Olympic champion Lisa Carrington's secret to body confidence

As much as you try to not let things impact on you, it’s our society, and it does.

Sprint canoe champion Lisa Carrington has become a household name, collecting her first Olympic medal at the London Olympics in 2012, and backing it up with another gold and a bronze last year in Rio.
Most recently, the 27-year-old joined the top tier of Kiwi sporting elite at this year's prestigious Halberg Awards, where she took the title of Sportswoman of the Year and, as a cherry on top, the Supreme Award.
In the kayak, she might make it all look easy, but the journey to the top hasn't been without its challenges. Carrington opened up to NEXT about her gruelling training schedule, lonely spells out on the water, pre-race nerves, and the increased scrutiny that comes with being in the public eye.
On nerves
"I absolutely get nervous, and I find it's different before every race," she says.
"Sometimes I can be really confident and other times I'm worried about how I'll perform, or nervous as I want to do well. You're putting yourself out there, it's almost like you're naked – everyone can see you, that's your performance, it's like the essence of who you are."
On body image
"It is pretty funny when people comment on my muscles; it's like 'yeah, I hadn't noticed'," she deadpans.
"For me it's about trying to be in the best physical condition I can be, and as much as you try to not let things impact on you, it's our society, and it does.
"I say to myself, 'I don't really care what people think, this is for my sport'. I think that's just part of the constant progression through life, being totally okay with who you are and what you look like."
On staying positive and focused during long days of training
"When it's the daily grind, it's really important for me to have people around, whether they are paddling with me or just on the edge of the water somewhere," she says.
"I'm not good with training by myself. It gets really lonely sometimes, but on the other hand there are times where it's important for me to just go and do my own thing."
For more from Lisa Carrington see the April issue of NEXT magazine. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram here.

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