Page 18 - FIS World Feb 2019
P. 18

Warriors Making Warriors
Students motivate a teacher to push the limit
The halls of FIS are full of warriors. But, there was one particular FIS Warrior I was eager to meet; Vanessa Vidueira. I first heard about Ms. Vidueria
while lying on my yoga mat after completing my REAL FUN-n-FIT with HIIT class. I was feeling particularly proud of myself for having endured 47 minutes of high intensity training when my always-motivating instructor, Manka Mookerjee, began telling us about the FIS Physical Education instructor who recently competed in an off-road triathlon. When I heard “... finished in just over five hours” ... my mind began to wander. Those last 47 minutes were rather painful and exhausting, I just couldn’t fathom how – or why! – someone could endure hours of torment. I needed to find Ms. Vidueria and get answers.
Ms. Vidueria, despite her kind smile and sweet demeanor, is a fierce athlete. Last October, she competed in the XTERRA World Championship in Hawaii. For the uninitiated, XTERRA is the world’s premier off-road triathlon, combining a 1.5 kilometer (1 mile) ocean swim, 32 kilometer (20 miles) mountain bike, and 10.5 kilometer (6.5 miles) trail run. Keeping in mind that the drive from Frankfurt to Oberursel is approximately 20 kilometers, the total distance in this sufferfest is grueling. Furthermore, in what seems to push the boundaries of sanity, XTERRA is an off-road triathlon in sweltering heat, which takes competitors biking up a 1,000-meter incline,
running along muddy forest trails, and swimming against strong ocean currents.
There are few athletes brave enough to tackle the challenge of a triathlon, yet in her very first attempt, she had an outstanding performance at XTERRA and placed in the top ten. Ms. Vidueria is no doubt a champion and a motivation to us all. But what drives her is what was particularly interesting to me.
“When I see my students demonstrate the self- discipline to show up for practice every day in rain
or shine, some battling injuries, and sacrificing their weekends for workouts, I find the strength to demand more from myself.”
- Vanessa Vidueria
One of the things that motivates her to push the limit is her students. “When I see my students demonstrate the self-discipline to show up for practice every day in rain or shine, some battling injuries, and sacrificing their weekends for workouts, I find the strength to demand more from myself,” notes Ms. Vidueria. Her journey can be analogous to her students’ and parents’ quest to achieve their personal goals; lots of hard work and preparation punctuated by moments in which they are given the opportunity to perform their best.
The Pain Gain
It's truly remarkable how much training
Ms. Vidueria had to endure and how devoted
she was to get to the finish line. It was obvious that discipline was the bridge between her goals and her accomplishment. She believes her strong outcome was a direct result of months of training. As with most things in life, you cannot cram for
a triathlon. It was important for Ms. Vidueria to have her trainings be a series of small, steady, sustainable goals,which made achieving her larger goal more realistic. It is empowering to push through the minor challenges; we all need momentum, and nothing fuels it like small
 Emerging from the ocean after the successful completion of the most daunting portion of the race
16 FIS World February 2019

   16   17   18   19   20