At 43 years old, many would say that she is an unlikely Olympian. And yet, she is not just an Olympian, she is a medalist, a gold medalist.
Not only is she a gold medalist, she has accomplished what no other cyclist, neither male or female, has ever done: She has won three consecutive gold medals in a single event.
I’m talking about US athlete Kristin Armstrong. This summer, she won the women’s time trial competitions in Rio – for the third straight time!
I love to read about champions – their stories, their preparation, their setbacks and their victories. Perhaps most of all, I enjoy learning about their mindset.
Not long ago, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that enabled me to take a glimpse into the mind of Kristin Armstrong, a champion of champions.
The Mindset of a Gold Medalist
It was Wednesday morning, August 10th – the day of the time trials. Armstrong woke at 4:30 am. She peered out the window and saw sheets of rain falling in the early morning darkness. The time trial course was considered tricky and technical on a sunny day, precipitation would add to the challenge.
Stop and think for a moment. What would your thoughts be if you were in Kristin’s shoes? Most likely we’d be overcome with feelings of disappointment, sadness, fear, even hopelessness.
But, listen to her thoughts, as reflected in the Wall Street Journal: “I had two choices,” Armstrong said of the weather. “I could say, ‘Oh this is awful, I don’t want to race today,’ or I could say, ‘Hey, you know what? I have experience in the rain. I can do this.’ “I took the latter and kept my mind positive.”
Kristin Armstrong chose to stay positive about the adverse conditions around her. She did not let outside circumstances dictate her perspective on the day and the fast-approaching Olympic event. It is not a coincidence that she has excelled as an athlete. Her mindset has positioned her for the awards podium.
What Mindset Will You Choose?
You and I are daily presented with similar choices of perspective: we could choose this (an emotion-driven, typically negative perspective), or we could choose that (a principled intentionally positive perspective).
If we choose “this”, the negative perspective, we’ll always be the victims of circumstance and others.
If we choose “that”, the positive perspective, we’ll be setting ourselves up for gold-medal success.
The choice is simple, the results are real, which will you choose, “this” or “that”?
Do you think like a gold medalist? Do you find yourself blaming circumstances and others, or do you approach life with the positivity of a world-class athlete? Please share your thoughts <here>.