3 important life lessons from Norway’s Marit Bjørgen

Norway, April 2018. An emotional moment for all the Norwegians.

“I thought it would be easier to say. I’m emotional. It has been an epoch in my life, over 20 years.” This is how Marit Bjørgen, one of Norway’s most beloved athletes and people, announced her retirement from sports. She has been the best female winter sports athlete in the world with amazing records and scores of medals from the competitions she took part in, all those years.

A role model for many, even the former Prime Minister of Norway and not General Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Marit made Norwegians jump from joy and scream in excitement.

Now that she retired, she decided to give more to the community and the people who love her. In an attempt to help the new generation of athletes but also anyone who strives for his/her personal goals, Marit gave three researchers access to her daily training logs. Whoa! Such an immense amount of data. 20 years of ice and gold in a nutshell!

Read on to find out what you can learn from her way to the top of the world!

Fact check

Marit Bjørgen is the athlete (male or female) who has won the most medals in Winter Olympics ever (15 in total, 8 of them gold). And she is just 2nd in medals in any sports of Summer or Winter Olympics, behind Soviet legend Latynina with 18 medals.

Her records are simply amazing! She had been competing in the Olympic games from 2002 to 2018, for 16 whole years, winning medals every single time. She had also been crowned World Champion in cross-country skiing 18 times and has achieved more than 100 World Cup victories.

But there are two things that make her really special: her long-lasting career and her come-back after the birth of her child in 2015, only to win more Olympic medals again.

But how did she do it? Is there anything we can learn from digging into her training logs? What had been the key to her success for 20 years? Read on!

Norwegian recipe

Her life and achievements are a perfect example of Nordic sustainability. Way too often you see athletes, actors or singers, who spring to the spotlight, only to disappear after a short period of time. Being sustainable is challenging but can guarantee long-lasting benefits. You achieve your current goals but also work towards being able to do this in the future as well.

Three are the lessons we can learn from Marit’s extraordinary results:

#1 change. During her career, she used a mix of training models. She often changed the training model to adapt to new needs and circumstances. Whatever the model, she kept on winning medals. Experts say that this is something that constant change made her career so long-lasting. What works today surely won’t work in the future too. The more comfortable you feel with change and the more willing you are to step out of the comfort zone and try something new, the bigger the benefits.

#2 balance. All her training models included periods of intense workout and also periods of rest and recovery. She always tried to balance between her physical and mental capacity and her goals. She is not a superhuman, just a real human with a life to live. Oh, and a desire to work hard and stay at the top of the world.

#3 no burnout. She always had ambitious goals. And most of the times she made them come true. But she never overdid it. She always made sure that her goals and workout were not physically or mentally extremely demanding. Similarly, you should also know your limits. Crossing them too often can severely hold back your future potential and capacity for long-term success.

Marit is still the source of inspiration for all the younger Norwegian athletes.

This is her greatest achievement. So making sure you follow her rules can really help you do the same. Achieve and inspire!

Image: CH - Visitnorway.com