Interview. Ruslan Paushi

Why a successful business and growing capital do not in themselves guarantee happiness, how I almost smashed my friendship and family with my crown, and where to escape from melancholy, to be sure?

-Just talk to me by looking at me. Let’s get started.

-Let’s go.

-What’s up, where you’ve been running to. Tell me about the last event.

-I went to the cold pole, ran 50 km in -60. I was a little freaked out, but I made it.

-Was it hard or not, it’s strange to ask, but still, was it hard?

-It’s hard to talk about it for the 125th time.

-How often do you do things like that? How often do things like that happen to you in your life?

-What’s happened now and has become world famous is probably more of an accident than a pattern, because these things happen to me all the time. That is, once I began to lead an active lifestyle, I constantly do such shuttles and overcome them. You don’t brag to anyone that you ran an ordinary marathon, in an ordinary event, 42 kilometers. No one is interested in that. For me, it was just like running at -60. It was my personal challenge, my personal challenge. I was just as worried and anxious as I was later doing Ironman, as I am now. It just wasn’t the right level to be of interest to anyone other than my loved ones and my kids.

-Roughly speaking, it’s one of the events that takes you to a new level, you take yourself to a new level. It’s something you’ve never done before.

-Yes, it’s an event that’s different from others, that not only I haven’t done, no one has done. So it’s perceived a little bit differently.

-I mean, you can say that your some new accomplishment is greater than the other one. You’re setting yourself a higher bar.

-For sure, it’s not fun to repeat yourself. That’s why I stopped doing triathlons intensively, I left only running and swimming. Because it’s not interesting to do one more ironman and one more and one more.

-So tell me how you started. How did you come to this? How did it all come about? Your first achievement, where did it all start?

-It all started one beautiful July day in 2012, as usual, I spend my time at work. It was after 8 o’clock. I was dragging and dropping documents around my desk. I don’t want to go home, I am sad. It was such a dreary period back then. I realized myself more or less in business, the money went, in creativity, too, all is well. But I felt that something was missing, a feeling as if life had gone over the top and gone downhill. Nothing that meaningful was happening. All my dreams remained in childhood. I made a nest for myself and just lived there. Got heavier, settled down. I got the sores, the bellybutton, everything I was supposed to have by the time I was 40. But I felt terrible about it. I lacked drive, I lacked life, but I didn’t understand what I had to do. Money was no longer interesting to make, more and more and more. And then that day I came across an article. As a mid-level manager who had never played sports. was preparing for the Ironman race and in 2 years he did it. ironman is 4 km swimming, 180 km biking and 42 running and all in one day in a row without stopping. When I read it, I was stunned, I did not realize that it is possible. There were already a lot of people like that in Russia, more than a hundred. This is a worldwide trend. I was totally stunned. I was sitting up all night reading these reports. I did not come home for the night. I came in the morning with red eyes, decided to buy my first sneakers to run the first 5 km.
-Did you run? How was it?  The most interesting thing is the last and the first. We’ll tell you about the middle one later. What about the first one? What was it like?

-Well, I started looking for somebody to teach me how to run. I went to a fitness club, got on the treadmill, ran my 5 kilometers, panted terribly, crawled off them. And I thought, it’s no fun to just run on a treadmill. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong.

-You started on the treadmill?

-Yeah, it never even occurred to me to go outside. It’s hot or cold out there. It’s uncomfortable. I used to go to a fitness club, work out, but I hated it. I started to quit, but I said I’m a runner now. I took some kind of fitness sneakers with thin soles and my feet hurt.  I started looking for a trainer who would help me start running properly, because I did not like all this.  I guess I was doing something wrong. At the fitness club, they scratched their heads, there was, in my opinion, a fitness trainer, I think he was a runner. Turns out he’s a 200-300m sprinter. “I will not teach you to run marathons, I can not run much. But I have an acquaintance who is also a fitness trainer, I think he ran a half marathon once. His name was Liviu. They took me to him. He’d given up his running career so soon, he realized he had no sense, although he was the fastest in Moldova at long distances and he had no money and no prospects. So he came to work at a fitness club in Niagara. I told him, -Listen, teach me how to run. I want to run a marathon.  Now it sounds absolutely normal, so even when no one, even amateurs did not run a marathon, only professionals ran to make money, it sounded a little wild.  Have you ever run 42km? No, I haven’t. – Let’s give it a try. I don’t know, I’ve never taught anybody. I’ve only done 21k myself.  Come to the stadium tomorrow.  I went to the stadium, he laughed at me for a long time, because he had a belt full of bottles with water, gel, food, and a candy bar.  He said: – Listen, we’re running 10 km with you today. – So for me 10 km from Challenges you know, I do not know, I could die on the road 10 times and an ambulance may be needed so I filled up everything I needed. – You won’t need water for 10km, you won’t need food any more. We’ll just run, then you get a drink. Throw your belt your own. And we just ran our first 10k around the stadium, that was a challenge for me too.  I also ran a couple more times on the track. Turns out you really don’t need water and you don’t need food either. For me, 10 kilometers seemed like a very serious challenge. We started running in the street, started running in the park. After a month of training, he says: You are going to have your first challenge. You’re going to take part, we have law enforcement, MIA guys are trying to measure pussy, who’s got the toughest guys. Around Komsomol Lake they run 5 km and put out the toughest sprinters. You run with them. I said: Where am I going with them? He says: I made a deal. Your job is not to come in last. You and I have been training for one and a half months. They’re all left-handed, they don’t do sports, they’re fat, don’t worry about it. – All right. First competition.  I came full of stuff, I was not a poor guy. I had Asics outfit, all sorts of gadgets, caps, all fancy. And the guys were ordinary guys, in old kirzos, old T-shirts, some kind of obscure license plates. They look at me, whispering amongst themselves. And Livia says: he’s my pupil, it’s OK. He’ll make it, don’t bother him.  I got the start, and I didn’t have any race experience.  Of course, I tried to get out of the crowd, started as one of the first to run, and I didn’t understand what I was doing. I looked at the pace, it turned out I was running like the marathon runners, world champions, Kenyans. I ran 200 meters, then everyone else went on running, and I was out of breath. I run in the middle, then I run at the end. And my heart rate was sky-high, I had never had such a heart rate before.  My heart rate went up to 180, and I had two laps to run. I was the last one to run, and the others were running 100 meters ahead of me. He ran up to me and said: “Voloshin, why are you embarrassing me in front of the guys? I told you that I was training you, now you have to catch up with that penny-ante, look how dead it is, how can you not catch up with it?- I can’t go on… – Come with me, we’ll all catch up. He ran the whole lap with me, and we slowly shortened the distance to the finish line. He must have gotten tired too. He swear at me, motivated me, told me they would laugh at me and that you were my hero. I was doing everything, my heart rate was 190, I was not answering. And when there were only 300 meters to the finish line, I overtook this dude and 200 meters to go before him. I was second to last and I fell down.  My pulse was 200, I didn’t pay attention to my pulse, I just wanted to get to the finish line.  I ran and fell into the bushes at the finish line. It was kind of embarrassing, he shook his head, came over, threw a bottle of water at me and walked away, he kind of dropped it.  It must have been embarrassing in front of the guys. He was making something up. So ended my first race and probably one of the hardest of my career. I never accelerated my pulse like that again. Libya said that I had character, which is good, it means you’ll go far. It doesn’t matter your muscles, as long as you have balls.

-That was the first one? How long did you run there for 5 km? Not much…  Well, listen, it’s fun. And he didn’t leave you? Who did you keep training with?

– I kept training with him, I had a plan to run a marathon. I ran my first marathon in Paris. It was much easier than the first 5km. I had to run out of 4 hours, I ran 3:45.  Then I couldn’t walk for 3 days and I walked backwards down the stairs. Very hard to go forward down the stairs, you turn your butt forward and go down okay.  So that’s how I walked. And here we go. Then started swimming, started swimming.  I was swimming with another coach, I also swam in a club.  Then I swam across the Bosphorus, a year later I did a half of the Ironman.

-How long did it take you to do it from sitting in the office at night?

-I did the Ironman in two years. A year later I did a half and two years later I did a full.

-You had a goal for the Ironman. You read the article.

-Yeah, first it was a marathon. Then the Ironman.  Thought I’d run it, get a tattoo of myself as a marathoner. That’s pretty cool.

-Okay, follow my lead, will you give me a light? -Yeah.

-Yeah. I’m coming to you, I’m collecting cups from different countries, I’m running. Starbucks.  I can tell a story about each one.  In Lisbon, I was setting a record for the Voloshin family, I had the task to run a half marathon of 1:30.  There are certain criteria for a marathoner when he is no longer considered an amateur. 

-Let’s move on. You ran your first 5, then you went to France, right?

-Yes. -If you’re interested in a sports career.

-You did your Ironman in two years, that’s where we left off. 

-I’ll download my tip sheet, my website, and see what it was all about.  There was a lot of stuff, I was starting to forget.  That’s why I’m writing, because my memory is terrible.

-You sat up at night, you wanted Ironman, and two years later you made Ironman.

-In that time I still had time to open a community organization Sportster, when I saw this thing rocking, I lost the bags under my eyes, I wanted to live, move, I realized that this was the door to such a large segment of life that many people don’t notice. I wanted to show this door that I could walk through and get high. Started sharing with friends first. Then started this sports organization, started showing it to other people, started writing reports, posting them everywhere. At first my friends also started to run, swim, a year later someone ran a half marathon, a marathon. And so it went. Then they started organizing events: the Chisinau International Marathon and a bunch of related events. We held 12 events a year: swimming, triathlon, trail races, mud races, anything.

-Now the question is, what was it all about? In the office you had a desire to run the Ironman, when you ran the Ironman, what changed in your wanting?  Compare yourself in the office: I want to run the Ironman. There you ran it, time passed.

-I was greeted at the airport like a hero, with TVs, the euphoria passed, and then what?

-Compare yourself, what did you want then. Here you are two years down the road.  What changed in you as a Dima?

-I began to understand my mission on earth. I began to formulate the concept of what I was doing here, how I could improve life here.  I realized that I could show by my own example that nothing was impossible, I couldn’t fully articulate it at the time, then I began to feel this idea, and I began to like it. Not to teach people, but to show them by example. I can’t teach, I’m a terrible teacher and I’m not a good coach. I can only show you, it all depends on whether you believe in yourself or not.

-I mean, you arrived, you thought…

-Well, I didn’t sit down and think, what a mission. It begins to drip slowly, you see it working, that more and more people gather around, begin to run. You used to run alone at the lake, now there are crowds running around. You realize that yes it works, people start, people don’t all stay in the sport, about 50 percent stay and leave their activity for the rest of their lives, which helps them keep that balance.

-That’s all beautiful, of course, you tell it beautifully. But was it all so beautiful, got up and ran. Was there a period when you wanted to abandon everything, a crisis?

-Yes, there were, a couple of times I fell into a pit of overtraining, it seemed to me I could do everything, I began to train more and more, and when preparing for the competition … After Ironman, when I was at the peak, almighty, began to prepare for the marathon in New York, one of the Majors, the largest marathon in the world. I decided to run very fast and prepared very seriously. The fact that I got there tired, got so killed there, turned out to be a stubborn guy. That’s also one of the topics I wanted to talk to you about later. I set a goal for myself to run a marathon in 3:15, no matter what. But it was very cold that day and there was a headwind blowing across New York City. If I were a little smarter now, I would have said that the natural conditions were not right, we would not set records. I said, “I don’t care, I’ll run. I also made a mistake, we ran under the bridge, and there gps does not work, I could not see at what pace I run. I started to break so much, not feeling the speed, that when I ran out from under the bridge, I saw that I was running for a world record. Naturally my muscles got sour, and everything was just like at the first event, I couldn’t run fast enough. I ran to the finish line, I was so dead, I ran 3:22, I was so dead that after four months I could not run, I could not think, I had a gag reflex at the thought of running, I had injuries with my legs, I was totally demoralized. I was so high, I thought I was going to give up the sport altogether. Slowly, gentle regimen, vitamins and rest, meditation and got out of it for a bit. It’s a very good lesson for us not to think that we are gods but humans. We have to approach everything smoothly, you have to go gradually to the result, if you want to jump a few steps, life will put you in your place and so I calmed down and started moving in a balanced way

-Well that says what kind of problems you’re facing, but you don’t live alone, you have a family. How did the people closest to you take your hobbies?

