After reading Chrissie Wellington’s memoir I feel like I know her personally. The four time Ironman World Champion is candid about subjects that many people would be more comfortable avoiding (including eating disorders and diarrhea).
The amazing thing about her story is that she was much more of a bookworm than an athlete growing up. When I think of professional athletes I think of people with a natural ability who have been excelling from an early age. Chrissie Wellington did not pursue professional triathlons until she was thirty years old. Her humble athletic background and late start give her a Cinderella-esque quality that I love`.
She talks in detail throughout the book about the mental toughness that it took to be able to make it through all aspects of the Ironman (training sessions, particular races when problems arose, missing her family, a less than receptive welcome). I can’t imagine anyone not respecting her mentality and I loved learning more about what she was thinking and feeling throughout her journey.
Overall, I thought this book was a great easy read, and I feel like I learned a lot from it. There were sections of the book that seemed a little irrelevant, but who am I to judge someone else’s experience.
“I will always remember my dad’s parting advice: ‘Just seize every opportunity you have, embrace every experience. Make a mark, for all the right reasons.’ I threw myself into it from the start, and I thrived.”
“Running day in, day out with somebody is the quickest way to forge a friendship…You see each other at your rawest, with no makeup or fancy clothes, just Lycra, sweat and sometimes tears.”
“Never imagine anything is impossible, and never stop trying out new things. My life has taken me to so many wonderful places and has truly enriched me. None of it would have been possible if I’d let timidity overcome the impulse to explore.”