Barcelona, Spain – Week #5.2

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This is where the Olympic Flame shone in 1992.

OK…for the 2014 edition of my birthday, I’m on my way to Barcelona for 4 days.

Some think that to be skilled in foreign languages is a matter of gift. My theory is that your “gift” may even concern one language but not another one. This is why I often say I love Japanese…and this is why I often say, I suck in Spanish. I always justify myself by saying that I am not really attracted to the Spanish culture and other stuff…

Well, I think it’s time for me to stop playing this record inside my brain. How I love Barcelona! How I love this city! Here is somewhere I could totally see myself living. Do you too have limiting beliefs playing on repeat inside your brain?

It’s a city with a particular energy. If Einstein had invented some kind of “life” barometer to measure the energy coming out of living beings, it would show that the level of “life” is higher in Barcelona than in other places.

I can’t yet say that triathlon is like a religion here, however you can definitely feel like you’re in a “triathlon city”. Maybe it’s the sea, maybe it’s the shops, maybe it’s a few posters (the marathon is next week), maybe it’s the possibilities: long avenues, many pools and the beach boardwalk to run on. For your information, the Barcelona triathlon is on October 5th! 🙂

Barcelona – Gaudi’s town

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Conoide shapes, as designed by Gaudi

If you think Barcelona is all about Lionel Messi, think again. Barcelona is Anton Gaudi’s town, a Spanish architect from the 20th century. I visited la Sagrada Familia, Casa Battlo and Casa Pedrera.

This is where you realize how much Gaudi was a forerunner, in the way his imagination worked. When talking about conoid shapes, he even said: “The fact that they have not been applied before and that I am the first to do so has made me think a lot. This would be the only thing, in any case, that would make me hesitate. Nevertheless, I believe that, convinced as I am of the perfection they represent, it is my duty to apply them”.

Do you see how we’re all the same? French or any other nationality, genius or not, 21st or 20th century. We’re all the same. We have ideas, people look at us like we’re crazy, we doubt, but because we believe in something, we keep going. Next time you doubt, tell yourself it’s a “Gaudi moment”. A moment to test how much you believe in what you do. 

Today, I received a letter from a friend saying: “What I love in your writing, are the moments where you look vulnerable because at other times, you look like a war machine!”.

So here is your weekly shot of vulnerability. I am now in the depth of a Gaudi moment. Before, I used to say “I am depressed” when going through one of those dark times. But for real, to admit you’re depressed is even more depressing! So now, I will use this expression: “I am in a Gaudi moment…a moment where I am loaded with doubts but where, just like the Spanish architect, bouncing back and leaving a phenomenal heritage to the world is the only way out”.

When you see what he left for us, you’re like yeah, despite everything that goes on, you gotta do what you believe in and believe in what you do and keep going again, again and again. 

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Barcelona and the Olympic Games


The “Anello Olympico” aka the olympic village.

The Olympic village and most of the facilities used during the 1992 games seat at the top of the hill of Montjuic. I enjoyed this moment to get closer and personal with the Olympic tower, sneak in the Olympic stadium, visit the Olympic museum and photograph everything that looked 5 rings intertwined. You get the picture. A fish is made to be in the sea…a Greg, to be in an Olympic village.

The Olympic tower is just magnificent. The stadium, however, looks a bit old. Barcelona’s 2nd soccer team, l’Espanol de Barcelona, uses it though. However, the museum is full of memorabilia that would look awesome in my new office. If one day, they shoot Ocean’s 13 or 14 (I don’t remember) and they wanna break in, count me in! Medals, posters, games souvenirs. You get the picture. A fish is made to be in the sea…a Greg…OK, you know 😉 Here are the pictures. Just enjoy.

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Last but not least, I went to this spa twice and I swear, I would move to Barcelona just for this. This is so ideal for post-training recovery. You can get a great massage and there are bubble baths, and others at 41 degrees, 36 degrees, 18 degrees, 14 degrees and another one with salted water where mysteriously enough, I am unable to float!! But apparently, I am not the only guy with this problem…Is that true??

A giant big thank you for all the birthday postcards you sent me. I am going to devote a longer post to this because it made me think a lot and I believe there’s a lot to learn too.

This week again, show the change, be the best athlete you can be and the highest version of yourself. Peace.

And if you too are going through a Gaudi moment, keep your head up.

2 thoughts on “Barcelona, Spain – Week #5.2

  1. Just because your Spanish sucks… 🙂

    Bueno, parece que soy una semana tarde, pero aun te deseo un feliz cumple años. No tanto para la día, pero mas por el año que viene, que será mas mejor que el que paso… Mucha gracias, la semana pasada conseguí la tarjeta postal de Venice. Fue basta fácil de comprender, solo tenia que buscar dos o tres palabras en el diccionario. Comprendo el francés escrito y el que se hable, mi problema es mas escribir el francés. Pero voy enseñando… Besos, à bientôt!

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