x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Life Lessons: Rachel Joyce

The triathlete shares her philosophies on life.

Rachel Joyce clinches her maiden Ironman victory in Lanzarote, Spain last month. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
Rachel Joyce clinches her maiden Ironman victory in Lanzarote, Spain last month. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

1. Trust your instincts. Some of the best decisions I have made have come from switching off the rational voice in my head. This doesn't mean that I've jumped into decisions without thinking, but I've at least considered an idea that could have been easy to dismiss. When I decided to go professional, I let my gut instinct override my mind, which was focused on my career and financial stability.

2. Never give up. Injuries are part and parcel of being a professional athlete and I've had my fair share. During these tough times, doubts have crept into my mind about whether I'm good enough or whether I will get better. But sport has really taught me that if you remain focused and don't give up, you will achieve your goals and, at the very least, won't be left asking yourself "What if... ?"

3. Treat people how you'd like to be treated. This is something I try to live by. Whoever the person is, treat them with respect and good manners. That is something my parents instilled in me and my siblings from an early age, and the lessons have stuck. I'm no saint, but when I slip up, I spend ages toiling over how I've behaved.

4. Think about one thing a day that makes you smile. If I've had a bad day, a poor race or am unhappy about something, I know it is all too easy to focus only on the negatives. Yet over time I've learnt to pull something positive out of every day or situation. Sometimes it can be difficult, but I'm getting better at it and life is generally more enjoyable when you focus on the good.

5. Put yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally. There are some things I know I find challenging, but I also know that life would be dull if I only did things I felt comfortable with. Without truly testing myself, I wouldn't discover what I am truly capable of.

 

As told to Jemma Nicholls