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Overcoming Injury as an Athlete

Published on September 15, 2023

Arbor Diggs

I first heard my left ankle pop in the summer of 2014. I disregarded it because as a ballet dancer, you get used to your body popping. After a few months, I didn’t only hear a popping noise, but I felt pain. I began to search for an answer. After three and a half years of searching, four different doctors, two different medical staff, one month in a cast, two months in a boot, three x-rays, one MRI, and endless days spent dancing in pain, I finally found the answer. But, it wasn’t how I expected.

In January 2018, my doctor told me there was a nodule growing inside the deepest tendon of my foot that could erupt and cause irreputable damage. Surgery for a complete ankle reconstruction was immediately scheduled.

As athletes, we are known for our preparation and performance. We put hours into working out, eating right, practicing hard and performing even harder. We prepare to perform. But we are not prepared for an injury that puts everything on pause.


The Physical Battle

Injuries are frustrating and upsetting, and they come with many battles. First, there’s the physical battle of recovering. We can no longer be the athlete we once were. We can no longer do what we trained for, and sometimes, we lose the caliber at which we once performed. This can leave us feeling frustrated, depressed and super low.


The Spiritual Battle

The spiritual battle can be much more difficult than the physical. This is where the enemy loves for us to be.

The spiritual battle is next, and this is much more difficult than the physical. This is where the enemy loves for us to be.

“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” -John 10:10a


Our enemy comes in at our lowest moments and plants lies in our heads amid our suffering. Lies that make us feel worthless since we cannot compete, lies that make us question God and His goodness and plan for us. Lies that seek to steal, kill and destroy our joy and trust in God. 

The enemy wants the outcome of our injury to be fear.

God wants the outcome of our injury to be faith.

Read the rest of the article to learn how God can use injury as a way to know Him deeper.