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Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is my life

"I'm not like everyone. I don't live like they live. I don't eat what they eat. No donuts. No coffee with cream and two sugars. No morning papers. Its 6:52 am and I'm on my second meal. While everyone else is hitting the snooze, I'm hitting my stride. No coffee breaks. No weekends. No sick days. What do I do? I'm an athlete and yeah, its a job.Only the day doesn't start at 9 and it won't end at 5. It starts from the time I open my eyes to the time I shut them. It's not a 5 day work week. I live it 24/7... This is a job. This is my life."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What you do when nobody is watching is what counts...

There are a couple topics that are fighting in my head today...so first of all I will begin with something that happened this morning,something that has happened before, and something that will be happening in the future as well...

This morning everything was as usual-first some weightlifting and after that we got in the pool. But the coach had to leave earlier( that does not happen very often to her, but you know sometimes everybody needs to make an exception), so we started the practice with her but we had to finish it by ourselves.... Big deal! That does not make any difference to me. I will swim either if she is there or she isn't! But does everybody think that way too? No!

Let me start with a little pre-history. Last year in the summer my coach had to go to a competition out of the country with her daughter.So she wrote everybody all the practices we were supposed to swim for the next three weeks(I have the most amazing coach as I said before. Every day we have two practices, we are about 13people and she writes a different practice for everybody depending on the stroke you swim and the qualities you need to develop, and your weak places....). So she handed a bunch of practices to all of us.

Day one without her...as I said we are about thirteen people...and what was the sight at the pool-11people are staying in the corner of the pool giggling and chatting around and two are swimming... Well I hope there is no need to tell you I was one of the "enthusiasts" that were swimming. And who was the other one? He is one of my teammates. He is an amazing swimmer, and he is preparing for the Olympic games in London in 2012. Hope he makes it. He totally deserves it... but let me keep the story going... day 2...nothing has changed, besides this time people are getting late for the chatting corner...oh, how said...they maybe missed some important news! Hope they could make up with the missed news to the end of the "practice"...so that keeps on repeating on the next day, and the day after that...and like that till the day my coach returned.

And during that time they were always saying...how could we be swimming when the coach is not there. They explained how they did not have the motivation needed and all those stupid bull***t excuses! Needless to say when the competition came all of them swam way below what they were supposed to and see the boy I was talking about earlier did simply AMAZING! Are you still asking why we are swimming?

So today was something like a flashback from the summer described yesterday. I think my coach has just turned her back to the swimming pool when almost everybody stopped swimming and formed the well familiar chatting corner. This time besides me and my the other guy there were three more people swimming! One of them is also preparing for the Olympics and the other two...I was amazed they swam. They are brother and sister. She is about 12 and he is 9 years old. They could simply take the example of the chatting corner participants... but they didn't! So I am really surprised and proud of them, that they did not give in to the temptation of stopping.

So as the others were chatting, one of them told me " I admire you that you are swimming when Teddy(the coach) is not here". I wanted to tell her that to me it does not matter if Teddy is there or not, because I am not swimming for her, I am swimming for myself, because I feel the joy and happiness of swimming...The coach is not there to stay and observe and admire your swimming, so why am I supposed to swim for her like she is an audience and came to watch me... Sure I love when my coach is there and tells me what I am doing wrong but when she is not there I will be still swimming...

I have always been surprised when people act like that...and trust me most of the "athletes" I know are just like that! And you know that a true champion is measured by what he does when nobody is watching... and sure you are supposed to swim no matter who is at the pool, you are supposed to practice not only when the coach is there but even before she gets there and after she leaves if you really wanna achieve something... if you don't want...the there are plenty of restaurants you could go and chat!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A week that changed my life...

I haven't written in a couple days, but I have been pretty busy with practices and the course for personal trainer. So this week has been a turning point in my life! I am so happy I can not even put my happiness in words... Maybe you remember my previous post and how I finally dared to try and swim butterfly... yes...but I think I missed to mention that on Saturday I swam with flippers. So I thought that was gonna be as far as I could go...swim butterfly with flippers but it was still something that made me extremely happy...well the other day I swam butterfly WITHOUT flippers!! And it was just WONDERFUL... I just can not explain the feeling... I was pretty scared to try but my coach said "Go ahead" ...and I just listened to her and went ahead... and when I actually swam without the flippers I was swimming and smiling with the widest smile you have ever seen :) ... my coach said she never saw somebody swim and smile as wide as I did lol ... but for me swimming butterfly is something similar to a person that was told he was never gonna be able to walk again...and then suddenly out of nowhere he decides to try and guess what...he IS able to walk... that is how I am feeling now... I am feeling like a little kid that made his first shot in a basketball game or something like that.... but it is still an amazing feeling... :)

Other than the practices...the course is going so well so far... I am enjoying it so much! It is exactly what I want to do and what I have fun doing. I had a couple assignments this week to make up a couple workout plans and a couple diets for people with different goals...and I did pretty good, I am so excited :) There was also that girl in the gym that was doing flys, but she obviously was doing them wrong and my "teacher" told me to correct her and explain her how to do them... and I did that pretty good too :) not that it is that hard to explain somebody how to do flys... but for me it is something new and it is pretty exciting. On Monday is my exam and if I pass it good I will have my certificate for a personal trainer and then hopefully I will keep on learning and someday become the trainer I dream to be. :) You can't even imagine I already know how my own weightlifting gym is gonna look like, I have even made up the work schedule hahaha I have everything to the last detail...besides the gym itself...lol...but well in the future I hope I will have that one too.

So the summery of this week is that you never know how close you are to success when you are about to give up..so do not let the hard moments to let you down and make you give up on your dreams...just keep pushing until everything falls back to place.. because you know sometimes things should get to the bottom before they get back to where they should be...just be strong and hold on!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Keep that fire burning...

