Run This World

166 – Embracing the Suck with Olympian Katie Hoff

Katie Hoff is a swimming legend. She swam at the world level from the age of 15 when she qualified for her first Olympics (2004) until 2015 when she retired, a move that was accelerated by a rare issue that caused blood clots in her lungs. Because they weren’t diagnosed immediately, the remaining scar tissue caused her lungs to function at less than 100%, decidedly not good enough to compete at the world level any longer. After retirement, Katie has gone through all the emotions, trials and tribulations that a world class athlete could deal with while searching for her purpose beyond the pool. She is a work in progress, and the lessons she shares are relevant to all of us, no matter what age and stage we’re in.

As a former swimmer, I loved connecting with Katie. I could relate to her drive, work ethic, total immersion in all things swimming, the highest highs and the lowest lows. Of course I could only relate at a fraction because Katie was literally the best swimmer on the planet at one point. But here’s the magic that Katie delivers. Even though she was at the very top echelon of a sport many people are afraid of, the lessons she has learned can transcend into anyone’s lives.

Today we talk about:

  • How one becomes the best swimmer in the world
  • Competitive drive from a very young age
  • Homeschooling: some advice for parents who are now homeschooling due to coronavirus
  • All the things that come with competing at the highest level: Pressure, patience, hard work, motivation, learning to listen to your gut, passion, obsession & more
  • Fast rise: competing in the Olympics at age 15
  • Why a silver medal didn’t feel complete
  • Coming back and stopping short: Blood clots in her lungs
  • Embracing the suck: Why this philosophy will get you the results you want

For more Katie Hoff

Watch her break a world record here!