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A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey Hardcover – May 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"What emerges from this book is the portrait of a thoroughly nice woman. Her exceptional qualities have led her to achievements that her readers can scarcely imagine. But she still remains touchingly connected to that ordinary girl from Norfolk. It's a winning combination."

---Jane Shilling, The Daily Mail

"What amazes me about Chrissie Wellington is not that she wins, but by how much...Like Usain Bolt, Wellington has burst on to the scene and destroyed the opposition. Those within athletics said that Bolt was coming but Wellington came from nowhere and wins by a relatively greater margin."

---James Cracknell, two time Olympic gold medalist, and adventurer

"One of the biggest fears of a male pro triathlete is getting 'chicked' by a lady. For the first time in history that fear applies to nearly all male professionals. Chrissie is that good."

---Lance Armstrong

"Empowering and suitably commemorative."

---Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Chrissie Wellington is a quadruple World Ironman Champion (2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011). Prior to her athletic career, she worked for the UK Government (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Defra) as an advisor on international development policy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455505579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455505579
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Lost In 80's on May 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book, well written and fast paced - I finished it quickly and wished it had been longer. I'd recommend it to anyone, particularly those who participate in or follow triathlon, or its constituent sports.

What Chrissie Wellington achieved in her 5 short professional years in what many consider to be the toughest of endurance sports, Ironman, is nothing short of astonishing. If this were a work of fiction, if someone was to create a character that won every Ironman race they entered, you'd say interesting story, but that just doesn't happen. But Chrissie's story is fact and likely her record will never be bettered; no-one she's competed against in all those races will achieve what she has, because they lost to her, at least once, someone new will have to come along. Look at other sports and it's hard to find anyone with a comparable record, or to find someone who has won by the margins she has.

How Chrissie ended up dominating Ironman makes for compelling reading. Her early years hint at nothing significant to follow; nothing outstanding sporting wise, and often illness caused by her obsessions seemingly would have blighted her achievements. Her journey in life does expose her to environments and experiences considered to be beneficial to the sport; high altitudes and the opportunity to fuel her voracious appetite for very long bike rides. However what comes through again and again in this book is her immense driving force. It's her monumental mind over matter approach and dedication to do what is needed that is the difference and there's much here to learn and apply to all aspects of life, not just endurance sports.

I couldn't get enough of this book, it went by too fast.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daenerys Eren on May 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The extraordinary first-hand account of Chrissie Wellington's rise to triathlon greatness after the age of 25 when she discovered her latent talent for endurance sport. A very refreshing account that differs greatly from Paula Radcliffe's "My Life so Far" or Meb K's "Run to Overcome". No tales of early greatness in Chrissie's book, no relatives who were Olympians, no highschool world records. Just a girl who had a passion for international development and helping others who was also passionate about exploring and pushing herself who rather randomly happened onto running, cycling and triathlon and became the best in the world at it, and quickly! What I enjoyed most about this book was Chrissie's description of her relationship with her coach, Brett Sutton, and the psychological fortitude necessary to engage in "warfare" against yourself and your competitors.

Chrissie is an engaging, likeable author--it feels as if she is talking to a friend about her story. Overall, an enjoyable and informative read.

The book has lag points where I felt like she went too much into extraneous detail about random friends' weddings and characters who bore little importance to the plot. There was also redundancy in her descriptions (for example she races Kona 4x and each time we have to read the same description of the sunrise).

These minor criticisms aside, I was very happy to have a book by one of the most astounding women in sports history told with energy and enthusiasm.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By jopey on March 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read many books by runners, triathletes and other sports people, and often think that perhaps they would have been better to get someone else to write their stories, but this is very different. It is so well written. Chrissie shares some of her early life stories and is very honest about some of the body issues she faced and she also shows us how much training she has had to do to get to the top and it's all done in a really easy to read manner. I couldn't put the book down. Great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have learned in a \short period of time that triathletes are a very strange breed of athlete. While largely toiling in anonymity, the triathlete mercilessly works her/his body to the absolute limits of human endurance. They are acutely (and sometimes grossly) intimate with every biological function and become soul-mates with pain and drudgery. It is the constant testing of their limits that leads to the belief in limitlessness (or as was said in The Matrix, "there is no spoon"). In "A LIfe Without Limits", this boundless energy and spirit is explained with beautiful clarity by the sport's leading lady over the past decade - Chrissie Wellington.

As much a story about pursuing dreams and the sacrifices necessary to make them happen, as it is a story about athletic achievement, Chrissie takes us on a guided tour of a life lived in direct opposition to cubicles, committee meetings and the silent desperation of a well-meaning advocate for the developing world. Despite all of the earmarks of an effective bureaucrat working to improve the lives of developing populations throughout the world, Chrissie took up triathlon at a relatively late age and became dominant within the sport's Ironman idiom within a brief period of time. The agony of her transition into formal training - as much mentally and emotionally taxing as physically - virtually bleeds through the pages. We are left with a clear vision of what it takes to be a champion triathlete which, for aspiring endurance athletes, raises as many questions as it answers. Of course, Chrissie is no ordinary triathlete (oxymoron aside)... she is undefeated in her Ironman distance races.
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