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A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey

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In 2007, Chrissie Wellington shocked the triathlon world by winning the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. As a newcomer to the sport and a complete unknown to the press, Chrissie's win shook up the sport. A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS is the story of her rise to the top, a journey that has taken her around the world, from a childhood in England, to the mountains of Nepal, to the oceans of New Zealand, and the trails of Argentina, and first across the finish line.

Wellington's first-hand, inspiring story includes all the incredible challenges she has faced--from anorexia to near--drowning to training with a controversial coach. But to Wellington, the drama of the sports also presents an opportunity to use sports to improve people's lives.

A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS reveals the heart behind Wellington's success, along with the diet, training and motivational techniques that keep her going through one of the world's most grueling events.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2012

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Chrissie Wellington

10 books24 followers

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5 stars
2,646 (41%)
4 stars
2,288 (35%)
3 stars
1,179 (18%)
2 stars
238 (3%)
1 star
68 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 469 reviews
Profile Image for Heather.
338 reviews
May 15, 2013
I love Chrissie Wellington's story but I didn't love this book. I felt like she couldn't decide what this book was supposed to be about and who the audience for it is. It was very heavy on childhood details and personal stories and light on details about training and races. I think that the people who would know who she is and buy this book are athletes who actually want to read long descriptions of races and hear lots of details about how she achieved so much in such a short time. That was missing from here. I don't know much about the world of triathlon fans but were they really dying to know about her romance with fellow triathlete Tom Lowe? ? And do we really need to know the details about the people she stayed with when she raced in the Ironman World Championships at Kona? NO! This book read like a long thank you speech at times. And I want to thank Bill and Jane for their wonderful cooking and soft beds...Who cares! I want to know about the races and her strategy and her mental state. She raced and won at Kona four times and in her description of each of the four races, she talks about sculling in the ocean before the swim start. Every time! Is that the only detail she can remember? It just got annoying after a while, like listening to a person telling a story and they're going on and on about things you don't care about. At the beginning of the book, she spends pages and pages talking about how she worked in international development for the British government when she was in her 20s but she didn't feel like she was really making a difference in helping people. Then she never mentions how she has used her position as an Ironman World Champion to work on the causes that were important to her. She has a platform, she has the ear of thousands of people, and...crickets! I still consider Chrissie Wellington to be a phenomenal athlete and an inspiration to all of us middle of the packers but this book was a miss.
Profile Image for J..
208 reviews10 followers
March 15, 2013
Chrissie Wellington is a living legend and her achievements are remarkable but she should have employed a ghost writer. I didn't find her story to be as compelling as it should be, we get hardly any insight into her thought process during rough patches in her time as a triathlete. There is no artistic weight in much of this book I felt that the story sort of went from point A to point B without episodes being linked properly. I found her time training under Brett Sutton and her commentary on some of the races she competed in to be the most interesting but a lot of triathletes will buy this looking for tips on how to approach training and will be disappointed. Parts of the book were like an Oscar speech, as if she was thinking 'Oh I better remember to thank everyone who ever did anything ever to help me or else' she added in parts that were like this... ' Jill and Bob really helped me out by letting me stay with them that time and boy do they make a great lasagne. Thanks Jill and Bob! ', Yawn! Stop worrying about being nice and tell the damn story!
Profile Image for Melissa.
125 reviews4 followers
December 11, 2014
I'm a bit on the fence with how to rate this one. I'm generously giving it a three. For the first half of the book, I didn't care for the author at all. Her writing is dry and straightforward, nothing engaging. As she writes about this fantastic life she's living, it's all very matter-of-fact. Later in the book, she becomes somewhat more personable and genuine. It feels like she wrote half of the book very unsure of herself as a writer, and in the second half came out of her shell to be real. She is a phenomenal athlete, obviously, so I was stunned over and over by her accomplishments. But I wanted to be inspired by this book. That's why I picked it up, and that never happened. A woman with the experiences such as hers should have a reader in tears with inspiration. Because her skill, natural ability, and extreme drive aren't anything close to a typical human being, she just doesn't seem relatable. I enjoyed the stories about the events she competed in, but nothing else really connected for me.
Profile Image for Adhityani.
121 reviews46 followers
November 21, 2012
Where do I begin.

