My friends, My family – Week #3.3

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This is the end of my 5th week of rest. On my plate was 5h of weights, 5h of pilates and yoga. Plus I discovered a new fun work-out called BOSU. I definitely have to make a video about all that as this is really cool.

Monday:

There are 2 reasons that make my Mondays exciting. The first is about the little morning read I have, remember? Well, every monday, the theme changes. So goodbye to “persevering” and hello to “I am the nature’s greatest miracle”. If I am really nature’s greatest miracle, then my calf should heal by the end of the week! 😉

Second is that slowly, I mean, really, really, really, really, really slowly, I am improving 🙂 As a matter of fact, during the first week of January, I used to meditate and study japanese for 30′ each day, during my morning routine. Then during the 2nd week of January, I took it up a notch to 31′ a day. Today starts the third week of January so I am going to the next level: 32′ a day! Rock on! 🙂

I am going to try to apply this system to other aspects of my life because I find it super simple, super encouraging, super efficient…and kind of exciting, I must admit 🙂

This morning, while meditating, I discovered something. For a while, I have been wondering if I should adopt a “nice” position with a straight back just like those Tibetan monks we see in the movies or if I should just myself go. For the last 14 days, I have had the tendency to rather try and keep the “nice” position. Call it the pilates influence. However, when I am in deep meditation and my brain disconnects, it seems that my back and head only want one thing: collapse to the front and the right. Well, technically, that’s two things. So today, I just let my body go and….I simply looked like a BOSU ;-), completely rounded from my tailbone up to my eyebrows. And I must say I found this “f*cked up” position a lot more relaxing than the “nice” one. For about 10 years now, I have been suffering for something that feels like a stomach ulcer. It hurts 90% of the time. The only moment it doesn’t is when I am 100% into doing something, for instance, when I interpret, exercise or have fun, chatting with a great friend. Sometimes I go for a 5-day interpreting assignment, then on the 6th day, going back home, I suddenly feel my stomach and I’m like: “D*mn, I didn’t even think about my stomach for 5 days!”. On the other end, if my brain starts to think, analyze or even criticize or judge, then it hurts. That’s why I meditate. To calm down my brain and my 2nd brain (my stomach). The learning continues.

Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday:

When I describe my life to the people I know, some say: “Oh, you’re so lucky!” or “I envy you”. Some others, a small minority doesn’t really understand and tries to analyze me. There is a last category. The friends who are worth everything I have. Friends who support me in all circumstances. Friends who encourage me like no other. Friends who take my childhood dream and, thanks to their words, lift it to a higher ground, further than I could have never dared, and who transform it into an adult’s dream, a life purpose.

These friends aren’t necessarily my “best friends”. We don’t necessarily spend a lot of time together (maybe we should) and we don’t necessarily write each other often (maybe we should). But when we do, their words make me grow, help me believe in who I am and what I want. These friends are amazing and I am so lucky I crossed their paths. I always speak about me so today I am really proud to share about them. I hope this will help you notice the incredible persons you have in your life.

Nadja. Nadja is Swiss. We met in Tokyo. We were in the same japanese class. We probably talked for only 10 minutes. One day, I told her I wanted to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and right the way, without any hesitation and with a spontaneous affection, she said : “Just go! I am sure you will qualify for Rio’s as well”. Once in a while, we write each other to talk about running. Every time, she encourages me with a lot of sincerity. 

JérémyJérémy is French. We met in Thailand, where together, we interpreted a conference for the United Nations. One day, talking about the future, I dared to tell him my goal was to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. There, instead of judging or laughing, he was the very first one to say and to make me understand: “No, you still have 2 years 1/2 before the Rio Olympics. You gotta go for it! It’s for Rio you must go for”. 

1555723_10152208046394238_1690073328_nOlivier F. Olivier is French. We studied osteopathy in the same school. Our studies lasted 6 years but we probably talked to each other 3 times only. Then he came to visit me when I lived in Hokkaido. He and I are quite different on some aspects. He loves good wine. I love to run in the middle of the night. He loves the Boston Celtics. Me, the Miami Heat. But we are both quite spiritual and every time we talk about life, mine, and the way I see it, evolves.

Michael. Michael is American. I don’t really know Michael. One day, I read his blog. Liked it so I contacted him through Facebook. Ever since we shared a lot and each time, his messages help me believe I can reach anything and that my dreams will come true. Going to Singapore? Gonna happen. Going to the Olympics? Of course, it’s gonna happen. He is a highly positive person and this is what probably sets him apart. Positive beyond measure. Not funny. Not excited for no reason. Not clowning around. Positive. There are 6000k between us but I was born in March 1978, he February 1978. There must be a connection.

