Why 5 ironman in 5 continents by the age of 50
Well, I am not starting from once upon a time but everything starts from my teenager time. I consider myself as a gypsy or a citizen of the planet.
I left home and moved from my hometown in Milan to Forlì (located 300km away) when I was 14 to attend an aeronautical high school that gave me the opportunity to learn the basic principles of how to become a flying pilot.
At the age of 19 I went to the USA and got my commercial pilot licence and started to live there for about 1 year.
Moved back to Italy but after a short while, USA called me again and I lived there for around 10 years.
Around my 40’s I had the possibility to come back to Europe again, thanks to a job been offered in Switzerland.
I never visited Switzerland before at that time, so didn’t know what to expect, but it was an opportunity for me to try a new experience and be closer to my home country.
Always knew about Switzerland to be a wealthy country, clean, loaded with chocolate and watches :), but my first impression was the beauty of its nature.
I moved to Buochs, a little village located right in the middle of Switzerland and I was surrounded by mountains and lakes. It was there that I started to develop my big passion for sport and triathlon in specific.
Thanks to my job I started to meet people with the same mindset that helped me to build new friendships quite fast.
There, I learned that you need to be consistent if you want to make progress in life, in whatever you do, sport included.
Sacrifices are part of this progress but if you are lucky enough to do it with passion then everything comes easier.
In Switzerland I also learned to never challenge others but only yourself, and look at the others as a way to get motivated and not discouraged. I am telling you what I mean now.
I attended my first mountain running race few months after I moved there, it consisted of 14km run with 1400mt of elevation gain, and I remember at the start to be next to a guy that he was around his 70s.
Thought this guy would have needed a defibrillator or oxygen on the way to the end but guess what, he ran with me half way up and finished not too far from me; I couldn’t believe it!!
Now you may start to think that either he was a super athlete or it wasn’t him fast but me a very bad mountain runner; well let’s say a bit of both :). Another example is a working colleague I had the pleasure to meet. His name is Patrick, I called him “the beast”.
A normal guy, normal body structure but simply an animal in terms of sport performance. Every Tuesday we were meeting for a 5km run and he was capable of running 5km in 16 minutes and sometimes because didn’t feel too tired, to do another 5km with around the same time.
Me? Every time I was finishing around 23 minutes and always felt I was going to die right after the finish!!
Back to Patrick, he’s a married man, father of 2 boys and capable of adjusting his life between sport, family and work. Last year he managed to finish the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) which consists of running 170km with more than 10,000mt of elevation gain.
To me, these type of guys are not human. Last but not least, he does full Ironman races only for training purposes, while me I am here trying to get motivation from you guys to finish my first!!! As said you need to stay focused on your own performance and use those “beasts“as references.
To finish my loop and back to my gypsy life, after 7 years of Switzerland destiny brought me here in Krakow, Poland.
Here as well, thanks to sport, I managed to build new friendships quickly and as in Switzerland, I have met another “beast” :).
His name is Joe, even if we just met I consider him as a good friend. As Patrick, also Joe is a guy with a normal body structure but capable of doing amazing things sportswise.
He’s an incredible runner, almost 50 years old and does run 5km in around 16 minutes. As Patrick, Joe is a happy married man, a father and a triathlete.
He started triathlon a bit more than 3 years ago after a long career in the running environment. He managed to finish his first full Ironman this year with an amazing tempo of 9h 53’!!
It is thanks to him that I decided to take out my dream from the closet and try to realize it. I asked him support in coaching and he was crazy enough to say yes.
Joe, if you are reading this post, please be patience with me :). To get to the end of this story, why 5 ironman in 5 continents by the age of 50?
Well, as described at the beginning, I do consider myself a traveler. Travelling gave me the gift to meet amazing people along the way and learn new cultures.
If I will manage to get to the finish line of all these races it will be like to stay connected with all the people I’ve met throughout this journey of my life and maybe have the chance to see some of them at the race start :).
And why 50 years old? I want to show that a normal guy like me can make it even if I am 50! So many times I meet people way younger than me saying :”I wish I could have done it but now it’s too late”, well, guess what, It’s never too late!!!