Never give up on your dreams – part 2

very well said!

Cristian Mihai

dreams2

“A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” – Junot Diaz

On the 29th of January 2013 I wrote a blog post about my struggles as a writer. I wrote it and knew that I was a writer. I wrote it and knew that I couldn’t live without my stories, without my characters, without my strange habit of angrily punching those keys on the keyboard late every night. 

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Chase Your Dreams & Passion

This morning when I woke up, I found myself reflecting on my future goals and projects I’d like to accomplish.  Some of them are quite ambitious so I asked myself, is it really possible?  All of the sudden, one my favorite athletes of all times popped into my mind: Chris “Macca” McCormack..the words he said when he won his first Ironman World Championship-Hawaii in 2007: “what’s so bad about being a dreamer? In today’s society so many people are more about saying: oh that’s too hard, don’t chase that, you can’t do that, you need to do this..and I’m all about, if you wanna do something you feel passionate about it , then, chase it  because is only with passion that you’ll succeed.”

I think its probably one of the best phrases I’ve ever heard.  Only with passion you can achieve your dreams which in reality are a reflection of what you feel passionate about.  Plain and simple, so go out there and chase your dreams, chase your passion and live your life to the fullest!

Cheers!

Macca winning in 2007

Macca winning in 2007

John Sinibaldi, um grande heroi

John Sinibaldi “o grande heroi” faleceu em quanto durmia, dia 10 de Janeiro de 2006 as 10:40h.  Ele tinha 92 anos de idade e lutava levemente contra um pequeno cancer de pulmao.  Afortunadamente, ele nao estava com dor nenhuma, e morreu em paz junto a sua familia do lado.

A legacia do John como ciclista nunca esqueceremos pois pouco ciclistas, talvez nenhum, conseguiram o que el conseguiu alcançar.  Campeao nacional 18 vezes. Campeao olimpico em 1932 e 1936.  United States Bicycling Hall of Fame, induzido em 1997.  Record nacional de ciclismo até hoje.  77 anos de carreira profissional como ciclista.  Ganhou sua primeira competiçao a nivel nacional em 1928, seu ultimo campeonato nacional foi este ano no USA Cycling Masters National Road Championships.  Uma estimativa conservativa sobre o total de milhas percorridas na sua vida inteira é tranquilamente mais de meio milhao de milhas.

Por outro lado, a legacia do John no ciclismo, se extende muito mais pra la da suas conquistas.  John passou os ultimos 30 anos promovendo o ciclismo como esporte, instigando novos ciclistas a participar do esporte, e ajudando todo ciclista a chegar no maximo potencial.  Por mais de 7 decadas John foi um embaixador(informalmente) do ciclismo e sempre ficava muito feliz quando alguem novo aparecia pela primeira vez pra pedalar junto a galera dos Mad Dogs. (nos bike rides).  Depois de uma longa e saudavel vida, sabemos que esta com Deus, curtindo da vida eterna.

Fique com Deus, John.

SINIBALDI_2004alt Sinibaldi-4a

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North Face UltraTrail running shoes review

Hello again!

I’m not very much into writing product reviews, but with my new pair of North Face Ultra Trail running shoes, I have to make an exception.   This is my third year using NF (North Face) running shoes and my third pair for that matter and I must say that the evolution along this 3 years has been fantastic.   Starting with the Single Track model of 2012, which in general was a pretty awesome shoe, with great support and stability.  In my opinion, the only problem with this shoe was the outer material which I think was very poor and weak.  In the picture below, you can see how the outer mesh ripped apart in some areas.  Also, it had 8mm drop from heel to toe, which for me is too much.   In 2013, I bought the new model, the Single Track Hayasa.  This model had 6mm drop, but it sacrificed cushioning and I paid the consequences during a 74km race.   In general, it was an awesome shoe but the only issue was the cushioning.

This year, I recently purchased the new model, the Ultra Trail and I must say I’m extremely happy with it.  The shoe fits like a silk glove.  It feels snug enough and the same time super light.   Its the type of shoe that when you put’em on, it make you feel like running for hours non-stop.  That’s how comfortable it is.  It has great cushioning and low drop.   When comparing it with the previous models, you can tell the shoe has evolve incredibly well.   It doesnt matter if you have wide flat foot like me, as long as you have a neutral stride, this shoe will work perfectly fine for you! I strongly recommend it.

