For two or three weeks it looked like Lisa Mayer was going to give up everything.

The 25-year-old sprinter was about to give up the fight with her body and hang up the spikes.

“There is still life after exercise,” says the student.

For four years, the 2016 Olympic semi-finalist has been suffering from injuries. The most recent blow was so hard it was hard to take. The summer had started so well: In her first race of the season over 100 meters in 11.12 seconds, the Frankfurt by choice, starting for the Wetzlar sprint team, cracked the norm for the Games in Tokyo and packed her bags for the trip to Asia in July. But the big dream of a performance in the national stadium of the capital of Nippon burst in one of the last practice units before moving into the athletes' village, just five days before their solo run-up.

In the preparatory training camp in Miyazaki, Japan, the athlete broke through an injury to her rear thigh. "The doctors gave me courage that it could still work," says Mayer. But she knew right away that it would make no sense to torture yourself further. She ticked off the big event, instead spent a few days alone, then with a friend in Amsterdam and finally went hiking. She tried not to hear anything about the medal decisions in which she herself had wanted to intervene with the German relay team.

While the athlete wasn't sure if she should continue to believe in getting her longstanding problems under control, coach David Corell quickly took action. The Frankfurt federal base trainer booked a new MRI appointment with a specialist from a distance, obtained additional opinions and worked with the experts on a program designed to prevent further setbacks. Mayer tries to explain it in simple terms: Instead of just preparing the muscles, she now also intensively prepares the previously neglected tendons for stress.

Lisa Mayer has been back in training for almost two weeks and has a good feeling so far.

“I am motivated to do new things,” says the native of Central Hesse, optimistically, even if she will probably only be pain-free in a few months.

Knowing the cause of her physical complaints was the prerequisite for starting over.

"Otherwise I would have been too scared to get back into a spiral that is pulling me down."

It's not just the daily routines on the sports grounds on Hahnstrasse that have changed.

The European relay championship third in 2016 and gold medal winner of the World Relays 2017 has seen further upheavals.

After separating from athletics colleague Marc Reuther, she recently moved into her own apartment at her training location in Niederrad.

She had already started working with another sports psychologist when the national team took action on the island of Kyushu. That and the lightness and looseness that she can now feel again in training made her realize how cramped she had been in the past nine months. She really wanted to make it, that jump to the Olympics. The fun of her passion for competitive sports fell by the wayside. “I didn't sleep before the important competitions,” says Lisa Mayer. Body and psyche cannot be separated.

She wants to approach the next stages much more relaxed. The European Championships in Munich next year and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris remain their goals. The German and geography student has postponed her master’s degree. "With sport," says Mayer, "I still have one bill to be answered."

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