Pushing the Limits

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


Every workout...

Every practice...

Every game....

...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.

Keep Training!!!!!

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.

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