Lindsey Jacobellis Is Proof You Have To Focus On Yourself To Succeed
Despite all the wins at a young age, X Games star Lindsey Jacobellis did not enjoy her early successes.
During a discussion at this past weekend's Winter X Games in Aspen, the snowboarding star described her prodigious talent as somewhat of a blessing and a curse. She said,
An Olympian by the age of 17, Jacobellis says she "tortured" herself to maintain her winning ways, which in turn made her profession no fun at all.
There was no acceptable outcome but victory, and such an expectation was a heavy weight. You can imagine, then, how she must've felt during her most infamous moment.
At the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, a then-20-year-old Lindsey was body-lengths ahead of her nearest challenger, until a dramatic fall occurred.
An even more unfortunate twist of fate, though, would change the way she looked at things.
It was bad enough an ACL injury forced her to sit out of competition in her mid 20s. What happened after was even worse.
Jacobellis was one of the few patients for whom ACL surgery is unsuccessful. That meant she had to undergo surgery a second time, keeping her away from the game for an even longer period of time.
What changed, exactly?
Well, for starters, Jacobellis removed the "unrealistic" expectation of winning all the time from her shoulders. Most importantly, though, she's done this without sacrificing the efforts and talents that make her a great athlete.
The motto now is simple: Focus on yourself.
That change in her mentality made her happier. And from the looks of her recent record, it made her better, too.
At the age of 30, a period which she politely refers to as her "seasoned" years, Jacobellis has won three straight Snowboard Cross gold medals at the X Games, the last of which was won this past Sunday in a tight photo finish.
If anything, Jacobellis' continued success is proof of the wisdom in her new ways. The result has been an escape from the pressures of winning. Meanwhile, the winning has stayed and it's more enjoyable. She said,
These days, the three-time defending X Games Snowboard Cross champ is killing it, and that might not have been possible without the tricky past highlighted by the moment in Turin.
No one knows the answer for sure. But it's a good thing she's still here.