Tag: Perseverance

A Personal Perspective

By: Premier Sport Psychology

This week’s blog is a personal story from Taylor Finley, sharing her own experience with a sports camp earlier this month.UTC War Paint

What would you think if someone asked you compete in an intense competition for 20-hours straight? You would probably think that they are crazy!  But over the past month hundreds of collegiate athletes across the country took on this challenge at Athletes in Action’s infamous “Ultimate Training Camp”.  This high intensity, Christian sports camp teaches athletes 5 biblical principles and then puts them to the test in a 20-hour sports marathon known as “The S.P.E.C.I.A.L.”. Athletes refer to this challenge as, “the toughest 20 hours of my life,” “pure exhaustion yet,” and “absolutely life-changing”.  I had the opportunity to attend Ultimate Training Camp this year and can say that it was nothing short of life-changing.  Although the focus of the camp was to incorporate God into your sport, which was certainly central to my experience, I was also amazed to see how elements of sport psychology and the power of the human mind played such an important role in every athlete’s experience.

I want to focus on The S.P.E.C.I.A.L., as it was an incredible platform to see sacrifice, passion, pain, and triumph through sport in its most extreme form.  Many athletes experienced a breaking point, or point at which they don’t believe they can go any further, and their body wanted to break down due to exhaustion.  This is when it was crucial to apply the biblical principles we learned, humble ourselves, and surrender to the Lord.  For me, seeing grown men and the strongest of athletes fall to their knees and break down in tears was extremely powerful and emotional.  In physical exhaustion but more so overwhelming emotion, we learned how to surrender and move forward when we thought our bodies couldn’t carry us anymore.  This is when the mind, and for me the grace of God, allowed us to persevere far past what I ever thought was possible.  Personally, this may not have been the most physically challenging workout I have done in my life, but through this experience I saw the biggest transformation in myself as a person and as an athlete.  I was amazed and how far I could go.  Sprints, push-ups, or anything else thrown my way, I could not only complete but also excel at because of the power of my mind.  Whether that is grit, mental toughness, or the grace of God, one thing is that through sport these athletes were able to experience something that had a dramatic affect on their lives.  

In your weakest moment, you learn the most about yourself.  Sports often expose your weaknesses in the most brutal ways, and The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. certainly forced the athletes to feel exhaustion and weakness.  However, what most athletes found was that they had some source of strength deep inside themselves, to fight through and not simply survive the competition but actually thrive!  This is the beautiful and unique thing about sports.  Athletics has a unique way of breaking an athlete down in order to build them up even stronger, and this is when the greatest lessons are learned as we saw through The S.P.E.C.I.A.L.  Through sports and competition you can experience pain, suffering, failure, disappointment, and exhaustion like no other; whether physically through an injury or emotionally through a loss of a big game.  At the same token however, sports teach us how to overcome adversity and preserve, resulting in incomparable joy, success, and relationships in teammates.  Every athlete can say that playing sports shaped their character in some way or another for the good.  It is often through the trials, such as that breaking point in The S.P.E.C.I.A.L., that qualities such as leadership, determination or grit develop within the individual.

This is when having a growth mindset, a concept that is widely used in sport psychology training, comes into play.  Having a growth mindset involves believing abilities can be developed through effort and dedication, and in times of trial it is important to know that this challenge is all part of a process and a bigger picture.  Finding your purpose and a strong motivation for why you play your sport is essential, and can help you overcome these times of disappointment or when you just don’t think you can push any further.  For the athletes at Ultimate Training Camp, we focused on playing for God as our motivation.  For any athlete, if you find a powerful motivation, whatever that may be for you, and focus deeply on that in every moment, whether practicing alone or playing in front of thousands of fans, you will be amazed at how far you can go and what you can achieve.

Taylor Finley

What it Takes to be Successful

By: Premier Sport Psychology

By: Premier Intern Staff

 

In her famous TED Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth tackles a question our individualist culture continually strives answer: What does it take to be successful? In just six minutes, Duckworth explains through her experiences teaching math in New York City public schools and studying people from West Point to the National Spelling Bee that the most successful people embody one specific characteristic: grit. As she most eloquently says in her talk:

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

She goes on to explain that we can encourage the development of grit by referring to Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck’s theory of a “growth mindset,” or the belief that one’s ability to learn is not pre-determined but can be changed with effort.

