Venice, Italy – Week #4.2

Training this week….no, nothing, still nothing. 0 minute. Rien. Nada. Niente. 全然.

Monday

I remember one or two years ago. I was thinking about a change in my professional life and I thought that I would like to be a motivational speaker. First, I told myself: “Greg, I give you the next 10 years to achieve as much success as you can in all aspects of your life. Then, in 10 years, you will be able to share all that with everybody”.

But secondly, I thought: “No, start right now and show the truth to the world. Let them see the amazing moments but also those when you’re depressed. Because if you show up in 10 years, all sexy, beautiful and successful and you say “If I can do it, you can do it too” just like other icons, speakers, artists or athletes of our time, nobody is gonna believe you”.

How do Cristiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt or Kobe Bryant react when they’re depressed? For sure, they must be depressed once in a while. For sure. How do THEY react ?

If I only share with you the great moments, then somehow I am dishonest. If I shut up or write ” I’m alright, I’m alright” during my bad times, then somehow I am dishonest. Lastly, if I tell you 50% of the truth…I am 50% dishonest.

I remember a basket-ball camp. I was 19. Our coach, a former NBA player, was peaking at us and preparing the next drills. The guys and myself were playing 5 on 5. First team who scores 12, it was, I think. Suddenly, Coach turned towards us: “Guys, what’s the score?”. Everybody shouted: “10-8”, “9-9”, “8-9″…etc 😉

Coach stopped everybody and said: “Greg, what’s the score?”. Because he knew I was an honest boy (if you’re curious, my team was losing 10-8 and that’s what I said).

Honesty is, apparently, an important value to me and if today, I tell you: “I am in Venice, it’s so awesome…etc”, it’s a lie.

So I will be honest with you, just like the young boy I was would do.

I am in Venice, my leg hurts, I can’t train, my nose bleeds, my mother paid this trip as a gift for me, I am here complaining, I am so ungrateful, I am depressed, I think about all that’s going wrong in my life, I sleep more than usual but the more I sleep the more depressed I am, I tell myself that this fracture is a sign from above saying the Olympics is not a dream for me to chase, I tell myself my life is hard, I am ashamed I wrote what I just wrote, I tell myself I would be better off on an island far from everything, I…I…I…I could complain like a child, feel like a victim and get rid of what’s on my chest for a long time.

My little sister called me tonight: “Greg, what’s up?”…”Well…monday’s sadness”.

“For real? Well, what do you want to make you happy then?”

There, just like a sobbing child, who can’t really pronounce his consons, I said right the way: “I wanna blay sborts” (“I wanna play sports”, you know it).

It was a year ago or two, I learnt a great technic to help you deal with those kind of blue moments. It’s the “110 year old You” technic.

Imagine, you’re sitting side by side with You, the older You, the 110 year old You. He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows all the s*** you’re going through, how it feels and what’s gonna happen next. So if there is one person in this world you can talk to and listen, it’s gotta be your 110 year old You.

So I am talkin’ to the 110 year old grandpa’ Greg and here’s what he’s got to say:

“Greg, my boy, every thing you’re going through…the lack of money, the lack of love, the lack of health and everything you’re describing…is like a wink of an eye compared to your whole life. It will only last for a minute”.

“Yes but don’t you…”

“Shut! A wink of an eye, I just told you. Stop! Tomorrow it will be over. Forget it. Let it go”

I don’t know how Cristiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt or Kobe Bryant react when they’re feeling blue.

Me. That’s how I react.

“Pain is temporary

It may last for a minute, for an hour, or a day, or even a year

But eventually it will subside and something else will take its place

If I quit however, it will last forever” – Lance Armstrong

Tuesday

My mood’s better today. Even though it still rains. Even though I feel a line on my heel, as if someone drew this fracture with a pencil. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced I have a stress fracture because the rain and the local humidity definitely have an impact on my pain. But anyway, I am better. Probably thanks to GrandPa Greg’s advice 😉 When I woke up this morning, the first thought I thought was: “Just a wink, Greg. Just a wink. In 5 minutes, it’ll be over”.