It's been pretty cold these days, so yesterday I decided to spend the whole Sunday at home. I dedicated the Sunday to reading some inspirational stories about people that overcame some great adversities in their lives. And you know what....I was amazed by these people. I've read billions of stories like that and I always think that there isn't anything else that could possibly surprise me...but these people always find a way to touch my heart and make me think deeper about life.
So as I was reading the stories I thought about people that meet obstacles and decide it is easier to just give up on life...and tell you the truth I felt really sorry about them. I do not understand it, how could it be better to quit on life and just exist but not live then to give all you've got and fight with life. I constantly see people that are giving up on their dreams just because someone told them they don't have chance to succeed, people that isolate from the world because a tragedy happened to them and they don't have the strength to keep on living. But how could you let your dream go just because someone said you are incapable of achieving it? You know people will always say things that will hurt you, things you won't agree with... but see it is NOT an obligation for you to take their advice or their words for a final sentence! You have a head on your body and most important a heart in your body that should lead you! Not other people's opinion.
I read about these people that lost their legs, arms and so on....and they never even thought of quitting on life! They kept fighting and they achieved great things, I'd even say miraculous things! Maybe when something bad happens to us we shouldn't spend the rest of our lives asking "Why?", but we should make our weakness our strength and be an inspiration to others. Tell you the truth when I stopped playing basketball because of the injury, I thought life was over for me and that there wasn't anything worth living for...I thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life just existing and never feel happiness again...but I was totally wrong! I used to spend my whole days reading stories about athletes that overcame injuries and still became the best, stories about people doing miraculous things just because they believed....believed in themselves! And I remember a person that told me... that is wrong, you can't find the motivation from the outside it should be inside you...but I disagree with this. Yea surely you can't get motivated if you don't have an inner motivation but sometimes in life everybody gets to the point when you need that sparkle from the outside that is gonna light the match and set you heart on fire. And I think that is what I was looking for... and I think I found it! And I do not want those cold days in my heart back again so I am making sure I keep the fire burning in my heart! So whatever comes to you in life... do not give in... find the sparkle and keep the fire burning!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Written words cannot do justice to the power and significance of the story....


I am just speechless... Make your own conclusions...

One more fear is down!

It's a wonderful day! It all started as every Saturday. I woke up at 5a.m. and later on headed for practice. We had to do some weightlifting and after that get in the pool. I felt pretty tired and there wasn't even a hint that something truly unbelievable was going to happen.
So let me start with a little pre-history. Two years ago, after my last injury I was not able to move my arm at all for about two months. After that I started slowly making really simple moves but I could not lift it higher than parallel to the floor. I used to go to physical therapy for about four months and I remember lying on the bed and the doctor was holding my hand trying to lift it but it was so painful, I could not even think to put my arms all the way up and it was really freaking painful. I remember that when I went to sleep and during the night it happened that I put my hand under the pillow I used to wake up terrified that I would dislocate my shoulder again. I ha d a pretty hard time sleeping. I was too paranoic about my shoulders... Then I started going to the pool just for rehabilitation because it is a lot easier to move your body in the water than on the outside. And after a month of just splashing in the pool I decided swimming was going to be my next challenge. So I started swimming only breaststroke it was a terrible breaststroke. I swam it like my grandma swims in the pool... after that as my shoulder was getting better I dared to swim the freestyle and finally the backstroke. I bet you already noticed I missed the butterfly, and it is not because I think swimming consist of the three strokes above, it is because I never even dared to think I would be able to swim it, it is too much of a pressure for my shoulders and I lost all flexibility in my shoulders. So the first year of swimming I swam only the three strokes and never dreamed of the forth one, but it always seems great when I see my teammates swim butterfly and I really wanted to experience that feeling too. So at the end of the last swimming season I decided I was gonna start with baby steps to overcome my fears. I started slowly doing some flexibility exercises and it was really painful and when you add the paranoic fear of injuring my shoulders it was kind of hard but I kept taking baby steps. And as times goes by I am getting more flexible. So lately the idea of daring to swim butterfly won't give me a break. I've been trying to fight with my fear since August and I never come to the decision to try it. But last week I asked my coach if she thinks I will be able to swim butterfly and she said that my shoulders are much stronger now and might be able to. But then we had a pretty hard practice and she said my arms are pretty tired now so we better postpone the butterfly. And tell you the truth that kind of got me back to my hesitations and fears, so I thought maybe it is not meant to be. And today I was just going to get out of the pool when my coach told me to try swimming butterfly. I was kind of excited but in the same time the fear was conquering me again. Well I did not pay attention to it this time, because butterfly is a hidden dream of mine and it was now or never... and a minute later I was swimming butterfly. The first stroke was not too confident I dragged my arms over the water and then I dared to lift them higher and it came out pretty good. I was so happy and excited. And my coach was too. She said I was doing pretty good, and she said she is proud of me and what I achieved for the two years I have been practicing. So today I can count one more fear down... Yes :) I am so excited I am beating these fears one by one...slowly but surely! Now I feel more confident in myself, that kind of lifted me up a little bit 'cause lately I've been down on myself. I know it may look a really minor thing to you and that it does not deserve this long post, but to me it is another top conquered!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The desire to quit is like a food craving...

Today I had a hard practice again. And it was not that the practice itself was so extremely hard, it was the fact that I keep torturing myself. I know everybody has ups and downs, and that you have to fail many times in order to achieve what you want but sometimes I just flow with the stream and kind of feel like I do not have the strength to swim against the stream... Today it was again my breaststroke that was torturing me, and I realize that the main reason all this is happening is because I am really tired and in order to compensate for my strength I change the technique. The first two kilometers of the practice were unbearable. It was not my body...it was my soul crying. I felt really really down. I was feeling an unbearable feeling to just quit and leave everything behind... but in the same time I was trying so freaking hard to beat that feeling and not let the desperation to conquer me... I fought with this feeling for half of the practice, and then suddenly it was gone... So I am thinking you know when you have a food craving and you are trying really hard to not give in to it, and it is torturing you but in like 10 or 15minutes it is gone...today I realized that it is kind of the same with the desire to give up, the desire to quit...if you fight with it and do not let it to get too deep into you it will be gone soon... So when you feel really down like me, do not give in to the temptation to quit!Fight it! And finally you will win over it and you will feel much stronger!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's hard to practice but it's harder not to

On Monday I started attending classes for a personal instructor. It is a dream of mine that I really wanna fulfill! So I decided I have to stop postponing it, and make the first step towards my goal. So if everything is going the way it should be in two weeks I will have a certificate for a personal trainer. I attend the classes everyday for about two hours. The first day were the chest and shoulder exercises,yesterday it was biceps, triceps and forearm. When I have to do the exercises I am not supposed to use some heavy weights, but it is still two hours of exercising. Besides these two hours, I go to the pool every morning at six o'clock, I tie the bends for the bench in front of the pool, and practice.After that at 7a.m. I get in the pool swim for about an hour and forty five minutes. And then in the afternoon after the weightlifting classes I go to the pool again and swim again an hour and forty five minutes. And now it is the part of the swimming season when practices are the hardest and all this is really killing me.Today while I had a really really hard practice, I was struggling a lot in the pool, I felt exhausted and I was thinking why am I doing this to myself. I know I am a masochist... and maybe destroying yourself is part of masochism but it does not feel right. And then after the practice on my way home I kept thinking about this and concluded that practicing is a hard thing but it is a lot harder for me not to practice. So I know I will feel tired and exhausted so many times in the future but it is easier for me to overcome the pain of exhaustion rather then the pain of not doing what I love.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Enjoythe simple things in life

There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
--Carl Jung

The other day I went out with a friend of mine. We were talking about life and things that happen. And he said -"you know you can't be happy all your life, could you? Life is fool of suffering!"... I thought for a little bit and then replied him that you could be happy if you learn to enjoy all the little things in life. If you know how to do this then you will always have a reason to be happy no matter what else happens. You know...there will always be something that is not going the way you want it to be but this should not bother you.You should find the strength to enjoy a smile, a nice gesture, the nature, the stars because if you are always busy chasing big things and don't pay attention to the little, one day when you catch that "big thing" you will have nothing left to enjoy... and that is the sadness in life, that we always aim high, but when we reach our goal we feel just a momentum of happiness and then we just get used to it and don't enjoy it... SO think what makes you happy and enjoy it. I myself love when I see the neighbor early in the morning and he smiles back at me and says "Good morning"- that just makes my day. I love late night walks, I love watching the stars or the sunrise... these are some really simple things and we are so used to them that we do not pay attention to them, but if we don't have them-we have nothing...so enjoy them!
For example before the first time I injured my shoulder I never thought what a privilege it is to have two arms, and when I dislocated my shoulder I had to wear a brace for two months, and I could use only one of my arms, and I realized how hard it was to do so many simple things like tie my shoes or tie my hair... so after I got healthy I am always thankful that I am able to do all these little things! SO don't take anything for granted,enjoy everything you possibly could no matter how simple it is!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Every one has a special ability,and because of that there are no disabilities!

"God made me blind and unable to walk. Big deal. He gave me the ability, the musical gifts I have."
-Patrick Henry

How often have you heard somebody complain how he could not do something, and how hard it was, how many obstacles he had to do it and all these lame excuses. Well next time you see somebody like that or think to be one of them remember the story aboutDustin Carter(the one in the video clip). It is people like him that are truely an inspiration and that can always help people in tough moments. When you fail in something and you think you are not worth anything remember to always follow YOUR passion and the road you were born to walk will reveal itself. Every single one of us has a special ability. And because of that, there are no disabilities.

Gabby you are amazing!