While not directly talking about sports, these theories are very much applicable to athletes. The athletes who are the most successful are the ones who show up first to practice and leave last. They are the ones who fuel their bodies with nutritious foods and get enough sleep so they can have the stamina to perform at optimum levels. They are the ones who don’t believe their skills are fixed because they have proven that wrong: they have seen their talents develop through hard work in and out of practice.

If you want to be successful, you need to put in the effort—“day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month…”

Click here to hear Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk on grit.

Click here to hear Carol Dweck talk about the “growth mindset.”

 

Why the Journey is More Important Than the Destination

By: Premier Sport Psychology

We have all heard the old adage, “The journey is more important than the destination,” (or some variation of it) time and again. What few people discuss, however, is what makes the journey so important.

Look at any newspaper story describing an athletic accomplishment, and you may notice that while the headline comes from the accomplishment itself, the body of the story is, in fact, a story. It is the story of how the athlete achieved his or her goals, typically through preparation and adversity. Take for example, Ben Saunders.

In 2014, Saunders accomplished a journey that no one previously had—he trekked to the South Pole and back on foot. He and his partner ventured 1,800 miles, spanning 105 days—shattering the record for the longest human-powered polar journey by over 400 miles. However, it wouldn’t have been a journey without obstacles along the way. After experiencing consistent headwind slowing them down, the two cut back their food rations to half of what they should have been consuming, and eventually ran out. 46 miles away from their storage of food, hungry and suffering from hypothermia, Saunders made the decision to call for assistance. It was not easy, and Saunders called it “one of the toughest decisions of [his] life.” He went on to say, “I don’t regret calling for that plane for a second, because I’m still standing here alive, with all digits intact. But getting external assistance like that was never part of the plan, and it’s something my ego is still struggling with. This was the biggest dream I’ve ever had, and it was so nearly perfect.”

In today’s fast-paced world, we constantly try to achieve the next goal as fast as humanly possible. We try to change the definition of what is humanly possible. We are obsessed with perfection and being the best. However, we must shift our focus from the end point to the point we are currently in. We must focus on accomplishing our current challenge before we prepare for our next challenge. Runners build up their endurance by running 5, 10, 15 miles before running a marathon. Swimmers do not swim the 400-meter freestyle without spending time in the gym building their muscles and physical strength. Athletes (much like Ben Saunders) do not accomplish great feats unless they first spend a great deal of time preparing.

We need to learn to be content with the place that we are in and not just the destination. Crossing the finish line takes a split second, but the journey takes so much longer. If we are only living for the finish line, we are only enjoying a few moments instead of the weeks, months, or years of preparation. The journey is where we learn. When people recall their stories, they don’t just say, “Well, I crossed the finish line at this time and then that was that.” They tell their stories. They talk about overcoming obstacles—when they learned what their breaking points were after being pushed to their physical and mental limits. They talk about the relationships they formed with their teammates and crews. They talk about how, in the most brutal of conditions, they learned what they were made of. We don’t learn what we’re made of after we complete goals—we learn during the process.

After Saunders completed his journey to the South Pole and back, many people asked him what would be the next milestone he would conquer. Reporters wanted to know the next destination, but Saunders was still reflecting on his journey:

“Looking back, I still stand by all the things I’ve been saying for years about the importance of goals and determination and self-belief, but I’ll also admit that I hadn’t given much thought to what happens when you reach the all-consuming goal that you’ve dedicated most of your adult life to, and the reality is that I’m still figuring that bit out. […] I’m also standing here saying, you know what, that cliché about the journey being more important than the destination? There’s something in that. The closer I got to my finish line, that rubbly, rocky coast of Ross Island, the more I started to realize that the biggest lesson that this very long, very hard walk might be teaching me is that happiness is not a finish line, that for us humans, the perfection that so many of us seem to dream of might not ever be truly attainable, and that if we can’t feel content here, today, now, on our journeys amidst the mess and the striving that we all inhabit, the open loops, the half-finished to-do lists, the could-do-better-next-times, then we might never feel it.”

To hear Saunders’ full story, watch his TED talk here.

