"...the biggest thing I can do is remind myself that when you’re suffering, I’m choosing to suffer. And cancer patients don’t get that choice."
One of the misconceptions I wanted to ‘bust’ with Sparta Chicks Radio is the idea that professional triathletes are born, not made. That they come out of the womb fit, talented and destined for sporting greatness.
And sure, some probably are — but Lucy Gossage reminds me that hard work, determination and passion are perhaps the most important ingredients in that ‘formula’
Lucy finished last in a cross country race when she was 13 or 14.
And while she didn’t realise it at the time, she now recognises that a fear of failure held her back from participating in any competitive sport until she was talked into doing her 1st triathlon at the age of 26.
Fast forward a few years and Lucy had developed into a talented age group athlete while working as a doctor. Then she made the difficult decision to switch to part-time work and eventually take a sabbatical from work for 2.5 years in order to concentrate on her career as a professional triathlete.
And given that she’s now won 13 x Ironman triathlon titles, I’d say it was the right decision!
Lucy has now returned to working as an oncology doctor part-time while using her available time to chase new experiences outside her comfort zone while using her platform to drive exercise-related initiatives for cancer patients and thrivers.
In this conversation, we discuss:
* what it takes to be good as a professional athlete (hint: it involves Netflix)
* how coming dead last in a race when she was 13 or 14 resulted in a fear of failure and how life as a professional athlete has forced her to accept the risk of failure,
* what she remembers of her first triathlon and how scared she was,
* how the decision to enter her first Ironman was the result of a drunken dare in a nightclub,
* where her interest in medicine came from and how she came to specialise in oncology,
* how the decision to become a full-time professional triathlete came about (given she was working as a doctor at the time),
* the distinction between arrogance and confidence and how she realised she can only win a race if she believes she can
* whether being a professional athlete made her a better doctor (and whether being a doctor has made her a better athlete),
* her experience with the Imposter Complex, in both her career as a professional triathlete and in her career as a doctor and how a sports psychologist helped her realise she wasn’t “lucky” every time she raced.
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