Posts in Challengers
The End is Never the End
ROB 10 000

(Reading time: 1,5')

I met Rob after hearing about his captivating story on a podcast.

He had embarked on a journey to meet 10 000 people and was staying in Long Beach and swinging by LA pretty often. Great timing.

We decided to meet up in a coffee place and chat, I was number 1900 on his list. When I arrived, he had an enormous smile and sparkly eyes, as if we had met before. 

“I was raised in a tight knit family in Norristown, Pennsylvania, right outside Philly. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone. I also had a great group of friends in college, so I’ve always enjoyed human connections. Therefore, when I started traveling, it was missing having friendly faces around. 

I thought: 'how fun would it be if I knew people everywhere I’d go? Having a place to stay at, someone to show me around, or just be able to walk around and saying hi to people on the street. Feeling home. Feeling connected?'

So I decided to expand my circle of friends. I set the goal of meeting 10 000 people for an hour each, to get to know them. I started 3 years ago, back when I was still working full-time. I’d meet strangers in the evenings and on the weekends”. 

I asked why he was so enticed to meeting strangers when other people had rather maintaining a close circle of friends, focusing on tight bonds rather than quantity.

“I think it's difficult to create a set definition for friendship because there are different levels of friendship. For the purpose of my project, I simply define it as treating each other like old pals for the hour that we're together and leaving the door open to become better friends in the future.

I spend an hour one-o-one quality conversation getting to know them, not preparing anything, not following a guideline, not asking pre-determined questions. I like the concept of being surprised by people’s personalities and lifestyles.

I try and maintain bounds with all of them and naturally relationships can evolve into closer friends, business or even romantic relationships, who knows! I leave it to faith and go with the flow”.

I asked if he had any plans on monetizing his project. 

“I do not set any expectation nor have a strategy for the moment. I just want to spend genuine quality time with people and see where it leads. I am confident that this project will keep expanding and that I’ll be able to start traveling and do this for a living within a couple months.

I trust that things will work out because I know that I am on the right path. I’m not worried for the future, I stay positive as I know there’s always a solution to anything.

In fact, the motto I live by is: 'the end is never this end'”.

Keep Pulling Through
Reading time: 3 min.

Reading time: 3 min.

I met Dimitri at a spa in Iceland.
I was hanging by the outdoor ice bath after having quickly jumped in “for the challenge”, basically swiftly soaking my body, screaming (does that count)?

I was stunned at how some Icelandic could walk in there peacefully and hang in there for long minutes, looking concentrated though relaxed, as if in a meditative space. 4 celcius degrees, gents.
Anyways, Dimitri shows up and does the show. He’s from Latvia so he’s used to cold waters, no big deal. I take a picture. He asks me to join. Holds my hands and tell me to breathe slowly. I feel like I can’t, it feels stuck as if an invisible hand was strangling me.

“Focus on your breathing, take it easy. You’ll see that after 30 seconds it will already get warmer, if you stop moving”.

I chat with other people taking part in this. They have various reasons to be doing it: heal their body after a good workout, improve their blood circulation, prepare for a race in the sea. There are other methods too, the popular one, cryotherapy, or a simple roll in the snow, finish-style.
On his side, Dimitri doesn’t see it as a torture, rather, a pleasant moment.

“Believe it or not, I’m really enjoying this.

In the winter, I dig a hole in the lakes and jump in. A few times, the hole shut on top of me and I had to break it with my head.

Why am I doing this? Well, for me, it is a way to purify my body. To release the stress. You see... Water holds information. Emotions. That can penetrate you and affect you.
Once, I prepared my rice cooking water in three different ways. One, by talking shit to the water. The rice turned brown. The other, I said words of love and encouragement to it. The rice turned melts and delicious. For the third one, nothing special, and the rice was basic”.

It gets me thinking. We are made of 70% water, and I recently heard of this new brand, “love water”, that carries the same message.

“I’ve lived in Latvia, Lithuania, Bielorussia, Denmark... Never have I seen people as peaceful as the Icelandic. And they have the purest water. I believe that there is a link.
The two most important things we need in life are air and water. Don’t you want it to be as clean as possible?”
I recall my conversation with a pilot in the morning when he said: “I’m not allowed to discuss chem trails”.
Dimitri continues: “So when I enter an ice bath, first I make sure that there’s no chemicals in it. Second, I set an intention to block any negative energy from potential previous bathers, and I chose to give it positive vibes.
I am telling you. Water holds information. It can give you energy. Affect your emotions, You can use it to manipulate yourself and others. When you cook, when you dip in the water, when you drink. Always set positive intentions. Now you know the secret”.

After this conversation, I entered the ice bath a third time. It felt 10x smoother. It didn’t feel quite as painful nor “breathtaking” and I could fight through it for longer. Focusing on the positive effects of it rather that the pain.

Pulling through.