‘Steve says people joke about his ‘lucky legs’ . . . “so scrawny, lucky they don’t snap off and poke up my bum!” Lucky Legs is the riveting story of an ordinary person who made himself extraordinary.
Steve Gurney’s quest to stand out from the crowd and win at all costs began in childhood. These driving forces have been the hallmark of his life, contributing to his huge professional success and, for a time, his personal unraveling.
Lucky Legs is part life story, part adventure story, and part training manual for anyone ever wanting to compete in a Coast to Coast or multisport event. In the book, Steve shares his mantra for competing in multisport events: ‘Prior Planning Promotes Prize-Winning Performances’ and shares his strategies for success, including training and goal setting, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, positive visualisation, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and how to save precious seconds in race transitions (ie bike-to-run) and tips for support crews; he even addresses how best to pee during events! They’re lessons, aside from the peeing, we can take into every area of our lives.
Steve jokes about his ‘lucky legs’, his diminutive stature, the fact that he always came last in races at school. He had stamina though, and buckets of determination; combine those with his professional training as a mechanical engineer and innovative bent, and you get a clever, adrenalin-charged, unstoppable machine of an athlete, one who took the world of multisport by storm. And how!
Steve Gurney is an exceptional athlete. He competed in 19 of the mega-endurance Coast to Coast races and won nine of them. He has represented New Zealand twice at the World Mountain Bike champs and has spent a lot of time adventure racing in far flung jungles, caves, mountains and deserts.
Then came Borneo...
In 1994 Steve was struck down with a life-threatening tropical disease – leptospirosis – while competing in an adventure race in Borneo. Ten years later another disaster; this one, even more critical. After years of trouble, Steve’s ankle finally gave out and he was injured out of the sport he’d dedicated himself to for more than a decade. It was enough to tip him over the edge and it did. He endured two years of depression and, one dark night, even contemplated suicide. They were a rough couple of years, but Steve learnt a lot about himself and bounced back, keen to impart his life lessons to others.
Lucky Legs is a journey of discovery into Steve’s psychology – what motivated him, kept him motivated, made him tick. In it, he muses on how those characteristics might extend to other successful people and how, used in the right way, they can make a positive and healthy difference in our lives.
The Steve Gurney story is one of guts, courage, honesty, and self-determination. It is inspiring and humbling, and offers a unique insight into the mind of a top athlete; his struggle with depression, his overwhelming desire to be the best, and to win, win, win.