-Wife was totally into it, until she decided to divorce me because of this shit. At first she was fine with it, my husband got into sports. And then when what heavy forms – it all takes, contrasting forms. Couldn’t talk to me about anything at all except swimming about triathlons about sports, everything revolved around that topic. Almost in time to have sex let’s do sports. I was away a lot for different competitions and when I came back, I was away a lot, too. My physical body was here, my thoughts were God knows where. It was very stressful and I started having problems in my family.  My spouse had actually lost me.  And it could have ended badly if after 3-4 years I had not started to realize that sports is not my whole life, there are people close to me, there is a wife, there are children, there is work in the end, there is creativity. I had a feeling that I had been drugged for 4-5 years. In general I fell out of reality. It could really end very badly. My wife helped me a lot, periodically packing my bags. And my brains were falling into place a little bit at a time, and let’s go back to this sinful land like Dmitri Sergeyevich.

 -Let’s go back about stubbornness, where its limits are. Every person has character, every person has character problems. You went through your stubborn ego. It’s the way I want it. It takes fatal forms. Tell me, what have you achieved through stubbornness, and what could you have lost or lost?

– I had a milestone in my life when I went to vipassana three years ago.  That meditation where you live in a camp with people for 10 days, can’t talk, and meditate for 11 hours a day in an uncomfortable position while eating pollen, manna from heaven, stuff like that. This thing has put my mind back in place a little bit, though not completely, I have to admit. It helped me to see that forcing events and bending them to suit you is not all good. It’s always good to live by your conscience, not lie to yourself and try to give more than you get. That will always give you carte blanche and the universe will give it back to you. As soon as you start pushing the universe, saying now instead of later, the complications start, the problems start. You ask me about boundaries, I still haven’t defined them. When I go to extremes, I either go with the flow, it will take us where we need to go. The other extreme, we’re not shit, we’re human and we have to try to do something, go towards our dreams. Where to find that boundary I have yet to figure out. I’m starting to sense somewhere, the universe is giving signs. Once you start breaking something, you have a lot of red on the road, your leg got sick, people were supposed to come to a meeting but didn’t show up. These are signs that you’re trying to bend the inflexible. You just let the situation go, and all the people come to the meeting, the green light is everywhere, the soreness goes away. And you think aha – this is the moment to do it. In Oymyakon I had just such a situation that I caught it and everything went as it should, over the last few years I’ve learned to see these signs that nature gives us.

-That’s the model you’ve outlined now. And here’s your stubbornness specifically. What do you regret, almost happened or happened, what are you proud of, what did your stubbornness give you?

 -My stubbornness was more of a plus, of course. I never listened to people that you can’t do this, don’t do that, you can’t do that. That was the anti-motivation for me. All the projects that were done, I pushed, pedaled, they were done in a marathon way. Not any startups, but projects of 2-3 years of work, full-time, daily, tedious work. And it shoots out and bears fruit. If it didn’t, it would actually die.  I lost a lot, I had a 2008 crisis year. I had a crown to the sky and I wanted everyone to do what I wanted them to do. I lost a lot of friends then, I started fighting with my spouse then. There are times when the crown just appears. I remember what I was doing, and people who knew me now say that you are an angel compared to what you were doing back then. I could have thrown a mug at the man because I did not like the way he answered me where he was. A year later I realized that my pride had led me to the wrong place. I was dealing with this situation for about 5 years, with each person, rebuilding a relationship, explaining that I was a wreck and it took me 5 years to put everything in order. I had no thoughts of pride, I was just a fag, I realized and tried to correct myself, my wife, she is so hard going through all these peaks, she could have left me long ago, but endured, tolerated me, although there too everything was going to divorce.

-I see that you often get divorced.

-We have a very complicated relationship.  Although we love each other, and recently played a wedding 15 years old, gathered all my friends, dressed in tuxedos and wedding dresses, had a big wedding. To say our relationship is not easy, she is a lioness, I am a lion. We have this thing going on all the time in our family and who growls louder.  We think it’s normal. We are all different people. A successful marriage is serious work on yourself, compromise, snuggle here, understand there, so we keep it short for now.

-It’s about to start. Let’s start with the running. You were sitting in the office, you wanted to run the Ironman. What exactly, besides the Ironman, moved you, describe how it felt. What did you want, health, to dive in, where did it take you? I’ll try to remember I have a post about it, how it all started. It definitely wasn’t about health.  Health doesn’t interest me even now. I believe that health is the cherry on the cake that you get for your right life.  I don’t run to make my liver work better. Then I saw that nothing was lost in my life, then I already understood that I won’t be able to do many things anymore, I just won’t have time.  And when I realized that you can still do a lot of things. Sports is a marker that you can still do something more. If you can run a marathon, why can’t you be prime minister or invent a new drug.  I when I saw hundreds of people doing it, that I could try it too. When I started doing it, I realized I was on my way to my goal, I started getting good at it, other valves started opening, I can be a great father, husband, friend, I can write books, I can invent songs, I can do it all.  If you start believing that, you start getting things done. 

-How did your attitude change.  What did you want when you wanted to run the Ironman and what did you want when you ran the Ironman?

-When I decided to become an Ironman. It was ambition – it was ego, I want to show everyone that I’m cool and myself first, that I can. Theta it’s simple.  When I ran it, what I wanted, I wanted to tattoo myself on my calf as an Ironman. That’s me being special.  And then I realized that the Ironman is just that, there are bigger challenges, I also wanted to get a tattoo and didn’t do the fastest. There’s no end to these Challenges, there could be up to heaven. How did I feel? I had a wave at the time that I had to tell everyone about it, how cool it was and that anyone could do it. I got hooked on it. There was a lot invested in developing the sport, the triathlon marathon, telling it, writing a lot and people started plugging in, doing it and a lot of people thanked me. That’s the kind of road I showed, it’s awesome. It started like a snowball. I was really excited about it.

