pandemic. Anji found the constant reminders of what she couldn’t do difficult to bear. In this week’s episode, she talks openly and honestly about the raw emotions of this combination, and how underfueling and overtraining played a role.

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33 | Paralympic Medalist Lex Gillette: For Every Vision, a Revision show art 33 | Paralympic Medalist Lex Gillette: For Every Vision, a Revision

The Injured Athletes Club

Lex Gillette—a world record holder and national champion in the long jump—has had to navigate change before. At age 8, doctors diagnosed him with detached retinas, and couldn’t save his sight despite multiple surgeries. Though the transition wasn’t easy, Lex credits his support system—and the confidence they inspired in him—with getting him through. The same ability to adapt to change has also powered him through injuries and other setbacks.

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32 | Cindy and Carrie Travel Through Time show art 32 | Cindy and Carrie Travel Through Time

The Injured Athletes Club

Your physical being occupies space in the present moment. But often, our thoughts are a million miles away, fretting over the past or fearful of the future: Will I ever run again? What if I hadn’t gone on that last ride or collided with that other player? These thoughts can hook us, leaving us unable to move on. We describe how to catch yourself taking these less-than-productive trips. From there, you can recenter your mind, adapt to the existing reality, and act to create a better future.

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31 | Olympian Mechelle Lewis Freeman: Finding the Opportunity show art 31 | Olympian Mechelle Lewis Freeman: Finding the Opportunity

The Injured Athletes Club

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

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30 | Trans Athlete, Coach, and Activist Chris Mosier: Claiming Your Legacy show art 30 | Trans Athlete, Coach, and Activist Chris Mosier: Claiming Your Legacy

The Injured Athletes Club

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.

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29 | Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols: Embracing New Identities show art 29 | Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols: Embracing New Identities

The Injured Athletes Club

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,

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28 | Soccer Coach and Mental Skills Consultant Amanda Ferranti: The Courage to Care show art 28 | Soccer Coach and Mental Skills Consultant Amanda Ferranti: The Courage to Care

The Injured Athletes Club

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.

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27 | Elite Runner Alia Gray: Breaking the Cycle show art 27 | Elite Runner Alia Gray: Breaking the Cycle

The Injured Athletes Club

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.

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More Episodes

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 shares the story of his most serious injury, a ruptured Achilles in September 2014. The experience was all the more challenging because it came at what could’ve been the peak of his career, and after he’d just moved to a new city. With the support of friends and fellow athletes, and expert medical care, he made a return to the water the following spring. 

 

On top of his own athletic accomplishments—which include the Italian Championships, a National Collegiate Championship with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010, and two podium placements on the Pro Tour in slalom in 2014—he’s a coach and just completed his Ph.D. in sport psychology. This combination gives him unique insight into how the mental affects the physical, and the mindset techniques that work to navigate any type of adversity.

 

A huge thank you to Fluid Running H2GO, the only app-based deep-water running system in the world, for sponsoring this season of the Injured Athletes Club. CLICK HERE and use code IAC 30 to take $30 off the full system or the digital bundle.

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • More about the way injuries are viewed in the sport of waterskiing, including why there’s support in the community around the issue (6:58)
  • His early injury history, and why those sustained outside the sport can be extra frustrating (9:17)
  • How the biggest injury of his career—a ruptured Achilles in 2014—occurred and affected him (13:06)
  • The sage advice he got from another pro about mentally reframing his injury recovery (19:47)
  • The incredible support he received from a friend post-surgery (24:41)
  • How a decision he made about his equipment contributed to his injury, and what he felt about that afterward (27:26)
  • What it was like to get back in his skis after months away (34:09)
  • The empty-chair technique and how athletes can use it in their own mental skills work (44:44)
  • The tremendous power of a social support network in navigating almost any setback (47:25)
  • How athletes dedicated to mastering their craft can view injury as a new puzzle to solve or challenge to overcome (49:31)

 

You can subscribe to The Injured Athletes Club on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or a review in Apple podcasts. That helps other injured athletes find the show.

 

Resources/links we mention:

 

To access more resources for injured athletes:

  • Join The Injured Athletes Club mailing list, for weekly news and updates
  • Join The Injured Athletes Club Facebook group, for support and camaraderie
  • Email us at [email protected] with questions, guest suggestions, or other feedback

 

DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational & informational use only and & does not constitute medical advice. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have heard in an episode of this podcast. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for proper evaluation & treatment. Guests who speak on this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions, and The Injured Athletes Club podcast hosts nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular treatment option discussed in the episodes of this podcast and are not responsible for any actions or inactions of listeners based on the information presented. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk.