My Silver Lining

Written by: Marina Chen, RecoverED Athletes Vice President

This past fall, I had my first panic attack. This feeling was foreign to me and I didn’t know how to cope. The many things that I had loved were crowded out with fear. I feared my hobbies, my city, and many people. I feared life. 

Leading up to this time, my life had been unsustainably busy. I neglected proper meals, rest, and my energy felt pulled in an infinite amount of directions.

This feeling of fear, panic, and anxiety stayed persistent for a long time and I grew to fear the feeling. I doubted whether I would make it through. 

Reflexively, I antagonized my anxiety. I refused to accept the drastic shift it had created in my life. Seeing that this created more panic and fear, I sought ways to accept my anxiety. On the path towards acceptance I reflected on the gifts my emotions have brought me. 

I’ve learned to slow down, create moments of rest, properly nourish my body, sit presently with people, and seek out what I truly enjoy. 

I relied on many people during this time too. Long time friends, recent friends, my family. It made me realize how much love and support I had around me. 

I’ve struggled with my relationship with my body and food for a long time. My internalized belief that I should look a certain way and that food was the enemy had stayed persistent for most of my life despite efforts to change this.

My anxiety has helped me redefine my relationship with food. Negative neural pathways I had surrounding food started to shift as I sought to nourish my body in order to support my mental well being. Food is no longer something I fear, rather a supporter towards my happiness and connection with others. 

It’s been a slow but steady progression to feeling like life will be okay again. I’ve received help from loved ones, therapists, daily practices, and the guidance of God to reclaim my peace. 

I find comfort in that on Earth, Jesus experienced every human emotion and everything we’ve felt, he’s felt too. 

I still feel the panic. I still feel the fear. But unlike before, these feelings don’t last. Like a wave, they come and they go and I’ve begun to surrender to the ride. 

Why should I recover?

By: Meghan G.

Dear friend, 

The eating disorder wants to keep you trapped in thinking that it can give you happiness, success, the perfect life, etc. The eating disorder wants you to think that life would not be complete without it. But friend, when you take a step back and realize all the reasons why you should recover, I hope you know that there are so many benefits to letting it go. You do not deserve to be trapped in your eating disorder any longer. Here are 25 reasons why recovery is worth it…what would you add?

  1. To have the energy to play my sport
  2. To build more muscle strength
  3. To stop having injuries 
  4. To enjoy exercise/movement again
  5. To have a worry-free vacation at the beach 
  6. To live on your own/independently
  7. To travel to a different country/state and not worry about my body or food
  8. To be free 
  9. To socialize with friends and family again
  10. To enjoy work/school
  11. To enjoy restaurants without stress
  12. To have my true identity back 
  13. To try new foods
  14. To take care of my body 
  15. To help someone else who struggles
  16. To stop holding in my feelings and be vulnerable 
  17. To experience life outside of exercise 
  18. To start a family someday
  19. To be spontaneous 
  20. To be free of Ed’s control on my life 
  21. To wear clothes that I want to wear 
  22. To eat my favorite foods again
  23. To be confident in myself
  24. To release stress from my friends/family when they worry about me
  25. To tell my story of how God saved me and used my struggles to get closer to him

Meghan is a recent occupational therapy graduate and lives on the East coast. Meghan currently works as a recovery coach at a residential eating disorder treatment facility. Meghan’s passion for raising eating disorder awareness stems from her own personal struggles, in addition to having friends/family members that have struggled with eating disorders as well. While Meghan hopes to start her occupational therapy career soon, she wants to continue to be involved in the eating disorder field and advocate for the role of OT in ED treatment settings. When Meghan is not working, you will find her planning her next Walt Disney World trip.

Meghan G.’s Recovery Story: From Client to Recovery Coach

Eight and a half years ago, I was a scared high school student at an eating disorder treatment facility, wondering how I’d even gotten there in the first place. Growing up, I heard about eating disorders, but never imagined that I would be diagnosed or struggle with one myself. Something about transitioning into my freshman year of high school made me spiral into an unhealthy place, and before I knew it, I felt I was drowning in an ocean I couldn’t pull myself out of. There were so many days that I cried out to God to take my struggles away. I often questioned God, asking him why I battled with an eating disorder in the first place. But even though recovery was a rocky road for a long time, God put those obstacles (and amazing supports) in my life for a purpose, because now, I can help others who battle through the same thing. 

Just how I never would’ve imagined being diagnosed with an eating disorder, I never would’ve imagined I’d be helping others recover from their eating disorder. I recently started a position at an eating disorder treatment facility to help clients challenge their food rules and conquer their ED thoughts; the same thing I had to do in treatment years ago (and still have to practice to this day). 

Am I 100% recovered? No. I feel that I am close, but not completely there yet. It may seem strange that I work at an eating disorder treatment facility and I am not fully healed; however, I know God puts occasional eating disorder challenges in my life because one of my clients (or someone else I know) may be struggling with the same thing. I also know that God puts ED challenges in my life as a reminder that I need to trust in him when I struggle. 

Recovery is not easy. It takes a lot of bravery. But know that God’s got you, even when it doesn’t feel like it. He will lead you right to where you are supposed to be. Keep fighting.

Meghan is a recent occupational therapy graduate and lives on the East coast. Meghan currently works as a recovery coach at a residential eating disorder treatment facility. Meghan’s passion for raising eating disorder awareness stems from her own personal struggles, in addition to having friends/family members that have struggled with eating disorders as well. While Meghan hopes to start her occupational therapy career soon, she wants to continue to be involved in the eating disorder field and advocate for the role of OT in ED treatment settings. When Meghan is not working, you will find her planning her next Walt Disney World trip.

Loving yourself this Valentine’s Day

By Maddy Bladeow

If marketing companies and commercials have done their job, the start of February should remind the world what “love truly means” with red accents, red roses, teddy bears with red hearts, and chocolates in heart shaped tins. It is understandable if the commercialized definition of Valentine’s Day and so much red begin to cloud your view of self love or other forms of caring about someone. The color starts to make me roll my eyes as we get closer  to February 14th each year. 

Singing teddy bears start to slowly invade the isles, and boxes of candy are stacked each day higher. I encourage you to look beyond the semi-legible, dusty messages found after opening a box of candy hearts to define love. After all,  you can only be someone else’s Valentine if you are your own first. 

Each person and every strong woman deserves to feel love in more genuine ways than the ordinary acts on this holiday. Some view it as a day to honor the love they already feel, but some view it as a stand alone day to express love. They save February 14th as the day to show someone how they feel but forget the rest of the calendar. Every day also holds the potential to express feelings of devotion or adoration not only for others, but for themselves. Everyday is an opportunity to turn inward and show yourself the love that you deserve without needing a reason.

There is no occasion that this mid-winter day should carry extra stress or hesitant feelings. Take the time to find a reason to love yourself to prove that you are always worthy of acts of endearment and not wait for January to turn to February. Show those around you, and yourself that they are worth more than a stuffed animal that will fade with time and lose value. Deserving to be loved cannot be reasoned with the monthly revenue of a Walgreens during the holiday and much less bought with roses and chocolate.

If looking for love each year around this time has become routine, I believe you already have found someone worth the love you are searching to give if you look in a mirror.

Phrase for 2023: Intentional Rhythms of Rest

By: Megan Ludke

Rest is valuable. Busyness is not a badge of honor, neither is burnout.

This year I’m choosing to create intentional rhythms of rest. There will always be items on my to do list but I can choose to prioritize my well-being and create rhythms of rest. To put aside the to do list and just be.

What does this practically look like?

