Anna Ross: Realising your potential

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Posted 19/02/14

Realising your potential

Professional triathlete Anna Ross recently participated in the Purplepatch Pro; a grueling two-week triathlon training camp in Hawaii that pushes its participants to their mental and physical limits. Before she set off, Anna watched a Ted talk by John Wooden (Head Coach of the UCLA Basketball team) and he talked about three factors for success:

  1. Never try to be better or compare yourself to someone else
  2. Always learn from others
  3. Never cease trying to be the best you can be

(John Wooden: The difference between winning and succeeding)

Anna realised that these three factors played a big part in her experience in Hawaii. Below is an excerpt from her reflection of Purplepatch.

1. Never try to be better or compare yourself to someone else.

This is something I find very hard not to do! While training with some of the best athletes in the world, it was hard not get frustrated when I couldn’t keep up. The first key training day was an eye-opener for me. It planted the first seeds of doubt as to whether I could actually be a professional athlete; do I have what it takes?

I began to spiral downwards over the next couple of days, most sessions had me feeling close to tears and I didn’t feel like myself, the self-confidence was gone. Physically things were great but emotionally I was falling apart. I decided at that point to talk to Matt (coach) and be honest about the fact that I was second-guessing whether I had the mental toughness to be a professional in this sport. Thank god I did talk to him, my fear that he would see this as a major character flaw did not eventuate, and we actually had a great discussion on what I needed to work on. Specifically focusing on myself and not judging my success or failure on how those around me are performing

2. Always learn from others.

The remainder of the camp was physically very demanding but my approach mentally was so much better. I stopped looking at everyone around me as competition and instead saw him or her as great resources for learning how to be the best I can be. When Emma-Kate passed me on the 20mile TT hill climb I didn’t get frustrated, instead focused on how she was pedaling, why she was stronger on the uphill.

I also took the opportunity to have a coffee with one of the most respected athletes in the sport. Meredith’s professional triathlon career is hugely successful. This is not just because of her race results, but in the way that she trains, races and gives back to all those around her. From our discussion I realized how important balance is; both in life and also in the way you train and race:

‘Don’t let success go to your head or failure go to your heart’

If a training session has kicked your ass, don’t turn that into a negative experience and have it impact all the next training sessions. Your journey through life will have many ups and downs and unless you can keep an even keel throughout, the emotional investment will become all-consuming.

3. Never cease trying to be the best you can be.

This camp taught me that ‘be the best I can be’ is not defined in the physical sense of being faster than everyone around me. It is about realising my potential and following my own journey. It’s about measuring my success, not just through race results, but how I go about living my life. I realise that there is a lot more to being a successful professional athlete than I first thought, but the commitment to reach my goals has taken a step up as a result of my experiences over the last 2 weeks.




Anna Ross - Professional Triathlete

What is my passion? To Inspire, Motivate and Energise those people around me to reach their potential and become true high performers. What makes someone a high performer? Passion for what they do, having goals that they pursue with absolute commitment and enthusiasm, and maintaining balance across all aspects of their life.

From working at Fonterra on some of the biggest projects in New Zealand, to now being a professional Ironman Athlete, let me help you on your journey and goals for 2014!

For more information on Anna and her journey, CLICK HERE to visit her website.

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