It's Chrissie Wellington's memoir. THE Chrissie Wellington. Living triathlon legend, one of the best endurance athletes, male of female, of all time. It's the story of how she 'accidentally' stumbled across the the toughest of all endurance sports, the ironman triathlon and excelled in it. She won the World Ironman title four times, three out of them she won consecutively. She won all 13 titles of all 13 Ironman events she competed in as a pro. She bounced back from flat tires, broken bones, and many other adversities you can list. In short, her life is the stuff of legends (and perhaps, movies).

You know how memoirs can seem very distanced and fairytale-like? This one is far from it. The writing is honest and poignant. You can almost hear her utter the words. They are written in a way that makes you feel like looking into Chrissie's soul. To have the chance to follow her thoughts as she pushed her physical and mental boundaries felt like a privilege. She also puts down her thoughts in a way that is relatable - the book is not cluttered with sports jargon, unlike most sports memoirs I have read, and follows a linear plot that is easy to follow.

Chrissie is widely admired for her physical abilities, but this book testifies to her formidable mental strength. I was in complete awe of her focus and discipline and her ability to rationalize and keep a clear mind in a state of physical deterioration and exhaustion. I think that inspired me the most and is something that I can apply not only to my running (I run recreationally, am a slow runner and struggle with keeping with training) but also to my life.

Biggest take away from the book? Chrissie is known for her big, generous smile. And she swears by smiling as a way of expanding energy unto your work and unto others. So, whatever you do, give your everything and smile :)
Profile Image for Michelle.
47 reviews17 followers
May 7, 2020
This woman is amazing!!!
In the foreward, Lance Armstrong talks about getting chicked, which a term used for the rare occasion that a woman can pass the most elite male athletes. Not only is Chrissie an amazing athlete that repeatedly beats women, she also kicks the butt of men that are in amazing shape.
She has a great attitude and is always ready for a challenge.
I try to think about her whenever I'm feeling too lazy to do something.
I think I might have to give this one another read very soon, I have chronic laziness.
Profile Image for Malin Friess.
667 reviews20 followers
September 27, 2012
Have you ever been "chicked?" That being a male in a bike, run, swim, triathalon..whatever type of race being beaten by a female (or chick). I've been chicked in every race I've entered..but have come close in a 1/2 marathon only being chicked once in the last 3 miles..and if I had not been wearing my minimalist shoes I might have beaten her.

Chrissie Wellington would "chick" me every single time. Chrissie came from a clumsy childhood, to social work into Nepal, to suffering with Bulemia and Anorexia, to finding she liked running (and running her first marathon in 3:05), to becoming the winner of the IRONMAN Kona World Championships in 2007,2008,2009,2011.

What perhaps is more amazing about Chrissie is how close she is closing the gap between her male competitors. In Ironman South Africa 2011 she came in 8th overall and had the fastest maraton split (uner 2:45) for any male or female competitor. Beyond that she always competes with a smile on her face..and remains hours after her finish (just over 8 hours) to place a medal on the amateurs at the finish line 7 hours later.

Her competitive drive and ability to withstand pain is enormous. She must be the fittest woman on the planet. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado with her Ironman husband and is focusing on marathon running (getting her times down to 2:20 or something).
2 reviews
May 2, 2020
I made a note to read up on Chrissie Wellington after first coming across her in the Sports Gene by David Epstein. Quite aside from her athletic feats, you can’t help but come away with an admiration for her endless spirit of adventure, the authenticity of her friendships and the richness and variety of her life experience, even before setting out to be a professional ironwoman.
Profile Image for Kyle.
288 reviews34 followers
April 13, 2014
The legend goes like this. In 2007 at the ripe old age of 30, Chrissie Wellington came out of nowhere to win the Ironman World Championship. Chrissie went on to win 3 more championships and won all 13 of the iron distance triathlons she entered. She smashed world records and left male pro after male pro in the dust. And after winning her races she'd stick around until midnight, celebrating with age groupers as they crossed the finish line. Who is this woman?!? I had to find out.

