I am a mom of two boys…and I am not ready to sit back and let them have all the fun.
I love adventure! Especially new experiences. And I am never afraid of feeling like a beginner or making a fool of myself. I don’t like being stagnant and I am not, at all, afraid of laughing at myself. I find it humbling, and refreshing trying new things. It makes it even better if it involves some risk that gives me butterflies in my stomach.
I excel as a skier but also have always thrived on trying to conquer other sports. Athletics is where I feel most comfortable, whether it is something I have participated in almost my whole life or trying something completely new.
A ski coach, from way back when, recently sent me a message. It resonated with me because it was and is still something I live by. It said...
This post is an adaptation of Major Andrew Thompson's post on Characteristics of a World Class Athlete.
Top athletes share some powerful characteristics.
How many of these traits do you have?
- An insatiable desire to improve
- Self-motivated and take action
Willingness to Listen:
- Teachable - open and willing to accept guidance and correction
- Engaged listener
- Fosters effective communication between athlete and coach
Dedication to Fundamentals:
- Embraces fundamentals
- Builds a solid foundation "performs common movements uncommonly well" (virtuosity)
- Improves with regular, deliberate practice
- Pre-workout time is maximized and used as an opportunity to sharpen basic skills
Mental and Physical Preparedness:
- Is prepared at every session
- Never late for training
- Enthusiastic about the opportunity at hand, regardless of how they “feel”
- Recognizes that rest and nutrition are not distractions, but rather complementary building blocks of elite human performance
Ability to Train Alone:
- While a group dynamic offers encouragement and mutual accountability, there are times when an athlete must work alone
- Excuses aside, a world-class athlete will find a way to face rigorous protocols alone and unafraid
Behavior under Distress:
- Is able to deal with injury and the mental anguish of rehabilitation
- Is able to bounce back quickly and with even greater resolve
- Understands that pain and injury are sometimes part of the contract
- Reveals true character in times of discomfort and adversity
...Is an opportunity to develop these world-class characteristics.
Pick one or two characteristics you currently don't have and commit yourself to adding them to your athletic arsenal.
This post was a perfect reflection of the mental attitude that I had when I wanted to be the best. But it also applies to my life now, as a recreational athlete/adventurer. I still go out every time with the same attitude every single time. Although I have scaled back my intensity, I still live to push myself.
About the author: Wendy Fisher has been skiing since the age of 2, was a member of the United States National Ski Team, and 1992 Winter Olympian. After leaving the national team, she shifted gears and made a name for herself in “extreme” skiing, now known as big mountain freeskiing.