So, I decided to share with you one story, and let me tell you that is not a horror movie it is a real life story. It is a story about my twin sister. Her name is Gabriela Subashka. Since we were kids she has always been a little overweighed. She just loved food, and what could be worse when you love food and have a grandmother that thinks eating what she cooked equals how much you loved her. So when you are little you wanna show your grandmother how much you love her, and Gabby never skipped a chance to do it. So as we grew up my dad was always having fights with grandma about stuffing Gabby with all these cakes and sweets and etc. , but she did never take it too personal and kept doing it. Dad was constantly telling Gabby that she should not eat so much, because it is not healthy and she could have serious health problems. Dad knew exactly what he was talking about because he lost my mom(she died from anorexia when we were little). Well maybe now you understand why grandma was stuffing us with food-she thought that she does not want the same that happened to mom to happen with me and Gabby. But she did not realize that exactly what she was doing was gonna push Gabby in the world of bulimia and anorexia. So the years went by and Gabby was putting on weight. When we were fourteen she fell in love with one guy. And you know that at that age boys appreciate you mainly by your appearance and I think that was the first time she met the weight problem issue. Then when we were sixteen, Gabby and I went to play basketball in the United States. We were separated and we lived in different states. Her host dad had business with ice cream and her host aunt worked in a place they sell donuts, so both of them made sure they had tons of ice cream and donuts at home, and the whole family took advantage of the treats, including Gabby. So after a year in the states Gabby came back home 20kg more than she was before she went to the States. That is when my parents decided to take everything in their hands. They made Gabby a diet. It was a really healthy one and she lost about 25kilograms and everything seemed so good.
On the team my sister was playing there were two twin sisters. They used to be pretty overweight too and after that they lost tons of weight in a really short period of time. They became models and they were playing basketball in the same time. My sister used to be one of their best friends, and that is what got her to the bottom. They were both struggling with anorexia and they slowly but surely convinced my sister to follow them. And don’t get me wrong on that one, I am not telling that it is not her fault she was too weak to be patient and loose the weight slower but healthier, but these two girls really influenced her bad. At first she started doing the same thing like them- she ate just a couple apples a day and that was all. My parents started noticing it and told her billions of times to stop it….so she really did stop it but suddenly tons of food started disappearing at home, and everybody thought that I ate them(‘cause I practice a lot and I eat a lot) so that did not bother anybody till the day my mom caught my sister in the bathroom throwing up and her eyes were full of tears. Then my mom decided to tell dad about my sister throwing up and he had a really long talk with Gabby. He told her what would happen if she keeps on doing it and that if she has decided to kill herself there are way easier and less painful ways to do it. He even took my mom’s diaries( her diaries she wrote before she died) and let Gabby read them. And it looked like she understood and like she was gonna get better. But, I think I forgot to tell you she was a good liar and she was hiding herself pretty good. So as you are guessing she kept on throwing up, after a while she changed the “tactic” and she stopped eating. She went from bulimia to anorexia.
Usually during the day my parents work and I am either practicing or I have classes and there isn’t anybody home . And Gabby took advantage of this- she was not eating at all and when you ask her if she ate she always said yes and she explained how much she have eaten. Another thing she was doing was she was eating but really small pieces and when you ask her what she ate she would recite a long long list of things she ate so that it looked like she ate the world….
Finally my parents understood that the tactic to be nice and understanding to her was not the right one. They told her they were giving her one more chance and they were sending her in a clinic for people suffering from anorexia. That did not look to bother her either…she kept doing it. Finally my dad grounded her and forbid her to get out of the house, he took her car, he did not let her talk on the phone with anybody, he stopped her internet, everything, he even stopped talking to her( I think that was the thing that bothered her the most). So the days went by and Gabby kept doing these stupid things and kept lying. I remember one day at lunch I was going to eat with her and I went to the kitchen just for a second to grab myself a fork, and she was supposed to eat a slice of bread( my mom used to prepare all her food for the day that she was supposed to eat, and dad said that there MUST BE ALWAYS SOMEBODY on the table with Gabby, so that we could make sure she ate everything)… so she was supposed to eat that bread, but on the table there was a plate with scrambled bread for the birds, and Gabby used the fact I was in the kitchen to put her bread in the plate for the birds, and the worst thing was that a couple hours ago she lied again she ate her breakfast and while I was in the kitchen I was asking her why she did it…and imagine how I was talking to her about the mess she did in the morning, and I was thinking she was listening to me…then I go to the table and I see her putting her bread for the birds…
Well besides everything we did nothing seemed to help, my dad even thought to stop working and stay all day long at home with her and follow her everywhere so she could not do stupid stuff.
She used to take laxatives and there is these chocolates that have laxatives in them. And she used to eat them so she would throw away all the food she ate. And my parents did not let her eat them, so she would hide them. She used to hide them in one jewelry bag and one time I opened the door and I saw her eating the chocolate and I went to tell my parents. And when I came back she was just coming from the balcony in case you are not guessing what happened-she threw the chocolate through the balcony so she could tell she did not eat anything. And she went to my dad and said I was lying. And it was late at night. I took a torch and went outside and found the chocolate and gave it to my dad. He did not know what he could do…he tried everything so he told her that he is searching for a clinic and he is sending her there. And since that night he stopped talking to her, I also did because it was really mean how she always said I was lying that she was throwing up or eating the chocolates or throwing the food in the trash. Tell you the truth I hated it that I have to tell everything to my parents I felt terrible but I knew she was sick and I wanted to help her. I think that when dad and I stopped talking to her that was the turning point.
I was supposed to stay with her all the time and follow her everywhere, so after my practice ended I was supposed to go immediately at home, I could not go out with friends or something like that. What she was doing was ruining not only her life but the life of the whole family. And one day I could not take anymore and we were just me and her at home I took the dog for a walk and I was crying and came back home but I was so sad I could not stop crying and I saw her jumping in the hallway ( because she used to practice to exhaustion so she could burn every single calorie, she even did not use buses she used to walk all through the town so she would burn calories all the time, and my parents forbid her to practice but she used when there was nobody home and she started practicing). And when I came back home and saw her doing this I couldn’t help it but crying and I looked at her and told her “ Are you kidding me?” And she looked perplexed and asked me why I was crying. I told her “Are you really wondering why?”. She told me if it was that big of a problem that she was practicing she will stop and she stopped. I went in the room and told her that it might sound selfish but it is right about time for her to start thinking what she was doing not only to herself but to everybody around her. I told her that she was making my parent’s life unbearable, she was literally destroying my father, I told her that these are supposed to be my best years and I could not live them because I had to stay home and babysit her all the time, and don’t get me wrong I told her I do not mind doing it but if I saw that she was trying to get better and she was not doing anything to get better and that was what was driving me nuts. And then I took my bag and went to practice. And after that day I think she realized what she was doing and she was improving a lot. She started eating more, stopped puking and taking laxatives. And since then she is getting better every day. She is still having some mental problems, I mean she is thinking if she is fat or not, if she looks good, sometimes when she eats more she feels guilty, but everything is way better than it was.
I wanna say that I am proud of Gabby for getting back on the road, because you know everybody slips from the road sometimes but what is important is to find the strength to get back on it and keep on living. These mistakes are what build our character and our personality. It is said that most of the time we should get to the bottom in order to find the way to the top but as long as we never stop chasing the top everything will be all right!
I want to tell Gabby that I love her sooooooooooooooooo much and that I will always be beside her no matter what she did, what she does or what she is going to do, and that she is an amazing person and has an enormous potential to do great things in life and it is not worth ruining this potential. So Gabby you are the best sister I could ask for! Keep on fighting with life and don’t let anything put you down. You are stronger than you believe! And you look just brilliant!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If people will matter most then,shouldn't they matter most now/

Over the past few years not only my life changed a lot but also my view of life. I have always been the kind of person that hides my emotions, and I used to look pretty heartless. Deep inside I never was but my actions looked as I was one. My priority was always basketball and everything else was after that. It is killing me to say it but even my family was in the background. I always used to put first playing in this game or the other one, winning that championship, going to that practice, my speed, my jumping abilities everything that had to do with basketball. I was not going out pretty much...I did not have the time to I was in the gym 24/7. I THOUGHT I had a lot of friends. Everybody wanted to be my friend, you know how it is when you are a star, everybody loves you and they are all your best friends. But I guess I was way younger to know it back then. So when I injured and I stopped playing, all these tons of friends were not there anymore. There were only three people and my family that stayed with me when the rest of the world walked out and left me. Their names are Emilia Yancheva, Stefka Miteva and Aleksander Nikolov. They were the people that gave me strenght all along the journey and never let me give up.
Emi has been my best friend for the past 8 years. I remember the first time I met her, we did not get along good-NOT AT ALL! I could never think that one day she would be my best friend, but with time we got to know each other and we've been best friends since then. She has always supported me and never let me think to give up! She is an amazing person. She always encourages me, she is also a really funny person she can always make you laugh. We went through a lot with her. I remember one European championship-it was the worst championship in the world and the coaches were awful and thank God Emi was there otherwise I would have gone crazy.So I wanna say thank you Emi!!!I love you!
Stefi- here it was kind of the same. We did not like each other too much at the beginning but then we went to a camp with the national team, and there we became really close. She is a great person, she is kinda like me a little strange so that is why we get along! I remember when I injured she came and said "If you are expecting me to be sorry for you like everybody else you are WRONG, 'cause I am not gonna do that but I will always be there for you and you are strong enough to get over it". Tell you the truth she was the person I did not expect that will be besides me because the last couple months before my injury we were not really close but you know how sometimes the people you least expect help you to stand up when you are falling down.
And last but not least is Asho. I know him since first grade. We were not that close while we were studying together but later on in high school we met at the gym-he also played basketball. He is also really supportive. I remember one of my injuries(the one before the last injury). I was in the hospital and it was late at night and nobody could be there with me because the doctors did not let them stay there. And Asho stayed awake all night long and texted me-he wrote me exactly 52tesxt messages with all kind of funny messages so I won't be sad, he also called me a couple times and he really made one of the longest nights in my life a little brighter and easier. Back then(cause that was a serious injury too) I though I would never come back on the court as good as I was 'cause I had to rest for about six months, and I remember what he told me: "Six months are a long time but dreams are stronger so you will do it". These words used to echo in my head for a long time after that.
So they are all amazing people and thanks to them and the injury and everybody that left me I realized that it is not important how many friends you have in your life but the quality of your friends! And the quality of the friends I have... I could not ask for more. And add my family-my sister and my parents, that also gave me big support and even if they do not always approve what I am doing they never stopped me and always supported me. So I wanna say THANK YOU to all of them.
After the injury staying in my room crying for about an year and staring at all those medals and awards I have, I realized that what I was striving for while I was playing(those stupid medals and awards-just useless trash) was now just making my life harder, and did not help me much to overcome the pain, and see people is what helped me and what gave me strength to keep going... So think over this one-When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want?Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame?Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car?Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not.What will matter then will be people. If relationships will... matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now?
And next time when you think that exam, or work or whatever is more important then your friends and family, remember what I asked you to think about!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are you scared to admit you are proud of yourself?

