A week ago I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle Brown MBE. Danielle is a double Paralympic archery Champion, three time World Champion and was world number 1 for her entire career. Such an exceptional young lady.
I’ve always admired paralympic athletes, as they are the true representation of the phrase “mind over matter”. Their achievements are a constant source of inspiration, which is why I was excited to introduce myself to Danielle. When I met Danielle, she was speaking at the Mensa’s “Inspire 17” event in Birmingham.
I didn’t fit the event audience as it was for parents and students and I was neither. However, I took my chances and went to the venue hoping to be able to say hi, and so it happened.
Danielle spared a few minutes for me and answered some questions that will contribute to the “What’s your excuse” project.
The first big success in Danielle’s view was when she won the World Championships at the age of 19. Then over the next few years she became a Paralympic champion. Danielle shares that there were times when she wishes she could give up, but she wanted to push through for the people around her.
When asked about what barriers she had that prevented her to be her best self sooner, she said there weren’t any as such. She only wished she was more confident. Today, Danielle describes herself as determined, driven and hard-working and it definitely shows in everything she does.
Later in our conversation Danielle shared that she had always known she’d be successful, but wasn’t sure in what shape that would materialise.
“My synonym of success is happiness.” – Danielle Brown
Making a difference
I asked Danielle about her biggest achievement to date and I definitely didn’t expect that answer. Following the rule changes in 2013 Danielle’s disability was not longer recognised as one and she was not allowed to compete anymore at Paralympic events. This turned her life around, but unlike most people, she didn’t give up. Instead, Danielle decided to take a different path in her life and become a motivational speaker and sports psychologist to help people deal with stress and nerves in a more effective way. Danielle managed to make the most of a bad situation in such a brilliant way demonstrating that if your spirit is unbreakable, every challenge is a new opportunity.
Today Danielle is focusing on helping people in the educational and business sectors. Head to Danielle’s website to find out more about all the great projects she’s involved with and get updates on her upcoming book.