Simon Whitfield: They build them tough as nails in Yorkshire.

This article was originally published on Simon Whitfield's Instagram.
ThiA video posted by simon whitfield (@sqwhitfield) on
Seeing first hand where the Brownlee brothers grew up showed me some of the factors that made them the incredible competitors that they are. Tough as nails, grit and fiercely competitive.

An eye opening experience. 

I had a poster on my wall as a kid, it said "the Kenyans believe they will win as surely as they know the sun will rise the next day" - belief is the key.

This belief is ingrained, its instilled, its earned. 

I can only imagine the hours upon hours the young athletes in Yorkshire spend outside, flying up and down the dales, earning this belief. 

The Brownlees love to train. I asked Alistair if he could see stopping and he simply replied "stop what? I love the training, I love being outside". He told me this on his second run of the day, an extra run just for me, showing off his playground "this is where I live, out there" he said from the top of the ridge. 

It was cold, dark, wet and absolutely incredible. 

He went on to tell me about his trip to mount Kilimanjaro last year with brother and his dad (both legends if you ask me). Blue lips and stumbling "like a drunk idiot" according to Jonny, they walked to the top. Apparently Alistair really struggled with the altitude, to the point it was dangerous but as their coach Malcolm told Lou and I, "those boys, they love to push themselves, they love getting to the edge and seeing what's on the other side". I believe what makes them champions can be summed up with one sentence.

EARN the COURAGE to BELIEVE in yourself. 

And in their case, love what you do.