I was born wearing a bodysuit or – better said – wearing many colorful bodysuits and a pair of shoes that used to be white and then turned into beige ballet slippers. My shoes didn’t last very long though; however, every time they broke I was happy because I finally had the chance to get a new pair from mr Pastorelli, a salesman that who used to sell ballet slippers to local gyms.
Buying ballet slippers felt like eating bread and Nutella; it meant that I had worked out and that I had learnt something new. It meant that I was improving my skills.
I grew up suspended between water and earth, between a chassé and a twist, along with my black suits – even if I nobody liked them besides me. I grew up with chlorine and grass; then boards came along bringing salt, snow and concrete. And I am still here, experimenting this potpourri of elements.
I have never chosen a sport just for fun. I have always chosen a new sport because I felt stimulated, and because I was boosted by the urge of finding a coherent balance between emotions and discipline, adrenaline and concentration, calm and excitement.
In a nutshell, I was looking for the perfect balance in life – that same balance that helps you going on.
Sport is a metaphorical space that makes me stronger, it helps me having a clear thinking and it gives me courage. It represents “my park”, that is to say a safe place where I feel strong. The “my park”concept has been launched by Zalando – market leader in online fashion retail – which became the main partner of IVY PARK – a new brand cofounded by Beyoncé and Phillip Green (you can find more information by clicking on this video).
Luckily I have joined the sport universe when I was a little girl; when doing a splits meant opening my legs trying to touch the floor with my chest; in those moments I could tell myself that I actually made it, and I could show miss Funghini that I was just as good as all the other girls. Sport was about fun, then competition, team work and later on it turned into a tool that trained my body in order to use my mind in a creative way. It became my thing.
Think about water. Water has three different levels of interaction: at first, you only dip your chin and you feel as if you were entering a parallel world; a world telling you that you are a stranger and that you need to respect a place that doesn’t belong to you; you need to follow its rules. Then, there is the moment when you dip your lower eyelashes and you magically understand that you need to stop talking and start listening. And then boom, it comes the time to enjoy your cerebral massage when you dig your whole body underwater and you hair feels just like fearful children who are so scared to drown that they go up back to the surface or, at least, they try to. Your slow movements come from a dysfunctional-function related to that very moment, to the moment when you understand that strength stands in its opposite, it stands in calm, and in the awareness of the here and now.
Think about outsweeps: every time you slap water you feel a winner; then you take your hands off the water because you feel guilty for having violated a natural element that doesn’t belong to you, and then you keep moving in this cycle of slap-caress-slap-caress until you take your head off the water – including your chin – and feel like you can actually rule the world because you have used your heart and your strength to be successful, and to face contrasts without hurting the water.
Think about surfing: it is just you and the sea. And you must understand the sea, its codes and its language. It takes time, of course; you will never manage to stand on the board unless you learn how to deal with the ocean. And the finally when you are actually capable of dominating the sea, you feel like Jesus Christ. Do you know how cool it is to see water underneath your feet? Sliding onto it, just like melted butter on a pot? If feels like you can actually achieve anything you want.
Think about running: it always feels uncomfortable at first – at least for me, considering that I am a water-kind-of-girl and then – eventually – I magically feel that I could jump even higher than skyscrapers. Not to think about that yummy light pain you feel on your body after you have trained. My “park” is that thing that makes me feel like I can conquer the world: sport. What is your park?