Olivia Wyatt

The Fastest Woman In The World: Tatyana McFadden

By: Premier Sport Psychology

Adversity Since Birth

We hear all about the sports figures that are in the limelight: Michael Phelps, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, and Mia Hamm to name a few. But is it possible that there is a few that hold the same credence without getting the proper attention they deserve? Absolutely, and Tatyana McFadden may be at the top of that list.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tatyana grew up in an orphanage for the first six years of her life. Born with Spina Bifida, a disability caused by a hole in your back, she was paralyzed from her waist down. While the other kids ran around, Tatyana refused to fall behind so she learned how to walk using only her arms and hands. Without the funding to buy a wheelchair, she unknowingly began to develop arm strength that would aid her rise to stardom in the years to come. Her wheelchair did come with time however when she was introduced to Deborah McFadden, an American woman who was taking routine a business trip as the Commissioner of Disabilities for the U.S. Department of Health. The two instantly connected and the adoption process took place before Deborah returned home.

11 Medals And Counting

Tatyana was still volatile upon her arrival in America, and was given a timeline of a few months to two or three years maximum left to live. Hoping to build up her strength, Tatyana’s new parents introduced her to sports, an infatuation that would bring her international success and an amazing mindset that puts most to shame. She tried many sports, but absolutely loved wheelchair racing, and excelled at it in no time. She told her mother that she wanted to be an Olympian one day, that she wanted to feel what they (Olympic athletes) feel when standing on the winner’s podium. Sure enough, Tatyana would experience that feeling not once, not twice, but 11 times in the 10 years that followed. At the 2014 Paralympics, she received her first two medals in wheelchair racing at age 14, one silver and one bronze. Four years later in Beijing, she added 4 more medals which was then mimicked in the 2012 Paralympics in London when she tallied another 4, 3 of those being gold medals. Making her the fastest woman in the world in her sport. While most people would be satisfied with 10 Olympic medals, Tatyana was unenthused with only participating in one sport. In 2013 she decided to pick up cross-country skiing, and with less than one year of experience in the snow, you guessed it, she made the winter Paralympics. And while she was at it she amazingly enough out performed all but one, slightly missing the gold medal and receiving silver.

If you are not too busy picking up your jaw that has rightfully dropped, the most incredible thing to consider is that she has accomplished all of this before graduating from college. As 2014 eventually rolled around, Tatyana finished her education at the University of Illinois with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, she plans to pursue graduate studies which is another thing that should not seem surprising at this point. She carries a precedence and demand for excellence in all facets of her life. She says that through her life she has “wanted to prove that with training and hard work and dedication you can be the best. And if you don’t train you wont be the best.” Plain and simply, hard work is her mantra. This mentality has been most recently rewarded when she received the 2015 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award for her accomplishments in both track and field and cross-country skiing. And when asked about her “disability” she responds by saying “I hate that word, disability, because there is nothing disabled about us (those that are disabled), we have accomplished much more than the average person.” She is absolutely right, and maybe her words and actions will one day inspire the Laureus award to be renamed to the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Sports Ability Award. Tatyana McFadden demonstrates the mental toughness and resilience that we should all seek, and shows us that “disability” is simply a limitation that we put on ourselves.

To read more about her story check out this website and this video.

Bethany Brausen

The Tigers are Tamed; The Royals are Kings

By: Premier Sport Psychology

A coach of mine once told me that momentum is made up. He said all that really happens is we convince ourselves mentally that we are in a state of retreat, when in reality we are still every bit “in the game” as our opponents are. I 100% agree with him, but the Kansas City Royals may need some more convincing.

After not being in the playoffs for 29 years, the Royals have gone 4-0 in their first four playoff games. In doing so, they have secured themselves a spot in the American League Championship Series and are now just eight wins away from bringing home a World Series Championship. All things seem to be “go” for this 2014 Royals team, and if these last games are any indication, they have no intention of slowing down.

They overcame the Oakland Athletics in an extra innings battle, and then came back only a few days later to sweep the Detroit Tigers (one of the postseason favorites). In doing so, the Royals overcame three of the most dominant pitchers in baseball: Max Sherzer, Justin Verlander, and David Price–and outhit some of the best bats the sport has to offer: Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and Torii Hunter. How did they do it?