How often do you feel proud of yourself? And do you feel proud at all?!. Nowadays being proud of yourself and showing it equals showing off...and that is a really wrong understanding. Stop for a while and think what makes you feel proud of yourself. Then when you figure that out, go ahead and do it and don't be ashamed to show it.
Usually when you feel proud of somebody else you always show it out loud, but when you feel proud of yourself you just hide those emotions in yourself and hardly share them with somebody. I've been like that my whole life. When I played basketball I used to get tons of compliments after the games how good I played, and I got frustrated and used to always put my head down(like I commit a crime) and quietly say "Thank you, but it could be better!" ... I remember one time I scored 52points, got 32rebounds, and 10steals, plus a couple assists... and you know that you do not make a triple double every day... so I could be proud of myself...but was I? Deep inside I was, but I was scared to show it or share it with somebody, 'cause they might have gotten it wrong and think I was showing off... I always felt that showing I am proud of myself is boastful and immodest. Tell you the truth it feels good to see others appreciate what you have done, but as I grow older I find out that it is not that important what other people think, and what other people value and if you are going to make them proud of you or etc, the most important is to feel content with yourself and proud of yourself, because the worst thing that could happen to you is to be disappointed with yourself. So at the end of the day when you go to bed, take a breath and think what did you do today that made you proud of yourself and don’t be scared to admit it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Give me reason but don't give me choice 'cause I will make the same mistake again..

"Your greatest strength often becomes your greatest weakness"
I really like this quote and if you think a little bit about it, you will find it is so TRUE! Sometimes when you are really motivated to achieve something, when we feel that burning desire to succeed, we never stop for a while and look around us and analyze everything that is happening to us. We are just so much into the idea of reaching our goal, that we don't care about anything else.
That quote could be something like a summary of my life. I am a pretty ambitious person, I'd say I am an overachiever. I always aim high, and I am so concentrated on the things I want to achieve that I become blind to everything around me.
If you give yourself a time to think, you will realize that for example before a real bad injury got you down, you had some other signs this was going to happen-maybe some pain or other kind of discomfort. But you were always too busy chasing your dreams to stop and give yourself a rest,right?
I've done this mistake over and over again, and I keep doing it, and tell you the truth as scary as this may sound I am sure I will keep doing it in the future! I have dislocated my shoulders 6times, but I only "count" four of them, because the other two injuries seem nothing to me compared to the four bad dislocations I had. Every time before I got an injury there were always some signs that something was not right and I had to give myself a rest, so I could come back even better than before, but was I paying attention to them? NO! I was always busy dreaming about being the first woman in Bulgaria that is gonna dunk, about playing in WNBA, about being an all-star and so on... it was such an obsession. Even when I got seriously injured and the doctors said for example I can't play for six months, I gave myself four and started again( don't get me wrong, I actually never stopped, when I injured my right shoulder I used to go to the gym with the shoulder brace and practice my dribble with my left hand, practice my shooting with my left hand...so I never stopped, even when I was not supposed to even think to step in the gym). During that time I already realized how I was pushing my luck way too much and that what I was doing was not right but it was just some inner drive, it was an obsession and I felt pretty helpless in front of it...and I still do. Sometimes I am so exhausted I know that if I have a rest I will feel better and that my practices will go better than now but I just can't stop... it feels like somebody has pushed the autopilot button and has plugged out the button that can stop that autopilot.... So don't be like me...find the strength to beat that inner drive that is destroying you or you may not go as far as you could... and for me.... I'd say "give me reason but don't give me choice, 'cause I will MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN!".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I've been knocking myself down, but not anymore!

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don't give up."

Yesterday at practice, I was swimming and my breaststroke technique was not the way I wanted it to be. Lately I have been struggling a little bit in the pool and sometimes I feel so weak and helpless. I am a pretty optimistic person, I'd say I usually fight with windmills like Don Kihot does, so I always find the strength to get up when I fall down, but for the past two or three months I have been trying really hard to get back up and when I am just about to get on my feet I knock myself down again! Yesterday while I was struggling with my breaststroke, a thought I hate passed through my mind- the thought of giving up. Lately that thought is conquering my mind almost every day, and I just hate it. So yesterday when I thought about giving up , I got really mad at myself and told myself that I did not overcome all these hardships, I did not put all that hard work to get to the point I am now to just give up in front of some stupid obstacle. I told myself that I am a strong person and I never give in to hardships and I am not doing it this time either.I also thought that the pain I am feeling now ain't nothing compared to the pain I used to feel before and that is why I will make it through! And you know what- IT HELPED! By the end of the practice I was so mad at myself that I put that ferocity in my swimming and I swam pretty good! So I think I am strong again and I won't let the weakness conquer me again!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NO donuts for me

