Legendary Triathlete Siri Lindley Overcomes the Odds

By Betty Ann Graham, August 15, 2019

Hall of Fame Triathlete. Thirteen-time World Cup Champion. Wife, author, speaker, coach, philanthropist. There isn’t much that Siri Lindley can’t do. But, if there is one thing Lindley struggled with, it was her quest to accept she was gay and love herself regardless of her sexuality. Lindley’s path was riddled with anxiety and doubt. Through her voyage of self-discovery, she was able to embrace herself an. The Boulder, Colorado-based triathlete is channeling her experiences and sharing her insight with Connect Sports on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 9:45 a.m. as part of the speaker showcase. Here’s a sneak peek.

You say you are the most unlikely person to become a Triathlon World Champion. Why’s that?

I was a three-sport athlete in college. After I graduated, I discovered the sport of triathlon and fell in love. But I was 23 years old and didn’t know how to swim! Triathlon at the highest levels is made up of former Olympic swimmers, bikers and runners, so this dream definitely seemed impossible. Seeing all different ages, sizes, ability levels of people all pushing themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of and finding themselves through the challenge of the swim, the bike and the run was inspiring. I knew this sport would be the vehicle through which I would find myself, which I really needed at that time.

What made you so passionate about becoming a triathlete?

I was struggling to overcome massive anxiety and self-doubt. I was terrified in my own skin and desperate to find love and appreciation for myself. This sport presented itself as a way to discover my strength, discover who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live my life. It was this massive challenge that, if I could bust through my fear and disempowering stories, would give me the confidence to believe in me and my ability to create something I could be proud of in the world.

You were an alternative for the 2000 Olympics. Was that bittersweet or is there a different way you would describe it?

It was devastating, but also the greatest learning experience of my life. The gift from that failure was learning more about who I was and what I needed to succeed at the highest level. I had lost sight of the “why” behind what I was doing. I was so caught up in making the team and being able to make a living that I had lost touch with what really mattered: pushing myself to all new levels physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and celebrating how far I had come, rather than thinking about how far I still had to go. Trade your expectations for appreciation and see your whole world change in an instant!

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