Finding your inner champion

Triathlete: I love the camaraderie of the competition
Triathlete: I love the camaraderie of the competition

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Triathlete: I love the camaraderie of the competition 01:32

Story highlights

  • Being a triathlete is about finding your best self, says pro triathlete Mirinda Carfrae
  • "Sleep is the most important part of recovery," she says

(CNN)Whether it's a team sport, a game of chess or a professional goal, we all need something and someone to push us along. That's what I needed in my training for the 2015 Ironman Championship event in Hawaii, and I found it in Mirinda Carfrae.

She is not just another pro triathlete, but the best in the world right now. I wanted to know how she does it. How does she maintain that level of intensity on good and bad training days -- in her case, seven days a week?
Pro triathlete Mirinda Carfrae says training feels great to her some days, but she admits it's work other times.
"Most days, I'm out there, I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I love my job, I love my life," Carfrae said. "Some days I get up, I'm sore, I'm on the edge of getting sick, I'm like, just beat up, and I don't want to go out. I just kind of make myself go out there and do it."
    "Rinny," as she's known, is petite and strong but as mellow in life as she is fierce on the racecourse. She has a confident glow and is willing to share.
    A typical day includes time to fuel up with food and a lot of sleep, which is her "hidden talent," she said. She naps regularly. "Sleep is the most important part of recovery."
    I also wanted to know if it is possible for amateurs to develop a champion mind-set. Are we willing to put it all out on the line for the universe to see and hold us accountable? Carfrae pointed out that triathlons are among the few sports where professionals and amateurs are sharing a course.
    Mirinda Carfrae's let loose list

    Favorite candy: Allen's Lollies, an Australian chewy

    Coke or Pepsi? Coke

    iPhone or Android? iPhone

    Favorite cocktail beverage: Moscow Mules

    Favorite junk food: Ice cream

    Favorite musical artist: David Guetta

    Favorite way to unwind: Wine, a good burger and hanging out with hubby, Ironman triathlete Timothy O'Donnell

    Worst habit: Procrastinating after training

    She loves it, not just because she's the best in the world, but also for the community it attracts. "You can go to the local bar afterward and talk about your war stories," she said. "At the end of the day, at the core of it, we're all just trying to find our best me, our best self."
    That community is my inspiration to keep getting up at 4 am. Outside of work, I was never a part of a group of competitive people who get a kick out of cheering each other on. But I believe we naturally gravitate to others with similar interests and find refuge in our commiseration.
    I'm starting to understand that having a champion mind-set is equal to having a winning one. It's a win just to make that declaration of your goals, terrifying as they might be, whatever they are.
    Make your choice and send us your declaration on Twitter, at @roniselig and @cnnfitnation. We'll help each other stay accountable.