Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chrissie Wellington

Roth and the World Record

I read her autobiography whilst in Hospital. It wasn't the best book  but it is a very specific story about Chrissie and her journey so far . As a triathlete I found it interesting and it will only appeal I believe to that small minority.

Its a real account of her life in her words with the assistance of a professional writer. It wasn't a book you would not drop but as I was a "captive audience"particularly as I could not sleep ,I read the book in one sitting..

There were some interesting glimpses about her psyche and I came away with the view that she had the makings of a world champion by the sheer fact of her mental toughness.She was extremely competitive in her studies by her own admission and she did get a first in her degree .She was competitive and when that energy and drive was channelled into sports particularly triathlon , the results were evident. It is interesting that as a casual jogger her first marathon was the London Marathon which she ran in 3.08. I know what I would give for a time like there was also the semblance of the natural talent.She grew up in a loving family and swimming was her main sport.She skirts through her episode of bulimia and image conscious issues as a young teen and adult. But by her own admission she was driven by these dark thoughts and Triathlon was a form of obtaining acceptance and recognition .

There isn't much of the Macca commentary on strategic planning and tactics.Her plan was simple , stay in front from the start and just keep getting further from the chasers.

There are a number of memorable lines and the chapters about her training with Brett Sutton and TBB and the politics behind the scenes are fascinating for someone who follows the sport. She refers to a series of exchanges between her and Brett and clearly the antagonisms in particular when she first started at TBB. She was the new kid and bullied by the others at the behest of Brett she suspects. It was meant to toughen her up.The training was brutal but  like water off a ducks back for Chrissie.

Of the many quotes was one from Brett in an email after Chrissie contacted her old coach , Tim Weeks , who had trained her for the ITU World championships when Chrissie raced as an age grouper and won . Brett's email included this comment
:"If I am wrong let me know , but she smells tough to me under the cosh , but bloody pathetic , fragile , in normal , no problem shit."
There are many snippets about the Champion affectionately known as Muppet as she is accident prone but there is no doubting that she has the ability and the toughness. I enjoyed the book for the little gems about her , it was a good light read .It is about a person greatly admired in the Triathlon World and for me adds another layer of detail about her. She rightly is the person we should aspire to be .She gives it 110% and has her heart in the right place with a balance at least of the security of wealth and doing good in this world.She has obviously ruffled feathers and her rapid change of coaches in the past few years apparently has left a sour taste in some of her pro friends whom she was suppose to train with but all these are trivial in the big picture of her life and racing. Even bigger is her desire to look at triathlon as just one aspect of her has not become encompassing and everything. It is a love and a vocation but also one she sees as a means to other goals. the book is a good read but not a best selling thriller..

Chrissie's AVERAGE Training schedule