With every other pro athlete, the thing you hear most commonly is that they've been into sports since forever. Superstars like tennis's Maria Sharapova and Alpine ski racing's Lindsey Vonn are celebrated for picking up their respective sport at an early age and have since never looked back. Now they have multiple championships and titles to their name.
While the achievement is amazing in itself, it sets a negative precedent - that you can only excel at a sport if you start at an early age. What we're telling you today is that couldn't be further from the truth. And in the honor of athletes who got into their craft later in life, here are 3 motivating stories and tips from some late-blooming pros.
1. Get Some Mental Motivation
Before the professional triathlete Gwen Jorgensen qualified for the 2021 Olympics, she had never ridden a bike before. The athlete was an avid swimmer who after graduation started working for Ernst & Young as a tax accountant. This was when her love for the triathlon sparked. Jorgensen comments how different it is to come to a sport in your later life but also acknowledges that the delay makes you appreciate it more. She adds that before every race, she writes down her motivation and why she believes she should win.
2. Challenge Yourself
How many people are open to trying out the sport they're afraid of? Very few - but not Rebecca Rush. Before she started racing mountain bikes at the age of 38, Rush used to be terrified of them to the point that her first baby bike became her last, until she started dabbling in adventure races. At the age of 46, the sport that was once her biggest weakness has earned her multiple world championships. Rush comments on how she's living proof that it's never too late. If what you're opting for is a tough start, hire an expert to make the initial learning stages easier and smoother.
3. Be Patient
Growing up, Kim Conley was into a variety of sports including basketball, soccer, softball, and even running. Though she ran in high school and college, it wasn't until after she graduated that she decided to explore the sport professionally. Conley states that accomplishing your goals requires setting smaller immediate and achievable ones to pave the path to eventual success. It took years for the athlete to raise her rank from fifth to third place in the 2012 Olympics but, even she believes that every little step she took towards her goal played a huge role in her success.
Wrapping It Up
The achievements of athletes like Jorgensen, Rush, Conley, and many more prove that age is no factor when it comes to being active. So, if you've been thinking it's too late to try out that cool sport or generally just being more active, we suggest you take some inspiration from these late-blooming champions.