Ski Champ Lindsey Vonn: “What’s The Point In Being Afraid?”

Lindsey-Vonn

If we were playing a word association game, what automatically comes to mind when we say the name Lindsey Vonn? Tiger Woods? Divorce? Controversy? Ski champion? Olympics? But what about the word ‘fearless’? Well get used to it because Lindsey has not gotten where she is today in life and her career without being exactly that.

Due to an injury she is not competing the Sochi Winter Olympics this month, but the most winning female American female skier in history has been asked to be a special commentator for NBC during the games. The girlfriend of golf champion Tiger Woods didn’t allow this disappointing setback to rule her life, and she tells SELF magazine why being fearless is the only option for her.

“What’s the point in being afraid? I’ve crashed a million times. If you go around being afraid, you’re never going to enjoy life. You have only one chance, so you’ve got to have fun,” she says.

If there is someone who knows what it is like to face a lot of public criticism, it is Lindsey. She went through a very public divorce with her former coach Thomas Vonn, and started dating another elite athlete whose private life and extraneous sex scandals became more synonymous with his name than his trophies.

“Getting divorced was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I’d been dating him since I was 18, and I realized I wasn’t happy anymore. I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough to be on my own, but I found out I am. Now I’m in charge of my whole life. It’s terrifying—and exciting. It gave me a lot more self-confidence and a greater sense of self-worth.”

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Lindsey doesn’t need to sugarcoat her life, but instead chooses to focus on what is important and shut out the negative in order to stay positive.

Even though she is one of the best athletes in the world, she still has her fair share of body insecurities, but soon learned what really matters is her own strength and beauty, rather than comparing herself with other women.

“It was hard to go to the Met ball [last May], with people who eat lettuce and a Diet Coke for dinner. It’s difficult to be at events with a room full of women who weigh half as much as you do. That’s always tough. I don’t envy them, though, because so many of them are skinny-fat. They have more cellulite than most people. I feel like I need to give them a cheeseburger. It’s sexy and beautiful to be strong.”

As for not competing in the Olympics this year, Lindsey says she doesn’t want to allow her sport to define her self worth. It is only one part of her. After struggling with depression for years, she says it is more manageable now that she is on medication, but still has those low days. We think it is really brave of her to admit something like this, and it only makes her stronger in our eyes.

“I have sad days, but they’re rare and the lows aren’t as low. This past year, I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been. A part of me is missing when I can’t ski, but I’ve learned there’s more to define me and make me happy, like stand-up paddling and Jet Skiing—things I’d never done before. Or being with people I love and just enjoying life.”

How refreshing to see Lindsey open up and not be afraid to admit her struggles. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, or who you are, experiencing hardship and criticism is always going to be a given. It is how we deal with the tough times and how we define our self-worth that is what will set us apart.

Take a look at Lindsey’s P&G “Thank you Mom” video and see a little of why we love her strong, fearless spirit:

 

 

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