My big sister’s advice also helped to lift my spirit higher. She has the most amazing talent for she knows what words I need to hear, the perfect ratio of “be patient with your body” and “damn it, move your ass”. My big sister writes screenplays and therefore she told me:

“You know lil’ brother, this injury, it’s what gives charm to your story

If your story was merely that of a guy dreaming, working hard and succeeding…it wouldn’t make a deep impression on anyone

Personally, if I had to write the story of an athlete achieving his dream, you can be sure he would have a stress fracture in the 3rd chapter!

This journey and the conquest of your dream will be hard and you will cry more than once…learn to love those moments because they are what makes your story sensational”.

I love you sis’.

Wednesday-Thursday

The rain stopped. The sun rises and I start to understand that a hot shower and a warm towel rolled around my ankle are the best remedies against the local humidity. Every night, my mother also makes me a cataplasm of clay. As the saying I just made up says: “Leg is better, every thing is better”.

You know I speak 3 languages. French and English are my mother tongues (I consider English one because even if I was born in France from French parents, I was American in a past life). I can have a conversation in Japanese for 3-4 hours before my head start to hurts. However, I can have a 15 minute conversation in Italian, a 2 minute conversation in Spanish maybe. I also know 3 words in Cantonese, 3 words in Mandarin, 2 in Thai, 1 in Korean.

As Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his language, that goes to his heart”. This week, I stopped in a coffee shop for a hot chocolate. If you know I don’t like coffee, you’re definitely one of the people who know me best in this world! Next to me, there were some Asians. “Hi, where are you from?”…”Hong-Kong”. So of course, I told them the 3 Cantonese words I know. Those 3 words are “hi”, “how have you been?” and “pretty girl” 😉 I just realized, if I put these words in the right order, I can make a full sentence! 😉

The moment I said those 3 words, an invisible barrier disappeared and a connection was created. If you wish to become an interpreter, you must master a language perfectly. If you want to have a happy relationship with a foreign partner, it’s also important to speak his or her language. If you want to travel and ask which bus should you to take to go from X to Y, then you also need to have some basics. However, to make a new friend, 3 words are enough. Think about it next time you study a foreign language. Rather than saying: “Man, these conjugations are driving me crazy!”, try instead “one word…just one word and I can have a new friend”.

Once I was done with my hot chocolate, I thought: “Yes, Japanese is important for me. Yes it’s my 3rd language and yes, it’s the one I want to study in priority. But why not do 30′ of Italian on Mondays? And 30′ of Cantonese on Tuesdays? And 30′ of Mandarin on Wednesdays…etc…etc”. Yes, it will take me some time and energy and I might only remember 5 words. But still, can you imagine how many new friends I can make?

I remember one night back when I lived in Marseille. I was walking back to my apartment. It was around 1am. Then one drunk guy with a knife came towards me: “Hey, how you’re doin’ brother?”…”I am fine, brother”…”Brother? What? You think you know me?”…”No, no, I don’t know you”…”Oh really, you don’t wanna know me so I am not good enough to you, right?” and there I realized it was one of those conversations that can only take you towards Trouble-town.

Then he said: “Hey hold on, where are you goin’?”…”Well, home, to my place”…”What? You’re from here, you’re from Marseille then!”…”Yeah, of course”…”Well, it’s all good then, see ya”. And he just left.

Don’t underestimate the power of a link, a connection or a word, placed at the right time and in the right language 😉

Friday

“What was I born to do?” is a question I often ask myself. I mean, not as often as I used to, since I got my eyes on the Olympics. Last night, I watched a video from Brian Johnson on how to find your life purpose. There’s a whole intro and then he asks a simple question: “What would the higher version of you do right now? Then go do it”.

He explains that at each moment, we have two choices:

  • to go towards our Higher self = +1 point
  • to go towards our Lower (and safe) self = -1 point

Thus, if you go towards your Higher self 10 times in a row, your score is +10. On the other end, if you go in the opposite direction 10 straight times, your score is -10. This is how after years of decisions, you can end up being light years away from what your potential can do. Kind of sad, uh?

So last night, in my hotel room, my mother saw me in deep thinking mode: “Greg, what’s goin’ on?”

“Mom, according to you, what would the higher version of Gregory Berge do right now?”

“Well…exactly what you’re doing right now”.

There I burst into laughter: “What? Wearing shorts, bare chest, in a hotel room, watching videos on YouTube! You think that’s what the highest version of Gregory Berge would do?? No, no definitely not” 😉 😉 😉

I was laughing but I didn’t have any answer. Would the highest version of myself be running right now? Not sure. However, to motivate and inspire is definitely something the higher version of myself would do. No doubt.

