Curveballs and Comebacks

April 13, 2020

Do you know the story of Chrissie Wellington’s Ironman World Championship win in 2008? Read on, I’m going to share, but search it on YouTube, you will be amazed. I remember watching that year, she triumphed big time when the odds were against her.

For those unfamiliar, an Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. The Ironman World Championship in Kona, a race you must qualify for, has exceptionally brutal conditions. Severe heat, high humidity and extreme wind. Having won overall female in this race the year prior in her Kona debut, all eyes were on Chrissie.

The start of the race went to plan, great swim and halfway into the bike she had already attained over a five-minute lead. Then, as sometimes happens in life, she was thrown a curveball and caught a flat tire. She pulled off to the side of the road and got to work. She had two spare CO2 canisters. However, she failed to use BOTH properly. Unable to accept outside assistance as this results in a DQ, she began shouting to other triathletes as they sped past for a spare. Time was ticking, she watched as her competitors continued to fly by. Eventually, word got back on the course of Chrissie’s situation. Rebekah Keat, a RIVAL, heard this and gave her one of hers as she passed her on the bike. Chrissie successfully filled her tire and got back in the race. This delay cost her 10 minutes, which, of course, did not stop her. She gained back the lead on the bike and absolutely CRUSHED the marathon, breaking the course record that year, ultimately winning the World Championship by almost 15 minutes. She did all this with a huge smile.

Life throws curveballs. It’s in your ability to fall, brush it off and get right back up that you WILL make an epic comeback. You can ALWAYS find a way, most of the time you just need to get creative, be bold, take a risk. Be resilient. Know that you can. Trust that you will. Like Chrissie, when in need, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In the words of Julie Moss (another story you should know), everyone has defining moments, hers were just captured on film.

Can. Will. Achieve. Make these your vocabulary. Power through, overcome challenges and you will come out stronger than you ever thought possible. ALWAYS AME high and you will never forget to smile!

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