2.09.2012

"Life’s only limitations are the ones we make" Marc Herremans by RSNT

Often press releases tell think you already know and what you look for is that short impressive quotation to put in your article. Often you even don`t read them all  - press officer know I guess. That one I got this morning is different. It`s short but I read it words by words. I already knew who Marc Herremans is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Herremans) but learnt something here. Much more RSNT riders learnt when he went to talk them about his life and... well about life, simply. About life by a privileged point of view.  
Pic by RSNT
"Privileged?!" I can hear you say. I know, I know... My mom got polio two years after her marriage, when my brother was four months old, she spent one year in hospital, for one month they didn`t know if she survive, if she get completely paralyzed or what. She finally had ´only` one leg useless and ´only` from the knee. She spent one year learning to walk again and came back to work as a teacher in kindergarden. She kept driving her car - a normal one with authomatic gear - and seven years after had another baby: me. My mom couldn`t run and her way to walk was weird but I never thought she was ´different`or ´worse` than the other moms. She isn`t perfect, just a normal mom. Her normality taught me a lot and I think it is because of that I have absolutely no problem to work as a teacher for students with special needs. No matter how serious their sickness is, how big their limits seem: when you work with them you see there is a world into the bounds of those limits and their achievements are amazing. Moreover their will, their desire, their streght are so big you can just see how weak and arrogant we ´healty`, ´normal` people are.
So "Belgian wheelchair triathlete and motivational speaker Marc Herremans visited and impressed RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK in Mallorca. "When you see what he achieved" Johan Bruyneel sazy "you realize there are always ways to make the best out of it, even in hopeless situations." I didn`t know and got impressed reading he had a similar experinece too: “As a youth rider I had more or less the same accident as Marc had,” continued Bruyneel. “I broke my back but my paralysis was only temporary. After a long rehabilitation period I was able to ride my bike again and to have a successful cycling career. Marc was forced to live in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He didn’t have the luck I had.”
But he gave himself the luck and privilege to became a symbol: "In 2006 he was the first wheelchair athlete to finish the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, after a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile handbike ride and a 26.2 mile ride in a wheelchair. One year later he became the first (and up to now only) person to complete the Crocodile Trophy on a handbike, one of the world’s hardest mountain bike races, in Queensland, Australia." There is a video you probably saw on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBEs2fOX0_A It really motivated me in a low moment of my life and even ispired me a short story http://chor-art.blogspot.com/2011/10/crash.html (in Italian). I was crying watching that video, not for illness part but for the Come one! part, when he says that illness didn`t change his dream and in fact he realized it.
“Life is too short to be sorry; you have to move on.” he explained RSNT riders "You must focus on the bright side of life. (...) It’s up to you if you want to look up or down. A lot of people are much worse off than me. I try to look at the things I still can do and not at the things I can’t.”
After the achievement of those splendid goals "Herremans remains very busy." the press release goes on "In addition to his work for the foundation and his motivational speaking, he is a trainer and coach for many sportsmen, including Kevin Pauwels, the 2012 Overall winner of the World Cup Cyclocross and the number one in the UCI ranking."... and my favourite cyclocross rider!
“It is my intention to call on Marc’s help more often this year." Johan Bruyneel conclude "Cycling, or sport in general, is more than just trying to be physically the strongest. Health, equipment and technical skills are important, as is the mental aspect. Or to quote Marc: “Life’s only limitations are the ones we make – it’s all in the mind and nothing is impossible…” So true!

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