Needing some Motivation – I use this gem from Chrissie Wellington

Needing some Motivation – I use this gem from Chrissie Wellington

Riding Dirty in Augusta, GA IM 70.3

via
Emine Saner
guardian.co.uk
, Sunday 15 January 2012

Chrissie Wellington may have won four World Ironman Championships – the ludicrously tough 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle ride and full marathon – set possibly unbeatable world records, have a handshake that can crush diamonds and be the closest living being to superwoman, but she is reassuringly approachable.

Chrissie Wellington 13-0 in Ironman's. The Reigning Champ! Pic via AP

In her new autobiography, A Life Without Limits, she describes herself as an “accidental athlete”. As we leave the house in a London suburb where she is staying (she is based most of the year in Boulder, Colorado) to walk to the park where she is going to put me through my paces, she says she still sometimes feels “like a fraud. Not that it has been easy, because I’ve worked really hard, but sometimes I can’t believe it.”

Listen to Wellington for a few minutes and you start to believe anything is possible, though I’m not sure I have ever met anyone as driven as her. She was a high-achiever even before she became an athlete, travelling the world, doing an MA in international development and working as a government adviser. But her discipline, drive and perfectionism had also led her down a destructive path: in her teens and early 20s, she suffered from bulimia and anorexia. She describes writing about it in her book as “quite unnerving. It makes you feel more vulnerable. It’s easier if people think you’re strong and somehow special.”

Wellington’s athletic career started relatively late – she was 30 when she turned professional in 2007. While her achievements might be remarkable, she swears they are not totally beyond the dreams of the average person. “I swam as a kid, but not very well. [As an adult] I started running 20 minutes at a time. I didn’t grow up thinking I want to be world champion. Even when I started triathlon, I just wanted to see what I could do. Never in a million years did I ever think I would do an Ironman. Now I look back and think: what if I hadn’t taken the chance?”

Motivation is my biggest problem and I don’t think you could get any better than Wellington as a motivational coach. She has just produced an audio programme tailored to people training for a triathlon, but somebody less athletic can also gain a lot from it. “Your limits may not be where you think they are!” she cries during the bike programme, accompanied by a thumping soundtrack. “I want this to hurt!”

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