-There was another marathon.

-Now I’ll run what was there… Freediving was in 2013.

-What year did you run the Ironman in 2014? It’s 2019. It’s been five years. Let’s call it the word enlightenment.Was it or wasn’t it in that time? Something that changed you? 

-There were a lot of challenges more significant than the Ironman. It was to become a master of freediving, to go to the world freediving championship, not to breathe for 6 minutes, then it was the task to run 90 km without stopping, then to go to the desert and run 230 km with a backpack on the sand. Then it was to take part in the swimrun challenge, a very hard sport when you run and swim at the same time.  You swim in a neoprene suit and run nonstop in running shoes on 26 islands. Oymyakon was the last one. Then I had already started to form a picture, and where I was going. But I don’t want to do -60 on caviar.  Then there is always somewhere around -70. I’ve already given up on that idea.

-However, the calf has to transform into something, yes you did not do tattoos on the calf, maybe it became something like a tattoo. Did those tattoos grow into some other consciousness, an image?

– I’ve had sports in general teach me a lot of things and change my mind. I ran about 12,000 miles in all that time and that’s a lot of time and all that time I was alone with myself. And it’s no different than meditating.  You have a lot of time to clear your mind of who you are and why you are.

-I liked where you went…sports and meditation. Let’s compare how long you run, three to six hours at a time, what do you think about those six hours, other than what’s the next stop

-If you’re in training you’re relaxed, your brain slowly frees itself from thoughts, it’s such a strange state when you don’t think about anything, my thoughts flow by themselves and you watch from the sidelines. Sometimes a lot of interesting thoughts come and a lot of problems are solved.  The secret of meditation is still undiscovered. Everyone knows that in order to understand the inner world, you need to stop the inner monologue, to free the brain with all the crap that goes around in our head.  When you get rid of that garbage in your head, in silence you begin to understand a lot, it does not come to you by text, and you begin to act in a different way, to see what you never saw before, you begin to see how the world around you is changing, the same people of that level come here, I improve relations with people. Finances, resources, everything you need, it starts to come to you, if you think right. If you don’t see the signs and you think you’re a loser and you don’t get it, you need to do some serious work.

-Okay. Meditation. Conventionally, you’re doing something that helps you live, that fills your life. What does running, sports, what does it give you in your life?

-If you imagine human life as a pie, it should be divided into several parts: relationships, career, creativity, money, sports. And in order for me to feel this pie as a whole, this segment was missing. I didn’t understand which one. When I fumbled for it. I had the puzzle all put together and I had nothing to add to it. It’s all there. And if I throw out sports now, I know there’s a hole there, I won’t feel happy because there’s nothing to fill it with. I can’t, maybe someone else can. That hormonal background. We all move in this life because of our hormonal background.  Sports gives me that portion of hormones that other sectors don’t give me. And in order for the smoothie to be complete I need it.

-that’s the function it performs…I see. It’s more complicated than that. Before your pie was incomplete, you had an urge to reach the fullness of that pie. So you filled the pie, what’s next?

-But that’s what a filled pie is for you to live with and rejoice in.

-All you have now to live and keep in this pie?

-I’m actually waiting until I’m old. I’m going to live, enjoy this pie, eat it with a spoon and get high.

-And now?

-Now I do that too, but now I’m expanding that pie in all areas. I want to be a better husband, a better father, in sports I want to achieve better results. I’m expanding my segments. The question is, why do I need it?  Everything is there, live it up and get high, but I constantly want to expand it, but it takes effort…lots and lots of effort. My wife says I’ve already lived 5 lives, that if you divide my life into 5 parts, everyone will have an awesome life. So I’m waiting for me to get old, my testosterone to drop and I don’t know what hormones, become a nice old tube man in a rocking chair and enjoy my cupcake. But for now, I’m wobbling in every direction. I don’t know why God made me this way, I don’t know.

-Don’t you have any fear that you’ll get old and it’ll end? Will the pie get too small by the time you’re old? What fears do you have?

-Fear of getting old I don’t have, I’m prepared for it. I’m sure I’ll have a wonderful old age. I’m not afraid of some illnesses either, because I’m sure I’ll pass them too. And even if I don’t, it means that my time has come to go. My reasoning now is purely theoretical, but if I suddenly get an inoperable brain tumor, maybe I’ll talk differently. But right now I feel like I will accept all plot developments. I can’t articulate my fears clearly, maybe you can dig up those fears.

-You see, in addition to hormones, a person is driven by fear. Let’s leave the fear for now… 2012 was a milestone for you anyway. It changed your life, didn’t it? That’s where you did not want to change your life … that it has changed and you have changed, let’s call it an accident. You saw somebody running an Ironman, you ran, you wanted to run an Ironman. Wanted an Ironman tattoo and got what you got now. Think about it.

– I believe that the universe has its own plans for each person, some kind of expectations. And when a person is born, he gets some kind of carte blanche, some kind of advance, and during his life they watch over you. If you screw it up, they take it away from you, little by little. If you’ve done something, we’ll give you another opportunity. And in this way, step by step, if you think correctly, your opportunities expand little by little. This is how it was with me in 2012 I guess, when I was waiting for help, for something to happen, the universe just gave me this link where I could see this dude as an advance. So I consider myself indebted and I give back all the time, I tell other people, I do other events all the time, anything related to sports. That’s the thought that I try to move in everything. It justifies all the expectations God gives me.

-Let’s move away from the universe.  Let’s be specific. You have an opportunity right now to call a dude in 2012, a dude who’s sitting and reading… Here he’s going to pick up the phone and say alo, what are you going to tell him?

-I’ve been thinking about that… Why do I feel like a happy man. Because I know that if I call any year of my life I can say, I’m from the future, you do whatever you want, you don’t have to change anything, you’re right.

