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WATCH: David Roche on how to cope mentally with being injured

It's natural to be depressed when you're injured

In a new video for Strava, American coach and author David Roche has some heartfelt words for those dealing with a running injury or injuries: if you’re having trouble staying positive, go easy on yourself. You will recover, and right now it’s OK to be sad.

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Roche and his partner, Megan, seem to know just what to say to runners who may be dealing with injury, fear of success, fear of failure, anxiety around a big goal race, and a host of other things that regularly trouble us. Their book The Happy Runner is filled with compassionate wisdom about finding joy in life and running, and there isn’t a false word anywhere. Far from insisting that you “stay positive” (which can elicit a desire to punch something, even in the most mild-mannered of injured runners among us), Roche encourages us to feel our feelings, and reminds us that one day we’ll look back on what we’re going through right now, and it will look different.

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“If you feel sad, if you feel depressed, if you feel anxious, those are valid feelings,” says Roche. Those dealing with recurring injuries may even wonder if they are meant to be a runner. But here’s the thing Roche keeps coming back to, that so many of us need to be reminded of, over and over: “Injuries really suck. But that doesn’t mean that you suck. The point of an injury is to reach the point where you fully accept your awesomeness is fully independent of whatever you’re going through in that moment.”


He goes on: “Setbacks make stories. Embrace the setbacks along with the other good things, because it’s just going to be another good story. Eventually, a year or two from now, you’ll probably–whatever injury is eating your soul right now, you’ll probably be telling some really funny story at the dinner table to your friends.”

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