Fitness Inspiration for the Injured: When There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Today’s Motivation Monday Radio Show on The Sideline Radio is all about dealing with injuries. Unfortunately, we all have had, or will have, some sort of injury. As my grandmother always said “it’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that really matters” – and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to being injured.

An injury can surely set you back, but how far back is up to you. It can slow you down, it can stop you – OR it can motivate you to prove everyone wrong and show people a whole new level of determination. Most of the time, it’s just a matter of the mind. I’ve seen people let a small injury ruin a perfectly healthy life, and I’ve seen people with some of the most severe disabilities return to the gym day after day, doing far more than their doctor ever dreamed possible.

So, if you think you have a pretty good excuse to stop being active and fit, then think again. Here are some inspiring athletes who spit on the face of fear and chased their dreams despite their limitations. Be Inspired – and then quit feeling sorry for yourself and get your fitness on!

10 Inspiring Athletes Who Didn’t Let Their Limitations Limit Their Dreams

Barbie Guerra, is a fitness competitor who has one big heart and no arms – but that doesn’t stop her from being a competitive fitness athlete where acrobatics, strength, flexibility and physique all count.

Bob Siudak lost his leg was bone cancer but it doesn’t stop him from competitive bodybuilding – he even does squats with 1 leg! 

Aimee Mullins probably never thought she’d capture the attention of the fashion media after her success in competitive sports despite her disability. After being featured in Life Magazine, she has graced the covers of various magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Elle, Jane, Wired and Forbes. 

Undefeated XFC Lightweight Pro MMA Fighter from Milford, CT, Nick Newell  fights and WINS with only one fully functioning arm and hand. This is NOT one guy you want to meet in a dark alley – I don’t care how many arms you have!

After losing her leg in a motorcycle accident, South African swimmer,  Natalie du Toit, was determined to compete at the Manchester Games both as an able bodied and disabled competitor just to prove it could be done. 

Hugh Herr continued rock climbing even after both of his legs were amputated after a disastrous climbing expedition. Talk about getting back on the horse after falling off! That’s a man who boldly stares fear right in the face and says “you aren’t going to stop me!” 

South Africa’s national track and field athlete, Oscar Pistorius, made Olympics history as the first athlete to compete with a prosthetic limb. 

Anthony Robles never let his so-called “handicap” stop him reaching for his goals, winning the 2010-2011 NCAA individual wrestling championship in the 125-pound weight class.

Jeremy Campbell 3-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Discus thrower for the USA. 

USA’s paralympic swimmer Jessica Long. She says “Who would have ever imagined that a girl with a “disability” from an orphanage in Siberia would be where I am today?  I’m living proof that you can accomplish your dreams, no matter how great or small.”

Before they were Conquerers

You maybe looking at each of these fully functioning athletes, with or without prosthetic limbs, as if they are just like you and me now. But don’t forget there were many painful times. The rehab, the muscle weakness, the physical therapy, the practices, and the failures along the way. Then their are the people who try to “help” and attempt to talk them out of chasing their dreams, saying things like “you have nothing to prove” and “you don’t have to do this”. Think about all of the really good reasons they could have used to quit and feel okay about it. Think of the tears they cried when they first attempted something they couldn’t do. Picture their disappointment and their frustration – all before they ever tasted victory. NOW, use that mental picture to help you pull through your own struggles, no matter how big or small. None of these people have extra special physical powers – they just never gave up.

Get helpful tips on how to prevent, or bounce back, after an injury from today’s Motivation Monday Radio Show on The Sideline Radio on WTTB 1490, also available online at

About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on October 1, 2012, in Motivational, Pain Prevention/Rehabilittion, PFIT TIPS, PFOCUS. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is so inspiring, thank you! Starting at 275lbs was daunting. It was the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m still on my journey, but knowing people, with all the reason in the world not to continue, do so and succeed, makes me realize ANYTHING is possible with time and determination!

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