The answer is simple: with a smile on their face.

“They’re all enjoying it…we get to this type of atmosphere and we’re flourishing,” Royals Manager Ned Yost said after the ALDS sweep. He wasn’t alone in the sentiment–Royals starting catcher Salvador Perez added, “We feel so happy to win the last two games.”

So how can it seem so simple yet do so much? Because in reality, it can be that simple. The influence of a positive mindset is so vastly overlooked in competitive sport, but as we can see through the success the Kansas City Royals are having, it can really make a difference. Especially considering they were up against the odds, on short rest, and playing against one of the best teams in baseball. The impact can’t be overlooked.

Give it a try sometime. Next time you need to do something, no matter how daunting it seems, tell yourself that you can be successful. Put a smile on your face while you do it. Do it again and again until it becomes genuine, and you won’t be disappointed. Change your mindset, and the results will follow.

Konnor Fleming

Teddy “GUMP”

By: Premier Sport Psychology

By: Premier Intern Staff

If you happened to catch any of the Vikings-Falcons game on Sunday, you had the chance to see Teddy “Two Gloves” Bridgewater make his NFL debut. You also had a chance to see him throw for over 300 yards, score a rushing touchdown, and lead the Vikings to a hard-fought and well-earned home victory over a dangerous Atlanta Falcons teams.

So what’s the one word to describe Bridgewater’s brilliant debut? If you asked him, it would be GUMP.

GUMP is a nickname that Bridgewater first adopted in high school, given to him by his teammates after the copious amounts of Forrest Gump jokes and references he would make. But GUMP quickly became more than just a nickname for Bridgewater; those four letters are now a life motto that motivates Teddy each and every day.

It stands for Great Under Major Pressure and helped guide Bridgewater first through a spectacular career at the University of Louisville, where he saw tremendous on-field success. Arguably even more importantly, though, was the implication it has had on his life following his time as a collegiate star.

Heralded as one of the best available quarterbacks in the 2014 Draft Class, Bridgewater watched the big board move along farther and farther without hearing his name. To make it even worse, he had to sit by and watch other high profile QB’s, namely Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel, get drafted to teams in need of relief at the position. It was not until the Vikings made a trade and picked up Bridgewater with the 31st overall pick that his NFL dreams become a reality, and with them even more major pressure than he had ever faced in his young life.

Stepping into an organization with quarterback troubles and a lot of questions floating around about whether or not Ponder and Cassel would be able to perform, all eyes turned to Bridgewater. Here’s this first-rounder that’s coming in with the expectation that he’ll come in and help turn the franchise around. Think that’s a little bit of pressure? Chalk it up for major pressure count number one.

It was right around that point that the Vikings’ coaches formally announced that Bridgewater was going to be properly coached and was going to be given lots of time to acclimate to the culture of the NFL before seeing the field. So now not only was the weight of ‘franchise savior’ on his shoulders, but when he does finally see the field there would be no excuses for anything short of perfection. Add that to the major pressure count, number two.

Then suddenly, what seemed like all at once, the face of the franchise and the team’s best player, Adrian Peterson, was no longer a member of the team. Then, Matt Cassel seemed to flop against the New England Patriots. The packed house at TCF Bank Stadium chanted, “Teddy! Teddy!” begging for him to come save the day. Not only did Bridgewater need to come save the day, but in doing so he was being asked to become the face of a franchise in need of a hero on and off the field. We’ll call that major pressures three, four, and five.

Yet, despite it all, Bridgewater came out and led the Vikings to the victory everyone was asking for. He dominated the game on the field, and went on to handle himself as professionally and humbly as could be asked for off the field following the victory. He took every expectation of him–gathered every bit of major pressure that had been placed on him–and he was good. No, he was better than good: on Sunday, September 28th, Teddy Bridgewater was GUMP.

There are any number questions one might ask for crediting Bridgewater’s success. Did he prepare himself physically to be able to perform on the field? Undoubtedly. Did he study his playbook until he knew it like the back of his gloved hand? It sure seemed that way on the field. But what was the most important piece of the Bridgewater puzzle? It seems to be a state of mind that he has been practicing, normalizing, and optimizing since he was just a teenager; the real key to Bridgewater’s success seems to be that he believed he would be successful.

