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Meet Club La Santa ambassador Michelle Vesterby

Michelle Vesterby has been visiting Club La Santa her whole life and calls the resort her second home. With the amount of time spent as the ambassador for Club La Santa and many hours of daily training, the IRONMAN Lanzarote 2012-winner’s relation to Club La Santa has only become closer and her focus stronger. Meet Michelle Vesterby for a talk about never giving up, why she lets the others win during training, and her very special relation to Club La Santa.


By: Nikita Rørholt


Why have you chosen to come to Club La Santa for training?

I have come here for many years and I spend eight to ten weeks at the resort every year. I was a Green Teamer until 2005 in the guide department. Back then I did not focus on sport, but was more of a party guide. Before that I came here with my parents so I have a very close relationship to Club La Santa and it has become my second home. Every time I come back here I fall right in to place on the first day which is very important when I have 14 days of intensive training. Everything is close together and I always have a training buddy. You never get lonely and always have the option to socialize with others which gives me a lot of joy and motivation. You do not find that anywhere else which is why I prefer Club La Santa, and everything is just better when the sun is shining.


What is your advice to others to stay motivated when setting a goal for yourself?

The easiest thing is to give up. Therefore, it is very important to remind yourself why you are doing it, what inspires you, and what makes you happy. I always advise people to set a goal and some part goals for themselves since it makes it easier to stay focused, also in bad times. If it was easy everybody would do it and that is where you need to stand out and prove that you are made to do this. When everything hurts and you are about to quit just remember it is your choice and be happy in what you do or do something else. I am very ambitious and work hard for the things I want. There are times where I isolate myself from the rest of the world to focus on myself and then there are times where I am more open to take in advice and other people’s opinion. If things are going well I tend to push myself even harder and if things are not going my way I can tend to lose motivation a bit. To help me I have a close group of people I trust to guide me all the time.


Have you ever given up before?

I do not remember ever giving up but I have had my doubts whether or not it is all worth it. I have a rule saying 80 percent of it has to be good and then 20 percent can be bad. We all have bad days, but it is important that the positive outweighs the negative for me to continue trying. Before I started focusing on the IRONMAN distance I did Olympic distances which was not for me. I was never happy or satisfied. If I had kept trying to become better in Olympic distance racing I would have given triathlon up. Now I have a lot more confidence than in 2012 when my goal was different. You have to trust your gut feeling no matter what anybody else tells you. Now I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and that I can be the best in the world. 

How do you make sure you do not push yourself too hard?

I only have to push myself during the race, not during training. My work out buddies often beat me during training because I choose to listen to my body which gives me a lot more energy and better results in the race. Luckily, I have a great coach who makes a daily work out plan for me which makes it a lot easier. I think people feel like they have to work harder than they actually need to. It is just as important to recover after training and sometimes you need to lower the level of intensity. Right now I go easy with my training. I work out for a lot of hours but I recover just as much afterwards. I think a lot of people are too hard on themselves and forget to listen to their body and then they do not understand why they lack power and energy during the race.


What is your best Club La Santa memory?

I have many. I did my first triathlon here in 2005 and finished as number 10. It was a great feeling, especially since I was “only” a Green Teamer and nobody believed I had it in me. I got to go on stage with the top ten of the race so it was a fun experience. I won IRONMAN Lanzarote in 2012 which is one of my biggest wins because it was my first IRONMAN ever. To cross the finish line as number one was amazing, especially since I am so close to the people and Club La Santa.


What do people not know about you?

People know me for my motto “keep smiling”, so many do not know that I can be quite a bitch, especially when I am hungry. If you ask my husband he will probably also tell you the motto “keep smiling” does not fit me at all, but during the race I often get caught smiling. To me it is the shortest way between people. As Club La Santa’s ambassador it is so nice to see so many happy people and they always say hi. That is something I do not experience at home or any other place.


Photo: James Mitchell