The problem with achieving enormous feats, not just once but four times, like Chrissie Wellington is that it is easy for others to think being ironman world champion is all a bit of a breeze.
But not so, her autobiography ‘A Life Without Limits’ is full to the brim of her agonising battles to succeed in the sport which which asks more than any other; a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then just the small matter of a marathon to finish.
What you have to love about Chrissie’s book is her total balls-out honesty on everything from her struggles with bulimia to her often difficult relationship with her coaches, most notably Brett Sutton.
She gives in-depth detail about her race preparation and training, showing just how incredibly hard she has to work.
Her complete honesty, probably best shown when she describes her second time competing at Kona where a doesn’t shy away from the truth of what I guess many iron-man competitors have to face.
“I approached the race in good spirits… that said, I shat myself at the start. Literally. Diarrhoea struck as I was in the water.”
She also never seems to take herself too seriously referring to herself as ‘muppet’ for her many clumsy antics.
Her strength of character and outright determination are highlighted at many of her races which see her facing huge set backs and injury often in the run up to the events, including a serious bike crash, shingles and a coccyx injury.
Her eye-watering account of her own typical training week is truly remarkable and gives a flavour of what these athletes have to endure.
I absolutely loved Chrissie’s book, it is a remarkable tale of a girl from Norfolk who had the grit and determination to achieve what she did.
You can not help but be totally in awe of her and inspired by her achievements, not just in her own field but for women’s sport in general.
I was fortunate enough to meet Chrissie, now Global Lead for Health and Wellbeing for Park Run, at a health event in October. She is as I expected, extremely down to earth and bursting with enthusiasm.
If you have any interest in triathlon, or just want an inspirational read this really is the book for you.
I’m already on book number two.