At the age of 23, Siri Lindley set a seemingly impossible goal for herself: She wanted to be the best in the sport of triathlon. The problem: She’d never done a triathlon, and she didn’t know how to swim.
At the time, she was young, athletic and smart, attending Brown University. On the outside, she had it all, but on the inside, she suffered from OCD and anxiety, was suffocated by fear, and uncomfortable in her own skin.
After coming out and being rejected by her father, she became desperate to prove her worth and find her purpose. Through triathlon, Lindley was able to find her “why” and a belief in herself and all she had to offer the world.
It was a long road with many lessons learned along the way – how to let go of fear and the expectations of others, how to be comfortable with failure – but after years of training among the best in the world, Lindley became the 2001 Triathlon World Champion. The day she crossed that finish line, she said, was the day she truly felt a love and respect for herself and became her own biggest supporter.
Lindley said the key is to ask yourself, what am I focusing on? Is it what’s missing or what you have? What you fear or what you love? What you can’t control or what you can?
After retiring from triathlon, Lindley began coaching other women in the sport, including three-time Kona World Champion Mirinda Carfrae and six-time Iron distance champion Rebekah “Bek” Keat, who is also Lindley’s wife.
She said in order to get others to dig deep, you must first become the fearless leader in your own life because you can only love, care and inspire others as much as you can love, care and inspire yourself.