Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meeting a Champion: Chrissie Wellington

Last week I had the rare opportunity to meet a triathlon celebrity. This would not have been possible if my friend and fellow NYC Ironman hopeful Trey hadn't alerted me to the opportunity a few weeks ago. He mentioned it in a tweet, so naturally I signed up on the spot. Ever since I started doing triathlon, I've heard Chrissie Wellington's name mentioned though admittedly I never did too much reading or investigation. If I had, I would have realized what a legend she is. You know what, just go take a look at her Wikipedia entry.

Her story is amazing, as you must have gathered if you read anything in that article. I was struck by how humble she is despite everything she's accomplished. It was actually pretty funny because it seemed like she was trying to be very casual in talking about how she got where she is (sincerely, not in a falsely humble way) but there's just no way it can be done. You can't hear the things she's done and not be absolutely stunned.

The talk was great. I very much enjoyed the questions that were posed to her by the host as well as the answers she gave. Also, the woman never stops smiling! While waiting to meet her, I read through the prologue, introduction and got about 5 pages into the book itself. It made me emotional. Can't wait to finish it.

Actually meeting her was sort of impersonal, and I can see why. When faced with the idea of meeting hundreds of people in the span of an hour, I can't imagine one can think of enough things to say so that each person feels like they truly met her. But it was enough to say hi and mumble whatever silly thing it was that I thought to say in the moment. Meeting someone who's accomplished as much as she has in this sport was an opportunity that I'm grateful to have had!

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