Feb 26, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 2/26/2014
Yesterday, I talked about the "fitspiration" messages disseminated by the media and how it can be harmful to one's body image. Today, I want to focus on something different and discuss our positive athlete role models. During the recent Winter Olympics, we followed the athletes' stories, celebrated their successes, and was inspired by their courage in the face of adversity. I think that sports is an invaluable tool for instilling positive values, such as self-confidence, body-satisfaction, and the motivation to find the best in ourselves.

I have been reading A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington, a four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion. She is an incredible triathlete with an incredible story. Growing up, Chrissie didn't show any particular athletic prowess, but what distinguished her from the rest is her unrelenting drive. Her drive and passion she pours into everything she does was harmful at times (she struggled with eating disorders), but she was able to channel that energy into becoming arguably the world's best triathlete. She holds or held records in the ironman distance triathlons, including the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. What's amazing is that she won the Ironman World Championship in less than a year after she turned pro!
I find Chrissie so inspirational because of her sense of adventure and her drive to become the best she can be. She didn't come upon triathlon until her late 20's, and spent the better part of her 20's living and traveling all over the world, including Nepal and New Zealand. Through her intensive mountain biking in Nepal and her friend's encouragement to enter races, she discovered her talent for competing in endurance events. She raced a few triathlons as an amateur successfully before making the leap to turn pro. She has such an amazing life story, and has gone after what she is passionate about, including international development and helping others. 

What I learned from Chrissie:
  • Don't be afraid of pursuing your passions (I struggle with this sometimes and tend to take the safer route, especially in terms of my career)
  • If you love something, put your heard and soul into it
  • Celebrate your body for what it can do
  • Keep an open mind and you will discover your hidden talents
If you want to learn more about this incredible athlete, I would highly recommend reading her book!

Who is your role model and why?


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