-Honestly, I feel the same way, even though I’ve made a lot of mistakes. And somewhere I feel ashamed. What are you ashamed of?  Are there some things you don’t want to talk about?

-Of course, everyone has skeletons in the closet. Most of all I’m ashamed in front of my wife, I used to act like a bastard. My ego was above everything. I didn’t see or hear anyone at all. If my friends didn’t care, my wife bet her life on me. And when she saw this disappointment, here she was giving everything away, and I didn’t notice, it was very hard for her. That is why I am trying now to correct this situation with all my strength. It’s already working, it’s already normal. I say, can we make 3, she begins to think about it, so there is a chance that everything will be fine. It makes me feel uncomfortable because I’ve made a mess of things. But I’ve never cheated on my wife, not once.

-Complicate the situation, Dim.  You know now that you did not do well with your wife. You get a chance to call a dude when you’ve done bad things somewhere with your wife. Got something to say?

-There is something to say, teach you how to behave with your wife.

-Well, talk, imagine a moment somewhere in the past, there were moments where you wanted to, to fix something, here, talk. Or think, what would you say to him?

-You’re living in the cottage now, you left your family because yours is constantly crying, constantly nagging you, constantly unhappy. And you decided to live for a month, if it’s okay, you’ll divorce. With the children will communicate, as before, then that got you sick of her, she does not understand that you have plans hurricanes, that you have a mission, and she all about her feminine. She wants you to be there for her, to do many things for her, but you do it only for yourself. Buy her a bouquet of flowers and take her to a restaurant. You’ll get this bouquet at the restaurant most likely, but you’ll at least have a chance to explain that bear with me, you know you’re not going to change now. Just ask this woman to be patient and promise that you will change, you will be a different person in the future. Just convince her of that. Because I don’t believe this call will change you… It’s just not just me telling you, people around here are telling you you can’t do that. You haven’t listened to anybody. And you won’t listen to me. Just ask her to wait. Don’t leave.

– And would you listen, would you take her?

-I wouldn’t switch, I’d listen, but I don’t believe anybody can understand a person, even if they tell you from the future that you’re done. It’s a long process…

-If you had the opportunity to change, would you do it knowing that there was an opportunity to change the future? Would you have changed it then?

-I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t gone all the way back then.

-Worth everything that’s happened to you, maybe you shouldn’t be asking that question but your wife.

-From her point of view, it definitely wasn’t worth it. It was possible to keep her psyche healthier, to make her feel more confident. For me to sacrifice something for it. She’s probably right. But whether I could have changed then is a big question. Now send me there, I would certainly know that in 5 years I would care more about her health than her athletic accomplishments. Completely changed my strategy, but that person is not a fact that would have changed anything. Furthermore, I can’t say I regret that it was like this. This is the way, I do not want to be able to change this way, we passed it. I don’t know, maybe it was different, maybe it was worse, maybe we would have divorced altogether.

-I’m trying to get you to the point that everything has a price. The price of what you have, I didn’t know then. Let’s not say for you anymore, but let’s say you realized your price and we’ll talk about it now. Knowing that every achievement has its price, someone inspired by your example, will rush to do it. What would you like to tell people so they don’t make some mistakes that you’ve made?

-Nobody listens to anybody. I tell them if I see them start having the same shit as me, I see it right away.  I sit for an hour and drink beer with him and hear nothing but about sneakers, sports, and swimming. Not a word about family, not a word about kids, Facebook feed only about swimming, all our client. I give him some instructions. One: Remember you have family, friends and a job. Two: Take care of your health. I know you’re going to start training like crazy. You’ll see your results start to go up, you’ll hunker down like a horse and kill yourself. And third: listen to what your elders tell you. Don’t make mistakes. Nobody ever listens. And then six months later, he says, “Achilles broke up, my wife is kicking me out of the house, I’m getting a divorce. I quit the sport altogether. I don’t believe anybody listens.

-Is it common for people to quit running, sports? Does it happen a lot?

-Who I started running with back then six years ago, about 10 percent stay. I heard somewhere that there’s a six-year cycle where an amateur gets into the sport, fucks it up and then gets out. Leaves athletics behind. Many marathon runners who have run a marathon and didn’t see what to do next, quit…just don’t set themselves goals higher and stop. Maybe it’s the sport that keeps me going, too, because I’m climbing to the top. Maybe when I get to the top, I’ll quit, too. You’re leading to something, tell me what you’re interested in, I’ll lead you to it.

-You see, if it were that easy I’d say. I have everything swarming around seven and accomplishments. You can’t live without your life’s wheel rolling smoothly, I’m hooked on the story about the wife, and I want to get into it. It is clear that you want to change something, to fix something, to make it right, to change it. Life is different now, the wife is happy at last, tell me, you always talk about sports.

-I’m not that interested in sports right now in life. If before for me sport was sport, creativity creativity, work work, family family, everything is separate. Now I realize that sports is one reflection of personality. No matter what I’m doing, writing books, playing sports, or babysitting, it’s all one manifestation of identity. And once I realized that, sports were no longer the dominant part of me. I started to realize myself in all alone, because I’m one person. 

-You know, it’s all too general. You need models on specific models. You were talking about your dacha; it was cool, dramatic, and my eyes became moist. You remembered something there, it touched me. You have to be specific, it touches me. Here you say sports is sports. But you went through a lot of things before you got there. Tell me about at least two of them.

-I, too, believe that everything is natural, that nothing just appears.  I specifically became involved in sports because that is where I could make a difference. The universe tries to act with minimal investment, not randomly. Here, he has promoted websites where he can promote sports. He’s got health, and a good natural reserve, he’s very passionate, he’s goal-oriented. So he can do long projects. He’s a marathoner at heart. He’s got a strong team, guys who can plug in. Even now this race in Oymyakon, everyone asked me how you could do it, it’s space, it’s not real at all. I don’t understand them, because from my point of view I was going to it in small steps, and when I started thinking about it, what I did doesn’t seem like a super achievement to me, because before that I did 6 years of running, I did a lot of cold races, I had endurance races where I tested my body without energy. I did freediving, which helped me breathe in an icy mask, I had the money to go there and put a team together, I had a PR resource already promoted, I had the trust of people to raise money for this girl. And when I realized that it was not just me who went and did it, but it had taken years to come together in one place. Then my answer came right away. It was a big project of five years, I didn’t realize it myself, I already realized it when I ran. If I hadn’t had those links, I wouldn’t have gone there. The main thing that I got in 5 years was the belief in myself, about professional runners who run faster and farther than me. And when it all coincided, came together and I ran.

