“I wasn’t born a gold medallist. I was just a girl who loved taekwondo, the challenges it brought and the satisfaction of improving and winning” – Olympic Gold Medallist for Australia in Taekwondo, Lauren Burns
I don’t fantasize much about holidaying at an exclusive tropical resort or owning a mansion. I dream about time on the couch.
Right now you’re thinking: “Here’s a person who knows how to have a good time!”.
I know, my life is a dazzling ball of fire! Lol.
In my defence, juggling family, work, domestic mess (I mean bliss!) while trying to keep fit and healthy is hectic.
So the thought of time on the couch, by myself and in charge of the remote really does make me a little starry eyed.
Except, that is, when it happens.
When I’m too sick for work but not sick enough to be in bed and confronted with the reality of a day on the couch I find it so frustrating! I’d rather be anywhere else.
When this happened recently, I figured if I wasn’t going to be able to do Taekwondo that day, I might as well read about it.
So I downloaded:
“Fighting Spirit” by Lauren Burns
You can see it here: Fighting Spirit: From a charmed childhood to the Olympics and beyond
Lauren is like Taekwondo royalty in Australia. She has our only Olympic Gold medal in the sport which she won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It’s an iconic moment in our national sporting history.
Fighting Spirit is Lauren’s life story to that moment.
And whether you’re a serious competitor or just a middle-aged beginner like me, there is absolute GOLD in this book for everyone, no matter where you are from.
Lauren’s lessons and insights would be as relevant wherever you are reading this.
For instance, one thing I didn’t know about Lauren until reading her book, was just how much she had to battle with injury to achieve her success.
That favourite Japanese proverb of mine absolutely applies to Lauren’s journey.
Fall down seven times, stand up eight
She must have dedicated thousands of hours to her physical training during her career but it was her mental game – her perseverance, determination and indomitable spirit which saw her prevail.
Lauren actually talks about the impact of her mental game in the book:
“One thing my Olympic experience taught me is that you can do great things if you truly believe in yourself. For years I knew I could beat world-class girls in my weight division and yet I never won a world championship. I lacked that unwavering self-belief. At the Games, I didn’t have one second of doubt.”
Another aspect of Lauren’s story that has really stuck with me long after I read it was the incredible personal sacrifices our athletes make to reach their goals.
I think it’s often easy to underestimate this because we imagine our high profile athletes as being somehow blessed with a particular talent gene and that to some extent, their success comes easy.
Fighting Spirit literally blows that thinking out of the water.
Lauren admits she was never really a sporty person and didn’t even start Taekwondo until she was a teenager.
Her open and frank accounts of life as a top-level athlete are sometimes even difficult to read, but gripping at the same time. The book flows nicely and if you’re anything like me, you’ll devour it pretty quickly.
Her sometimes detailed descriptions of various fights and tournaments she competed in add excitement, especially for those who enjoy sparring.
Lauren retired from Taekwondo after her Olympic victory but continues to help others by telling her story as a guest speaker.
She has received the Medal of the Order of Australia and just last year was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Lauren’s book Fighting Spirit is a wonderful inspirational read that delivers some great life lessons. A great gift for Taekwondo friends or family members!
You can purchase it as a digital download via the below link:
Fighting Spirit: From a charmed childhood to the Olympics and beyond
Printed books will be available again soon. I’ll be sure to update you on availability.
“I believe that when you follow your excitement and passion, life just moves more fluidly, more synchronistically. Opportunities present and doors open. “
- In the interests of transparency, I must let you know that I do receive an (admittedly tiny) commission from Amazon if you purchase Lauren’s book via my blog article. This will be put towards helping me cover some of the costs associated with running this site.
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