  • Driving without music on to be more mindful 
  • Stopping work tasks by 7:30pm to make time for self care and joyful activities 
  • Reading before bed 
  • Journaling throughout the week 
  • Taking brief deep breathing and mindfulness breaks throughout the day, especially as work 
  • Pursuing restful activities- like painting 
  • Saying no
  • Releasing control and giving tasks to others, letting others in to help 

Why did I choose this phrase?

I’ve been saying yes to too many things, not reaching out for help with tasks, and experiencing burnout. The pace I’ve been going is not sustainable or helpful for my well-being, leading me to pursue intentional rhythms of rest in 2023 & pursue an unhurried life as Jesus modeled.

Is it time for you to create rhythms of rest? Going at 110% all day, everyday is not sustainable or healthy for us; rest and slowing down are so valuable and important. Consider choosing building intentional moments of rest into your days.

With love,


“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” -Mark‬ ‭6‬:‭30‬-‭32‬ ‭

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” -Genesis‬ ‭2‬:‭2‬-‭3‬ ‭‬‬

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” -Psalm‬ ‭23‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” -‭‭Luke‬ ‭5‬:‭15‬-‭16‬ ‭

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”-Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬-‭30‬ ‭

Lindsay’s Recovery Story

Trigger warning: mention of suicidal ideation

As a kid, I loved being active, but after being diagnosed with severe scoliosis, I had to wear a back brace 23 hours a day to avoid spinal surgery. This limited my ability to play several sports, so my “athleticism” occurred well into my adult years.

I decided to give running a try at the age of 30.  At the time, I had been married for ten years and was staying home with our two young children.  I recently became friends with a mom at our daughter’s school, a former college athlete running track and cross country.  Every time we talked, she would tell me I should start running too. I told her of my disdain for running for no apparent reason, but she was relentless.  She set me up with a training plan and signed us up for a 5k.  I assured her I would be the slowest, but I was willing to give it a shot.

 On race day, I showed up in the ten-degree weather with a thin shirt, cotton pants, and mesh tennis shoes quickly soaked with icy water.  I still remember wondering why on earth people did this for fun.  The race began, and after the first mile, I was concerned I had done something wrong because I was passing everyone for a second time.  I won first place in my age category, and despite thinking I might freeze to death, I loved it.  From that time forward, I was hooked. My new friend, who had trained and run her whole life, was shocked that I got off the couch at 30 and was a natural runner.  Her approval and encouragement were my favorite part. 

 I grew up as an only child in a home where perfectionism reigned, the bar was set high, and I was a constant disappointment.  I always made straight A’s and was a very compliant child, but I was not talented or good at anything.  It felt so nice to have something of my own that came naturally; even better was the constant praise and encouragement that had always been missing. 

 I invested in some actual running gear and began running more frequently. I quickly noticed pain after almost every run, but I took it as a challenge, not a warning.  I looked forward to my early morning runs which cleared my head and helped me feel prepared for the day. Sometimes I prayed as I ran; other times, I just listened to music and enjoyed my time alone.  What began as an enjoyable activity and stress reliever soon became an obsession.  In my early weeks of running, my body changed which brought about many compliments, even from my husband.  My mood became dependent on my runs. I rarely allowed rest days, and despite increasing pain, I pushed myself harder. My pace continued to improve, and I easily won first place in every race I entered. I didn’t care about the wins or being the fastest; my real competition was with myself, which would prove to be my longest and most challenging battle. 

 I experienced several injuries, even times when a muscle would snap, and I would limp home. After one injury that sent me to the doctor, I was diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which contributed to the pain I was experiencing. It wasn’t long before I heard the dreaded news that I would never run again.  My body could not handle the impact due to the EDS, and running put me at risk for permanent injury.  Every specialist I saw reminded me that maintaining muscle and core strength was vital for my scoliosis and EDS as I aged, but any impact exercise was not an option. I felt like I was being told to hop in my car and take a road trip, but the first requirement was to hand over my car keys.  I was frustrated and angry.  As silly as it may sound, I grieved the loss of running as if it were a death.  