Today was again a beautiful day, so I decided to go out for a walk with some friends. We decided to go and get some coffee. Then some of my friends decided they felt like having some donuts so we went to Dunkin' Donuts. All of my friends got donuts and I got just a coffee. The whole time they were talking about these delicious donuts and the cream or the chocolate they were filled with. And I am not gonna lie to you I really felt the taste of these donuts, and it really sounded great to me, but I know that the good taste is just at the beginning and that these 5minutes of pleasure are not worth all the other efforts I make to have the body I want, so they did not tempt me to eat them. I am really trying hard to eat as healthy as I could, every morning I eat something sweet, I really would like to stop eating sweets at all in the future, but I think it is better to have a little chocolate in the morning then eat the whole supermarket after a week without it, so for now that is a step forward to a healthier life for me. I am taking baby steps and chasing a long term goal for a healthy lifestyle... so NO donuts for me :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Always be your best

When you think it doesn't matter
if you fail or pass the test
keep in mind the reason why
you should always be your best.
While the whole world may not notice
if you tried to give your all,
there is a person in you
to whom it matters if you fall.
That little voice inside you
which directs your thoughts each day-
will make the final judgment
if you won or lost each day.
Never can you fail yourself
if you give it all you've got.
The world extends a hand to you
when you give life your best shot.
For all that really matters
when you're finished with your test,
is not the final score at all-
but did you do your best?

Keep doing what you are good at..

I just watched the crossfit movie Every second counts ... the one about the 2008 Crossfit Games. I am not going to lie every second of that movie is worth watching! These are examples of what real athletes are. Nothing can stop them. But most of all I liked the end of the movie. That guy that won Jason Khalipa... if you have seen the movie, maybe you noticed how at the end everybody was surprised by his victory. Nobody has heard of him before and even one of the judges said that the first day he saw Jason, he thought that this guy shouldn't be among all these "machines". But you see that it does not matter who have heard of you, who believes in you, and what other people think of you, as long as you keep doing what you are good at and have confidence in yourself, the results will come and then be sure EVERYBODY will know your name!

Because of people like her miracles happen all year long...

Today is a beautiful day. I had a pretty good practice and the weather is great too. When you look outside and you see that sun shining there is nothing else left for your soul but to shine too. So today I wanna say thank you to one person that completely changed my life and gave me a chance nobody else did! That person is my swimming coach. Her name is Teodora Pantova. She is really an amazing and extraordinary person.
I remember the first time I met her. She came through the door with a big smile. She looked at me and said: " Oh you are a really tall one" and smiled. I told her I wanted to practice swimming. I was 19 years old, and everybody else said there was no way I could become a swimmer at that age and that it was a waste of time. So I thought that were gonna be exactly the words she would tell me... was I right? NO! She said "OK", no problem. I thought that she was just saying it and that I will start practicing there and she won't pay any attention to me and she won't care if I swam correctly...but I was lying myself again...she DID care...she always cares about every single person in the swimming pool even if he is the best swimmer in the pool or just somebody enjoying swimming. She always tries to help everybody reach their potential. And that is what I love. She is a person that "believes in fairy tales" and has a really strong faith that hard work and dedication will take you to the top.
She was the person that helped me stand up, when I fell pretty hard, I fell in a hole, and instead of trying to get back up I was just digging deeper...but after the day I met her she helped me get out of that hole and begin again. I do not think that she realizes how much she did for me but she truely saved my life and gave me a chance to start my life over, and see that there is much more to life than basketball and that when one dreams shatters another could take its place. Before I used to ask myself why did this happen to me. I thought it is bullshit when people say that every bad thing happens for a reason... but as time passes I figured out the true meaning of it...and believe me there is always a reason for everything that happens in life! If my life hasn't gone the way it did I would have never met these amazing people like my coach and some of my teammates, and they really make my life happy and worthwhile. Because of people like them miracles happen all year long not only on Christmas! So I wanna say THANK YOU for making my soul shine even on a cloudy day!

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Do not panic"

As the days go by, I see more people giving up on their dreams just because they met an obstacle, I see more people saying “this is impossible” just because they are scared to do it and think others can’t either. Well today I will tell you the story of Natalie Du Toit, hope after you read it there will be more people that will stick with their dreams, and never listen to somebody saying “this is impossible.”

Natalie was born in Cape Town, South Africa and has been competing internationally in swimming since the age of 14.Du Toit lost her leg when she was hit by a car while riding her motor scooter in 2001. She recalls being in excruciating pain after the accident and not being able to feel her left leg, but she doesn't remember going to the hospital. Doctors put du Toit in a hyperbaric chamber in the hopes that her muscles would regenerate, but when that was unsuccessful they told her they would have to amputate the leg. Du Toit then remembers waking up and asking her mother when the operation would be, but her mother told her it had already happened.

Back in the pool after six months, du Toit never considered giving up the sport. A year later, having learnt to compensate for her lost limb with a greater use of her left arm, she stole the show at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. She won the 50m and 100m freestyle races for disabled swimmers and qualifying for the final of the 800m freestyle on the main programme. At the closing ceremony she received the David Dixon Award as the outstanding athlete of the Games, ahead of Ian "Thorpedo" Thorpe with his six swimming golds.She first tried open water swimming at a race in Egypt in 2002 but, despite winning the 5k, called it a negative experience. At the time, du Toit was training mainly for sprints in the pool and was totally unprepared for such long distances. But the 10k was added to the Olympic program in 2005, and du Toit eventually realized that could provide her another opportunity to make the Olympics. She only really began to focus on open water in 2007, but having been a distance swimmer for several years, took to the sport quickly.
Du Toit followed her older brother, Andre, into swimming as a child, and she never played any other sports. She narrowly missed qualifying for the South African team in Sydney, which was before her accident, in the 200m butterfly, 200m IM and 400m IM. She was closest in the 200m IM, where she said she missed the qualifying standard by about one second. Only 16 at the time, du Toit was considered a serious contender for 2004 and 2008.
Du Toit qualified for Beijing by finishing fourth in the 10k at the 2008 Open Water Worlds, where the top 10 finishers automatically earned Olympic berths. "That was a big surprise," she said of the finish. "I didn't expect to finish fourth. I didn't think I'd be top 10 at all." At the time, du Toit had competed in three open water races internationally to prepare for Worlds. But she had been putting in more training than ever and said she was prepared for the race both physically and mentally. And, three-quarters through the race, du Toit noticed she was in the top 4 or 5. "I was still feeling good, so it was just my mentality to keep up there and keep going and sprint," she said. "It's just a lot of training that went into it, and I was mentally prepared to go out there and really want something."
Of everything du Toit has learned when it comes to open water swimming, she highlights one point as the most important: "You musn't panic," she said. "You're going to get hit and you're going to get dunked, but don't panic." And in the 10k, which is a two-hour race, there are plenty of chances to panic. But now du Toit is prepared for those instances. "It comes with practice," she said.
She also made sporting history by qualifying for the 800 m able-bodied freestyle final - the first time that an athlete with a disability had qualified for the final of an able-bodied event.
In 2003, competing against able-bodied swimmers, Du Toit won gold in the 800 metres freestyle at the All-Africa Games as well as silver in the 800 metres freestyle and bronze in the 400 metres freestyle at the Afro-Asian Games.

