Mallory Weggemann: Her ‘Limitless’ Journey from Obstacles to Inspiration

Mallory Weggemann

Mallory Weggemann: Her ‘Limitless’ Journey from Obstacles to Inspiration

By Sadie Jones, Swimming World Intern

Throughout her life, Mallory Weggemann has faced obstacle after obstacle, including paralysis at the age of 18 and losing partial use of one of her arms due to a freak accident. She has made sure at least one thing has stayed consistent throughout her journey: Her strength and determination to do her best.

Mallory has proved this strength to the world on multiple occasions by setting world records, receiving an ESPY award and becoming a Paralympic medalist. In her book, Limitless, that was released on March 2, 2021, her determination in every situation she encounters shines through. This book can be used as a tool for anyone, swimmer or not. The lessons Weggemann teaches through her actions in her many roles, including being a paralympic swimmer, a writer, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a motivational speaker, and a leader, will positively impact so many different people because they will be able to apply the things she has learned throughout her journey to their own lives.

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One of the constants in Mallory’s life has been the community that surrounds her. Throughout the book, her gratitude for the people that have continued to stand behind her through everything is highlighted. Those people include her family, her husband, coaches, neighbors, and teammates. It is clear that having all of these people in her corner has helped her reach her full potential. This aspect of her journey should be a reminder to swimmers that they are also part of a supportive community. The people that make up your community are there to help inspire you to reach your goals and for you to lean on them, in or out of the water. 

Defining your own success is something that Mallory had to do after both physical and emotional challenges occurred in her life. Instead of letting other people’s standards get in the way, she made goals for herself and realized how significant they were to her regardless of what she had accomplished in the past. Setting her sights on something more attainable after her injuries led her to get even farther in the long run. Everyone can learn from how Mallory redefined what success meant to her. Often, athletes get caught up in winning or swimming a best time, but it is important to recognize that sometimes you just aren’t physically, mentally, or emotionally at the same place you were when you went your best time or won a certain race, and that is okay. Reminding yourself that you are constantly enduring change and evolving is vital to making and achieving the goals you set for yourself. 

The black line at the bottom of the pool is something that has kept Mallory grounded her whole life. She expressed in her book that no matter what is happening around her, when she gets into the pool and sees the black line leading her back and forth, she feels at home. The level of comfort the pool gives Mallory helped her keep going in times where even simple things felt impossible. When life isn’t going as planned, it is important to remember your love for the sport and know that no matter what, the black line will always be there. 

Appreciating your community, defining your own success and realizing how beneficial the sport of swimming can be for your mental health are just some of the tools Mallory Weggemann used to overcome the hurdles that life put in front of her. She is a true inspiration to swimmers all over the world because of her drive to never give up and her understanding that her success is Limitless.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Carlotta Pyrek
Carlotta Pyrek
2 years ago

I think Sadie did a great job defining who Mallory is. Sadie encapsulated the drive and motivation in Mallory in and out of the pool.

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