With our participation in this first IPS appointment we have paved the way: the first step towards the recognition of a specific category for people with Parkinson’s disease also in the Paralympic context.
It was a weekend of friendship, sport and willpower, elements that put together create magic. This time the magic pushed our great cuirassiere, now also a triathlete, Marco Ramelli to his personal goal, to complete the first triathlon.
We at the PARKINSONAUTI TEAM are proud to be his teammates, because with this test Marco completes a phenomenal cycle. As a basketball player, in just over a year he first became a runner, participating last year in a half marathon in a relay race with me, then a duathlete, in April he participated in his first duathlon (5km. Run – 20km. Racing bike – 2.5 km.race).
In Ostia Lido he added the “Triplice” to his sports career, without forgetting that since he started with 10 kg endurance sports. have flown away, all for the benefit of his well-being.
My race / challenge this time was to accompany Marco, my “great friend with easy dots”. And upon arrival I can say that I have won it. It was exciting to see him cross the finish line with a smile on his face and raised arms, after having encouraged and supported him throughout the race.
But the Parkinsonauti Team, the Parkinson & Sport team lined up 3 athletes at the start, in addition to Marco and myself, at the starting line there was also Roberto Ripani from Macerata, mister T. & NT, the spearhead, the most fast of the group, the #celamettotutta man, creator of the Tremo & NonTemo group. I leave to them, who are the real protagonists of the weekend, the pleasure of telling the fantastic day of sport.
Saturday 22 May the Parkinsonauti patrol made up of me, Marco Ramelli, Stefano Ghidotti, Roberto Russo and Antonella Brunacci is already early in the morning in Ostia at the tourist port of Rome.
Today Marco and Stefano will debut in a paratriathlon competition of the IPS – Italian Paratriathlon Series circuit, thanks to the collaboration between Parkinson & Sport and Neal MacLeod of FITRI (Italian Triathlon Federation).
With our experience, lived day by day, we want to testify to all people with Parkinson’s disease, that sport improves our health, slows down the progression of symptoms and allows us to counteract depression, a sneaky symptom deriving from the lack of dopamine, which Parkinson’s patients often find themselves living with.
We do this in a sprint distance Paratriathlon race, which as for the age group includes the three fractions: 750 meters. swim, 20 Km. bike and 5 Km. run.
I prepare the transition area with everything I need and immediately I realize what parathletes are, they are not individual athletes, they are families, groups, companions and guides. Each paratriathlete is a team in itself, depending on the category to which they belong (we are in PTS5) they have all the specific equipment for the various disciplines.
Then the race begins, you can breathe a healthy competitive spirit, we are in a race and everyone must give his best and in the way that suits him best.
Two laps between the buoys for the swim fraction, luckily inside the port because the sea is impassable outside. As always, the swim fraction is the most demanding for me, I see my friend Marco suffer a little more than me, he probably pays for the first use of the wetsuit, the new skin is not exactly congenial to him, Stefano as a good coach escorts him and spurs.
I get out of the water and off to the saddle for a multilap of 8 laps, with the wind always strong, in the straight in favor of the wind it goes like missiles but when we are against the wind it is really hard, you have to be careful even in the curves and on the round with the crosswind , the bike swerves as if in convulsions .
In the various passages it is nice to hear the kids cheering on their dad as he whizzes by on his bike, helping him keep track of the laps to avoid mistakes that could cost him disqualification.
Eight laps and we return to the transition area, I leave the bike to start racing. In the meantime, a little for the rolling start, a little for the category characteristics, we are all mixed up and everyone is giving their all. The setting of the marina is beautiful, the impetuous wind today is the master, hissing through the trees and the tops of the moored boats, it seems the song of the sirens.
In the running part the sun by now high increases the fatigue, luckily the wind helps us as it crashes the waves on the rocks when passing on the outer pier, raising spray above us that give us a bit of refreshment. On the second of the two laps the fatigue is felt, now I am in sight of the arc on the finish line, which gives me the impetus for the last meters and for the arrival with the arms in the sky, which frees all the joy and adrenaline .
I see my friend Marco who, like me, is suffering a little from the heat, here he is with Stefano who accompanied him, he is about to achieve his goal, to finish the first triathlon. The judges give me permission to be able to join them in the last meters and so the triumphal finish is for all Parkinson’s patients.
Alone or in a team we can really decide to do great things, such as overcoming fear, isolation, shame, we are not only our disease, of course that is there but it is always us and we can continue to govern our life at the same time. best of our ability like anyone else.