Over the following months, life took turns I never anticipated.  My husband and I were moving and renovating a home when we received difficult news from some family requiring our help and attention.  Shortly after, I experienced a shocking rejection from my closest friend, and a few weeks later, my father passed away unexpectedly.  I remember promising myself that I would never lose control of my body, even though I had lost control of so many other parts of my life.  At the time, I had no idea that the broken little girl still living inside me was making a huge decision for my aching adult heart.  

I had been experiencing symptoms of severe depression for months but was too embarrassed to tell anyone.  I had never been depressed in my life.  I was always the one with tons of energy and a smile.  I was outgoing, funny, and known for being a good friend and encourager.  I could not comprehend how I went from that to the mom who dropped her kids off at school and cried for hours every day.  I read my Bible, prayed, and begged God to pull me out of this darkness.  I found comfort in Scripture, but God felt distant and cold.  I became convinced He had abandoned me.  Another strange symptom that developed during this time was my inability to keep food down.  It was like my body had decided to reject it.  This involuntary symptom was strange to me, but I also knew many things about my body were weird, so I ignored it for quite some time.  Eventually, I got some tests done to rule out any medical problems, and everything checked out fine.  

What began as my body’s response to stress slowly became something very disordered. Even as these behaviors  spiraled out of control, no one had a clue, including my husband. I didn’t even think I had an eating disorder at the time.  After all, I wasn’t anorexic or bulimic.   I began going to counseling for the depression that was not letting up. Although I was guarded and never showed emotion, I learned a lot about myself and processed through very painful parts of childhood that undoubtedly led to some of my current struggles.  I began a long process of grief and forgiveness. The intensity of my depression began to lift, and I experienced God’s grace in some beautiful ways. It was as if He lifted me out of the darkness just in time.  

  However, my behavior with food had not changed. I found comfort in the chaos, something I could control when everything else felt out of control. I had developed an intense fear of weight gain, so it felt like management for that as well. It even provided physical comfort in a way nothing else did, but in the depths of my heart, I knew something was off.  I began researching and educating myself on eating disorders and quickly learned that mine fell in the EDNOS category.  I studied and read about eating disorders as if it were my job, and I could spout off the DSM diagnostic criteria for every eating disorder in the book.  With a background in Psychology, I qualified for classes towards a certified eating disorder certificate through the IAEDP, thinking I could educate my way out of my eating disorder (this is not effective). Knowledge may be power, but it does not heal.

It did not take long before I realized I was in over my head.  I tried everything I knew to fix myself, but I couldn’t.  I knew I needed help, but there was no way I could tell anyone.  I was too old for an eating disorder and looked happy and healthy.  No one saw the countless times I was curled up on my bathroom floor pleading for God to heal me or the nights I cried myself to sleep begging God to take my life because I didn’t want to go on like this anymore. I hated the person I had become. I valued honesty and authenticity in my relationships with others and felt like I was living a lie.  I was caught in an addiction that I could not bring under control.  I thought no one would want anything to do with me if they knew what was happening underneath the surface, so I began pulling away from everyone and everything I knew.  If I couldn’t be honest, I wanted to be alone.  

As secrets thrive in darkness, so do eating disorders, and mine was in full swing.  The thought of keeping this up forever was exhausting as guilt and shame ruled many of my days.  Why wouldn’t God take me home if there was no way out of this? I knew I belonged to Him and longed to be with Him…did He not want me either?  My prayers began to shift.  If God was going to leave me here, my only desire was that He would do something good with me. I prayed He would use my life to glorify Himself, even in some small way.  I knew that was the real purpose of my life, and it felt like the only reason to keep pressing into this fight.  I still longed for healing, but more than that, I longed for God. I had seen His faithfulness before and knew I could see it again. 

