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Do it like Ian Thorpe

Today Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe came to my office to share his personal story from Olympian to life after swimming, and how he maintained his resilience throughout his career. To me, the most inspiring thing Ian talked about is the importance of “being tactile” with the environment in which you want to perform. In his case, it meant smelling the water, touching it, blending with it. The closer you are to your environment, the better you know it, inside out, the better you can perform. During training, he was thinking of every single scenario that could happen on race day, and how he would react. Thinking of what he would do before, during and after the race. Yes, even what he did after racing was important. He was jumping out of the water to show other swimmers he was not even tired. He was telling them his performance on his worst day was going to be better than their performance on their best days. Of course, he had high and lows, being diagnosed with depression from an early age. He struggled through it thanks to competition for a long time but now he is quite happy just to live a life in the middle, content with what he has, what he does, where he lives. In a great city, Sydney, in the best country of the world. And I felt the same way, it was great.

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