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A Life without Limits

I finished Chrissie Wellington’s A life without limits” and have walked away feeling inspired to be a better athlete, but more importantly a better person. Chrissie is an Ironman World Champion 4 times over and has never lost an Iron distance race in the 13 that she has completed.

I read this book during several easy treadmill runs and book marked my favorite parts along the way. I know a lot of people think I’m crazy that I read on the treadmill- but I swear it’s amazing. I put my kindle on the second or third to largest font and it works beautifully. It helps pass time and also helps me enjoy the run more, while getting some reading in. There are so many books I wouldn’t have read this past year, had it not been for my treadmill running.

I promised myself I would actually go back and read the book marked pages though. A fair warning- this woman has a lot of great things to say, so there are quite a few quotes I pulled.

Clearly Chrissie is an amazingly talented athlete– you can’t WILL yourself to be as fast as or as talented as her, but you CAN will yourself to work hard and be the best that YOU can be. What I love most about Chrissie, is that she uses her platform to do good things. She knows that she has a responsibility and puts her responsibility to action by making the world a better place.

SO, here are my favorites:

  • “Just seize every opportunity you have, embrace every experience. Make a mark, for all the right reasons.”  – Said by Chrissie’s Dad when he dropped her off at College

  • “Acknowledging those weaknesses is vital to our development. Some are real and can be overcome, but others are not so much weaknesses as imperfections- it is just our perception that makes them seem so. Willpower and discipline have always played a huge role in my life and never more so than now, but if they are not applied selectively, they can wear you down as much as they spur you on. Pick your battles and accept yourself for who you are.”

  • “Hard work and an open mind- it’s the only way to realize the potential that is inside every one of us.”

  • “You may not be able to right now, but with a positive farm of mind and a willingness to work, anything is possible. Remaining positive really is one of the most precious faculties for any athlete. That, and the ability to stay focused and disciplined. Develop a mind bank of positive images and thoughts- family, friends, previous successes, favorite places, a big plate of chips. You need to build it up as you would any collection, but soon you will have a range of thoughts to flick through when next your body and souls are screaming out for relief.”

  • “Never ever give up- and smile”

  • “In an endurance athlete’s life, pain is never far away. Pain is little more than a conversation between your body and your brain, this is another reason why a fit mind is so important. The brain is the master computer of the body. Even when we are working on the efficiency of the peripheral components- the legs, the arms, the butt cheeks- we can recruit the seat of all power to enhance the effectiveness of our work. It’s a question of testing limits. For a star there’s the importance of keeping an open mind. The brain is programmed to protect us, and that can mean imposing limited now hat it thinks we can or should do. Constantly push at those limits, because the brain can be way too cautious.”

  • “Never image in anything is impossible and never stop trying out new things.”

  • “Everyone gets nervous before a race- it’s human. I would be worried about any athlete that didn’t. It’s a sign of how much we care. The key is to trust in your preparation. You have done all you can, os focus on that fact. You will remain the same person before, during and after the arc, so the result, however important, will not define you. The journey is what matters.”

  • LIVE: By John Blazeman “Live…. More than your neighbors. Unleash yourself upon the world and go places. Go no. Giggle, no, laugh. No… stay out past day, and bark at the moon like the wild dog that you are. Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal. This is it…. your life. Face your fears and live your dreams. Take it in. Yes, every chance you get…. come close. And by all means, whatever you do… Get it on film”

  • “You know that there will be ebbs and flows, and you have to hold on to the knowledge that you have been there before and come through it.You can’t latch on to the pain; somehow you must switch that part of your brain off and go into automatic pilot.”

  • “No one should ever be afraid of failing; it’s being afraid to give it your al in trying that I urge against. If there is one thing I have learned, particularly in my life as an athlete, it is that our limits may not be where we think they are. And even when we think we’ve finally reached them, the next time we go there exploring we often find that they’ve moved again.”

And this is one reason I love her so much:

  • “More than though, is the desire to use well this privilege of being a world champion. It excited me to be in a position to make a difference. It excites me to see how sport can inspire people and change lives. I believe that the responsibilities of a professional sportsman or woman extend beyond their performance on the big stage. They have a role to pal in shaping the health of their nations, spreading positive messages and doing their best to effect chance. Not enough take that responsibility seriously. With it comes power, and you choose to use it or waste it.”
  • “My only policy throughout has been to keep an open mind and, whatever I may do, to give it my all.”

  • “Be Happy 4 this moment…. 4 this moment…. is your life”

That’s all! I hope this left you feeling inspired this AM- and if you’re looking for a good read- pick it up. 🙂

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