My sweet husband, who had been so understanding and patient with me through my depression, deserved better than this. My precious kids needed their mom. I felt desperate and so alone. I decided to give counseling another shot, so I purchased a book by a well-known ED professional, gave one copy to my therapist, and kept one for myself.  I informed her of the chapters we would cover and the ones we would skip.  Once we were finished, we could evaluate my progress.  She agreed to my well-worded control tactics, and we dug in, but only as far as my guarded heart would allow.  As months passed, it became evident that I needed more help than I could find in my small Midwestern town. 

 I made the difficult decision to self-admit to a residential facility, meaning I had to tell my husband the extent of the problem.  Several weeks later, I nervously walked into a room full of young women fighting to take their lives back. My heart broke for each of them as I quietly sat down, half smiling at those I accidentally made eye contact with.  How did I get here?  Is this even real? There is no way I belong with these sick girls who have actual eating disorders.  Surely, I wasn’t one of them. Over the following days, I got to know these precious women.  They all seemed like babies to me.  I was now 35 years old, and most were barely 20.  I did the only thing that came naturally to me…parenting.  I poured into these girls with a passion I didn’t know I had.  I prayed with and for them, counseled them, answered their notes to me, and even tucked them in bed some nights!  Several of them jokingly called me “mom.” 

 I got the beautiful privilege of watching their healing and was so proud of them.  What I couldn’t seem to do for myself, I could help others with, and it felt like a gift. 

 Most of my treatment team happened to be new hires with little experience in the eating disorder world. They were young and inexperienced, and I was neither of those things!  I had professionally curated answers for just about everything.  I knew eating disorders better than they did.  After all, I had a lot of practice!  I desperately wanted to be honest and experience the healing I had come for, but I couldn’t trust these strangers who didn’t know or care about me.  I was able to get my ED behaviors under control, but my heart and my mind were left untouched.  The day I discharged from treatment was one of the hardest days of my recovery process. I sat across from my therapist and thanked her for her time. Holding back tears, I told her I had realized it was too late. I believed full recovery was possible for most people, but not for me.  I left quietly without saying goodbye to anyone.  As I drove away, I could tell I wasn’t going to make it very far.  I pulled over to the nearest gas station and sobbed.  I felt like such a failure.  I had just left my family for six weeks to get help, not to mention the time, money, and logistics it took to get there, and I had failed.  I now had to go home and pretend to be fully recovered.  I knew that would be the expectation, and it felt like my only choice.  

I returned home, choosing to be thankful for the progress I had made. I was no longer enslaved to the insanity that had defined my life before I left. I learned to function in a semi-recovered state. I now had a well-managed eating disorder…as if such a thing exists.  

A couple of years later, God gave our family a miracle…the last type of miracle we had ever imagined.  Seemingly out of nowhere and certainly unwarranted, He called us to international adoption.  This 12-year-old girl desperately needed a family, and she was running out of time due to her age. My husband and I had zero plans of adoption when God whispered, “that’s your daughter; I want you to go fight for her.”  Why would God choose us for her? We weren’t exactly thriving.  The very night before, my husband told me I needed to accept that I would always struggle with an eating disorder, and it was time to embrace that.  In the middle of my mess, God was calling me to something greater than myself, something I could not control. I had to lay this new process in His hands, trusting he loved this little girl more than I ever could.  I traded early morning workouts for the endless paperwork of international adoption.  My bathroom floor prayers were now for our daughter thousands of miles away. We embarked on an 18-month roller coaster ride of fighting for this precious girl until the day God finally placed her in our arms. 

Our world forever changed, we took a deep dive into the many nuances and adjustments of post-adoption life. I had to teach our new daughter how to read, write, and eat. A myriad of food issues come with a child who has experienced neglect and food scarcity. I taught her about hunger and fullness cues, and I remember the day she screamed for me from the kitchen, “MOM, I’M FULL!” She was learning to eat intuitively, and I got a front-row seat to it all. I think we both cried that day. 

