A Life Without Limits – a book review

I am a huge Chrissie Wellington fan. I am drawn to her because of her strength, prowess in triathlon, drive to inspire, smile that exemplifies her attitude towards life, and how she’s pushed the limits of female athletes.

Chrissie’s all smiles at the pro media conference before Ironman Arizona 2010.

I finally got her book, A Life Without Limits, after eagerly waiting for the North American release. It didn’t disappoint.

It began with a foreward from Lance Armstrong. It shows just how highly she is thought of in endurance sports when Armstrong commends her achievements.

The book takes you on an honest tour of her life, through both her struggles and her successes.

“I’m an ordinary girl from Norfolk, marked out by, if anything, an appetite for adventure and a will for self-improvement. These are qualities available to anyone who is of a mind to acquire them.”

Life experiences

If you’ve heard or read interviews with Chrissie, you know that she wasn’t into competitive sports like most elite athletes. Instead she was focused on academics when she was young, graduating from university with a geography degree and the highest mark ever recorded in the department.

This is a common thread throughout the autobiography- her drive to be the best she can be and make the most of her experiences.

She openly discusses her struggle with body image, including battles with both anorexia and bulimia.

She talks about her family and many friends from all over the world. You understand how important family and friendships are to her.

Part of the book is her previous work in government and it how it led to her work in development in Nepal and all her world travels. These experiences help shape who she is, and helped build the foundation for her endurance.


To me, Chrissie’s foray into triathlon in nothing short of amazing. She obviously has incredible talent and that talent was picked up on quickly by coaches. She delves into her coaching history. She vividly writes about her races. I got chills reading some reports, especially her Arizona win and world record following a heart-breaking DNS at Kona, her Roth experiences, and her Kona wins.

On her way to breaking the Ironman record at Arizona in 2010.

She’s won every ironman she’s ever entered. She’s the fastest female to ever race the distance. She’s been the world champion four times. She’s broken world records multiple times.

Her remarkable times and finishing places have put her closer to men than ever before: a true feat.

Chrissie’s life successes haven’t been easy. She has worked hard every step of the way. If you follow her Twitter feed or blog, you know she has taken the year off triathlon to live life to the absolute fullest and champion various charities.

Charity work and platforms

Her victories and fame have given her a platform to reach people about topics she is passionate about. She mentions this in her post-Kona win speech. She constantly tweets about it. She also writes about some of it in her book. These parts were deeply touching.


A Life Without Limits is an honest look at her life and her successes, of which there are many. It’s a well-rounded read that’s not only about athletics and triathlon but also about her life experiences that make her who she is today.

It’s inspiring. It makes you want to live life like she does: without limits.

The length of this review shows just how much I enjoyed the book. I could have written so much more!

Walking and talking while Chrissie signs my visor.

I had the opportunity to meet Chrissie at Ironman Arizona in 2010, two days before she broke the Ironman record (which she has since broken). It was nothing short of incredible!

Have you read the book? Who is your favourite athlete? What’s your favourite autobiography?

24 responses to “A Life Without Limits – a book review

  1. Thanks for the book recommendation, I LOVE reading athlete biographies…I’m going to check this one out!

  2. What an amazing review! And I have goosebumps. This looks like such a great read – perfect for summer.

    She’s won every ironman she’s ever entered. – I mean holy cow. Unreal.

    Very cool you got a pic with her – that’s a huge celeb.

    What a motivating story!

  3. love the review! i’m adding this to my summer reading list right now. and enjoying your blog! i just came across it a few weeks ago 🙂

  4. I just read the autobiography of RA Dickey, a baseball pitcher. Great book, although has nothing to do with running or tris.

  5. I am about to start reading this book after Mike finishes it! He has given me a few stories from it and I can’t wait to read. I can’t believe the part about her bathroom habits during the race! Hah!

  6. Thanks for the review. I will have to get this one.

  7. Awesome! Thanks for the recco – I’m going to have to pick it up now 🙂

  8. triathlonobsession

    I really enjoyed the book–especially about Sutton and then her choice to leave the squad– which was particularly interesting. I actually have her wetsuit from that record breaking Arizona race–she gave it to me at Timberman for my fundraising with Make-A-Wish. 🙂

  9. Just stumbled across your blog – good luck at IM Canada! I finished A Life Without Limits in about 4 days and loved it as well. So inspiring.

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