Olivier C. Olivier is French. He too, I met him in osteopathic school. In addition to our differences, he is from the North, I am from the South. He read this blog and instead of just liking it and not saying anything, he encouraged me and told me I was in the right direction to achieve my dream. He also posted this amazing video which reminded me that all my failures are nothing but the price to pay to make my dream come true.

One needs a lot of courage to share his dream with someone else. One day, I asked all my friends, through Facebook, “What prevents you from getting what you truly want?”. Almost everybody answered the same: “Being judged by others”, “Being criticized”. I have been sharing my dream with every body so I will tell you what reality is. It’s true!! The number of people who judge you, who give you their opinion or who roll their eyes at you is huge. But it’s made on purpose 🙂 Because to achieve your dream, you need to be strong from head to toes. And being able to stay calm or smile in front of a critic is an undeniable sign of inner-strength, of inner-confidence.

Eric Thomas says you don’t have to share your dream with anyone. It’s your dream and others are not supposed to believe in your dream. They’re not supposed to see the fire inside of you. They’re not supposed to have the same vision as you. I like the idea but I think that every time you’re in front of someone and keep your dream for yourself, you either lose a potential encouragement or an opportunity to face a critic and test the metal you’re made of.

I confessed my dream to so many that now, it is invincible. Only I can decide to stop it. In September 2013, I was in Paris, talking with a friend. For an hour (or maybe two), he asked questions to try to understand my state of mind and how I will handle “failure”, while finishing each sentence with “No, C’me on, it’s impossible!”. During that time, just like Snoop Dogg would say, I was “layyyyyyy back” in my chair. Breathing calmly. Listening. Smiling. I was sure of myself. Of course, I am fragile on some aspects and I am not invincible. But this dream…you better believe it is. Invincible. Indestructible.

Once, I heard Puff Daddy say: “You gotta believe…but you gotta believe to the point that they think you’re crazy”. Sometimes, I read what I write and think that the words I use can make me look crazy. Sometimes, my friends laugh and say “Ah ah, he’s crazy but I love him”. When I hear “crazy”, I’m like “Yeah, I’m exactly on the right path”.

Like you, I love Will Smith’s line in “The pursuit of happiness”:

“Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me.

You got a dream. You gotta protect it.

People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you “You can’t do it!”

You want something? Go get it. Period”

To me, the strongest word in this line is protect. I imagine my dream is like my baby. Everyday, he’s with me. All the time, I speak about him. People look at him. Sometimes, they find him beautiful and ask questions. Sometimes, they don’t say nothing. But in all case, my dream is protected. If you give up on your dream because somebody broke you down, that ain’t that person’s fault. It’s yours. Who’s supposed to protect your dream, if you don’t?

I was afraid to death to share my dream with my family. To see them laugh at me would be terrible. “Dad, Mom, Walter, Ariane, Nana, I gotta tell you something. I dream to qualify for the Olympics and I’m gonna do everything I can to achieve that goal”.

Dad: “Great! You know the triathlon champion is……..You know the world record is…..”.

Mom: “When you stand on that podium, I’ll be watching you, crying”.

Walter, my big brother: “You’re an hour away from the champion but if this is what you want, you gotta believe in it”.

Ariane, my big sister: “F*ck what others say. Just go hard”

Nana, my little sister: “Why don’t you dream of winning the gold medal! Only pussies dream to just qualify for the Olympics!”.

If you have a dream, share it. You never know how someone will react.

Friday:

Last night, I went out to see a japanese movie, thank God, in its original soundtrack: “Like father, like son”; in japanese「そして父になる」(so shite chichi ni naru). “Like father, like son”, can’t really say the translator was madly inspired the day he went to work and found that title!

I was super happy ’cause I understood the first 2 minutes of the movie without looking at the subtitles. “Come in”…”Please, have a seat”…”Can you give me your name and address?”…”Keita, what is your favourite season?”…”Summer”…”What did you do last summer?”…”I did some…” but when he said kite, there I had to look at the subtitles 😉

When I watch a japanese movie, when I hear some japanese, it just takes me one second to feel what I’m about to explain. It’s automatic. 1 second and BAM!