Two years of adoption process, adjustments, and settling into our new lives as a family of five left no room for thinking about my eating disorder. Yet, there it remained. As I spent time with God each morning, I could feel him telling me that we weren’t done yet, to press into recovery again.  At this point, I had no idea where to turn and felt terrified as I knew this would be the most challenging part of my process; the part that has little to do with food, “behaviors,” or body image.  It was time for the heart work. My whole body froze just thinking about it, but I wanted to trust that God would be with me, even here. It felt awkward to reach out for help when I thought I was “fine.” It seemed easier to do when I was desperate and struggling, and I felt I had reasonable control of my eating disorder. However, active eating disorders only provide the illusion of control. There is never freedom in something you have a death grip on.  Freedom is only found in surrender. 

I began praying that I could find a Christian professional this time. I wanted someone who would point me to Christ and His truth.  I was able to find a Biblical counselor and dietitian through Finding Balance. Both were fully recovered themselves, and I finally felt like someone understood. I had never experienced someone praying with me and for me about my eating disorder. I filled them in on the last few years and explained that I had this final piece to take care of.  Letting my guard down and being honest with them was a new thing for me, and it was not long before we all realized that I was still very entrenched in my disorder.  I wanted to do exactly what they asked of me, but I was still driven by perfectionism and acceptance. As I attempted to be fully compliant, I realized I had no idea what to do.  I longed to come into the next session with a perfect report, but I had learned how to function so well in my daily habits I had no idea how to live without them.  My compliance was anything but perfect as my health plummeted quickly, and I began experiencing some new physical complications. We had to discontinue our virtual work as they both urged me to find help locally.  I knew they were making the clinically correct decision, but it still stung. 

Eating disorder help does not exist in my area, and I knew what I needed to do to restore my body. Over the following months, I let that be my focus. I followed up with my doctor, made the necessary medical appointments, and worked my way back to health.  I also had to undergo two surgeries for complete tears of both hamstring tendons, which likely occurred by ignoring the pain in my running days. It turns out there are no prizes given for a high pain tolerance!

 I was now aware that my relationship with God was far more important than my relationship with food.  It hit me that my eating disorder served many purposes but was ultimately a lack of faith. Yes, a hundred different things led to this place, some of which I had no control over, but I knew there were parts I did control, and I needed to let them go.  I had to trust God to fill all the empty places in my heart; I had to trust him with my mind and body as well.  I needed to lay my life…all of it, in His more-than-capable hands. 

This year I turn 40 and celebrate 20 years of marriage.  As I look over the last ten years, I realize that an entire decade of my life has been ravaged by pain, loss, grief, and the addiction to an eating disorder. Those same years have also been marked with growth, redemption, forgiveness, and God’s faithfulness.  I have wanted to give up more times than I can count, but God’s great love keeps pulling me in, never letting me go. In my least deserving state, He still used my life for good and pain to point me to Himself.  In my shame and regret, He was right there with me. In those moments crying on the bathroom floor, He patiently waited for me to turn to Him. 

 God’s presence has never depended on my success or failure with food, and he didn’t change who He was or what He thought about me based on my performance.  His love for you will never change, either. God loves you exactly where you are, but the beautiful part is that He refuses to leave you there. The Holy Spirit will keep pushing you to become more like Christ as you surrender every part of your heart to Him.  

Sometimes we need to go after our sin with the same tenacity we would train for an athletic event.  If we passively enter a competition, the outcome isn’t going to be great. Our hearts and minds are far more important to God than any earthly competition.  We must seek God and fight against sin, temptation, eating struggles, and our aching hearts as if everything is at stake…because it is.  He will meet you there every single time.  

-Lindsay Froman

Dear Injured Athletes

By Mikaela

Dear Injured Athletes,

You know each and every sacrifice that comes with being an athlete. From early morning
lifts, to late night games/meets, there’s a lot more that goes into being an athlete than shown on the court, track, or field. There’s days when you leave in tears of frustration because things don’t seem to click. The hard days that make you wonder if this is even worth it. But then it all seems to come into place: getting a new PR, winning a big meet/game, the countless stories with teammates on the bus ride home; all these joys triumph over the pain.You can’t imagine life without your sport… until you’re forced to.

