The weight of the medal around Kaleigh Gilchrist’s neck didn’t slow her down as she returned from Rio and ran through her apartment to the bathroom mirror, where she had taped her list of goals. At the top of the list: Gold Medal in the 2016 Rio Games in Women’s Water Polo.
She pulled out her pen, and then: Check!
Kaleigh, a Shaklee Pure Performance Team member, along with more than 120 other Shaklee-powered athletes who have participated in the Games since the 1980s, seems to possess those special qualities needed to help her achieve those moments.
Here are some concepts that our Shaklee Pure Performance Team athletes cite as keys to unleashing the inner champion:
Take good care of your most important assets—your mind and body: Caroline Lind Shald, two-time gold medalist in rowing, reminds us that “Our bodies are incredible systems that need the proper care, fueling, exertion, and recovery to run at peak efficiency. And the best foundation for a healthy mind is a healthy body. Take Shaklee supplements, like Shaklee Life-Strip™, and make a healthy diet a top priority. To me, fresh, natural foods always beat processed, sugary, low-nutrient foods.”
Embrace your dream or vision: Kami Craig is a Water Polo legend, with three medals—a silver and two golds—to show for her efforts. Her hard work flowed from the power of her dream. “Since I was five years old I clung to the vision of being a champion, being the best. Without the dream or vision, it’s difficult to find the motivation to work tirelessly, which is definitely required.”
Chart your course: “In Women’s Eight rowing, eight athletes perform the same exact motion in unison thousands of times a day,” said Meghan Musnicki, two-time gold medalist. “But the irony of our sport—and any sport—is that purposeful repetition is always taking us to the next step toward our goal. You must form a plan, chart a course, then take it stroke by stroke, step by step.”
Build your team: Brianne McLaughlin, two-time silver medalist and goalie for the USA in Hockey, may seem to be alone in the net, but she knows the importance of teamwork. “At the start of every practice, we’d stand in a circle and chant, ‘We are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are Team USA. We are team first! GO USA!’”
Overcome obstacles—Persist!: When obstacles pop up, what do the champions do? “Persist,” said Chloe Dygert, silver medalist in Team Pursuit Cycling. “I had an ACL tear in 2014, but I knew I would heal and be stronger so I persevered and worked through it.” Kim Vandenberg, bronze medalist in swimming in 2008, said, “Having a healthy heart is critical to sports, but having a fighting heart is what really gives us the edge, and that’s something we all need.”
Work, work, work!: “This is the mindset that powered us to the gold medal: Relentless perseverance!” said Katelin Snyder, coxswain for the Women’s Eight. “We embraced that mindset, so we demanded more of each other, and it was really nothing more than a commitment to excellence and a commitment to hard, hard work.” Katelin, her teammates, and almost all of the world’s greatest athletes have lived the “10,000 hours” rule, which suggests that it takes that much hard work to master any craft. “But it’s sooo worth it!” exclaimed Katelin.
Enjoy the journey: “Love,” said Mary Whipple Murray, three-time medalist in Rowing, “helped us stay focused on progress, and gave us pride in even the mundane aspects of our sport. We more than just ‘enjoyed’ our sport, we absolutely loved everything about it. When you ask, “How did we do that great thing, the answer is that you loved everything about it.”
Take another look: Was Corey Cogdell always a champion, even before she won two bronze medals in trapshooting? Yes. “Everyone has the ability to achieve great things, because everyone is born a champion. We might not all have medals, but we can succeed in our chosen fields and we all have qualities unique to us that give us value and worth equal to any medal, salary, title, or standing. Being a champion is only partly what you have achieved; it is also who you are as a person—and everyone has greatness in them.”