When I hear some japanese, I feel the same way as when you are in a love relationship that doesn’t work very well and you keep on thinking intensely about that other person you’re really attracted to and just want to go see. That’s it, I said it! When I hear that language, I feel a calling, like a mermaid far, far away: “Come Gregory, come”. Japan, I so love you. 日本が大好きです。

I feel I am very fortunate to know that I burn for this language and this country. I watch chinese and korean movie too and I’ve been here and there, in Asia, thinking: “I love Japan therefore never mind where I am in Asia, I’m gonna love it!”. But nah, Japan is not Korea, it’s not Thailand and nah, it’s not Singapore either.

When I was younger, I never dreamt to visit Japan or to learn this apparently incredibly complicated language. Not a second, I’ve put my eyes on a world map and said “Yeah, I’ll go there!”. I’ve never even just fantasized on an Asian woman. Then one day, life took me there. And this is when I fell in love. I’ve been asked tens of times why I love Japan this way but despite some obvious and concrete aspects that I like and that I could mention, I feel that there is something deeper.

Back in 2011, when I lived in the gorgeous small town of Canmore (Alberta, Canada), I visited an hypnotherapist. It was my first time and I was curious. So we went to visit my past lives. I had no expectations and honestly, when I see on TV an hypnotist doing the usual “your eye lids are getting heavier and heavier”, I am quite skeptikal. But there I relaxed and saw/felt my last past life, the one just before my birth in 1978. During that life, I was a doctor for the American army during world war II, in Pear Harbor. You might know that Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii and that’s where the Japanese army bombarded the American one. Is this because of this life that I quit osteopathy, because I didn’t want to be a “doctor” two lives in a row? Is this because of this life that speaking english is so natural for me? Is this why I have strong links with Japan? I don’t know but I found this session very interesting.

When I am in Japan, I feel that Japanese are…like me. I often wonder why I was born in France. I feel better speaking english and I feel better living in Asia, so yes I wonder! At first, I don’t see what I have to do in France. I’ve thought about it and the only valuable answer I found so far is “to win a gold medal and hear the national anthem” because “The Marseillaise”, our anthem is to me, the most powerful anthem in the world. So powerful, that when I am in the hardest sections of my work-outs (one last 400m dash in 1’10, 2′ in zone 5 with my bike or one last 50m swim all-out), I sing it to myself.

When I share my feelings with Japanese people, some tell me: “I understand what you’re saying…when I talk with you, I feel like I am speaking to one of my Japanese friends”.

Me, who grew up in the South of France, I left to live in Quebec, one of the places on Earth that looks/feel like France the most…and I fell sick, unable to integrate myself and make new friends. Then I went to a country which is the opposite of mine…and felt like home. I am so fortunate I could experience this. Do you too know a place on Earth, in your country or your town where you feel such attachment?

Saturday-Sunday:

Reading and re-reading what I write, my life seems super exciting and full of adventures. Honestly? It’s true. 180 days out of 360, it is. But the 180 other days, it is not. This is why when a friend says: “How I envy you”, the first thought that comes to my mind is “If only you knew”. I often wondered what in the world, could I write here when I feel like one of those 180 bad days, one of those 180 days where my mojo is gone. Well the day is today. The day you don’t wanna do s*hit. The day you just wanna drop your face flat on your keyboard and disconnect with the world.

Yes it’s raining and yes my injury is kind of troublesome. However, yesterday, for the 3rd time in 3 attempts, we ate the “King’s cake” and I was the one who found the bean and therefore received the (paper) crown 😉

I must tell you I often wonder why I injured myself. Everything was so right. Why the h*ll would the Universe give me an injury whereas I was so shiny happy. One of the answers I found is the following. The Universe tells me “Listen boy, if you really want to qualify for the Olympics, there is a super important lesson you need to learn. You have to_________. So here it is, one injury for you. Now, be smart and use those weeks of rest to learn this lesson. Then, on February 1st, you will have learn this lesson and be on the right path toward the Olympics. So stop crying, learn and be grateful”.

I just read a quote from Dan Millman :

“Every positive change,

every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness 

involves a rite of passage.

Each time we ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution,

we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation.

I have never found an exception”

I just learnt a rite of passage is typically made of 3 steps:

  1. Separation, where you are isolated from the group. This is the phase of symbolic death (my departure from Singapore? My injury?)
  2. Transition, where you forget what you know and learn new things, by yourself. (me currently meditating? studying japanese more? becoming vegan?)
  3. Reincorporation, where you assume your new identity and join the group again (me soon becoming a professional triathlete? me soon moving back to Asia?)

Sorry but I must leave you. I am not supposed to contact you yet. I am in the Transition period. I need to study and learn. Wish me the best. I wish you the best in everything you do. Peace. Greg.

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