We have finished for an hour and the effort is already forgotten, the great satisfaction remains for having made it. Leaving the competition area already rises the desire to leave again, to show that you do not want to give it to Mr. Park, and you want to do it together with all the friends who, despite encountering more or less demanding obstacles, do not stop, indeed they know how to transform difficulties into strengths.
See you at the next appointment with the Paratriathlon, I Tremo & NonTemo and as always #celamettotutta.
On Saturday a dream came true that until recently seemed unthinkable. When you are part of a team and have teammates by your side, you can overcome yourself and your fears.
At the beginning of May Stefano told me that on the 22nd at the port of Rome we would make our debut in the first paratriathlon race in the history of the PARKINSONAUTI TEAM. I immediately activated myself to find a swimming pool and return to swim after 6 months of forced detention. I did a couple of distance tests, I felt ready and able to do the 750 meters of the swim leg.
It was the first experience in a competition, and also the first time I swam with a wetsuit. I started convinced and perhaps at a too high pace, so much so that after the first mark I found myself in trouble, in the throes of a breathing crisis that did not allow me to swim freestyle until the end of the fraction.
Only my determination and the support of Stefano, who remained by my side throughout the fraction while using all the known styles, breaststroke, backstroke, sailor and even the dead in some moments, allowed me to get out of the water.
The most is done I tell myself, but the 20 km of bikes were not a walk, considering the strong wind, even here Stefano, who continues to escort me, does his part by encouraging me repeatedly.
We arrive together at the transition area to leave the bike and start the fraction of 5 km of running, it’s time to bite the bullet and give it all. The route winds on the breakwater of the tourist port of Rome, the waves, caused by the strong wind that hit the breakwaters, occasionally create a refreshing and suggestive shower that strikes us and makes us feel even happier.
We travel the last 2 km together with great emotion, while Roberto Ripani is added to us, the third athlete of the PARKINSONAUTI TEAM patrol who, having completed his race, waited for us to cross the finish line together with high arms and a big smile . on the lips despite the fatigue.
I am proud of myself, and I want to thank Stefano Ghidotti who helped me realize this dream: a little with the carrot and sometimes even with the stick, metaphorically speaking, he managed to make me swim, pedal and run and shut up to save breath. Without him, his advice, his example, his trust, I wouldn’t have made it.
A big thank you also goes to Roberto Russo, who is always there to encourage and help us, to the strong, fast and friendly Roberto Ripani and to the generous and enthusiastic Antonella Brunacci who has been elected my personal assistant at the races.
I hid from everyone the tears of joy and the emotion I felt immediately after the arrival, also generated by that drop in tension you feel when you realize you have realized a dream.
A moment of weakness that didn’t last long because my mind immediately went to DEEJAYTRI in two weeks in Milan, where I want to do much better, because the dream is now a reality.
As always “YOU WILL NOT STOP US”
The Rome expedition was a success, when we move as a group we go back like kids on vacation. Two fun and very intense days, 15 hours on the PARKINSONAUTO, in which Marco and I competed for driving with “you look tired, do you want me to drive”. Dinner in company with a lot of Passerina – do not fantasize, it’s about wine – the night spent all together, including bikes, in a large apartment in Lido di Ostia.
Are you still having strange thoughts? We were all together, yes, but there were an infinite series of rooms, complete with antiquated and antique furniture enriched with cabinets and drawers full of old abandoned objects. All on the 5th floor with an automatic door and gate opening and closing system, which next time we let ourselves be accompanied by a locksmith or Diabolik, in short, we had fun doing what we like and make us feel good, sport.
There will be many other occasions this year, the PARKINSONAUTI TEAM race calendar is full of commitments.
It starts again on 5-6 June from the Idroscalo in Milan, for the Radio Deejay triathlon weekend. We will all be there, with our reception gazebo right in the center of the party, the Deejay Village, again 3 athletes competing in a sprint triathlon on Sunday morning, we are waiting for you to cheer.
Then at the end of June, from 20 to 27 the “Bike riding for Parkinson Italy 2021” 23 Parkinsonauts by bicycle from Turin to Venice, in a week that will once again make the history of our Association.
It is because we have Parkinson’s and consequently we struggle to stay still, the news of the last hour is the participation of the PARKINSONAUTI TEAM in the Triathlon of Crema on 17 July. With the collaboration of the La Tartaruga di Crema Association and Annalaura Maurin of Rock Steady Boxing Crema Gerundo, we will be present with our welcome gazebo. Also on that date is expected the debut in the Triathlon of two other determined and courageous PARKINSONAUTI, who as always loudly say “YOU WILL NOT STOP US”