And that’s a shame because if it did in France, without a doubt, this week’s player of the week would have been me! 🙂 Yes, the Gods of triathlon were definitely watching over me this week.
Here is this week’s program:
- Monday-Tuesday: Back to training.
- Tuesday: First race of 2014.
- Thursday: Public speaking contest.
- Sunday: Lesson of the week: How to resume training?
Monday and Tuesday
Yes, you read right! This week, I started training again: 5 runs + 2 swims + 1 ride. I feel like a kid. Ecstatic. I came back to the pool for the first time and with the same excitement as a 7 year old who you actually say: “Hey, let’s go to the pool!”.
Ever since December 20th, 75 days without training went by. I have been injured so many times before. So many times I gave up. So many times I stopped believing and lost faith in my projects, athletics or not. This time, 75 times, I could have given up. 75 times, I could have said ” Alright guys, listen, I am just going to go for one nice race and that’ll be it, ‘kay?”. But instead, I woke up and 75 times, I kept believing in my dream…in part thanks to your encouragements.
When I have my gold medal around my neck, someone will ask me for sure what is the secret to become olympic champion at my age. For sure someone will ask me. Well, in exclusivity, I am already giving you my answer: To believe in yourself.
If you do believe in yourself, you are invincible. If you don’t, your project’s already dead before it even started. I have a friend whose dream is to be a professional golfer. But consciously or unconsciously, he doesn’t believe it’s possible and therefore only plays golf once a week. If he believed in his dream, don’t you think his days and all about him would be different? Believe in yourself and one day, people will say you are a genius. On the other end, if you don’t believe in yourself, you better be good right here, right now.
I remember Puff Daddy saying: “Yes, you gotta believe in yourself…But you have to believe to the point they think you’re crazy”.
I’ve been called “crazy” a few times and I take it as the highest compliment.
Robin Sharma also said: “If people don’t laugh at your dreams…it means your dreams are too small”.
Here though, I’ve been laughed at only once while talking about my dreams. It was when I said: “In 10 yeas, I’ll be the guy playing this role in this movie. You know, that guy who says: “Bond…James Bond’ 🙂
Last December, when I looked for the first time at the upcoming race calendar and the races I would like to do, I immediately stopped at the ITU circuit, made of about 10 stages: Auckland, Yokohama, Cape-Town, London, Chicago, Hamburg, Stockholm and Edmonton.
The registration date is not the same for every race. For example, if I wanted, I could still register for Auckland even though the race’s only in 3 weeks. Whereas, registrations for London were in January. At that time, with my ankle wrapped in clay, I saw the registration deadline passing by in front of me and waving goodbye…
But today, as if Heaven wanted to reward me for going back to training, I received an email saying there were still some entries available for London! 10 minutes later, I was registered. The race will take place in London on Sunday June 1st. This promises to be an unbelievable race. I am super excited and proud to start this adventure for real.
But as I was already in anaerobic mode, with my heart rate at 180 of excitement in front of my computer, literally 5 minutes later, I received an email about a triathlon camp, near Barcelona, hosted by Chris Mac Cormack, two-time ironMan World Champion. The camp is 2 weeks before London. Perfect timing 🙂
Tonight is “contest night” at Toastmasters, my public speaking group. It’s the 1st round. There will be a contest both in english and french. I am registered for both. The title of my english speech is “Two beautiful languages” and that of my french speech is “Impossible dream”. In 2013, I was Italy’s national Champ but the contest was in english. So obviously, I have confidence in my english speech.
The experience of winning is really something particular.
No matter what happens before or after, when I get on stage, I feel I am the best and most of all, I believe others too think that I am the best. When I get on stage, look at everybody and utter my first word, I believe that the other contestants speaking after me are thinking: “Damn, that’s it, I’m done”. There is only a very thin line between having experience and being arrogant. This is why I believe that in sport, in order to beat the defending champ, being better is not enough…you must be 10 times better. It’s just like when you’re playing against your big brother or dad; to win, you are to be a lot stronger, not just better.
On the other end, I don’t know what to expect with my french speech. I mean, the speech is awesome and I can’t wait to share it with you but the thing is that each time I speak in my own group during regular nights, I never win the “best speaker” ribbon! As the saying goes: “No man is a prophet in his own country”.
But sayings don’t always say the truth as tonight, I won both contests 🙂 Ah ah! Hard to explain you how it went. At one point, my mind went blank but thanks to my 2013 title, I stood there, didn’t shake and kept on walking with my chin high as if I was the Lion King 😉 Outside of that, during my speech, a judge even stopped taking notes to take a picture of me! I guess it means I didn’t do too bad 😉
Here is what’s next for the 2014 public speaking season:
- Regionals: Beginning of April in Antibes, France.
- French nationals: End of April in Paris, France (last stage for the french speech).
- European Championship: Mid-May in Krakow, Poland (only for the english speech).
- World Championship: End of August in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia.
How to resume training after an injury? Here is the recipe I used. I’ve tried many but I like this one.
1st point, never mind your injury, you need to go for a test-run at least once a week (unless you got a broken leg, come on!). Staying at home for a month without doing anything is a mistake. At least once a week, go for a test-run.
2nd, I already told you, go see all the specialists you need to see. For the sake of your mental health. This way you can go for a test run, feel pain and at the same not worry too much about it because you know someone will take care of you soon.
To resume training happens in 3 phases:
- To be able to run (or anything else) pain-free for a short laps of time. In the case of running, my goal was to run for 15′ without any pain. If it hurts, take a day off and start again. On the other end, if it feels fine, take a day off and next time, run for 20′, then 25′ and then 30′.
- Now we know the pain and the inflammation decreased, the goal is to be able to run on consecutive days. I ran 4 days in a row: 35′ on the first, 40′ on the second, 45′ on the third and 50′ on the fourth. If it hurts during one of those run, same principle, take a day off and go for another try.
- Now that you can run consistantly, speed is the last step. So I went for a 30′ warm-up and did 3 sets of 1′, 2′ and 3′ efforts.
If you finish this last run safe, then you can proclaim you’re injury-free 🙂
Last year, on March 22nd 2013, I was taking the train to Paris to interpret a conference. There, I got contacted to interpret in Tunisia and this is where I had the idea to move to Italy. On May 1st, I was taking my first night of sleep in my new apartment in Rome.
This year, March 19th 2014, here I am again, taking the train to Paris to interpret another conference…history repeats itself. Where will I be on May 1st? 🙂
In Paris, I will recharge with my family and friends, try different vegan restaurants and give a speech in this club. If you’re in the area, let me know. Finally, it’s becoming a tradition,a postcard will be sent to the first 5 who send me their address through the contact form 🙂
This week again, show the change, be the best athlete you can be, be the highest version of yourself. Peace.