And maybe that’s the most profound lesson to learn of all. Something as simple as a mindset and a firmly held belief helped to mold Bridgewater into the NFL phenom he showed he can be. We’ve seen sport psychology techniques such as this prove to be successful already in professional football after Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks took their mindfulness all the way to the top, winning Super Bowl XLVIII. I’m sure Minnesota fans across the country will be hoping so–especially with the new stadium en route and the opportunity to host the contest in 2018.

Our advice: hop on the bandwagon now! Teddy Bridgewater has proven to be great, and has all the mental tools to be great for years to come. Where some might say the pressure will be too great to get to and win a Super Bowl in a team’s home stadium, we say to them this: If Bridgewater has been this successful already, just imagine how capable he will be faced with all of that.

 

 

The World Cup: Psychology Behind Penalty Kicks

By: Premier Sport Psychology

By: Premier Intern Staff

 

The game of soccer is one of the most physically demanding in all of sport. With physical demands of the whole body and players traveling, on average, seven miles in a game, there is no doubt that soccer athletes have to be some of the most physically fit in the world. But what comes, then, when regulation and extra time have passed and players must engage in game-deciding penalty kicks? What physical skill is required there? The ball is centered, only 12 yards away from the goal, with the keeper completely at the taker’s mercy in regards to where the shot will go, when it will be taken, etc. So why at the World Cup – soccer’s greatest stage – is the conversion rate for penalty kicks only .71?

The answer is one of the most beautiful ironies in all of sport: the simplest of physical tasks becomes the most difficult because of how mentally challenging it is.

The one-on-one nature is naturally going to elicit some nerves. Coupled with the pressure of the moment, the implications of the result, and the apparent ease of the situation, those nerves can make a player far from their best. Some factors are beyond the player’s control: who shoots first and who shoots second, and consequently who shoots for gain and who shoots to recover, is determined entirely by a coin flip. For some, the pressure is next to none; goalkeepers are seen as heroes if they save a penalty kick, and receive next to no blame for allowing a goal. However, for the players taking the penalty kicks, it can be said for certain that mental strength is the key.

Confidence, strength of will, and physical ability–these are all the pieces to the penalty kick puzzle. All are ever-present with the USA National Team. Just consider the team’s slogan through the tournament thus far: I Believe. Klinsmann, the team’s coach, just told his players to change their flights until after the World Cup final. Think Team USA has confidence? While we hope the game for the Americans doesn’t end up coming to penalty kicks – hopefully we have the win secured long before they become necessary – don’t be surprised to see the team shine if it comes to that. The mental strength is there, and the whole country can’t be wrong when they say, “I believe that we will win!”

 

References:

Hatokie, A. (2014, July 1). The psychology of penalty shootouts. – Football. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://www.aljazeera.com/sport/brazil2014/2014/07/psychology-penalty- shootouts-20147182438644251.html

 

The Mental Side of a Physical Injury

By: Premier Sport Psychology

Imagine this: You are an athlete – and not just any athlete – an elite athlete.  You are a highly successful player in the sport of your choosing.  The highlight of your day includes stepping onto the field, ice, or court.  The sport drives you, and it serves as your passion for countless years.  Many of your best memories come from your sport, but so do a few of your worst.  After suffering from 5 concussions, you have limited your ability to focus for more than a ten-minute span.  Having a dim light on causes you pounding headaches.  Feeling faint and dizzy has become apart of your physiology. And worst of all, the thought of getting back into the sport you can’t live without shoots a bout of anxiety and fear ripping down your spine.  It does not take an athlete to understand the effects of an injury due to sport.  It does however, take the right knowledge to understand how to best treat those injuries.  A study published by the Journal of Sport and Health Science in 2012 open the topic by saying:

“Sport injuries frequently have profound negative consequences on the physical health of sports participants.  They also have the potential to cause a great deal of psychological disturbance through increased anger, depression, anxiety, tension, fear, and decreased self-esteem.  Sport injuries often result in an immediate imbalance and disruption to the lives of the injured athletes including loss of health and achievement of athletic potential.”