Injuries suck, a lot. They make you fill up with regrets and if only’s. “If only I would’ve known it was going to be my last meet.” “If only I would’ve known it was going to be my last practice, maybe I would’ve savored the moment more.” The situation is tough, there’s nothing you could’ve done in that moment that would change this. No matter what, injuries are going to leave you questioning why this happened to you. Everything you worked so hard for got thrown away in a short span of time. The days go by extremely slowly as you anxiously wait for the day you can go and do what you love, and you know you would do just about anything to get back to your sport.

However, when the day does finally come where you are cleared, you are filled with joy which leaves you feeling on top of the world. The high lasts about a week, and you remember what doing what you love feels like again. As a competitive athlete, the comparison and frustration soon take over. After sitting out for a prolonged period of time, your body isn’t used to the stress you once put on it. It’s humbling coming back and realizing you were nowhere near the level you were before the injury happened. You see all the other athletes scoring all these points, running these PR’s, winning all these medals, and you can’t help but feel envious. You think how amazing they’re doing and realize you’re running 15 minutes per week at a pace 4 minutes slower than you’re used to. Yes it’s exciting you’re finally cleared, but it’s disheartening not feeling the same way pre-injury. You expect so much out of yourself and the so-called “comeback” that when it doesn’t go your way, your spirit is soon crushed again.

Injures seem like a cycle of never ending disappointments. There’s moments that make you question why this even happened to yourself. And as much as you don’t want to admit it, there is a legitimate reason why this happened to you. It just takes time to realize it.

Getting injured might just seem like this random thing that happened to you, but 99.99% of the time it’s your body’s way of trying to tell you something. Whether it be underfueling, going too hard in a short period of time, having too many stressors in your life, or whatever it may be, your body is saying it needs a rest. It’s truly amazing that the human body works in such a way. As an athlete, it’s most likely that you’ve pushed through pain that really shouldn’t have been pushed through. Athletes have a tendency to put a band-aid on things so they are still able to compete. While it seems like it works, this is only temporary. Getting injured gives your body awareness you never knew you had before. You are aware of all the little nicks in your body, can tell when the injury hurts a little more than usual, and most importantly the difference between soreness and a fracture/something more serious. This bodily awareness gained will make you a stronger and smarter athlete for the future. You now have the tools and knowledge of how to treat something quickly and how to proceed afterwards.

In the sports world, a win is most often noted as being first place across the finish line, having the higher score on the scoreboard, etc; however, a win isn’t just that. A win is the fact your body is doing everything in its capability to heal itself, a win is being able to walk without pain, a win is being able to do literally any exercise at all. With an injury, there’s always a cloudof distress that covers up the joy, making it really hard to find the positive. From personal experience, finding little victories along the way makes the process of healing go by ten times faster. Whether you swam 10 minutes longer than normal, get to try new things at physical therapy, or simply being grateful you have more time exploring new hobbies, you can find the positive in almost everything. You’re not going to heal any faster by complaining or wishing, so you may as well make the best out of the given situation.

