Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sucker for inspiration.

I LOVE any kind of sports movie. They're so powerful and inspirational... they often impact me in so many ways I can't even describe. I'm always searching for new ones... running, baseball, football, basketball, surfing, you name, If there're sports in it, I'm watching. You put a very inspirational story behind (better yet if it's based on a real story), and I'm sold.

The one I've just watched is called SOUL SURFER. It's not a new movie, but it has just come out on dvd, so I've finally had a chance to watch it (I'm cheap, so I wait for the movies to come on dvd in the US so I can download them with a great quality :D ).

First thing you need to know about me: I'm a cry-baby in movies. I cry watching Disney movies. I cry watching youtube videos. I cry watching big catastrophes happening. I don't know why, I'm not really the sensitive type of person. But yet, I cry a lot with this kind of stuff. So with that said, you can imagine how much I've cried over this one. I've heard the story of Bethany Hamilton before, but I confess I didn't quite know anything about it at all - besides the fact that she was a surfer who has lost her arm due to a shark attack in Hawaii when she was 13 years old. The movie is based on her auto-biography book and she took very close participation on the production. Besides, AnnaSophia Robb plays her part and I love her to die since I've seen her for the fist time in Bridge to Terabithia (another really awesome movie). 

For a 13 year old girl to be attack by a shark and have a come back like hers it just blows my mind. I can't help but get amazed by everything we can do if we really want to, if we really put ourselves into. Yet... we don't. Why the biggest tragedies need to happen to shake us off of our lame routine and make us realize all the potential we got? 

The great things about sports movies (and I've said this a thousand times) is how much we can learn from other people's strength, courage, devotion, faith. This motivates me to be the best I can be with whatever I decide to be, you know? It's not always easy... some times along the way you'll find yourself complaining about lame things like how come I didn't run fast enough today, or why I couldn't get an A on this test, or why something this horrible happened to me. The truth is... bad things happen. I don't truly believe they happen for a reason (but that's just me). I think nature takes its course and we are the ones that are gonna define the intensity of the things that come to us and how it's gonna affect our lives. 

When I've injured my knee, I got so pissed. I was depressed, I've cried, I've blamed myself, I've blamed others, I got jealous of others for their ability to do what I couldn't. I gave in. I decided running wasn't for me and I punished myself every single day for something that wasn't anybody's fault. But now I'm back and I'm much better, wiser and stronger than I could have ever asked for. It took me an injury to learn that we shouldn't try to change what has passed; it's better to just decide what to do from now on. 

"I wouldn't change what happened to me, because then I wouldn’t have this chance in front of all of you. This chance to embrace more people than I ever could have with two arms." [ Bethany Hamilton ].

"I don't want easy. I just want possible" [ Bethany Hamilton ]

Any really good inspirational movies to recommend? 

Do you get motivated by other people's stories?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's Not About The Bike.

Yesterday, I started reading Lance Armstrong's book It's Not About The Bike. You can download it for free, it's a no-profitable autobiography about how he overcame his testicle cancer (which had spread up to his lungs and brain). I'm almost finishing it and I needed to stop for a while because it has really moved me. Sometimes, we're so self-absorbed in our own life, our own routine that we truly forget what the important things are. I mean, the really important things. For several months since I started running, all I cared about was timing, mileage, pace... I would beat myself up if I couldn't keep up with I was supposed to, I would not run if I didn't have enough time to do a proper run, I would just say I can never make it anyway if I couldn't be as fast as possible.

Today, as I was doing my long run (which is not that long after all), something hit me. I was doing the same trail I've been doing since I can remember. I didn't glance at the clock not even a single time to check my pace or mileage. I was just feeling so happy to be able to run, to be out there doing something for myself... I was feeling so in peace and I crossed a teammate running with another teammate who is an older blind guy... he was guiding him with a little rope all the way. That was such a nice moment right there. He's one of the elite runners of my group and he was sacrificing his own long run for someone else. How many times have we sacrificed our own workouts to help others with theirs? We're usually so blinded by our own numbers that we forget to see what's surrounding us. Of course we all wanna be better, quicker, stronger. We want PRs, we want to race, we wanna win. I do too. But after my injury, I've changed lots. I've learned and I've grown so much as a person. My priority now is to run. As simple as that. As long as I keep moving, I'm satisfied. All the other things are just that... other things. Sometimes in life you just have to drop all those small details and keep moving forward. I used to be so attached to those details that sometimes I would prefer not go for a run if that meant I wouldn't be able to do what I was supposed to. Lame, right?

There are people dying from cancer every day. People losing their motility. People who are just like you and me. But I'm alive today, and you are too. So let's just make the best of it, right? :)

"...I'd never ridden just to ride in the past–there had to be a purpose behind it, a race or a training
regimen. Before, I wouldn't even consider riding for just thirty minutes or an hour. Real cyclists
don't even take the bike out of the garage if it's only going to be an hour-long ride.
Bart would call up and say,
"Let's go hang out and ride bikes."
"What for?" I'd say.
But now I not only loved the bike, I needed it. I needed to get away from my problems for a
little while, and to make a point to myself and to my friends. I had a reason for those rides: I
wanted everyone to see that I was okay, and still able to ride–and maybe I was trying to prove it
to myself, too.
"How's Lance doing?" people would say.
I wanted my friends to say, "Well, he seems pretty good. He's riding his bike."
Maybe I needed to tell myself that I was still a rider, not just a cancer patient, no matter how
weak I had become. If nothing else, it was my way of countering the disease and regaining the
control it had stripped from me. I can still do this, I told myself. I might not be able to do it like I
used to, but I can still do it."
[ It's Not About The Bike, Lance Armstrong ]

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." 
[ Martin Luther King Jr. ]

So, back from the deep stuff, the best thing I've been doing lately is running to/from stuff. It safes me lots of time and it is also a great excuse. Like I run for frozen yogurt. 

