Meet the member, Alejandro Diaz

My name is Alejandro. I am originally from Caracas, Venezuela and have been living in Dubai for 7 years. I am a sales and marketing professional. I love traveling, writing, theatre, CrossFit and running.

2. What sparked your interest in joining IFE? What were your goals/struggles?

One Christmas day I listened to the InnerFight podcast with Rob Jones and Tom Otton about UTMB Oman and I got so interested in the hallucinations that they had when they were completing the race. I could not believe it! The entire idea of doing an Ultra seemed like one big trip, a journey in itself. An adventure. Deep inside myself a little voice told me: “you gotta do an Ultra, Alejandro” but I didn’t do much about it. It was just a thought at that time. 

Months later I was having a bad time in a job that I hated and the topic of doing an Ultra came up in a conversation with my life coach. I said “I am what I do, but I hate what I am doing. I want to do something that excites me, I don’t want to be just my job” Ultra had been on my mind since then so I she encouraged me to take a first step which was to set a meeting with Marcus Smith. The rest is history. 

3. Did anything surprise you as you have progressed through your training program?

I never thought myself physically or mentally capable or running an Ultra. The goal was 250 km. Once the training started, I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed running. I used to be the one that would only run 10 km with lots of music to keep me motivated. One month into training I was running my first Marathon and first Ultra in one go: 50 km at the Al Qudra cycle track, from 7 pm to 1 am without lights, a head torch or music. What an adventure. It felt like falling into the rabbit hole and back. I realized I was capable of doing it.

4. What was the biggest impact / change in you or your life?

Ultra, more than a race, it’s a journey that resembles life. The biggest lesson I learned after finishing Ultra X Jordan is that I should never again doubt myself. I am 100% capable of doing anything I want in life if I am disciplined and work hard. I learned to be patient (I still struggle with that) and to be resilient (easier said than done). That sometimes I will fail (and I failed many times in training and in the race) but that giving up is not an option. I lost my job last September and looking for a new one has been a very tough and uncertain process. Every time that I get a rejection, it’s sucks. But when I think of what I have been able to do with Ultra, the patience, resilience and determination I have developed, I find the energy to turn the page and keep applying. Keep moving forward. Keep running. 

5. What results have you seen? (running, general fitness, goals, life, weight, mindset shifts etc etc)

(I think the answer number 4 also answers this question )

6. How do you feel now after completing a training block with a running coach?

That I want to continue. Besides the mental gains running has had a great impact in my body and lifestyle. I keep away from excess of alcohol in the weekends which used to drain all of my energy. Now I am get to do more and enjoy my weekends in a different way (don’t get me wrong, I still go out and party every now and then, but my lifestyle has become way more balanced).

7. What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining?

Don’t be afraid and don’t waste time. Sometimes we think we can’t run because of x,y,z reasons. That is boring, that is too difficult and bla bla bla. Guys, I used to say the same thing but there are so many benefits, lessons and personal growth that comes with running that it’s SO worth the try. Running an Ultra on the other hand… I think it’s something everyone has to do at least once in their life. It’s a freaking rave.

8.  What are your learnings from InnerFight endurance?

Mental toughness and resilience. Community. Besides all the lessons, I gained an entire group of friends.