Following The Example Of Erko Jun: How To Rebound From A Sports Injury

Erko Jun Tattoo The life of Erko Jun, the famous 26 year old professional bodybuilder, has been anything but easy: Born into war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina, at just two years of age Erko Jun was forced to flee his family homeland as a result of the 1992 conflict in Bosnia. Moving to Antwerp, Belgium, young Erko dealt with this difficult transition by developing a love for contact sport—a passion handed down to him by his father.

PHOTOS: Lazar Angelov & Balkan Power Erko Jun

Sadly, after Erko had devoted several years to intensive training, he was hit with another personal tragedy: He was badly injured during a training session, then given a “no hope of full recovery” prognosis from his doctors after he lost all feeling in the lower portion of his right leg and his foot. While many people would have given up their athletic dreams upon receiving such news, Erko pressed forward, completing six months of rehabilitation.

While recovering, Erko dedicated his heart and soul to mastering the weight training designed to strengthen his injured muscles, and a magical thing happened: Where one passion had been forced to end, another began. Today, Erko Jun has been fully “reborn” as one of the world's leading bodybuilders, and he's never been happier.

Learning From Erko: How To Heal—Physically And Mentally—From A Sports Injury

Erko's experience has a lot to teach us about the power of the spirit and the capacity of the human body for resilience. If you have been injured while training for a sport you love, you may feel like a part of your identity and your purpose in life has been suddenly ripped away. Though it's normal to be scared by such a prospect, it's vital that you not let fear defeat you; with the right strategies, such as those outlined below, it can get better:

The Seven Steps To Healing

1. Allow yourself to be sad—then pick yourself up. If you have temporarily lost something you were passionate about, it's normal and healthy to mourn that thing. Many people, men especially, make the mistake of repressing or brushing off their feelings, telling people that it's “No big deal” or that they are “fine”, but this ironically allows negative emotion to fester, sapping motivation. So, take some time to let yourself mourn, then start to form a logical, practical plan for how to get better and how to reclaim your passion and purpose. Once you feel like you have gotten a measure of control back over the situation, it will be easier to go forward with a positive attitude.

2. Get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible. Don't put off going to the doctor if you suffer a sports injury in the hope that it will get better on its own; doing so may put you at risk of accidentally worsening the injury or having it heal incorrectly. Ideally, you should visit a few doctors to get a second and possibly third opinion, especially if, like Erko's doctor, the first one you visit tells you that the situation is without real hope. Find a proactive health care professional who is willing to take the time to do everything possible to see that you get better.

Erko Jun Workout

3. Set realistic goals. If you have been injured, you will need to learn to “reset” how you measure success, possibly starting over from square one or having to segue into a different sport altogether and learn it from scratch as Erko did. Don't be frustrated by this or overly critical of your early efforts; instead, see it as a testament to your strength of character that you are still trying at all and celebrate the “little victories”. The human brain is wired to respond to reward, so rewarding yourself will keep you motivated.

4. Be disciplined. Being realistic doesn't mean getting lazy; if you want to get better, you will need to be conscientious about your physical therapy, just as Erko was. Follow your doctor's advice closely and put the same amount of time and care into rehab that you put into training.

Erko Jun Tattoos

erko jun right hand tattoo
5. Use visualization to help you stay positive. Though scientists are still debating as to whether or not visualization can literally speed the healing process, there's no question that it can keep an injured athlete positive and focused: Visualization lets you “see” your end goal, and that makes it feel more like a real possibility. Ergo, if you have a broken leg, for example, spend 5-10 minutes every day imagining the bone beginning to heal, including a rich array of details like the blood pumping to the injury, carrying red blood cells, and the bone beginning to knit back together. Additionally, you with each bit of progress you make, you should mentally thank your body for the efforts it is making to heal.

erko jun left hand tatto
6. Be patient. As you feel the injury begin to heal and the amount of pain you are in lessens, it will become tempting to try to return to “normal” and resume your old activity level before your doctor has given you permission to do so. Never succumb to this temptation: A serious sports injury means there is deep damage to your muscles and tendons and forcing them to work too hard before they are ready will very likely cause the area to become injured once again. Worse still, if abused, sports injuries can become chronic and never fully heal. As such, you should obey the old saying about sport injury recovery which states, “Go slower, arrive sooner.”

erko jun tattos
7. Seek support. Finally, as when facing any difficult personal hurdle, it's important not to “go it alone” if you have faced a debilitating sports injury. Whether it's a friend, a personal trainer, a fellow athlete, or a coach, you need to find someone you can lean on to keep you motivated when the healing process feels overwhelming. With time, patience, persistence, and the wisdom of good friends, you can emerge from your injury a stronger, more balanced, and more resilient person than you were before it.

erko jun on the beach
erko l;eft hand tattoo


  1. Very nice tips. Some people who have experienced an injury have become afraid and isolated. They never get back on their feet. This will be helpful and inspiring to them. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. If you are looking for good training programmes I can recommend you Their STUFF help me with choosing the best training program for me.


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This blog is maintained & edited by Krasen, a fan of Lazar Angelov, and a team of writers and researchers. e-mail:
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for general purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. I am not a licensed professional so make sure to consult with your professional consultant in case you need to.