Besides being optimistic, one of the best ways to make the best out of an injury is to control what you can control. There’s a lot of uncertainty with injuries and a lot of things that aren’t in your control- the length of recovery, how long you’re out for, the exercises you are/aren’t allowed to do, etc. It feels as though nothing is in your hands anymore, which can no doubt create an anxious feeling. As scary as it is, those things you have to place in God’s hand and accept things as they progress. By no means does this means to live by “whatever happens, happens,” 24/7; in fact, surrendering outcomes means quite the opposite. By surrendering the timeline and the anxiety that comes with it, it leaves room for the more important things in life. You’re letting go of unnecessary stress on the body and now are capable of spending your energy on things YOU can control. A coach once introduced me to the concept of W.I.N. (What’s Important Now.) The concept is asking yourself what you can do to better yourself for tomorrow. From an injury standpoint, this means making sure you’re fueling your body with enough food, doing PT exercises, going to bed early, and keeping stress as low as possible by journaling, prayer, music, etc. When accomplishing these, allow yourself to W.I.N. the day. Doing this will make yourself feel good and accomplished, because it is an accomplishment letting your body heal! You aren’t in control of the day your bone heals itself, what the next season will look like, or what others are accomplishing. God already knows this and has a greater plan for it. It’s your job to use your knowledge and tools in the given moment to make the best out of the situation.

The most important aspect of recovering from an injury is to know you are more than an athlete. Your friends aren’t going to stop supporting you because of your injury. The sun is still going to come up the next day. Coffee dates don’t change, spontaneous trips to Target don’t change, your personality doesn’t change, and your worth doesn’t change. Getting injured forces you to see yourself as more than an athlete. And though uncomfortable at first, knowing your worth outside of athletics is the most powerful tool of all. “In fact, even the hairs on your head are numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7.). God created you for a bigger reason than just athletics. He called you to be a daughter/son, a friend to others, and a supportive teammate. Other people value you and see you as more than just a PR or a win. Athletics are a tiny part of who you are. And though it is heartbreaking not to be able to pursue your athletic goals at the given moment, trust and know there will in fact be a day when it does come back. And when it does, you are going to come out stronger, more driven, and more grateful than ever. It may take time to feel good or feel like yourself again, but trust that it will indeed come.

RecoverED Athletes 2022 Nonprofit Yearly Report

What a wonderful first 10 months as a nonprofit. Below you will find our report for 2022 which details our celebrations, finances for 2022, budget for 2023, and goals for 2023. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Wishing you a wonderful 2023 from the RecoverED Athletes family. Always remember that power and beauty in your life and your story, you have the ability to impact and change lives.

Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

To those struggling this Christmas season

By: Megan Ludke

A round of pmdd has hit me just as Christmas is approaching leaving me feeling deeply sad, numb, and anxious; like a dark cloud is over me during this joyful time. I spiral deeper into the sadness just wanting to feel the joy of Christmas.

I’m reminded by my struggles that there are so many out there struggling this Christmas season. Rather than experience joy and togetherness, some are experiencing a loss in their family making this joyful time a painful reminder of their loss. Some are experiencing depression and just want to break free from that sadness. Some are experiencing eating disorders leading to disconnect from family and friends due to fear of food, changes in exercise routines, holiday clothing. Some are experiencing intense social anxiety making holiday parties challenging and painful.

For all those struggling this Christmas season, you are seen. I see you. The RecoverED Athletes team sees you.

Do you want to know who else sees you?


Jesus sees your pain and sorrow and weeps when you weep. Jesus is right there with you in the pain, holding you close.

This Christmas season my prayer for you is that you’d be able to feel Jesus’ closeness, His love, His compassion. And if you can’t feel His closeness, love, and compassion that you’d know the truth in your heart that Jesus cares so deeply for you and loves you so deeply. That He longs for you to feel joyful again.

And to hold the truth in your heart. We may not feel joyful or happy or ok but we can know the truth that Jesus came to this earth for our salvation. And that He will return one day to restore the brokenness in this world, to wipe away every one of your tears, that no more sadness or mourning or pain would exist.

To those struggling this Christmas, you are seen.

I’m reminded of these beautiful lyrics from Into the Sea (It’s gonna be ok) by Tasha Layton

“Though the mountains may be moved into the sea

Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way

I can hear my Father singing over me

“It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok”

To those struggling this Christmas season, you are seen and you are loved. ❤️

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
‭‭-Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭4‬ ‭

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
‭‭-Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭20‬ ‭

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31‬:‭8‬ ‭

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31‬:‭3‬ ‭