WHAT MAKES A CHAMPION?

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Celebrity trainer Shannan Ponton, who features on the popular TV show, ‘The Biggest Loser’ explains how to find your inner champion.


All of us are created pretty equal. The human body is constructed similarly across our wonderful planet. If you pinch me and I do it back, it hurts about the same. If we punch each other in the stomach, we’re both going to get winded. If we get our hearts broken, we feel pain and sadness. When life doesn’t work out how we’ve planned, we feel frustrated and disappointed.

So, what sets a champion apart from the crowd? Do they have more strength in dealing with pain and discomfort? Are they better at thinking calmly and clearly under pressure? Is it that they see the positive in every situation and never give up? Is it genetic?

In sport, at an elite level, it’s fair to assume that all the athletes lining up in the Olympic finals are genetically gifted and have had access to similar training. Across the world, training methods don’t vary that much; everyone lifts weights, runs, swims, rides, jumps, stretches, does plyometric. But what is that one single ingredient (if there is one) that allows one person to rise above all others and grab gold.

Remember Grant Hackett’s incredible gold medal 1500 metres swim in the 2004 Athens Olympics? He’d been ill with a severe respiratory infection coming into the Games and people were writing him off after a sluggish swim in the heats. But, he went on to claim gold, only to later find out he had competed with a partially collapsed lung. How did he win that day against all odds? The best athletes in the world, all peaking for this one event after a lifetime of training and sacrifice, in good health… on one and a quarter LUNGS?

Of course, you don’t have to win an Olympic gold medal with a collapsed lung to call yourself a champion. Everyone is good at something. Everyone has a talent. You might just be barking up the wrong tree. What if Tiger Woods had picked up a boxing glove as a tiny tot, instead of a golf club? What if Kelly Slater decided to play basketball? We may have missed out on two of the world’s greatest all-time champions.

You can be a champion at something, too. It doesn’t matter whether it’s knitting, a spelling bee, volunteering or being a master chef for your family. It can be anything. Some people are fantastic athletes, some are smart, others creative. Do the best you can with the hand you’ve been dealt. Find the champion within you. Don’t worry about everyone else.

Champions are made of the right stuff. They have a great mix of these key attributes — courage, determination, self-belief, desire, passion, toughness, resilience and killer attitudes. These are the attributes you’re going to need to be the champion of your own event - life. Life’s great, Rip into it.


Shannan Ponton
Shannanponton.com.au
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Shannan does Personal Training sessions at Dee Why Fitness First