So now that I've read her ghost-written autobiography what have I learned?

1. It's nice to read that world champions have off training days and off races too.
2. It seems that many world class endurance athletes struggle with some sort of addiction or something like the bulimia and anorexia that Wellington experienced.
3. I should have named my bike.
4. Wellington didn't exactly come out of nowhere. She busted her ass.
5. Never do a triathlon in China.
6. I need to take my next IM seriously, which means pissing myself during the bike.

8 reviews
June 26, 2013
Can we have an inspiring woman who isn't driven by anorexia/bulimia and insecurity issues? Apparently not.
Profile Image for Hannah.
6 reviews2 followers
April 6, 2021
Wouldn't typically read a sports autobiography, but probably the most inspiring book I've read in terms of sporting achievement.
Profile Image for Allison.
606 reviews54 followers
July 21, 2017
Considered within the category of "inspiring memoirs by athletes," this definitely ranks among the best. (Unsurprising, considering that it is written by a woman who is admittedly driven to be "the best at everything.") Chrissie's story of Muppet-to-World Champion is made believable and even, to some degree, relatable, by the self-reflective nature of her writing. It was an excellent choice for her to have written the book autobiographically, rather than allowing someone else--even someone who is a better storyteller--to tell her story for her. The pictures are an ideal companion to the narration (although I sincerely wish there were more of them, since her life goes through so many stages that remain visually undocumented), and the story begins and ends exactly where it needs to. Chrissie picked a perfection point in life to write this book.

All of this being said, I must admit that I am not the ideal reviewer for this book. As an amateur, even beginner triathlete, I know enough about the sport to recognize some elements Chrissie left out of her story, but not enough to give an ideal critique of the elements she did share. I will express my displeasure at her neglecting to mention the crucial elements of "form" in her "The Life of a Triathlete" chapter, where she details her weekly schedule, how not to recover from an injury, and other how-to pieces of advice and information that are of particular interest to triathletes. When she describes her races, she often mentions the points at which her form "breaks down" due to fatigue, pain, etc., but she never mentions the steps she and/or her coaches took to develop that form in the first place. If she is going to spend any part of the book telling athletes what to do or not do, I think advising them to learn proper form is one essential part that she left out. (And again, I must admit this is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do sort of criticism, because I do not spend nearly enough time developing my own form in swimming/running/biking! But then again, I'm also not attempting ironman distances, either.)

Also, while I deeply admire the raw talent and determination that earned her entry to the elite level of triathlon in the first place, I am skeptical of her sparse account of acquiring her first bike and any/all issues she had with learning to use it. From everything I have learned about cycling, fit is a crucial component, and simply "going out and picking up a second-hand bike" strikes me as a very risky and inadvisable way to go about entering the sport. I speak from experience here, because I am still pounding out on a bike that doesn't fit me ideally, and I'm paying the price for it with "niggles," sore body parts, and numb feet. And that's not even riding more than 40 miles at a clip!

Lastly, while I personally find Chrissie's to be a very inspiring story, it's hard for me to tell whether it would be equally inspiring to someone who doesn't train or compete in the sport of triathlon. I read Andre Agassi's memoir Open with unbridled fascination, having picked up a tennis racket only a handful of times in my entire life. I'm not sure if a non-triathlete would read Chrissie's memoir with equal interest or enthusiasm. But that does not stop it from being a wonderful, uplifting, well told story.

Now it's time for me to go out and do a brick workout before I lose my motivation!

Profile Image for Ericka.
Author 2 books60 followers
August 14, 2013
I loved this book! It's not the most well-written book in the world but that didn't matter. If you are a lover of endurance sports (especially marathon and triathlon), you'll disregard the little things and envelop the larger picture of Chrissie's amazing accomplishments as an athlete.

You'd think once you've broke your own world record a couple times over -- that's good enough -- right? Not for Chrissie. It's about constantly being better, challenging yourself, pulling out each win from the depths of your soul. It's nearly unbelievable how she battles injury, illness and doubt and still comes out winning nearly every race she does.

