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Glossy Girl of the Month: Lindsey Vonn

If you don’t pay for the commercial-free version of Hulu, you’ve likely seen an ad or two that contained the gorgeous and enigmatic athlete Lindsey Vonn. She’s all over the place right now, and with just cause. At 33, she stands as the most decorated female skier in the history of the sport.

Lindsey Vonn
Vonn competing in Stockholm Sweden (Feb 23, 2016)

And this year’s 2018 Winter Olympics are particularly poignant because it’s likely to be her last run. While she’s going out at the top, a top that may never be surpassed, it’s still going to be an emotional moment for this female titan. As we gear up to watch her soar through the air like a shooting star, let’s pause for a moment to reflect on exactly what it takes to be the best of the best. Although she is at the top, there have been moments when she has had to rebound. Whether from numerous injuries to personal strife, Lindsey Vonn embodies the strength and resilience that we value in every Glossy Girl of the Month.

Her Life

Doesn’t Lindsey Vonn look like she’s fresh off the slopes of Sweden? With her gorgeous blond hair and sparkling hazel eyes, she kind of embodies a Scandinavian Princess. Elsa never stood a chance! Interestingly enough, Lindsey’s of Norwegian decent but born and raised in Minnesota. Lindsey’s father had a national junior ski title under his belt by the age of 18 but suffered a knee injury that put him out of the game. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why Lindsey slipped into her first pair of skis at the age of two.

Her Firsts

Lindsey Vonn has won four World Cup overall championships, making her one of only two female skiers to do so. She also won the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics for downhill skiing, another first for American women. And this is only scratching the surface. She also has another major record under her belt, winning a total of eight World Cup season titles in the downhill discipline.

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn wins overall downhill World Cup during the Alpine Ski World Cup (Mar. 16, 2011)

 

But, it doesn’t end there. Here’s the “big picture” effect she’s had on women everywhere. Throughout Lindsey’s career, she’s won an astonishing 78 World Cup races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing. That sets her at the top of the peak for an all-time women’s record. Stacking her Olympic gold and bronze medals against her World Championship gold and silver medals – while sprinkling in her World Cup titles – Lindsey is the most successful skier in world history. There’s no question a true legend walks among us.

Her Empowerment

Sports Illustrated published a beautiful piece on Lindsey in January of this year. This line seems to sum her up entirely. “She has an uncommon ability to move past any wound.”

When you consider the speed at which skiers race down treacherous mountains, it’s easy to see how dangerous the sport can be. But, no one can argue Lindsey has endured the highest number of injuries. That must be the karmic scale in life, given her title of the highest number of victories. She’s endured everything from shin bruises, to concussions. She’s blown out her right knee, fully torn her ACL, and fractured her right humerus, among a wealth of other injuries.

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn walks the runway (Feb 6, 2014)

Which do you think is worse? Physical pain or emotional pain? If you’re not an avid skier, you may not have heard of Lindsey until Tiger Woods entered the scene. In truth, long before Tiger, Lindsey had already survived one marriage and divorce. She was young – very young. In fact, she met her ex-husband when she was only 16. They married when she was 22. Due to her father’s objections, this put a terrible rift in their relationship, one that lasted six years.

In hindsight, Lindsey told the Sports Illustrated reporter, “I probably shouldn’t have gotten married so young. But I won’t say I regret it. I got older and things just changed.” And there it is. Perhaps this is why she’s so resilient. She doesn’t sit around and wallow over her scars and missteps. She chalked her marriage up to “people change” and refuses to regret it.

Seeing her attitude of acceptance, and personal female empowerment, are we onto her hidden secret? She doesn’t regret her time in the limelight with Tiger, either, despite its torrent of social media cruelty. Lindsey and Tiger are still friends to this day and she wishes him success in his sport.

Radical Acceptance

Let’s get back to Lindsey’s attitude of acceptance. The word acceptance seems to have an undertone of complacency, doesn’t it? In truth, it’s not about giving up. It’s about winning the mental battle over your current struggle and standing back up again.

Here’s a great line from Psychology Today on the subject: “Suffering is what you do with that pain and the interpretation you put on the pain. Suffering is optional; pain is not.” Lindsey Vonn has often remarked on her sadness over missing the Sochi Olympics due to her injuries. However, that became an opportunity to exercise her acceptance muscles, as opposed to drawing the shades on life.

The 2018 Winter Olympics

It’s likely the 2018 Winter Olympics will be Lindsey’s final run. She says she’s skiing for her late grandfather, who had as much impact on her at the age of two as her own father. If you want to throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave and sit down to watch her dominate the slopes, here’s when she’ll be competing. Her fist super-G is on Friday, February 16 and her final combined event will be Friday, February 23.

Lindsey Vonn

What do you say we get behind her and watch her win one more gold medal? Heck, if you follow her on Twitter, you’ll see she’s even looking for love in this final chapter of her life as an Olympian! And why shouldn’t we always carry hope in our heart?

Let’s promise ourselves today to always wish for the best possible scenario. Let’s perfect our lives the way Lindsey’s perfected her sport. When life opens up a crater in front of us, and we fall and tear our ACL, let’s get back up again. As we accept life’s hidden tripwires, embrace them as part of our existence, and move forward toward greatness, here’s hoping we all set a personal record for a life well-lived.

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