Staying Motivated Through Reading

I have read some really inspiring and motivational books this summer and want to share them with you…

IMG_2023“A Life Without Limits” by Chrissie Wellington…I have actually read this book twice.  I love that Chrissie does not just tell us about her life as a professional triathlete, but also tells us about her life growing up, her family, her friends, her education, her life experiences, how she overcame challenges with eating disorders, her career evolution, vacations she ventured on and the route she took to become a professional triathlete and the Queen of Ironman.  

“…with a positive frame of mind and a willingness to work, anything is possible.”                                                         ~Chrissie Wellington


“Can’t Swim, Ride, Run: From Common Man to Ironman” by Andy Holgate…One of Andy’s colleagues challenged Andy to complete a triathlon.  This challenge would change his life!!  He not only had to learn to swim and bike, but he was also engaged and accidentally signed up to participate in his first Ironman seven days before his wedding.  This book is about Andy’s journey to his first Ironman, with a little emphasis on preparing for his wedding day.

“One of the things that this journey has taught me is that you have to have a positive attitude to get anywhere in this life.  You first have to believe in yourself, then others will listen to you, and if you treat them correctly they will respect you.”                                    ~Andy Holgate

IMG_2038“Magical Running: A Unique Path to Running Fulfillment” by Bobby McGee…When I first saw this book, I thought it would be about running, running form, etc.  Boy was I wrong!!  This book is great for ANY athlete in ANY discipline because it’s focus is Mental Training…affirmations, visualization, setting targets and goals, self evaluation, relaxation, positive self-talk, mantras, key words/phrases, proactive (not reactive) training and racing…

“To run as I want to, I require of myself to exhibit the following characteristics in training, races and in my daily life:

  • being patient
  • believing in myself and my abilities
  • believing I am a successful runner
  • enjoying my running and participation in races
  • asserting myself
  • staying calm and relaxed
  • knowing I have choices in any given situation”

                   ~Bobby McGee

IMG_2040“17 Hours to Glory: Extraordinary Stories from the Heart of Triathlon” by Mathias Muller with Timothy Carlson…This book is a compilation of a variety of different triathlete’s journeys to and through Ironman competitions.  These journeys include those of professionals, age group athletes, wheelchair athletes and physically challenged athletes.  Each chapter is dedicated to an individual that has their own story to tell, which is told in their own, unique voice.

“Trust in yourself and never give up!”                                              ~Mark Allen

“You can idealize it or condemn it, depending on your mood.  Or accept it for what it is.  But what is it?  This Ironman is an exhibit of physical endurance, either designed by fools for heros, or designed by heros for fools.”                                                               ~Sister Madonna Buder

“Be tougher than the rest.”                                                                  ~Sarah Reinertsen

“Believe in yourself, never give up, and enjoy life.  Nothing is impossible!”                                                                      ~Marc Herremans



“Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” Louis Armstrong

I have recently noticed that when I smile, not only do I feel better, but many others who receive my smile share their smile as well.  It isn’t that difficult to smile and it will help to make the world a brighter, more enjoyable place!!

During my most recent race, I noticed that when the discipline got tough (swim, bike or run), smiling seemed to make it much easier!!  Smiling helps keep my body relaxed even during challenging or painful times while training and racing.  Smiling also reminds me of how much I love the sport…when racing, I do need to take triathlon seriously, but ultimately I do it because I LOVE IT and what better way to show this than to smile?!?!?!

While racing, it is also fun to think about how my competition may be responding to my smile…am I messing with the mindset of my competition when I smile???  Does my competition think I’m finding this easy because I’m smiling???  Does my competition think I’m pain-free because I’m smiling???  Does my competition even notice that I’m smiling???

Smiling not only relieves stress and relaxes the body, but it also boosts the immune system and causes the body to release endorphins.  As a triathlete, the release of endorphins will reduce discomfort and increase pleasure, which helps me push forward even when times get tough.  I want to reduce as much discomfort as I can while competing in a race, so I plan to follow Chrissie Wellington’s lead and smile!!

Just smilin' with Chrissie Wellington!!
Just smilin’ after Ironman Kansas 70.3 in 2010 with Chrissie Wellington!!

Chrissie Wellington continuously smiled when she was racing.  She was always relaxed, focused and smiling.  With this demeanor, it is no wonder why she broke so many world records in the triathlon world and continued to challenge herself to break her own records!!

Remember…just SMILE!!