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“You Can’t Complain About the Pain You Seek”

Last night I watched the documentary Marinoni about 75 year old Italian Canadian cycling icon Giuseppe Marinoni and his attempts to set a world record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. The documentary, the oft-told story of an immigrant who arrives in Canada with nothing, only to lead an incredible and inspiring life is an important narrative that makes up the very fabric of Canadian identity. On the surface it seems like mandatory viewing for anyone who loves cycling; an homage to the sport of cycling and the art of making bicycles, but more importantly this film is especially important for anyone who believes in the power of sport and fitness to give life.

For me, this movie reinforced how much I loathe being around people who complain about being “old”; people who have essentially given up on what their bodies and mind are capable of. I’m 41 years old; I’ve done the sports, the mountain climbs, the triathlon, the marathon, the road races, the obstacle race, etc., and I feel like I’m just getting started. I don’t feel old; in fact I feel the fittest ever and I’m saddened by people who talk themselves into being “old”. Giuseppe was 75 when he challenged himself, and during this training (and my favourite part of this movie) his wife quoted an old Italian proverb which says “you can’t complain about the pain you seek” and I can’t think of anything that has resonated so deeply in my soul.

So today, instead of remembering it as the day my father died, I will remember Giuseppe and his resolve to live as he ever was.

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