In conclusion if you are wondering what Natalie thinks about everything that she went through… here is the answer-'I don't think of myself as being disabled, or able-bodied. I just want to be myself and go for my own dreams and goals'
So next time you meet un obstacle remember that the bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn.

Why are you trying to FIT IN, when you were born to STAND OUT!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just random thoughts about my sports addiction...

I often think about the word addiction. What does it really mean?
Dictionary says:
ADDICTION- is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence.
As you look around yourself, you will be surprised to find out that every single person has some kind of addiction, whether it is gonna be alcohol,drugs,food,cleaning,sport and etc.
There are always some reasons hidden deep in yourself for your own addiction. For example my addiction are sports. It is really an obsession. I realize that fact but I can't change it or most likely I do not want to change it. It is something that I feel is making my life worthwhile, something that is making me happy. I can't explain the feeling when I go to bed at night and as crazy as it may sounds I can't wait to fall asleep and get up in the morning and go to practice.
Everything started when I was 3years old. My uncle and my dad used to take me skiing with them. I loved the snow and the mountain. I practiced this sport about 6-7years.In the same time I practiced karate. I sucked at it! I did karate for about 8months, and the only belt I had was the white one,and before you think "Well at least you had some belt" , I will tell you that you did not have to do anything to get the white belt, they just give it to you when you start practicing, then you have to go to competitions to actually win the next color! Then I started practicing volleyball,ain't gonna lie I found it extremely boring, 'cause the coach always threw us the ball and never showed us how to use it, so we were just standing stationary throwing the ball to each other...So I did not stick too long with that either! One day I was just hanging around in the neighborhood when a really tall, muscular man came to me and told me he was a track coach and asked if he could talk to my parents. Well, he did talk to them and I started doing track. God, that was even worse than volleyball... So as you already know... I quit track too. A month passed and I saw the track coach and he told me: "When are you gonna start coming to practice again?", and I told him I wanted to play basketball. He said "Ok" tomorrow at 6 o'clock come to the basketball gym. And that is when everything started. I was almost 13 and I walked into that basketball gym, and I just fell in love with that sport. It was such an obsession for 6 years. I gave everything I have got on that court, I was playing with my whole heart every single minute I was on the court. I won numerous individual awards, numerous recognitions, and numerous medals, and most of all I was so happy doing what I loved! Then the injuries started coming, but in case you forgot I am sport addicted, and you know when you are addicted you do not stop to think if you should leave your addiction for a while and then when you are good to go come back, or even if that thought goes through your mind you do not pay too much attention to it and ignore it. So, that is exactly what I did every time I injured myself worse and worse and I always ignored the thought of stopping for a little longer till I recover and then step back on the court... so when you push your luck too much sometimes it just slips away. That is what happened to me-my luck slipped away and I injured myself so bad that I had to forget for basketball, all my dreams, all my plans for the future...
Then after a long time of depression...you know what happens when you can't get what you are addicted to...it just ruins you... I tried weightlifting. It is cool but it is not exactly what I love doing, the feeling that you get before every game, during the game, after it...it is just not there, and I think that is what I was addicted to...that feeling you get from winning and loosing... So I decided I was gonna take what I am addicted to whatever it costs me! And that is when I headed to the swimming pool. The beginning was pretty hard(but I will talk about it some other day). Then as the days went by I started to fall for the blue sport and now I think I am right where I was with basketball, besides the fact that I am not that good of a swimmer as I was a basketball player, but that does not make me less addicted to it.

SOmetimes I stop and think why do I do all of this. Why do I practice so hard. Yea, it is obvious that I love it, and it makes me feel good about myself, and happy and so on... but there must be something else that drives me...something hidden somewhere deep inside...and as I dig deeper in my feelings I have found that there REALLY IS a reason I am doing it. You know how the addiction fills some whole you have in your life, something missing... well every time I feel sad or frustrated or I just do not feel good I NEED to practice in order to feel better. Every time I have a problem I hide from it...I particularly run from it when I go to that pool and swim... I know that won't solve the problem but that is still a couple hours that my mind is free of the weight, it is some kind of meditation to me, something that always helps! And yea, I know addiction is not good, and that someday I might loose swimming too(that is what scares me), but I am also sure that I will fill that whole with another sport...and that will be to the end of my life...I will just fill the wholes one sport left with another one... and tell you the truth for me that is the best cure! When you lose something you try to fill it's lack with something similar, so you will be safe and secure...that is how I feel when I am practicing-I feel safe and secure, I feel life is great, and there is no reason to be bothered by something... I just love it! And I bet there are so many people that are just like me-addicted to sports, and maybe they also meet that disagreement from people around them...but who cares...that is what MAKES ME HAPPY...it ain't supposed to MAKE OTHERS HAPPY!

For those that always look for the easy way...