FULL REVIEW HERE: http://www.sweetlifeericka.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Guna.
20 reviews
April 23, 2015
Uzrakstīts interesanti un ļoti, ļoti godīg. Patika, ka nav slēps - sāp visiem, par sevi šaubās visi, neviens nav pārcilvēks. Tikko piedzīvotās pieredzas dēļ (Istra) ļoti patika "You can never reach perfection. Your ambition should be directed towards your ability to overcome imperfectio". Labākas sniegums nav tas, kur viss ir lieliski, labākais ir tas, kurā vislabāk izdodas sevi pārvarēt.
Profile Image for Karla Ticona.
Author 3 books4 followers
May 2, 2018
Qué grandioso libro acabo de disfrutar 🙌🏼💛 la autobiografía de la grandiosa Chrissie Wellington, campeona mundial de Ironman; "una chica normal de Norfolk (una pequeña ciudad de UK), con un gran apetito por la aventura y la voluntad para auto mejorarse"... como ella misma se describe en el libro.

Una de sus lecciones es que no se puede contar con las medidas externas para validar el valor de cada uno. El valor de cada persona es infinito y no tiene que ver con el peso o la apariencia física (quién diría que ella también pasó por desórdenes alimenticios y body image issues); tampoco tiene que ver con el lugar donde naciste o los padres y la gran fortuna que te entregan (ella se especializó en Desarrollo Internacional y vivió en Nepal, Australia, Tailandia; siempre se solidarizó con filipinos y viajó muchas veces pedaleando 🚴🏻‍♀️ por los Andes en Argentina).

Su historia es realmente hermosa, su propio trabajo interior para aprender a calmarse #HurrySlowly y aprender a seguir a su coach Brett Sutto; su libertad e independencia, la historia de cómo conoció el amor de su pareja Tom; su relación con sus abuelitos y las historias divertidas de ser una chica #nerd o #muppet propensa a tener "incidentes" (en esta parte me siento TAN identificada) 😊😊😊 en fin, all in all, un libro muy bien escrito, que me ha nutrido el alma y me ha llenado de buenas historias la mente. Demasiado bueno y muy recomendado.
Profile Image for Marta.
81 reviews1 follower
March 21, 2021
Hmm. I genuinely don’t know what to make of this book. I guess it mostly resembles a biography rather than a sports biography or tips and tricks of the trade (if the latter is what you’re looking for, this isn’t it - bar 1 page summary of her breakfast habits and very high level summary of a “typical” training week. The first half is a biography of a teenager with an eating disorder, and an ambition to excel - or cover up? - her perceived imperfections, with academic excellence. Then follows a few years of career progression in international development, interspersed with travel. Before she discovers running and then triathlons - half way through the book. The second half is a selection of her key competitions - namely the Kona triathlons she won, the Roth Challenges and others. I liked her character - she comes across as a true warrior. Determined and undeterred, sometimes even to her own undoing (eg training soon after injury, pushing through pain to win etc). Her enthusiasm and positive outlook genuinely come across and I liked that. But just seems to be a little disjointed- she spends a long time developing the eating disorder issue, then it is almost magically resolved. The desire to help in less well off regions is there, and she recognises that winning gives her a platform to be able to affect change, yet we don’t get to read where that goes. The audiobook flows easier than the book so if you have the choice, perhaps grab that. Nevertheless, this is a phenomenal person with an incredible story and character!
53 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2021
Fascinating journey to follow, plus written in beautiful literature language. This English woman is completely on fire! Very motivating for myself when training in sports disciplines - things don't always go perfectly, it's how you overcome challenges perfectly that define a perfect race.
Profile Image for Uswa Anjum.
102 reviews6 followers
October 2, 2019
Limits are internal and broken by constant self-improvement. Keep getting better.
Profile Image for Adriana Racu.
188 reviews3 followers
January 31, 2023
Really enjoyed this book. It was well written and entertaining but the think that makes this book special is the fact that it is empowering and inspiring. Highly recommend it.
5 reviews3 followers
June 13, 2012
I find Chrissie's book both inspiring... and annoying.

