A Set Back Sets You Up For a Huge Come Back

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By Chris Martinez

April 2013-

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky Balboa


It was about a year and a half ago, I remember walking into the Orthopedics office, the Orthopedic Specialist sitting me down, and going over my x ray on my injured right knee.

My heart was racing, I was sweating, I was anxious, nervous, frustrated, angry, and then the bad news came. He told me I had a syndrome called Chondromalacia of the patella.

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I took a big gulp and asked him “Well what exactly is that?” He said “The cartilage in your front knee cap has been broken down quite significantly and every time you put load on it there’s no cartilage to protect the knee. So it’s basically rubbing bone on bone.”


I was devastated, but kept my cool and asked him “Will I still be able to squat?” He said “Sure, but you will never be able to squat heavy again, unless you want to keep injuring yourself.”

I felt like breaking down and crying, but I was able to contain myself and hold back my emotions and then something in me just flipped like a light switch. Hearing those words “you will never be able to squat heavy again” made me want to do everything in my power to prove him wrong.

I shook the Orthopedics hand firmly and said “thank you for everything. I will follow all of your recommendations for the rehab process. I will check in with you from time to time and I will let you know when I squat heavy again (as I winked at him).” I went straight home and typed up those exact words “you will never be able to squat heavy again” and posted them in front of my computers so that I could look at them every day and remind myself how I will get back to squatting heavy.

“You will never be able to squat heavy again”

You see, in life we all have choices. I could have easily just said “Okay Doctor, thanks for your time and knowledge” and went home and cried my eyes out and never have attempted to squat heavy again. But, I chose to prove this person wrong, to test myself, to prove to myself, to prove to my clients and the Dynamic Duo Training community, and to my loved ones that I will squat heavy again. It will be hard, there will be days where I will want to quit, I will breakdown at some point or another, and things won’t go as smooth as I want. But when it’s all said and done and I have that heavy weight on my back and I decelerate to parallel and accelerate up with that weight, it will all be worth it. It’ll be much more than just proving that I squatted heavy again. I will know that I can overcome anything that life throws at me.

This was a test that I was given. It was a test to see if I had the heart, determination, and will to overcome this injury. I’m truly thankful for this test because I know when the time comes to face another test; I will be mentally prepared to overcome it. Life is a series of tests and we determine if we want to pass those tests or not. Nobody holds us back but ourselves when it comes to accomplishing a goal, overcoming an obstacle, or getting through adversity. We are the drivers and we control if we want to keep our foot on the gas pedal or not. I simply chose to keep my foot on the pedal through this injury.

I’m a firm believer that nothing comes easy in life. If you want something bad enough then you will figure out a way to get it. Will it be an easy process? Let me ask you this, did Steve Jobs build Apple over night? Did Michael Jordan become a legend in 1 season? Did Beyoncé have a free ticket to becoming a famous artist? All of these people put in the work day in and day out, week after week, month after month, and year after year. It eventually paid off, but there’s no way that these people never faced challenging tests in their lives that tried blocking their road to success. It’s the same exact concept when it comes to getting a nice body, getting your degree, getting promoted at a job, running your own business, etc. My point is everything in life worthwhile doesn’t come easy. I could have taken the easy route and said “I guess squatting isn’t in the cards for me.” I realized that my bodybuilding goals weren’t going to come easy and I was going to have to figure out how to get back in that squat rack some way, somehow.


The 8 months I went without squatting felt like an eternity. Going to the gym daily and seeing people squat led to emotional breakdowns. The slow rehab process led to anger, frustration, and asking “why me god?” One day, I looked in the mirror and said “you’re selfish Chris!” I was selfish because there are people out there that can’t workout, have missing limbs, physical limitations, and diseases, and I’m over here complaining about not squatting. I then said to myself “Shut up! If you want it, then get after it and make it happen again.” That’s where the 8 month rehab started and then the 30 week journey to squatting heavy again began.

I didn’t write this to brag about my comeback, or have you feel sorry for the syndrome I have in my knee, I did this to inspire you. I want you to realize that you can do anything you put your mind to. That if you work that much harder than you thought you could you can accomplish anything. That if you push yourself a little more you can overcome anything that life throws at you. Just remember that you are the driver, the pilot, the captain, and the boss to your road to success and attaining your goals. Nobody can stop you but YOU. You have the choice every day that you wake up to ease your foot off the break, stop completely, or keep your foot on that gas pedal and go after what you want. It’s yours to take, tell me what you’re going to do?

See My Year and a Half Journey Come Back Here

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