The study is quick to note that while there are serious physical implications that follow an injury, there are serious, and often times more detrimental, psychological effects.  Laura Reese, Ryan Pittsinger, and Jingzhen Yang sought out to decipher what steps psychologists can take to help restore the most crucial component in recovery: an athlete’s mind.  The study targeted populations of injured competitive and recreational athletes age 17 years and older by using interventions commonly used in sport psychology.  The interventions included imagery, goal-setting, relaxation, micro-counseling, written disclosure, and acceptance and commitment therapy.  The interventions showed promising results.  Guided imagery/relaxation was associated with improved psychological coping and reduced re-injury anxiety.  Psychological techniques such as micro-counseling, acceptance and commitment therapy, and written disclosure demonstrated effectiveness in reducing negative psychological consequences, improving psychological coping, and reducing re-injury anxiety. While seemingly small, these improvements may be exactly what an athlete needs to get back to where they want to be.

The reality of injuries in sports is that too often the process of recovery turns a blind eye to the single strongest operating force in our bodies: our brains.  While we work daily to subdue concussion symptoms, heal a broken bone, or undergo surgery to repair a tendon, we forget that the component driving that recovery in the first place lies in our head.  The encouragement of psychological repair must be reinforced by psychologists, doctors, social support and the athletes themselves.  Using interventions such as those demonstrated in this study may provide the foundation needed to get athletes back in competition both more timely and safely.  The importance of mental stability during a physical injury could not be more crucial.  You would never allow an athlete to go back to competition with a broken collarbone.  They are simply not ready.  Think twice before sending an athlete – or yourself – into competition before mentally ready.  You may not be able to see the injury, but that is an injustice of equal offense.

 

By Bethany Brausen

 

Reference:

Effectiveness of psychological intervention following sport injury. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 1, 71-79.

Conquering Change

By: Premier Sport Psychology

Amy Purdy experienced what some people would call a disadvantage, but she does not use that word to describe her situation. A better word in her vocabulary would simply be a change. A change that forced her to use creativity to continue participating in the sport that she loved. This change not only impacted her life, but also inspired her to ease experiences of other athletes going through a similar transition.

Amy loved to snowboard, but when she lost both of her legs below the knee at the age of 19 to a rare form of bacterial meningitis, she had difficulty even walking. She was lucky to survive, but her determination to adjust to the drastic change of riding on two prosthetic legs, and ability to flourish after her recovery is what makes her story incredible. She could have given up snowboarding after experiencing the pain and difficulty of riding for the first time with her new legs, but she decided to get back on the mountain and find a way to compete all the way up to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Although she would be the only competitor with two prosthetic legs, she knew that she would need to focus on her own snowboarding trials and not be intimidated by the other riders with at least one of their original good legs. Instead of dwelling over the fact that she did not have the advantage of at least one of her own ankles to assist her stance and performance, she looked to technology for a prosthetic solution that could compensate for the restraints of feet that are designed for walking and not the complex movements of snowboarding.

Amy Purdy continually went through changes during the search to find the most suitable prosthetic feet to strap into her boot. However, she did not view the different confinements of her artificial ankle as boundaries that could hold her back. Unlike sports that involve running that have provoked opinions about prosthetics potentially providing their athletes with an advantage, there is no pair of feet yet designed to accommodate the range of ankle movements needed to carve through challenging snowcross courses such as in Sochi. Amy still refused to be restricted between the walls of limited eversion and inversion, but decided to push off of these walls and propel into influencing other adaptive riders through organized camps and developing a plan to include snowboarding in the Paralympic program.

As Amy was adjusting to a new way of snowboarding, she did not have many resources to assist her in still pursuing her passion after the drastic change at the age of 19. She wanted to ensure that she could make and impact on others who shared the same passion of snowboarding by encouraging them to not let their impairments define their performances. Amy demonstrates the ways that we can allow changes to enable us, despite how difficult the transition may seem. She used her imagination to come up with her own outcomes to changes instead of letting a major change inhibit her as an athlete. Inspiring athletes who have gone through changes and came out on top remind us that if something does not seem possible or within reach, we can use the “boundaries” in the same way as Amy Purdy, and not be confined by them, but use them to drive us into places that we never imagined.

Check out her TED talk here.

Sara Scarbro

References: 

http://xgames.espn.go.com/article/10590582/women-action-amy-purdy-debut-paralympic-snowboard-cross