Cheers and go train hard!

northface evolutionOn the top left side: 2012 Single Track, on the top right side: 2013 Single Track Hayasa, and on the bottom, the 2014 Ultra Trail.

 

The best experiences in life are rarely easy.

For my first post, I’d like to share what I consider one of the most important lessons in life and endurance sports.   A lesson that will make you want to go beyond your limits and efforts to achieve greatness.  It’s something I read in an article written by the legend, Mark Allen, for the LAVA MAGAZINE issue of Oct/Nov 2012.   The lesson is: to understand that the best experiences in life are rarely easy.  For me, this is perhaps one of the greatest truth I’ve ever heard in my life.   It represents the true meaning of what it takes to achieve our goals in life.   Nothing so good ever comes easy, and that’s how life is, period!  The following is a story to inspire mind, body and soul!

So the story goes (as written by Mark Allen):

“1995, this was it. I knew going into this Ironman that there would be no more. I asked the Island for one more great race, and vowed that I would never ask for it again. It was kind of my bargaining chip. I was there to give it everything I had, but I also knew that I needed some extra help. This win would not come easy.

I was 37 years old. Until last year (2011), no man had ever won Kona at that age. That was the first level of impossibility I was dealing with. I was trying to win six titles in six starts. No one had ever done that, male or female. That was the second strike going against me. To make the odds against me even worse, I came off the bike 13:30 down on the powerful cyclist Thomas Hellriegel, who was 13 years younger than me. No one had ever made up that gap after the bike to become world champion. But the Ironman doesn’t care about impossibility. It presents you with the opportunity to go for something incredible anyway.

My fitness was there-that muchI knew. I had put together some of the best workouts of my career leading up to the race-not bad for a 37-year-old! But even the best fitness of my life was not proving to be enough. If I ran a normal ironman marathon, Hellriegel would win.  Victory would require something I had never done before. I threw all previous standards out the window and tried to shift into a completely different reality that would enable me to pick up thirty seconds a mile, every single mile, on the young race leader.

I had been studying with Brant Secunda for over five years at that point. So much of what he taught me were things that I really needed in 1989 to win. I was lucky enough to put those things in play in ’89 in very rudimentary forms. All that he taught was exactly what would carry me forward now and hopefully past Hellriegel.  His teachings foster the ability to quiet your mind, especially when a less-prepared you would get derailed with all that negative chatter. He helps a person develop the ability to feel comfortable in any situation and to stay calm and steady even in the toughest moments. I desperately needed to find that place. Losing even the smallest amount of energy to self-doubt, or letting myself think for a second that I wanted to give up would mean my quest for a sixth title would be over.

Brant emphasises to keep going, no matter how impossible life might feel at a given moment, because everything can change in the next. At the ’95 race, that critical shift didn’t happen until mile 23 of the marathon, when I finally caught and passed the young German. There were a thousand moments during the race when I had to silence the negative chatter so that the place of quiet and positive focus could return.

If perfection is measured by the amount of time you feel in control of the situation, this was the worst race of my life. But if it is defined by one’s ability to calmly deal with every second that the greatest challenges present-one at a time until the job is done-then this was indeed my finest hour. You would think that after five victories I could sort of put it all on autopilot. But just like someone doing Ironman for the first time, the way to the finish had to be discovered, the challenges embraced, and new parts of your internal character revealed”.

Lessons like this one, is what you will find if you read Mark Allen’s book: Fit Soul & Fit Body, which I strongly recommend you to read.   I’m very glad I had the opportunity to listen to this guy live during the Miami 70.3 Ironman 2012 Expo.  It was very inspiring and I went on the next day to have an amazing race and perhaps one of my best races ever! I must say thanks again to all my family who were there to support me: Jonny, Liz, Ray, Aunt Diana, Nicole, and my friends Marcos, Danielle and Marconi.   Love you guys!

So remember, the best experiences in life are rarely easy.

The legend, Mark Allen and me

The legend, Mark Allen and me

Mark Allen 1995 Ironman Triathlon World Championship