“In 2012, I tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus, six months before what would be my first Olympic Games in London. I never questioned my work ethic throughout my rehabilitation, but I was afraid my body wouldn’t heal the way it should or that I would never be able to play at the highest level again.
There were plenty of days I struggled [during the recovery process], but I tried to keep a good mindset. I learned I needed to set small goals for myself to achieve daily in order to feel like I’m progressing forward. It helped that I had a great support system surrounding me. My teammates, my entire family, my best friends and the incredible fans would always send me encouraging messages, emails, cards and phone calls or texts.
I learned how to listen to my body and understand how to push myself and also when to rest. I learned that not every day will be easy and that crying profusely some days is not a bad thing. I learned not to be so hard on myself. Most importantly, I learned not to take any opportunity I have stepping foot on the soccer pitch for granted and to cherish every single minute because I never know when it’ll be my last.”
Krieger, a veteran defender for the Orlando Pride, is also a FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist.