TRI247
Search
shop

Lionel Sanders raw and uncovered – “triathlon saved my life”

The image is blurred but the emotion is raw - Lionel Sanders is in the back room of a house, cycling on a stationary bike - and he appears to be crying.

Editor-In-Chief
Last updated -
SHOP
T100 Triathlon World Tour
Redefining triathlon

The image is blurred but the emotion is raw – Lionel Sanders is in the back room of a house, cycling on a stationary bike, and he appears to be crying.

The 33-year-old Canadian’s mantra has long been ‘No Limits’, and this moment above any other emphasises it during the powerful ‘Beyond Human’ documentary, released by the Professional Triathletes Organisation ahead of the inaugural Collins Cup.

Sanders, whose struggles with addiction earlier in life have been well documented, has been open about the part triathlon played in his recovery. His way of repaying that debt? ‘No Limits’ of course.

Lionel Sanders on life and belonging

He revealed: “One of the things we all need is to feel a sense of purpose and belonging. And triathlon gives me all these things. It’s a vehicle to learn about myself and to learn about the world around me and to learn how to interact.

“My whole brain, wiring, everything, has changed through triathlon – triathlon saved my life.”

‘Beyond Human’ is available to watch now.

Sanders is famed for his work ethic and mentality which drives him to insane levels as he prepares for events – see that video clip, and those apparent tears.

As for what motivates him now, he wants to be an ambassador for the sport, but he also wants to win. The great ones always want both, right?

“My perspective now is now to inspire other people and show them that it’s a worthy pursuit and it’s gonna make you a better person,” he said.

“That is much better than a gold medal. I still want that f***ing gold medal though, I’m not gonna lie.”

Advertisement

The man who will never quit

Few people know Sanders as well as his wife Erin, and she more than anybody understands the dangers that come with that insanely competitive mentality.

“I worry that he’s gonna push himself too hard,” she said.

“You can tell on his face probably where he’s at mentally and a few times now it’s not in a good place. But he will never quit.”

Sanders of course is pushing himself right now to achieve one huge goal – beat Jan Frodeno. They will clash in a much-publicised head-to-head later this month, and if Sanders has his way then again in the Collins Cup in August.

The mission comes with the promise that ‘No Limits’ will be taken to new levels should the pair eventually meet in Šamorín.

“When you have darker experiences in the past, you’re always looking at everything that’s going on through all those prior experiences.

“Pain is inherent in life. At some point stuff is gonna happen to you, it’s gonna suck, you’re gonna have to figure out how to deal with it though. You can at least have a little bit of experience with coping.

“I will seek out Jan, and I will go away on a stretcher if I have to.”

August 28, circle it on the calendar and bring it on…

You can watch the whole of ‘Beyond Human’ from the Professional Triathletes Organisation by clicking here.

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
Discover more
TRI-FIT Geo Coral women's tri suit
TRI-FIT GEO Women’s Tri Suit Review – How does it fare in our quest for the ultimate long course kit?
TRI-FIT women's sleeveless tri suit
5 race day mistakes that are sabotaging your triathlon times (and how to fix them)
Kate Auld riding on an indoor trainer
Rouvy vs Zwift: our indoor cyclists put them to the test
Professional triathletes on the bike course at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam
Fastest triathlon courses: Best IRONMAN, long course and middle distance races for a sure-fire personal best
Patagonman swim start
6 tips for taking on an Xtreme triathlon from a PATAGONMAN champion
latest News
Frederic Funk Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee 2023
Frederic Funk says swim progression is key to podium ambitions at T100 Triathlon World Tour
Melissa Nicholls Great Britain Paratriathlon
British paratriathlon star reveals resilience and adaptability key in quest to qualify for Paris 2024
Hayden Wilde New Plymouth 2023 photo credit Cameron Mackenzie / World Triathlon
World Triathlon Cup Napier 2024: Start times, preview and how to watch live
ST GEORGE, UTAH - MAY 07: Leon Chevalier of France celebrates as he finishes during the 2021 IRONMAN World Championships on May 07, 2022 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Leon Chevalier says financial benefits of the T100 Tour make it a “no-brainer” for pro athletes
DATEV Challenge Roth 2022 - Patrick Lange finish line
Patrick Lange is more motivated than ever ahead of the IRONMAN Pro Series in 2024
Story to tell?
Share interesting & inspirational stories with our news team
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
Share to...