I run for sushi too, but that is just too obvious.

ps. My couch signed me up for a half marathon. It's in less than a month. I'm freaking out, obviously, I haven't run more than 13K my entire life. But I'm okay with that. I just want the shirt. Yeah, I'm lame this way. :) 

ps.2 I'VE BOUGHT A BIKE! And I realized my legs feel much stronger when I run after I ride. Score.

What keeps you moving forward?

Personally, I love reading about other people's experiences, specially athletes. They're so strong and disciplined, they overcome so many difficulties in life... it makes me ashamed of most of the things I usually complain about.  

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Running has saved me from myself.

Hello, peeps! Imagine this scene. Coldest month of the year. You wake up to go to run and it's 68F, sunny, bright... it feels like heavennnn! I twisted my foot a week ago and it was a little sore... and then again on Thursday, somehow I've managed to twist it the same foot again! And I wasn't even running, I was only walking with my friends after school to get some lunch... and then it looked BAD. 

I know, it looks like a baby alien ): 

Anyway, lots of ice plus two days on a row of cycling and upper body and you can imagine the results... I can barely raise my shoulders or laugh that it hurts like hell... (still worth it d: ). Today, as I woke up and saw this AMAZING weather, I couldn't help it and tried to run (on trails). It felt awesome. It was a little sore, like a bruise, but no major pain... score! 

I really should be studying right now, but Modern Family is on my way between the books and my gigantic will to get smart, so I'll just ice this little monster and relax a little bit before I start tracking down all the elements inside the thorax cavity. 


Just wanna leave a memo to this awesome people, runners and friends who have made me into such a better person each and every day. Your willingness is inspiring and all you guys put through to be able to be the best ones out there is amazing. I couldn't be more proud to be part of a little bit of it and I sure look up to each and every one of you and just hope that I'll train harder and harder to be as great as you guys :)  

What has inspiring you lately?
Well, waking up in the middle of winter with spring weather is always inspiring as you'll ever get!! :)  
But, lately, I've been really inspired by looking at old pictures of me and some really important people... moments are extremely inspiring. It's what you hold to when you're on those really dark days. It's what makes you come out and back stronger than you were before. Sorry for the cheesyness, the sun makes me like this. Cheers for moments!


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

No, Med school hasn't killed me yet - but man it tried to.

Oh, right, I have a blog. :) So, exams kicked in and life kicked out. Between not being able to workout and run, and getting stuck at home studying like there was no tomorrow I kind of crashed at the third consecutive test. I didn't show up. Lame, I know, specially 'cause I studied the hardest for this one, spent tons of sleepless night on the microscope but, at the exact day, the alarm went on and I couldn't move. As I laid down there, staring at the ceiling, I started wondering why do I have to put myself through all this anyway. Do I really want to become a doctor this bad? This sort of thought crossed my mind over and over again, many and many times throughout all the time I've been away. At that very day, I've reached rock bottom big time. I had all those doubts in my head and I didn't know what to do, I couldn't run (which was basically what put me into med school in the first place), I would start crying out of nowhere several times a day, just imaging that I would have to study - again. 

I still had one more test, but I decided to chill a little (actually, my mom came to visit, so she obligated me to chill). It was the perfect time for a visit. She left 2 days before my test, I had recharged batteries and was able to pull it off somehow. It was the last test of the semester. A friend from Brazil would come the day after the test, so it was perfect. I had 2 other dates to take the test I've missed, so I've decided to get my s* together. I really thought I would never leave the whole I've put myself into, I could just think how far from graduating I was, how many more hell-weeks I would have before actually living again and such. I know it sounds like I'm the biggest spoiled girl in the world, but you'll never know what first year of med school is if you haven't lived it. I've spent 5 straight days without seen sunlight or even getting close to the out door. 

So, my friend came over, we had the best time and, after she left, I thought I could use a change. My knee was all better, I decided to take the risk. Went back to the gym and to running. It's been a week of heaven so far. And the most amazing thing happened. I was with the group last Saturday and one of the girls was complaining about a pain right behind her knee, saying it was probably muscle-fatigue. I told her that couldn't be it since we don't have muscles there. I took the itouch to show her some pictures from the Gray's Anatomy atlas and I started explaining to her all sort of things that it couldn't be and why. For a moment, it all came back to me. Why I wanted to become a doctor. That was it. That little moment was a piece of my distant future. I could see myself doing that for the rest of my life. How she was so interested, how she would listen to me, ask what should she do, should she run, was it serious... to see how the other rely entirely on your medical opinion and how they trust you so bad is something that, somehow, makes it all worth it. I know I have a long long way to go, but now I have clear in my head exactly where it's taking me. I have something to believe in. :)

Sorry to bore you all with my med delusions, but I needed to put it out there so, when school tried to kick my ass again, I can go back and read how blessed I am for having the chance to do what I do. 
And of course I'll put up some (really only some of them, I might have way too many) pictures of the awesome weeks I had this winter. 

...having my mom and my stepfather over, so I could eat something other than steamed veggies with tuna :) 

... drinking wine and getting way too full...

... seeing whale's bones at the zoo :) 

... horse riding with the gauchos heh.

 in case you got curious ]. 

Hey guys, tell me only one thing... what was the most rock-bottom moment of your life? 
I know it's kind of personal, but oh well, we're kind of in a virtual world and it's not like I'm gonna go hunt you with your stories heh.

Spread it!