The inspiring parts first: She lives, as the title says, her life without limits. She takes opportunities where she sees them; and is hell-bent on exceeding her own expectations. She shares so much of herself that reading this book almost makes you feel like she is talking to you over a cup of tea while sitting on the couch. I admit, some parts of the book made me uncomfortable - because I saw many similar personality traits within me and I wasn't sure I liked all of them. I can be very hard on myself, especially when I don't meet my own expectations. Her quote "No one should ever be afraid of failing; it's being afraid to give it your all in trying that I urge against. If there is one thing I have learned...it is that our limits may not be where they think they are. And, even when we think we've finally reached them, the next time we go exploring we often find they've moved again" added an interesting dimension to reading the book as that's how I've lived my life living with a "different ability" (severe hearing loss), but I also know I haven't even begun to reach my limits as a (newbie) triathlete. I came around to seeing that these traits are fine, they are what inspires us to push our boundaries beyond what we thought possible.

I'm not surprised she became a triathlete; she has shown determination and tenacity from the time she was a small child. Chrissie partook in athletic adventures all over the world, including biking in the Himalayas. Having been to Nepal, I know that is no easy feat and absolutely not for the faint-hearted, and it takes a bit of a crazy adventurer to do something like that. So while it may seem Chrissie came out of nowhere, she fits right in with the triathlon community - a group full of crazy adventurers. Triathletes are a unique bunch of people, and the more time I spend with other triathletes and my endurance/triathlon team, the more I notice common traits: discipline, hard work, perseverance, and a determination to beat their own expectations. There's also the incredible social atmosphere that takes place at team workouts and races from sprints all the way up to full Ironman competitions. Triathletes at all levels - age group to pros - have had race glitches or anxieties that at least one other person has shared; this provides a bonding experience at a level I've not seen in other sports.

While she calls herself Muppet for all the antics that seem to happen to her at the wrong place and the wrong time - which happens to all of us - she also opened up about her battle with eating disorders, and working with Brett Sutton. Brett picked up on her eating disorder right away, and Chrissie had to deal with it; she was very open about it in the book This is inspiring in of itself; she had a terrible emotional disability, and from what I know from friends who have battled eating disorders, it's a lifelong struggle. I'm uncertain if Chrissie was whining about Brett, or if she appreciated what he did for her, and what he did for her mental toughness training. It certainly seemed like a classic love-hate relationship, and in the end, it paid off when he told her she had nothing to prove to anyone ever again. In any case, her description of mental toughness training and what it takes to hone it is a good lesson for any triathlete. She does have a natural athletic capability that she discovered fairly recently, and has more than excelled at it. She is this close (I believe it's within 5 minutes) to beating the men's record in the marathon portion of the Ironman distance triathlon. You don't get there without sheer mental tenacity.

The only annoyance I had - which frequently popped up in the book - was the constant harping of the need to feel like she's making a difference in the (developing) world. Like Chrissie, I spent a fair amount of time in my 20s and early 30s visiting 3rd world countries, bemoaning the poverty and lack of progress in such areas. In our own ways, we came to the same conclusion that there is a lot of hypocrisy with development organizations and their approaches to helping poorer countries. Simply throwing money and people at them does absolutely nothing if these countries don't want to solve their own problems. Chrissie's constant talk of wanting to do something in seemed a bit contradictory to me; and I didn't care for the political talk. To me, it didn't add anything to the book.

