Tough Like Lindsey

Photographer: Hannah Hayworth

Lindsey Valenzuela

From 34th in the 2011 CrossFit Games to 9th in 2012 and 2nd in 2013, Lindsey’s voracious climb to the top of the CrossFit world is thanks to nothing less than ruthless hard work. Her capacity for mental toughness is sought by many but achieved by few.

In fact, if you follow @liftlikelindsey you’re not only joining the masses of Lindsey Valenzuela fans (over 18,000 to be precise), you’re bound to be inspired by this athlete’s “triumph or die trying” character. Her most recent adventure on the road to self-mastery was Sealfit, a course designed to build strength from the inside out. Quite aptly, the tagline for this company founded by a retired Navy SEAL is “Unbeatable Mind.” If this doesn’t scream Lindsey, we don’t know what does.

SWEAT RX recently sat down with Lindsey to get to the bottom of what makes her so, well, awesome. Here’s her take on mental toughness, turning weaknesses into strengths, what it means to be a powerhouse woman, and what’s in store for 2014.

SWEAT RX: Your athletic career has looked something like this: All-American collegiate volleyball star to weightlifting champion to CrossFit force. Aside from your obvious physical strength, your capacity for mental toughness is one of the major things that defines you as an athlete. What do you credit this to?

Lindsey Valenzuela: I credit my mental toughness to struggles I dealt with as a child with dyslexia; it instilled my “never give up” and “hard work” mentality. I also have to credit the constant support of my husband and family and most recently my experience in October 2012 with Sealfit. Sealfit helped me tap into my ability to overcome mental obstacles and control my emotions. I think I was born with the never-giveup mentality. I’ve always had this never-take-no-for-an-answer attitude. This is a major asset in terms of mental strength.

SRX: You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that nothing has been handed to you and that you’ve had to work hard for everything you’ve accomplished. What do you mean by that?

LV: I had to work really hard to get the grades while in school. I was never the tallest athlete during my year playing volleyball; I had to put extra time in off the court. And CrossFit didn’t come easy to me when I began, either. It’s my work ethic, which I credit to my parents for instilling, that got me where I needed to be in the classroom, on the volleyball court, and now as a CrossFit athlete. My struggles have shaped my character into giving no less than 100 percent in all that I pursue, being true to myself, and never giving up.

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Related Categories: Best of Sweat RX Contributors, Inside Sweat RX

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