“I can’t put it into words… everything that I do is a victory.” – Elizabeth Thompson
I had the pleasure some years ago to watch the 2009 Ironman World Championship (in Kona, Hawaii) and witnessed firsthand Elizabeth Thompson’s unbelievable will and determination during the race. Today is #HeroineTuesday and Elizabeth Thompson is undoubtedly the winner, hands down. In 2007, Elizabeth Thompson suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to walk. Her remarkable story is that she finished at Kona, where lots of great athletes did not finish.
“Elizabeth Thompson was on holiday in Nice when she suddenly found herself on the floor, unable to move. She lost use of her arms and her legs. One eye started to twitch. Her body was shutting down too much for her to even think that she might be dying. It turns out Thompson was having a stroke. Volunteer fire fighters took her to the hospital. She spent weeks in that hospital, starting the re-learning process that would involve learning how to walk and talk again. Her first workout? Standing next to her bed. Her next one? Trying to walk across the room. A year later, Thompson managed to finish Ironman France-Nice … well enough to qualify for the 2009 Ironman World Championship; of which she finished that race, too.” -Kevin Mackinnon, 2009
Of course when I watched this some years ago, I was spellbound by her determination and unrelenting spirit to not quit, and not look at the mountain figuratively, but what was actually in front of her. Sometimes challenges can get overwhelming and throw you and your complete game plan out of whack. But, when we learn to only look at what’s in front of us and not focus on the BIG mountain (I can speak to this as an advanced skier who loves doing Black Diamonds), which is often far in the distance, we can finish our race just like Elizabeth Thompson did. So, grab fear by the horn, toss it aside, and continue on to your race–and you will succeed too!!