I would've liked to see more on training plans, nutrition, recovery and so on; but overall this was a good read. Chrissie is an excellent athlete and an amazing person, and there is much we all can learn from her; especially the sense of determination, persistence and passion that is required to excel.
Profile Image for Edward Blackshaw.
4 reviews3 followers
March 20, 2017
Inspiring. Makes you want to put down that cold beer, drop that cheeseburger and get out and do something
Profile Image for Linda Beldava.
223 reviews13 followers
February 15, 2015
Stāsts par Krisiju gan nebūs viens no tiem, kas stāsta par cilvēkiem, kuri piecēlušies no dīvāna un pēkšņi kļuvuši par čempioniem, bet tāpēc nav mazāk aizraujošs un pārsteidzošs.
Krisija ir vienkārša meitene no Norfolkas, kas jau no bērnības nodarbojas ar peldēšanu, bet bez kādiem īpašiem panākumiem un mērķiem. Normāla vidusmēra meiča, kas nav mierā ar savu ķermeni, t��pēc sanāk ilgus gadus sadzīvot ar ēšanas traucējumiem, tostarp arī bulīmiju. Strādā darbā, kur sanāk ceļot un kādu brīdi dzīvot arī citās valstīs.
Pārsteidzošais sākas tad, kad papildus peldēšanai, ko tā īsti nav pametusi kopš bērnības, Krisija nolemj noskriet maratonu. Tālāko tie, kas skrien, sapratīs - savu pirmo maratonu ar ne pārāk sistemātisku trenēšanos Krisija noskrien 3h08min. Nav slikti priekš pirmā, vai ne?
Nevajag daudz laika, lai blakus parādītos kāds, kas iesētu Krisijā ideju par triatlonu. Peldēt prot, paskriet arī sanāk tīri labi, vēl tikai ar riteni jātiek galā. Pirmais tiek iegādāts lietots, un sākas trenēšanās.
Kad rezultāti parāda Krisijas spējas, nāk ideja par pievēršanos triatlona distancei profesionāli, tas notiek vienlaikus ar sevis izsmelšanu līdzšinējā algotajā darbā. Krisija tiek pie trenera un sākas profesionālās triatlonistes dzīve.
Tālāk jau gan viss kā no filmas - smagi treniņi, rakstura rūdīšana un nesaskaņas ar treneri, iekšējā konkurence, šaubas. Un tad jau arī pirmās sacensības, pirmais Ironman un pirmais pasaules čempiones tituls nepilna gada laikā pēc pievēršanās profesionāles karjerai. Krisija pārsteidz visu triatlona pasauli. Līdz grāmatas izdošanas brīdim Krisija bija uzvarējusi visas Ironman sacensības, kurās bija piedalījusies un tādas bija 13. Tostarp 4 pasaules čempiones tituli, vairākkārtēja pasaules rekordu labošana, traumas, trillera cienīgi negadījumi tikai dažas nedēļas pirms svarīgām sacensībām.
Grāmata - iedvesmojoša un aizkustinoša. Stāsts iespaidīgs, neticams, bet tajā pat laikā vienkāršs.
Personiskās emocijas - apbrīna un skaudība. Apbrīna par raksturu, apņēmību un mērķtiecību. Stāties uz starta ar jūtamu traumu un spēt ignorēt sāpes, lai kārtējo reizi uzvarētu..., tas vienkārši liek apbrīnā noelsties. Daudz kas paliek vienkārši neizprotams - kā pēc stundas peldēšanas un gandrīz 5 stundu pavadīšanas uz velo pekles karstumā, vēl ir iespējams pieveikt maratonu 2h50min laikā? Kā?? Un to paveic sieviete, ne reti ierindojoties top 10niekā starp vīriem.
Papildus puspunkts pie visa pozitīvā klāt vēl par tagadnes sajūtu, grāmata un notikumi samērā jauni - izdota 2012.gadā.
Lai nebūtu tikai par sportu, grāmatā ir arī attiecības - ar draugiem, radiem, treneri, kā arī netrūkst arī mīlestības. Kā īstā dzīvē. Ā, nu jā, Krisijai taču ir īsta. :)
Sportisti novērtēs. Varu aizdot izlasīt. Grāmata angļu valodā. Ar bildēm.
Profile Image for Becca.
10 reviews1 follower
July 14, 2016
I listened to A Life Without Limits last spring. I was truly captivated listening to her story. I never really had an interest in triathlon, and didn’t know what an Ironman even was, before reading this book. Lately I have been toying with the idea of trying out a triathlon, and this book has helped fan those flames. Like Chrissie, I was a swimmer before I ever got into running. It would be sweet if biking was my “weak leg”…

I almost deleted that sentence because it seems utterly ridiculous to draw comparisons between myself and a world champion athlete… but I actually found Chrissie very relatable. The book was really well written. I’m always skeptical that reading an athlete’s memoir will be a cocktail of mediocre-to-terrible writing blended with a healthy dose of narcissism, and have put back many books on shelves at the bookstore after reading the first few pages and finding just that. This book was co-written by Chrissie and Michael Aylwin, who I just did a quick google search on and apparently is a Rugby sports writer for The Guardian. No wonder it was so well written!

