Lynnda Best-Wiss started her athletic career as a runner when she was 14 and is still going strong. She completed the 2011 Kona IronMan! She is a Level 1 USAT certified coach and has been coaching athletes, with all levels of ability, for the last 5 years.
She graciously answered our questions to give us a glimpse into her athletic life.
How do you define “Athlete”?
To me, you are an athlete if physical activity is an integral part of your life. ”An integral part of your life” means you have a planned approach to working out and you (mostly) stick to the plan. You don’t have to compete to be an athlete. You don’t have to say you are an athlete. You don’t have to participate in one of the mainstream “sports.” A person who does yoga or pilates or tai kwan do or …fill in the blank… is an athlete. Athletes come in all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities.
What inspires you?
Almost everything can inspire me… seeing other athletes achieve their goals, a beautiful sunrise, weather (from crisp air to warm air to snow), talking to my friends about our race plans or our workouts, coaching other athletes, a goal that I want to attain. I am a pretty self motivated person and, luckily, I am easily motivated/inspired.
How do you move past obstacles to your fitness goals?
Obstacles to my fitness goals usually are a result of trying to do too much or having a physical problem. When the obstacles are a result of trying to do too much (my husband describes me as a person who doesn’t sit still well), I have learned to just STOP and take some of the “things to do” out of my life. Sometimes it is hard to do that because I want to “do it all”.
Over the years, I have had a lot of physical problems that have been obstacles. Some were easy to deal with, others weren’t. I am very fortunate to have built a wonderful support network of medical professionals in Boulder. I’ve gotten much better about figuring out when I need professional help and I’ve gotten very good at following doctor’s orders!
With any kind of obstacle, the mental part is the hardest part…especially if it means having to adjust your fitness goals. I won’t say that I am good at adjusting goals but I have gotten better at it and more accepting when it has to happen. In the grand scheme of things, adjusting a fitness goal is very do-able!
How do you reward yourself?
I’m very lucky when it comes to rewards.
The fact that I am retired from an 8-5 job is a huge reward and I try to remember that every day!
I work out enough that, if I feel the need for a food reward, I can pretty much just do it. My favorite food rewards are usually in the cake/cookie area. I usually eat pretty well and pretty disciplined. It’s fun to occasionally splurge!
I get rewards every time I work out or compete. Completing a workout is a reward. Not completing a workout can be a reward because I learn something about myself that I didn’t know before and I can use that information to work out smarter/better. Competition is a reward in itself… just being there and being able to do it is fantastic. Even if I don’t do well and don’t end up on the podium, there is always a friend or teammate or some other athlete who is accomplishing something significant and seeing that is very rewarding.
What is something about you that might surprise us?
I’m an avid reader and prefer science fiction. (reading accounts for most of my “sitting still” time!)
How do you GO WILD in your life?
Now that is a good question. Most people who look at my life and what I do think I am pretty “wild”, pretty “out there” just because of the things I am doing. I don’t consider my lifestyle to be wild…but will agree that it is different from that of most of my peers. I feel like I have a responsibility to take care of myself, to eat healthy, to stay fit, to give back to my sport. I do have to say that competing in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii felt like a wild thing to do!