-Well, you see, that’s quite an accomplishment, you can already reason. It’s interesting the beginning of the final and the journey. Anyway, we talked about your wife and your family, that you had a lot of problems. Let’s talk about other situations when you wanted to quit the sport or you didn’t have any of those?

-I have a problem with that. I have a lot of things in my life that I need to quit. Really quit. Because it either doesn’t work for me, or it sucks, takes more energy than it gives and I’m dragging it out. I know there’s this problem and I’m working with it. There are just some things…like stopping directing cartoons. That sounds creepy to me, because I’m fulfilling myself in it. I go to festivals, I bask in the glory, I direct Moldovan animation, a bunch of prizes, millions of views on YouTube. But I’m not a professional director and I never will be. I have some natural talent, crooked and slanted, to make such cartoons. People who believe in me, money to pay their salaries. And so on that basis, I’ve already closed that segment somehow. And it’s better to give this segment to someone who will do better than me, cooler than me. But in the credits, I will not be on the first line, but somewhere in the tenth. It’s a shame, it’s unpleasant, but I have a lot of time to spare, the emotional strain is off of me, I can take the load off, because it always weighs on me. I have to come up with new cabs, make a new script, storyboards, I don’t have the time, energy, or desire to do that. But I have to, because everyone is waiting and it stresses me out. First the psychological and then the physical. That is why I understand that I have to get away from such projects, I have several of them, I will gain strength, breathe out, and give wishes to other people, and it is very hard.

-That’s also interesting, letting go is hard, what else did you let go there, what things did you let go of, did it hurt you not…

-I let you do things that don’t interest me. Like making money. I am not interested in that, there is a partner who is smart, who is pumped, he likes these charts growing up, he likes to cover territories, to increase the number of partners. Thank God I was given someone like that, I’m not interested. I’m past that. It’s a dubious achievement to give up something you’re not interested in. And here’s something I really cared about, something I can brag about, but I’ve honestly let go of sports lately…I don’t train the way I used to, my mental confidence is enough for me, physics is second nature, so I don’t train like an angel before. And you can talk to me already about women, about family, about children, about film. You couldn’t talk before. I got new glitches – I started writing. You know it’s not always like in the movies you sit down and start writing with a goose pen, sometimes you get up at 5 in the morning, you sit down. And that’s how you sit and write. And with difficulty you write out line by line, as in Buddhism, the less addictions you have, the happier you are. You have to give them up to be free, you can’t be free if you have any attachments, you can’t enjoy them and be free, because any attachment makes you miserable. And so I hope that in the next 10 years I won’t have anything new and I’ll give up everything old and be happy with nothing. I believe in that very strongly.

-You didn’t answer my question. That’s the subject I’m interested in. You started about her, cartoons, it’s expensive for you, some unrealized dream. In those conditions, as you explained, it is not realized as you wanted it to be realized. You have to put a lot of life into it. You can’t put your life in there anymore knowing what’s going to happen to your family.

-I can still. I’m not ready.

-Your losses won’t be compensated for. You realize that parting with animation is a dream unrealizable, no matter how much you rock it or want to think about it, tell me about how you feel

-that I wouldn’t be able to become a director of a full-length cartoon that the whole world would see?  I still believed that three or four years ago. Every year I had less and less time for the cartoon, a year or two ago I realized that I can not cope with it, lowered the bar. I said I couldn’t do it, but I could write the script for this cartoon. We have an awesome character, awesome pictures. In fact, these will be projects born from us, but made by others. I will not be a producer, I will be a writer. Thus made myself such a patch, but I still continue to believe in it. You should interview me in about 3-4 years, when I say okay, I can’t be a screenwriter either, but I came up with the characters. I guess every artist has one of those things.

-I like it yes it doesn’t work, but I’m not giving up. Look, here’s this thing about the interview later, the interview back, I don’t think you can, or maybe you can… back to the wife, it’s more dramatic there. It’s more interesting there. There’s conflict there, it’s more interesting to watch you. Let’s do it differently, let’s play a game. You’re in the country; you’ve told yourself everything. You have an opportunity to visit your wife at the same time. Here she’s sitting there, you’ve gone to the kitchen, is that what you told her?

-She would wonder why I came. I want to talk to you. – But you and I talked about it. – I’m telling you that I’m not the Dima who’s with you, but the Dima who’s in five years. I want to tell you that we will have a lot of joints and you will pack my bags many times and get me out of the house, but in 5 years you and I will play a wedding 15th anniversary, all our friends will come there and you will not recognize me. But now you have a test in your life, you just have to get through it. I don’t know what will change for me, but I’ll just be different. Wait for me. I’ll come back to you. You’ll feel something start to change.  I don’t know if she’ll believe me or not. I think she will, she loves me. It’s interesting to call not even in the past but in the future, ’cause nobody knows what’s gonna happen there, I don’t know if Dimon would call me now and say, “Run, Dimon, run for your life. 

-I wonder, here you are now, call you- run and save yourself! That’s what the man from the future would say. He knows what’s going on out there and he says run and save yourself. Let’s go to .

-Listen to him? … No, I’d probably like to see it happen with my own eyes and hope I don’t let that happen, he’ll tell you that you’ll get divorced, she’ll take all the property, you’ll have a fight, the baby will be born and stay with her. That’s fucked up. It’s better to split up nicely and everything will be fine.  If I know that, I can change something, I can not let it happen. I believe in that. I will work on it. Although he will probably tell me not to do it, I was also called, but it did not work out, it ended badly. Let’s try again. Last one. What would you have done?

