Just 15%

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A recent TV spot says that the wait is already part of the prize, if this was true my birth should have been like the Champions’ League victory.

The problem is, things don’t go well all the time.

For me, being born two weeks later than my due date meant a paralysis of my left arm due to the neglect of a gynecologist who was sleeping and couldn’t be awakened. The first eighteen months of my life have been i nightmare, I cannot remember that of course, but what my parents can tell gives an idea: at least 2 hours per day in the swimming pool doing physiotherapy plus many more hours of manipulations and exercise, next to other kids who haven’t been lucky like me. Some of them were paralyzed for the lifetime, others were reduced to vegetables, but all our conditions were consequences of a mistake, something we couldn’t control and that was irreparable, something that had conditioned our lives forever. Has I said, I was lucky. Doctors estimate that “only” 15% of the mobility of my arm is precluded, which anyway leads to many difficulties, not only in sports but in everyday gestures like bringing the fork to the mouth or scratching the ear. Things that are common and banal for everyone, I cannot take for granted. Probably this is why when playing football I liked to be goalkeeper, or I liked to play tennis or basketball.

I pushed myself to understand if I could overcome that 15%. The biggest challenge was to get on the boxing ring and build a guard that would allow me to face the rival. The Muay Thai made me understand how much I was fighting against myself, against my injury, against that 15% rather than against the guy in front of me. I know what you will say now: “What?? You do all this mess and then you start running? It’s only legs!” Wrong. When you run the whole body is involved to reach one objective. Legs and feet do the dirty job, but the arms follow the movement and they make it easier, especially when you run on truck and having a rhythm is fundamental. Balance, speed and concentration are everything. Often after a few km my arm starts aching because of the unnatural position I have to hold it in. So I bite the bullet and carry on, I focus, and as I am used to do, I challenge that 15%.

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