S5, Ep5 How to Fail: Dame Kelly Holmes

S5, Ep5 How to Fail: Dame Kelly Holmes

By Elizabeth Day

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Wednesday, 24 July

I'm so delighted to welcome my first ever OLYMPIC ATHLETE onto the podcast this week. And not just any Olympic athlete, but double-gold medal winner, Kelly Holmes, who also just so happens to be my first DAME on How To Fail too.

Dame Kelly joins me to talk about how her single mother was pressurised to give Kelly up for adoption as a baby and how she refused to do so, teaching her daughter about what it is to be truly strong. We also discuss Kelly's 'failure' at school and how she joined the army at 16 but then failed her first Physical Training Instructor selection (I mean, who would fail Kelly Holmes? Come on, now. Have you seen the size of her biceps?) She also talks openly about coming second in the 1995 World Championships because of her spiralling anxiety and discusses her ongoing mental health issues, including her diagnosis with clinical depression, her grief over her mother's death and [TW] her experiences of self-harm.

For me, Dame Kelly epitomises the kind of empowerment that comes from being open about your own vulnerabilities. Her strength is forged through her resilience. As she puts it: 'You train for the outcome.' I know I use the word a lot in the context of this podcast, but Dame Kelly truly is inspiring in the most profound ways.

[Trigger warning: this episode contains descriptions of self-harm]

I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.


How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Teatulia. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Kelly Holmes @damekellyholmes

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Naomi Mantin @naomimantin

Teatulia @TeatuliaUK


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