-I would have done the same thing. Especially if he called you and warned you, run, do not run, it will still be bad. Well, since no one called, then all is well. Life is life, the way is the way.

-She has a question. When we met, she understood approximately who and what I was, felt that she would have to sacrifice a lot to make a person out of me. But her mistake was that when she needed help, I would also start sacrificing myself. -You didn’t promise me that, but it seemed that way to me, and when you formed as a person, you were fine, and now I need to realize myself, and I don’t feel that support, the same attitude that I had towards you. I have nothing to blame you for. That’s the kind of person you are. You didn’t promise me anything. I just made it up to myself and I need your help now. And I don’t know how to help her. I gave her a resource, both monetary and advertising, but she needs something big, she needs my participation, she wants to realize herself as a specialist, to make a career, to become useful to society. It seems to me this is a personal matter, no one can make a decision for you, what to be, how to be. And I can only ensure to close all your holes. The desire has to come from you, I can’t give you an injection of desire.

-Maybe she means some kind of support?

-I’m trying to be supportive. We have fewer scandals. Elementary things, going to the store, putting on underwear, taking off my pants, hammering a nail into the wall, she gets excited when I do something around the house. The man of the house, the man. In addition to giving flowers, I try to do some kind of routine, for example, let me stay home today to wipe the kids’ pants, and you do what you like. For example, I send my daughter to a concert, and I stay home with my son and his teddy bear to do homework. She feels good, too.

-Maybe that’s what support is all about.

-She’s not satisfied, I tell her, you’ve got a domestic helper, you’ve got a driver, you’ve got a messenger, people who deal with your issues. She’s not satisfied with that. – You have to spend your time on me personally, and then I’ll enjoy it. I need people to decide, I need you to sacrifice for me. It’s a little selfish of a woman, too, but it’s her understanding that I love her, and I care.

-Don’t you think it’s a piece of cake?

-She does, I have this piece of pie and she has this one. For me it’s enough in this sector, but for a woman it’s a little bit different. Especially married to a jerk like me.

-So how do you deal with these questions?

-I try, I used to say that you have money, call a plumber. You need groceries, I’ll get them for you. Kids- let the teacher take care of it, I don’t have time. And everything was blowing her mind.  And now she doesn’t need to solve problems. She needs my personal involvement. And that can be really fucking hard. You have to choose, either your family is normal or it’s not normal.  When I start complaining 30-year-olds that he got married and it began, I say wait, you think you’ll get a divorce and it will be easy with the other. Marriage – it’s work, if you want to be with a woman for a long time – work, fuck, 10% pleasure and 90% is work. You have to tighten the screws on yourself so that everything will be fine at home, don’t think everything will be like in the movies, this is not a movie, this is life. Those couples live long lives that can step on the throat of their song, and those that don’t just split up.

-That makes sense. It’s a project like any other.

-It’s the hardest and longest project ever. You know the TED conferences? I spoke there. I talked about projects. I talked about how all projects are the same: family, business, sports. All the projects that you do your whole life. And before those, we had a really terrible fight; I wasn’t living at home at the time. We met a few hours before the event, I was sick, I was leaking snot and I told her she wanted to leave me. And I’m a shithead in general, but she went there for the event. And I changed my speech, I had an hour before the show. And she listened and said she was giving me one last chance. I told her about my projects, 999, that I had 3 more big projects, 1 big and 2 smaller ones, that my family was the most important thing in my life and I was working on it and would try. Everyone clapped…

-Bought…but that’s good, that’s what’s important. But if it hadn’t happened, she didn’t come, she wouldn’t have said anything, it wouldn’t have happened. The universe sent it to you there. You changed your speech. It’s like a movie.

-Probably if I hadn’t changed my speech, it would have been the same, but it’s nicer to think it wasn’t. I’m howling at life as a big story. I see all the events I have in my life as, and it would be interesting to tell my grandchildren before bedtime. Would he listen to it as a bedtime story?

-Tell about relationships in life.

-Storytelling rules. I try to break down everything that happens in my life into stories. And then make a big novel out of them. Small stories: how I invented the lobster, how I went to Oymyakon, how I did my first run, how 999 came about, in all areas I try to make stories. When I have a story in my head, I think about whether it’s interesting to tell my grandchildren, and if I know it’s interesting, they will listen to me carefully, so I did the right thing. So it was important to live this piece the way I did. If he is not interested in listening to the fact that my sales increased by 15%, how to increase profits, he is also not interested. And how my mother and I met at McDonald’s is an interesting story. This way I understand what I need to do in life and what I don’t need to do.

-Maybe you could articulate it to people, maybe you should build your life the way you told me. Although, you already said that. It’s funny, I like it. But I want to tell you. That all your stories are interesting, but the most interesting is your relationship with your wife. Watching you talk about your wife, I have this theory that all you did to get your wife to like you.

-But no…I’m sorry I cut your wings. Especially the kids. My wife certainly doesn’t love me for what I do, even the opposite. Sports I take the attention away from her, I go for a run and I could talk to her in bed. The first 3-4 years she hated sports, then slowly got used to it. But I calmed down, too. I used to have sneakers flying all over the apartment. That’s jealousy. I started wasting less time.

-Sneakers were flying all over the apartment, how did she talk you out of sports?

-Threatened me that I’d ruin my health, that I was old and couldn’t take it. There were no threats. It was either me or the sport, there was no such thing. When I drove her into hysterics, when we were fighting, she was telling me in Russian language where the sport is and where she would stick it, that it would not lead to anything good, that you love it more than me. Standard texts. I just nodded my head and told her that here I was running the next marathon and I was barely training, we would be with you…then I realized that it was all cheating and you couldn’t trust me. And then she just wouldn’t listen to me. She’s a fighter. She just beat me, when we start fighting, she gets mad, she can hit me. I put up with it and just pushed her once. Very unsuccessfully pushed her, it hurt her for a very long time, but she hasn’t hit me since. Progress in the relationship has definitely appeared. Do you know the story of how we met?

-No, tell me.