I fell asleep and woke up this morning. Went downstairs to have breakfast. Not thinking anything. There, naturally, I momentarily escaped from my shyness, smiled and said “buongiorno” to every body. I sat down and served myself some tea (you know I don’t drink coffee) and there, I had an epiphany. To speak to people and share a positive message is definitely what my highest self would do.

You know me better now. If I respect what my shyness says, I go -1. If I go farther and beyond what my shyness says, I go +1.

Whether I want it or not, I have no choice but to make more videos in this blog. If I write, I protect myself. If I speak, I grow up.

Saturday-Sunday

These 5 days in Italy have been real holidays. I threw all my good habits out of the window! I woke up at 9:30 everyday. No meditation. No japanese and last but not least, I ate everything that was in front of me. It’s the perfect moment therefore to evaluate what’s good to me and what’s not.

Sleeping is good 🙂 I remember Robin Sharma saying that the most successful entrepreneurs in this world wake up at 5am but every 6 weeks, they take one week off. The principle is simple. If you want to have ideas that will change the world or at least change your life, you need to take a step back, get some perspective and have a fresh mind. This week, I had news ideas and even though I like to wake up at 5am because it makes me very productive, I believe that taking a week off every 6 weeks is a good habit to implement.

I didn’t meditate this week. But I don’t think I missed it. Maybe chilling, wandering around and visiting have the same effect as meditation. Maybe…

I didn’t study japanese this week. And I must admit I had regrets at certain points: “D*mn, I should…”. Maybe when I go back home to France, I’ll have a higher energy which will allow me to study 45′ or 1h a day? Maybe this was like my school holidays? I’ll tell you next week if I was right not to study or not.

Regarding my diet, I didn’t behave like a vegan at all over there. When I saw the menu of the 1st restaurant, I realized that if I were to eat vegan during those few days, I would probably lose 3kgs of muscle. In fact, when you’re vegan, your proteins come from seeds (hemp, flax, sesame, chia…) and grains (lentils, chick peas…). And as you know “a hemp salad with lentils surrounded by a river of chick-peas” is not necessarily on the menus of most restaurants 😉

Conclusion, I ate croissants, raw ham, cheese, pasta, red meat, rice, chocolate, cakes…and there, the result is flagrant. I feel like a log compare to last week. I feel I have a brick instead of a stomach. I don’t know how I could train feeling like this. My back hurts. My morning throat ache is back. A slight cut on the corner of my lips is also appearing. To be brief, I felt 1000 better as a vegan. Moreover, not one second did I think: “Man, that’s what I’m missing”. I once had a beautiful piece of red meat and thought: “Yes, it’s good…but that’s it”.

I believe it is a good test for a vegan to eat whatever for a short time. If you realize you don’t miss your old way of eating, then it probably means your vegan diet is well built. On the other end, if eating meat makes you feel like saying “I missed you so much”, then it probably means your vegan recipes need a little adjustment.

Before leaving for Venice, I had spent a few days stable around 70.4kgs; a weight zone I usually only make brief appearances into. Just like in boxing, thanks to my vegan diet, I had changed weight category. My zone was now 70-71kgs. That was until I weighed myself this morning: 72.4kgs. You might think: “Damn! 2kgs in 1 week, he’s been eating like crazy!”. But no, for a week, I have been eating “normal” products, in “normal” frequency and “normal” quantity. And eating that way brought me back to the weight zone I have belonged for so long as well as the minor health issues I have always had. And by the way, isn’t it this week that I felt super depressed? I don’t know, I’m askin’. What do you think? Coincidence or not?

Sunday

It happens once every 4th year, it’s the Sochi Winter Olympics’ first week-end 🙂 My favorite discipline is the biathlon. The pursuit is the bomb! I already cross-country skied but except at the army, I never shot with a rifle. I remember Jerry Seinfeld, the American comedian, saying : “Some events at the Olympics don’t make sense to me, I don’t understand the connection to any reality like…biathlon. That combines cross-country skiing with shooting a gun. How many alpine snipers are into this? Ski…Shoot with a gun…ski…To me, it’s like combining swimming and strangle a guy, why don’t we have that?” 😉

Happy Sochi to all of y’all ! 🙂

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