We're big fans of Chemmy Alcott (anyone who tackles the Arctic Circle Race and smashes it wins our respect), and we thought we'd ask her what makes her tick.
Surround yourself with people who get you: “I’m driven by my need to succeed, and my need to ski. I love skiing - it’s my passion and I’ll follow it for as long as I can, so I surround myself with people who get me. I don’t want to be around people who I’m always continually having to justify my actions to.”
Push yourself harder in the areas that are unfamiliar, not the ones you know: “Since I had my first leg break a few years ago, it’s been really hard work. You have to push yourself daily and it’s in a realm you don’t know. It’s not me pushing myself on the mountains, it’s me having to push myself at the gym, push myself with the physio, having to push myself in all these situations that are not second nature to me.”
Don’t overthink it, trust your preparation: “If you start thinking about the consequences of skiing up to 90 miles an hour and going on these huge jumps, you won’t be in the right mindset, and you won’t be focused enough to ski at your best. In that start gate, don’t have a brain. No brains allowed.”
Don’t forget why you choose the path you’re on. Find solace in that gut feeling: “I’ve seen so many kids get drilled in the fitness and the technique, and they lose the reason why they got into ski racing in the first place. It’s really important to hold on to that reason of why you got into the sport, and that’s because you love it.”
Accept yourself and show off those best bits (a funny bone counts!): “I got to open London Fashion Week, and I had my six pack out! I got to show people that being sexy isn’t about being a twig, it’s about being comfortable with who you are. You know what, I’ve spent years getting strong and I’m really proud of my big bum, so I show it off.”
Face your fears: “A massive pivotal moment in my career was when I had to go back and face my demons. A lot of athletes have to do things they are uncomfortable with but not many have to go back to the site where they crashed and potentially ended their career and face their fears straight on. And I did that. I thought, if I can do this, I can do anything.”
Embrace the moment, laugh in the face of danger: “I’m always fun. I’m laughing and joking in the start gate. I think it’s really important for me to enjoy what I do because of the dangers involved. I have to know that I love this sport and have that passion, but I’m pushing myself to that line and sometimes over that line and I cannot walk away.”
Be there when it’s important, fight hard to be there: “I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that maybe it isn’t my destiny to win a gold medal, that maybe it’s to show people that against all odds and against all adversity you just have to keep fighting."
Chemmy reveals ten things nobody ever tells you before you become a professional skier
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