Hard Pivot: Embrace Change. Find Purpose. Show Up Fully.
Apolo Ohno shares his most valuable lessons for overcoming challenges with resilience, creativity, and purpose.
In speed skating, a hard pivot is an aggressive shift of direction that requires courage, practice, and split-second timing. For Apolo Ohno, the most frightening hard pivot of his life didn’t happen on the ice—but rather, when he had to hang up his skates for good. “After my final Olympics, I felt confused, vulnerable, and adrift without purpose,” he says. “Yet that’s when I realized my experiences had given me something much more valuable than medals and memories. I had tools I could use to shift my life in a new direction—and most importantly, these were tools anyone could benefit from.”
With Hard Pivot, Apolo combines practical guidance, personal stories, and deep insights from the psychology of success into a resource to help you through challenging times. Here he shares his most valuable lessons and tools, condensed into the Five Golden Principles:
• Gratitude: A daily practice to help you maintain perspective, cultivate empathy, and alleviate stress
• Giving: How to elevate your life’s purpose by offering your time, attention, and resources to others
• Grit: Exercises to build mental stamina, resilience, and toughness to persevere through hard times
• Gearing Up: Ways to prepare yourself to meet the unknown with flexibility and grace
• Go: Develop the courage to take risks, learn from success and failure, and come back stronger
When life drastically changes—whether by choice or circumstance—the hardest part is often letting go of what was familiar and stable. Yet in Hard Pivot, Apolo provides the tools and inspiration to create a new life filled with greater purpose, wisdom, and joy. “You can trust yourself,” he writes. “You can lean into the curve, pick up momentum, and speed down the track to success. In that pivotal moment, you might even find that you’re having the most fun you’ve ever had. You’re in flow. You’re enjoying your precious life. And you’re winning.”
Praise for Hard Pivot: Embrace Change. Find Purpose. Show Up Fully.
“In Hard Pivot, Apolo Ohno guides readers as they embark on their own journeys of transformation—offering valuable insight and techniques, and giving you the courage to keep moving forward.” —Billie Jean King, world-renowned tennis champion and author of All In
“Like so many of us who are professional and Olympic athletes, Apolo Ohno is no stranger to overcoming incredible obstacles, self-doubt, and failure—and all in the public eye. But it’s his skill for applying these seemingly outward experiences to our inner worlds that is truly unique. Hard Pivot shows all of us how to discover what brings the most meaning and value to our lives and how to keep those things front and center as we face challenges or crossroads along the way.” —Jeremy Bloom, Olympic skier, NFL player, and author of Fueled by Failure
“Apolo Ohno lives a life where he works every day to train his mind and spirit for peak performance. In this book he takes us there with him on that journey, and he shows us how we can do it too.” —David Creswell, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University
“As a culture, we tend to have a collective discomfort around endings and loss. And yet these painful experiences happen to each and every one of us at some point in our lives. Based upon Apolo Ohno’s lived experience, Hard Pivot offers a courageous ‘training program’ that will help anyone navigate the inherent turbulence that arises when the game of life requires us to let go and face the reality that nothing is permanent.” —Douglas Jowdy, PhD, author of The Gold Medal Mind
“In these times of incredible uncertainty—for individuals and businesses alike—it’s even more important for us to stand in our strength, adapt proactively, and lead with heart. With Hard Pivot, Apolo Ohno invites us to see the process as the prize itself and to show up again and again to what life has to teach and offer us.” —Lauren Sallata, chief marketing officer for Ricoh North America and former chief marketing officer at Panasonic North America
“We all experience struggle in our lives, especially around times of transition. With his Five Golden Principles, Apolo Ohno offers a system not only to find our way again but to rediscover our purpose.” —Dr. Jason Wersland, founder of Therabody
“All transitions come with challenge, and Apolo Ohno reminds us that it’s within the struggle that we find growth. That we’re in control of who we are and who we want to be. In Hard Pivot, he shows us, through his honesty and humility, that we are not defined by just one label, person, or profession—we can be many things. Apolo’s refreshing take on the unknown, taking risks, and having the courage to do so will inspire and relate to readers from all walks of life, in any season of change.” —Janet Evans, five-time Olympic medalist and motivational speaker