Yesterday I had half a day off practice and I used it too meet with some of my old basketball teammates. We went to a cafe and talked for 2 or 3hours. We chatted a little bit about what all of us are doing now-some are studying,some are working and others are just waiting for life to pass! There is one of them that has always been extremely overweight and always talks how she wants to lose these pounds. So yesterday when she heard I was a lot into sports and nutrition she immediately said here is a pen and a paper write me a diet. I am not gonna lie to you I have known her for a while and just one meet with a person is enough to tell you if that person can be dedicated to something and follow a nutrition or an exercise plan, and tell you the truth she is definitely not one of them. But well it does not cost me anything to try and help her, so I started asking her what she usually eats, when she eats and so on, so I could make her up a diet that won't be that strict at the beginning, cause if you put her on a strict diet, I bet she will quit in two days. Well she was not really helping me making her the menu, she wasn't really serious about it, she asked why am I SACRIFICING all those great tastes of food. I told her that for me it is not a sacrifice, and that I am eating everything I want and everything I like and I don't feel the lack of something. Then she became really serious and said " Look, that is how I see life. It is so short, and all those minor things are what make up life, they are the pleasure in life, it is a feast to me to sit on the table and eat for hours all those chocolates, and cakes and...". That is when I interrupted her and told her that this is the problem. Food ain't supposed to be a feast! It is a fuel for your body. Yea you might feel pleasure eating it(nothing wrong with that) , but just eat as much as you need, and find other stuff that make you feel like you are celebrating. Then she continued talking similar stuff about food and what a pleasure it is to be stuffing yourself with it, and I knew there was no need for me to try too hard to make her up a nutrition plan, 'cause anyways she wouldn't follow it. Besides that happens really often. I have tons of friends that see me bring all those boxes and eat eggs,stakes and etc. and get motivated to get in shape and ask me how. When I explain them, they look really frustrated and say "And that is what I should eat to the end of my life?" ... that always surprises me, because you eat from everything you just have to eat it at the right time and the right amounts in order to be in good shape, so I do not see the problem to "eat this to the end of my life". It always happens like that you ask us for advice about diet and training and usually we offer some guidance and some advices, but deep inside we know you won't take it seriously. I bet you know it too! We know that 99% of people that ask us for advice won't listen to us. Once they hear that it takes hard work, dedication and some discipline they stop listening and tune us out! Haven't you heard that the less traveled path is usually what would take you somewhere??? And that the easy things will make life a lot harder in future? Well, maybe you heard it, but did not understand it...Too bad for you...everybody has the right to choose, I hope more people will make better choices in future! Respect to everybody that has chosen the path less traveled and has done something with his life!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

There isn't I CAN NOT, there is I DO NOT WANT!

Lately I have been feeling pretty tired even exhausted. Every time the practice starts I wonder how I am gonna finish it. Sometimes it is more like a torture than a pleasure but practicing is still something that I can't stop doing otherwise I am risking to leave a whole in my life for a while. Besides my shoulder injuries are constantly reminding me of themselves...like I am gonna forget them...and the past couple days the pain in my left shoulder is killing me. Yesterday at practice I had like half a mile to swim and I was gonna get finished with the practice when one of my teammates said to me "Why don't you just tell the coach your shoulder is hurting and get done with the practice?". I looked at her and said " I swam 2,5 miles so far and you think I am gonna quit the last half?" ... I am constantly struggling with some kind of discomfort in the pool either it is gonna be some pain or exhaustion and every time I feel like quitting or like I can't go any further I keep telling myself-" There isn't I CAN NOT,there is I DO NOT WANT" and keep pushing. I am always surprised how further you can go when you think you have reached you limits. Every time that horrible thought of quitting conquers my mind I think about what I've done so far and how much harder it was at the beginning and if I made it that far I can go further. It also helps to think about people like Josh Hamilton for example(I recommend you read his biography book-"Beyond belief") or Lance Armstrong. They are both one of my favorite athletes. When I feel some pains I always think how their pain was at least 10times bigger than mine and even this did not stop them pursuing the life they dreamed of. So next time you feel like quitting just push harder and go over the limitations!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why are you giving a 100% every single day..

People constantly ask me one question that is totally driving me nuts! They always ask why I am working out so hard in swimming practice if I am not gonna become an Olympic or a World champion?!. Well I am sick of people with limited views about life. Why should you become an Olympic champion to give everything you’ve got? Can’t you just be driven from the desire to see how far you can go and be the best you can? I think that everybody should give a 100% all the time and get the best things he possibly could. For example for the 80year old lady with the walking stick, climbing the stairs to the second floor might be an incredible achievement, but would that be an achievement to you? NO,but that does not mean that you should underestimate her efforts and every time you see her you ask her “Why are you wasting your time climbing the stairs, if you are not going to the last floor…?”
Besides, you never know how things are gonna go in life, today you might look like a midjet to the world and tomorrow you might become the bumble bee… You never know what you can be if you don’t try hard enough.. You know that mind controls the body,and mind is UNLIMITED! So…that means your abilities to achieve what you want are UNLIMITED!

Talking about it ain't taking you there

Every morning I get up at 5a.m. Some days even before 5 o'clock. I go to the pool around 6a.m. and it is still locked. But that does not bother me at all. I take the bands and the skipping rope with me; tie the bands for the bench that is placed in front of the pool,stretch a little bit and start working out. The other morning the janitor came a little earlier to work and as she was coming towards me, she stopped and started staring at me. She stayed like that for about 3-4minutes and just stared...tell you the truth I felt like a criminal. Then she came to me and said: "Oh, I was sure it is you, nobody else would come to practice alone that early!". The mornings before that- as there are people going to work early, or coming back from the night club- there were some other people that stopped like the janitor and stared at me. Is it that strange to get up in the morning and do what you love in order to get what you dream of? Well, OBVIOUSLY!

Most of my friends are constantly joking with me about practicing so much and never skipping a single practice. For example on Thursday I can't go to the second practice because I am busy with college. And one of my teammates was joking that if she happened to be out of college for some reason she would just go to the cafe or hang out with friends but see "if it was you, you would come straight to the pool"(that is what she told me, and she found it pretty funny).

When I was 16 years old I used to play basketball in the United States. I was so keen on basketball, it was an obsession. I woke at 4a.m. every single morning, walked 3miles -with my big bag and all schoolbooks –to the basketball gym. The coach was amazed, she thought I was gonna do it once or twice and give up but I kept doing it every single day and finally she decided to wake up and come with me in the mornings before school. One morning I was doing speed drills over the cones and a boy walked in the gym and started a rumor that I was punished for something and that is why the coach MADE me go so early.

So as you see, one time they stare at you like you committed a crime, next time they just make up a story how you screwed things up and you were punished… There are so many stories like that I could tell you but let just stop here….

I am really amazed how people "want" to get something so much, and they never put in the work they are supposed to. There are so many examples with my friends (in different sports), that have talent, that are kind of good at the sport and always talk about their big dreams and what they want to achieve...they could spend years talking about this with that daydreaming look... but in real life talking about what you want, ain't taking you there... and the sooner you understand it the better for you. So next time you see somebody busting their ass at 6a.m. or 12p.m. or whenever instead of trying to make up a story what he screwed up, just follow their example and put the same work into something you want to achieve…