-It’s all on the blog, too.

-What’s a blog? Any idiot can read a blog, but to listen…

-It’s a real story I’ve told 50 or 70 times. A mutual acquaintance decided to introduce us. I had a couple of sites nobody knew at the time: 999. And she too, she had some kind of public organization. And our mutual acquaintance decided that we were right for each other. So we met at McDonald’s and stuff. Pretty girl, no business. Just showed up. Nodded and nodded and said, let’s go eat. There was me, Vika and this other couple. We went to some cafe and ordered some food. We sat, chatted, and then we went out. This couple says we do not have money, pay for it, Dimon, you are the owner of our sites. And I am as naked as a dandy, my monthly bill when I saw $40, unaffordable money, I did not even have half … I think yep. A girl is sitting, I look at the waiter has heard all this talk, comes up, realizes that now there will be a conflict … Suddenly realizes that under the table, someone touches me, I put my eyes under the table and look at me Vika handed me $ 20. I’m like, in my head, it sounded like music, I thought, are there such women? I settled up and dragged her out for a walk. I fell in love and realized this was the kind of woman who would always help me. We got into a big fight, we kissed the same night. And a couple of days later when we met, I brought her home and we started living together. We only had one date. Then we lived together, we still live together, and exactly one year later we got married.

-Funny. Romantic

-I still haven’t given her the money. Then a man has to be indebted to a woman, only then there will be harmony. 

-I saw your Facebook post there, always learn to spend money. It’s not about money.  How do you even live together, you don’t go out that often, do you?

-I’ve recently started taking her to the starts, to the race, she of course also resents it, can we just ride. We crawl out, we crawl out, we ride together under the leads. With the kids now going to Disneyland in Los Angeles in April. The whole family.  There’s a backstory, too.

-Tell me

-It’s very simple. Three months ago I went to my beloved and said that after Oymyakon I will have a race in California badwater 135 km, it will be very hard, hot, uphill, but I have to … she asks me when. I say the end of April. She says: Dima, I want to remind you that 2 years ago at the end of April you ran in the Sugar Desert and we met Easter without you. Do you remember? I want to remind you that a year ago on Easter you were at the North Pole and we celebrated Easter without you. I want to ask you, this year you are going to leave the family for Easter without you. Did I get that right? I have my hand already crawling to the rolling pin. I say, what makes you think I’m going to leave you here? I’m taking you with me. Where? To America. – Shall we go together? – Why did you think I’d go myself? – No, of course we’ll go as a family. I’ve been wanting to take the kids to Disney World for a long time. The puzzle came together and we had to go. They needed an escort car, so she’ll be there. And the race is right on easter day. Who thought of that? That’s what Easter is like. Got any eggs? He’ll have eggs to celebrate Easter with.

-Nothing bothers you, you used to drive alone, now with your family? No distractions?

– I don’t go alone, I go with my friends. I’m not a family man at all. There are such family-oriented people, for whom the main thing is family. I cannot boast of the same. I try, I have friends that family cannot replace. Vacationing with friends is something special, a segment that family doesn’t cover. Being completely sincere with a woman doesn’t work. Only with friends can you be yourself. With a woman it’s still a game, you try to be better, and friends let you open up completely. That’s why I go with my family too, I get some kind of pleasure and,] and with my friends I have my own separate adventures, without the girls. They don’t overlap in any way. Friends have a very important place in a man’s life too, not so in a woman’s life. For a man should have friends.

-That’s probably right! 

-Well, yes, to travel in mixed companies, here and there… so we went out with guys, got drunk, jerked off, fought, got into some boils. Then went to the sea with my family, had a nice walk. All and back. This is the sense of sinusoid gives a sense of life. And when everything is good is bad and when everything is bad is bad. And when there are changes like that, it’s super. It makes you feel good.

-What about that rocket they launched into space? Tell me

-Yeah, they launched a rocket into space. They strapped the rocket to a balloon, put a camera and launched it. It filmed everything for 30 km. There was a rocket and a camera, it filmed everything. Then I went up, the balloon burst, she parachuted down to Ukraine, the camera filmed it all. In Ukraine they took it, we had a lot of adventures at customs, but we got it out and edited the reel. A very heartwarming video turned out, with children blowing up a balloon, launching a rocket. Again, this is something you can tell your grandson.

-It’s just a story. Would you like to jump out of the stratosphere?

-Of course I would… I’d still jump up, any fool can jump down, but up, I’m waiting for my financial capabilities to grow to the price of a ticket to space. As long as we strive for that. Price goes down, income goes up, maybe they’ll meet. There would still be health at that point. 

-Want to go to space?

-Who doesn’t want to go into space?

-I’ll be a cameraman, you’ll be a tourist, and I’ll be shooting. 

-When I was going to the Pole, I spent a lot of money. I asked if I could take my family. They told me yes, of course you can. – But how much will it cost? – Two or three times more expensive. – Nah, I’ll go alone. So I saved up for three years. And we have to go to space!

-It’s fun to go to space. I still have everything! I’ll even figure out how I can mount it all. The only thing we still haven’t answered the main question – why do you need it all.

-We had to come to the end of the film that there was no answer to that question. You do what you want, you listen to yourself. I gave the example of the kid who came to the birthday party and they put a cake there and the kid started eating it. They ask him why do you eat the cake, because it’s delicious, I want to eat it. Because it’s affordable, I want to eat it. Whatever my spoon can reach, I eat. And why, because it tastes good. How do you explain that?

-Yes, that’s how you explain it…

Pole of Cold 3. Racing in Outer Space

Pole of Cold 3. Racing in Outer Space

Is it possible to run at -60°C (-76°F) , why do gods like pancakes, what do you see when you look through a jelly, how to make the worst photo of your life, is there thickener of thoughts and how to defeat three hippos?

Pole of Cold
The Rubicon is over. No turning back

The Rubicon is over. No turning back

How to lose 4 kg (8.8 pounds) and how to “draw” road marking with snot? Why is Coca-Cola more important than your own son? Is it tasty to eat pilaf with condensed milk and what is Rubicon really about?