How Many World Cup Wins Does Lindsey Vonn Have Want Success? – Take a Lesson From Lindsey Vonn

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Want Success? – Take a Lesson From Lindsey Vonn

Did you watch the Olympics on Wednesday night? The Americans did quite well, winning gold medals in skiing – Lindsey Vonn, speed skating – Shani Davis and snowboarding – Shaun White. Good for them. Their years of training, hard work and dedication had paid off.

In this post I want to focus on Lindsey Vonn. She lives in Vail, my favorite mountain town in Colorado. I live and do my career success coaching work in Denver, so I think of her as a neighbor. More importantly, I find his story compelling. Currently, she is the best female ski racer in the world. Over the past three seasons, she became the first American woman to win two overall World Cup titles and won two gold medals at last year’s world championships.

He won five of six downhill competitions at this year’s Ski World Cup. The downhill is the magical ski race. It is fast and dangerous. Downhillers, men and women, are the big guns in the sport. Yesterday, Lindsey Vonn won Olympic Gold in the downhill. But she almost didn’t have grace.

A few weeks ago, she took a nasty fall and bruised her shin. On Monday, after her downhill training run, when she was in so much pain, she could barely get out of the gate – a necessary precondition for qualifying for the race. She wasn’t sure she could even race.

I know a lot about deep bone bruises on the shin. Way back in 1973, I badly bruised my left shin in a rugby match. My leg turned the most amazing colors — black, blue, yellow, green — from my ankle to my thigh. My lower leg was the size of my thigh, which is very large. I was on crutches for two weeks. It hurts. Lindsey Vonn had the same injury. Last week, her leg was so swollen that she couldn’t put her ski boot on.

As a career success coach, I always tell my clients that what happens to you is not important, but how you respond to what happens is. I call it committing to take personal responsibility for creating the successful career and life you want and deserve. In Lindsey Vonn’s case, she’s had some really bad things, and some pretty good things have happened to her over the past few weeks. The bad stuff was her deep bone bruise. The good thing was the warm weather in Vancouver, which postponed the ski competition and gave her a little more time to recover.

Even with these extra couple of days, I’m sure she was in real pain during her run. She was skiing on bumpy ice, going over 80 miles per hour, and making some big jumps. That had to hurt. But she persevered and won the gold medal.

Picabo Street, who was considered the best American skier before Lindsey Vonn, said, “She has given the USA something to be proud of. She has given young dreamers a reason to dream, and that is a beautiful thing. Now she is the American best female skier ever. She’s a great champion, and she’s so deserving.”

I think so too.

Lindsey Vonn didn’t let circumstances determine her destiny. He took control of the situation and did the best he could given the situation – which, as it turned out, was very good. In her words, “It’s been a very difficult couple of weeks. Your Olympic dreams are almost crushed and you fight back from it, do therapy and try to be healthy again. I tried to stay positive.” Her positive attitude won her an Olympic gold medal.

The point of common sense career success here is simple. As you go through life, things will happen; good stuff, bad stuff, frustrating stuff, happy stuff, sad stuff, lucky stuff, unfortunate stuff. Successful people choose to respond to the things that happen — especially the negative things — in a positive way. Very bad things had happened to Lindsey Vonn — a deep bone bruise on her shin; and some lucky things – the warm weather in Vancouver that delayed the girls downhill – have been happening to her over the past few weeks. He did what he could with it. And what he did was quite spectacular. The next time things get you down, think of Lindsey Vonn, do what you can to recover from circumstances and stay positive. Because that’s what successful people do – they choose to respond positively to the negative people and events in their lives.

That’s my take on Lindsey Vonn’s brave gold medal run, and what it teaches us about staying positive. What is yours? Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us using the link at the top right of this page. Thanks for reading.

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