Michael Ruiz: “For me this is life, my life”

People ask me: why do you challenge your limits? Why do you take your body to extremes? Why do you challenge death? … For me, this is life, my life. The closer I am to the “limit”, the closer I am to my essence, my being, to knowing who I am, to knowing what kind of material I am made of, to not deceive my mind with false ideas. This is when I am pure, when I am what remains of me, when circumstances and experiences enrich me and give me the strength to move forward and be faithful to my dreams, faithful to my principles.

Undoubtedly, Icon Livigno makes all this possible and has marked a before and after in me. An Ironman where you compete against yourself, where you will not win, not beat anyone. In Icon all finishers are winners, winners of themselves, winners of their fears. Just being on the starting line inside your wetsuit in front of the Lake of Livigno, immersed in the darkness of night, is already a triumph.

And that day arrived, the alarm clock rang at 02:30 am. But my mind was already at the Lake Livigno. My concentration, like my nerves, were at maximum intensity. I was a bit scared at first, but I had some questions that I wanted to find an answer to and that was what made me move forward. I knew that the answer to those questions would come from crossing ICON’s finish line. Moments full of rituals. Moments in which body and mind merge. I stood there in my wetsuit, in the cold and dark in front of an abyss in which I tossed everything I did not want to carry with me, my fears, doubts and insecurities, and I entered the water with a big smile knowing that this was going to be a great day.

The weather on the bike made it difficult to move forward. A single mistake could be costly. In fact, the cold rain and the strong wind marked the pace of the race on many occasions, whether we could continue or had to wait until it stopped raining. But that’s when I discovered that you can always get up and move forward. I realized that the most difficult roads sometimes lead to the most incredible destinations. The motivation to be an Icon grew, the legs responded very well to the climbs, the dream was becoming more real.

The run fraction was a real adrenaline rush. From the summits of the mountains to the shore of Lake Livigno, the kilometers were falling away, nothing was going to stop me. I am an athlete ready for whatever comes, it does not matter if the sun burns or a storm rages. The night fell and finally I crossed the finish line overcoming all my fears, overcoming my limits, becoming an Icon.

Even impossible dreams start with a single step. You will not be happier based on what you want, but based on what you do. So, do more and want less. Worthwhile dreams are not to be studied but to be lived.

I would like to end by giving you one piece of advice: Is fear holding you back? Fear is part of life and you can choose if fear decides for you or if you decide for fear. If you want something, go for it, fight for your dream. Only you can achieve it. You cannot be preparing your whole life for something because until you don’t start living it, you will never make it happen.

Michael Ruiz.
2017 FINISHER