In both the past and present, there is no shortage of amazing women to look to for inspiration when it comes to achieving your dreams. For that reason, Puma has chosen to highlight two incredible women, each with a powerful story and unique style, to star in its new brand campaign.
We begin with Cara Delevingne, who rises to fame thanks to her professional merits as a model and actress, and her work within the LGBTQI + community. And we continue with the athlete Carla Gallardo who has captivated the world with her achievements in 3,000 m, 5,000 m and Cross Country.
Here, these two women show us how they strive for professional recognition and describe the personal attitude that has helped them achieve their goals.
Puma’s campaign is based on the ‘Only See Great’ concept. What does it mean to you to be one of the greats?
For me, greatness is personal. I believe that each person’s version of greatness depends on their own experience, their own ability to overcome doubt and fear, and overcome the reasons that drive them.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
I have had so many amazing experiences in my career that it is very difficult for me to choose just one. It’s hard to identify those great moments as they happen. Currently, I am really proud of the great achievements in terms of activism, working within the LGBTQI + community, working with my foundation and also with EcoResolution and Initiative Earth.
Do you remember the moment when you first felt that you had achieved success?
I believe that buying the house of my dreams and creating a home and a foundation that I have built myself, physically and metaphorically.
Is there something that has prevented you from achieving excellence?
The only things that have held me back are other people’s opinions, my own harsh inner criticism, and my doubts. If you can master all of that and seize every opportunity and always do your best, nothing will stand in your way.
What challenges have you faced on your way to that excellence?
I hold to very high values, so sometimes I find it difficult to recognize that what I have done is great and I keep trying to do better. I think these values have been great motivators, but it has also been a challenge to enjoy the achievements as they happen.
What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?
The pandemic really taught me the importance of slowing down. I used to always rush everywhere, traveling all the time for work and not taking many days off. It definitely took a toll on me physically, mentally, and it also affected my relationships with others. I don’t think I’ll ever have no time for myself again.
How important is maintaining a positive mindset when striving for success?
Oh, it is extremely important. I work very closely with my yoga teacher, Colin, to help me keep my mind in a positive space. It’s something I work very hard on.
What role has ambition played in your career?
I have big dreams and aspirations. It has helped me in my career because I don’t want to stop trying to improve myself. I was not always like this, it was hard for me to realize that things like depression and anxiety do not define you or make you less of a person. It just means that underneath it all there is something special, but you have to be constant to find it.
When have you had to step out of your comfort zone to achieve success
‘Each day every day! You have to face your own fears and step out of your comfort zone while staying true to yourself.
What does excellence, greatness mean for you?
For me, greatness encompasses self-improvement, going the extra mile each day, and facing your fears and obstacles that stand in the way of your goal. In the end, what makes us stronger is looking for an improved version of ourselves every day.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
The best moment of my sporting career, so far, was the 2018 U-20 World Championship, where I ran the 3,000m. I was pretty unmotivated for that competition. I decided to change my attitude and go. When I faced the best athletes in the world in that race, I did not feel pressure or fear. I started with an advantage from the first moment, guided by my feelings more than by the scoreboard and the lap count. I was seventh, leading the European ranking that year and reaching my second best score of all time.
Injuries can be a major setback for athletes. How do you face these challenges?
Everyone says that an injury is the worst an athlete can go through, but often you become an improved and stronger version of yourself. I never realized how difficult it could be until I had to go through it. It’s a constant roller coaster, especially when you relapse or don’t meet set recovery times. There are times when you take it surprisingly well and even take the opportunity to do other things that you can never dedicate time to due to your sports life. On the other hand, you can get stuck in the deepest pit, until you get fed up with feeling so depressed and decide to get out of it. There comes a time when you accept the new situation, and then you start to see the light, when the pains begin to stop and little by little you go back to training and finally to compete again at your level.
How does your mindset or attitude influence your performance when training and competing?
The mind complements your body. We are human and our feelings and circumstances affect us constantly, but overcoming that mental barrier is what makes us better. Often times, we achieve our goals because we are confident that we will achieve it; we can do amazing things simply because we dream of it. I train day by day, looking for the best version of myself, but that training is not only physical. There are very tough days and those are those days when all the training is really worth it.
How do you deal with the pressure of having to be great at competitive events like the Olympics?
I have always obtained better results in international competitions than at the national level. Comparing myself to the best athletes in the world or in Europe is what motivates me the most. When I meet them at the starting line, I am not afraid of anything. At that very moment I don’t think they are better than me, but that they will only be better if they beat me that day.
Are there times in your career when you feel like you’ve failed? How do you get over this feeling?
There have been many of those moments throughout my sporting life. It’s hard to train and things don’t go the way they should, it’s frustrating. Each day costs you more than the previous one and you enter a negative loop. In my experience, patience is key. You must keep a cool mind. You get the best results after training hard and staying disciplined. You can’t let your negative thoughts take over. It is you who is in control of your body and mind.
What helps you stay focused on reaching your goals?
I love to imagine myself winning big competitions, like the European or world championships. It helps me get up every day and keep training. Above all, I imagine achieving my dream: to be an Olympian. And that makes my hair stand on end.
When you’re not racing, what keeps you focused?
When I have weeks of training, what keeps me focused is thinking about those competitions and the goals set; imagine crossing the finish line in first position or running below the times that I have set. I feel more experienced season after season, and I know that the best is yet to come.
Embrace greatness and discover PURE XT at El Corte Inglés.
Translation by Isabel Serrano.
Photos Carla. Coordination: Mª Ángeles Aragoneses. Photos: Daniel Alea. Production: Marina Maffuchi.
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Cara Delevingne and Carla Gallardo, two inspiring stories to achieve excellence