Ever wondered what is the key to success? Many people have different theories as to how people succeed in athletics and in fitness. Some people say that “good genetics” is the key to athletic success, while others say that “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.
Over the past few weeks, I decided to do my own research. So, I contacted all the good athletes I know and asked them what has been the key to their successes. Their answers are guaranteed to inspire all of you. Read on to find out.
1. “My first marathon at 3:28 and tenth marathon at 2:28 were 11 years apart with 3 babies between, which provided the necessary physical and mental breaks from training and racing. Consistency in a healthy diet while gradually increasing the quantity and quality of my training has been key to my success. Of course, along the way: Set goal. Achieve. Repeat!” – Krista DuChene , (pictured just below), one of the top elite Canadian female marathoners.
2. “The first key to success for me has been never giving up on my goals. So many other kickboxers tried to get a world title but they didn’t have the determination to never give up. The second key is hard work. I think I’ve worked harder than any of my opponents during our 7-8 week training camps.”- Gabriel Varga, (pictured below), Professional Kickboxer at GLORY World Series & two-time Pro World Champion.
3. “I attribute the key to my own personal success to consistency (continuous training without injury), determination (completing workouts even when I might not feel like it), motivation (setting goals each year), hard work (to improve oneself in anything, it usually takes hard work) and of course my coach (I wouldn’t be where I am today without him). I believe my success on the track as a child also sparked a competitive nature at a young age that I carried into adulthood where I want to be the best I can possibly be.”- Erin Burrett, (pictured below) Asics Canada sponsored elite runner
4. “I believe the key to my success is consistent, hard work. A healthy running form and proper coaching have allowed me to increase my training load over the past ten years with very few setbacks. Because I took up serious training later in life, I had a relatively small window of time to be competitive therefore consistency was always a priority. I’ve always been fortunate enough to be surrounded by supportive family and friends who encouraged me to go as far as I could. This helped me stay motivated to train really hard and recover like a true elite athlete even though that status was beyond reach.” –Marilyn Arsenault, (pictured below) one of Canada’s top female masters distance runners & multiple record holder
5. “There are so many factors that account for my success as a runner. I suppose it’s a combination of years of commitment, hard work, and consistency. Then you need the support of amazing friends, family team mates and of course a great coach. I love to run, whether it be training or competing- this undying love and passion for running, has definitely been a huge part of my success. Gotta love what you do!”- Natasha Wodak, (pictured below) elite Canadian runner & podium finisher in multiple events of various distances
6. “Sport is all about consistency and specificity. You don’t have to do world class workouts all the time, but especially for endurance sport, the longer you can train at a high level, the better off you’ll be. You also have to think about what your strengths and weaknesses are and what sort of event you are training for and challenge your training to fit that.”- Adam Campbell, (pictured below) elite sponsored ultra-marathon runner & mountain runner, multiple podium finishes
7. “I’d say the key to my success and recent breakthrough has been simply stringing together months of consistent solid workouts, slowly building and getting a little bit stronger every practice. Prior to this year, my training had been somewhat of a roller coaster thanks to injuries, accidents, and downright bad luck. My coach has always said “Whoever stays healthy the longest runs the fastest”, and I guess he is right!”-Jessica O’Connell, Canadian 5k Champion & Commonwealth Games 2014 5000m Top 10 finisher.
8. “You have to love it. You can’t do something well enough to be with the best, if it isn’t done for the right reasons. I think you have to love what you do to be the best you can be at something.”-Kirsten Sweetland, (pictured below) triathlete & Canadian Commonwealth Games 2014 silver medalist
9. “Three things come to mind when I think of what really helped my career. The first is consistency- day to day, week to week, year to year and over two decades I focused on being consistent- consistent with the training, consistent with my attitude, consistent with my intent. Knowing what I needed was crucial. It’s easy to get sucked into what other people are doing- I was good at figuring out how much I needed in terms of workload and recovery. Persistence- like anything it certainly did not happen over night. It took years and years and years of work to get there.”-Jasper Blake, (pictured below) world class Ironman triathlete
10. “A true passion for bettering MYSELF both inside and out has allowed me to bring a more well rounded mindset to training clients more proficiently. Building solid relationships with the people I work with. Learning their WHY’s and really participating in their journey with them.”- Kyla Gagnon, (pictured below; Jamie Watling photo) NPAA Elite-pro bikini model
11. “I feel fortunate to have had the chance to be involved in sports. The success I have had comes from a few things. First, I had a very supportive family. My dad was always out at races and encouraging me in all sporting activities. I had a couple of helpful coaches that taught me a lot. Finally, I am not exactly the super talented star, but I have an incredible work ethic and my secret weapon has always been my consistency.”- Craig Odermatt (pictured below), elite masters’ distance runner
As we can see, there are a few takeaways when it comes to athletic success:
First: love what you are doing; pick a sport that you are truly passionate about and do it only because you love it, not because you want recognition.
Second: consistently work hard, but also recover properly in order to remain uninjured.
Third: learn from other people who have been there and done that, such as quality coaches and other athletes.
All of these athletes have inspired me in many different ways.
So many people out there quit before they find out what their true potential is. If you are an aspiring athlete reading this, or maybe you are just getting into fitness, all I want to say is: stick with what you love and never give up. If their words inspired you, please share 🙂
PS. I don’t own any of the photos, I just found them online.