Chrissie Wellington is the British athlete who, after a sojourn in Nepal, took the triathlon world by storm and won the Ironman World Championships four times. She holds the record for the fastest time over the Ironman distance for a woman and was unbeaten over the 140.6 mile distance. Chrissie retired in 2012 and I had the opportunity to go along to a lecture that she gave in London last week organised by Exodus travel. Chrissie has achieved legendary status in the triathlon world and I wanted to find out what made her so special.
I was stunned by just how down to earth she is…and smiley. She is generous and warm and passionate. Really PASSIONATE about inspiring you to do whatever you want to do with all your heart and your head.
Chrissie says that you have to train your head to succeed. Your body will give all it has unconditionally, but your mind will start trying to cheat you out of your pocket money long before you get to the sweet shop. In order to be a winner, you have to have the mind of a winner.
Winner doesn’t just mean winning a race. It means whatever you want it to be. Want to run 5km? You absolutely can. Want to be able to do Downward Dog? You bet you can. You just have to teach your mind that it can’t just shrug its shoulders and huff and give it up as a bad job once your hips start creaking as you lurch into a new pose.
I came over extremely shy as I queued to meet Chrissie after her talk. Just as I’d decided to bolt, she looked up at me and beamed her welcome. When I told her my plans for 2014, she looked at me earnestly and said “Right, you just get out there and you do it. Its going to be tough, but you just tell your mind to get on with it. Don’t you let it trick you. You just get stuck in and you’ll do it”. She spoke to me with such passion and genuine interest. She doesn’t even know me, but she cared about my dreams. She hugged me and promised me she’d follow my journey.
I had a lump in my throat and a burning twinkle of energy inside as I waved goodbye. Speechless and a bit star struck I left the room. My brain on the other hand, was shrugging its shoulders and huffing. I’m not taking any nonsense. I’m going to buy it a little white flag on a stick. It may come in handy.