2015 – The Year in ReviewAndre Barbieri
Hello dear PossAbilities supporters,
I love reminiscing about the previous season, to see where I grew, what I learned, where I can improve. In my athlete’s career, 2015 was my best year ever. I was also blessed to marry the love of my life, Karina, at the season’s end.
Like in any athlete’s life, there were highs and lows. I constantly learned, and many experiences humbled me. It can be very frustrating at times, one must be prepared for it. The difference between glory and not so much glory sometimes is seconds.
I had a couple downers –three, to be exact: a flat tire in Australia, that took away my podium chance. A second to last place in Detroit –where I also could have podiumed (wrong timing while experimenting equipment). Third, being disqualified in the most important race of the year, the World Finals in Chicago. Because of a stupid mistake in my part I got a penalty, the full story is in a blog post from a couple months ago (as are all the stories mentioned on this very post ). It was my fault and no one else’s. But oh it’s so frustrating… all the hard work you put in, sweat, time, sponsor’s money and so on. But you swallow those, you learn and you move on. Hopefully, you come out smarter and stronger.
It was also a year with a lot of highlights. Sometimes you don’t even believe you have that extra gear in you, and you will be surprised… like when I got Silver at the Pan American race in Mexico –I was over the moon! That gave me some important points to build up my ranking status. To get on the Startlist to race Brasil for the test event for the Olympics, I got a taste of what it will be to race IN my home country with MY home country cheering me on. They are passionate, and it shows when they’re cheering… if I wasn’t so laser focused during the race, I’m sure I would have cried with the crowd screaming my name and supporting me! Chicago was ITU’s Finals, a race I worked hard to even get on the Startlist, and I felt like a winner just to be included in that race. There were only 11 spots, so that was like a preview of how hard Paralympics will be.
After I got disqualified from Chicago, I chose another race to be my season ender. That was the final of Brasil’s National Circuit, which I won with a lot of effort! It was a great moment to wrap up the year, and it was also amazing to hear the speech that Brasil’s Triathlon coordinator gave, he elevated my moral and it was great. Brasil also gave me an opportunity to practice my speech –I spoke in 3 different places in my hometown, which is something PossAbilities has been helping us, to sharpen up our speaking skills.
Other huge highlights were our marriage, after 10 years of love. Switching to a technique of cycling without a leg. My new running leg is so awesome, it’s gotta be included as a highlight. I was featured in 2 movies that I participated in the last couple of years; one aired on Film Festivals around the globe and one aired on a radical sports TV channel in Brasil. Late in the year I was inducted to Loma Linda’s Hall Of Heroes, which was huge!! –I was so honored, was not expecting that at the moment, and to hear the speech that Cotie Williams delivered in my honor was remarkable.
With the help of my coach I achieved the best form of my life, and at one time I was 11th in the ITU World Ranking for my category in Paratriathlon (PT2). I finished the year in 14th, which means I have 4 spots to climb to make sure I will be in the Paralympics in Rio 2016. It’s all going according to the plan, all in preparation for the most important “season of my life,” which will be 2016.
I have a lot of people to be thankful, too many to describe here now. But it is important to mention that I only got to where I am because of a team effort. It is really important to give back.
All in all, 2015 was an insanely good year! If I stop and think about it, it’s like… ‘wow!’ and it brings a huge smile to my face:)