It’s been well over a year since I read the book, so I will give a brief summary: Chrissie Wellington is a retired British Triathlete who won several world championships in Ironman, the longest triathlon distance. In high school she swam, had poor body image, and struggled with food (relatable). I think she swam competitively in college. I believe her first marathon was the London Marathon, which she like killed and finished in like top 10. Or maybe she won? IDK, I just remember she was surprised at how well she did. In my memory that was when triathlon clicked as an option for her, already being a strong swimmer.

From there she raced and won, raced and won, fell in love, raced and won. Intense coach relationship. Pretty typical IMO. She was knighted, so that’s pretty legit!

The lasting impact the book had on me was this: Chrissie is an exemplary human. Iron man is a grueling endurance sport. Even though professional athletes may be naturally gifted, they still bust their a** off for their sport. And that is inspiring. This book is motivation to push your self to you physical limits, and push past those limits, simply for the sake of seeing what you are capable of accomplishing.

I definitely recommend reading this book, even if you have no interest in triathlon. After you read it, you will most definitely have admiration for the sport.

P.S. Did you know that Triathletes use PEE as a WEAPON on the bike leg? LOL. That imagery cracked me up.
Profile Image for Jarek.
134 reviews10 followers
February 17, 2013
A Life Without Limits is an autobiography of Chrissie Wellington, a four-time Ironman World Champion. Surprisingly, this is not really a book about sport, mostly because sport didn't play the major role in Chrissie's life until she turned thirty. It does not make the book less interesting, because in just three decades she experienced more than other people throughout their entire lives. Living in places like Nepal, New Zealand or Argentina she had a chance to discover true diversity of the world.

As for her success as an endurance athlete, I was really surprised to find out that it’s mostly based on sheer determination combined with raw talent. I didn't know it is still possible to become a world champion in any sport, without the most advanced equipment, a small army of medical personnel constantly tuning the athlete’s body to achieve the maximum performance, and of course a huge amount of money to pay for it all.

The book is worth reading, but it is not inspirational and doesn't provide much of advice to an average reader. If you are born with Chrissie's talent, you are destined to be a champion. If not, you need a different book.
143 reviews
May 3, 2012
I knew nothing about Chrissie Wellington before I started this book other than that she is an athlete, and that this book was supposedly great motivation for self-improvement. Wow is all I have to say. Chrissie's story is amazing. Anything Chrissie sets out to do she throws everything into - to say she is a perfectionist would be an understatement. This book is a fantastic story about how she came to be the athlete she is and take the Ironman scene by complete surprise.

This is a brutally honest autobiography, and could be accused of significant 'too much information' at times, but it is all part and parcel of who she is and what she does. If you are an aspiring athlete, read it. If you wish you had more motivation, read it.

A great look at what goes on in a World Champion's mind, and what they have to suffer behind the scenes to get where they are. Ironman is an amazing feat of human endurance and mental and physical strength; Chrissie Wellington is the epitome of all these things.

17 reviews
May 11, 2012
Probably the best written autobiography I've come across (makes a very welcome change from the usual cat-sat-on-the-mat writing style particularly prevalent with sport related books). Really absorbing and interesting and had us hooked from start to finish. Started reading it over my partners shoulder on a plane then couldn't stop - ended up putting his kindle on to large font and reading the whole book together. Neither of us had heard of Chrissie Wellington before or knew particularly much about ironman. Very inspirational. To the point that my partner is now thinking about trying a triathlon!
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Author 2 books12 followers
January 17, 2013
A nice read. I read this book after hearing about it on a CNN report. Sounded very interesting, so I bought it right away. I have to confess my ignorance about Ironman before reading this (the sport should receive a lot more attention than it does). Chrissie Wellington's personal story is amazing and shows the value of determination and courage in achieving ones' goals. For her to start this grueling sport at such a (relatively) late age, and then become a world champion, is truly incredible. The book is a candid and detailed look at that journey. Chrissie Wellington-- thanks for being such an inspiration!
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