You are an Iron Warrior

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You are about to read a story of a person who was thought to be ordinary and even angry with himself. But he transcended his sport.

Salvador Henrique, 47, has been an computer programmer for 22 years. With 1.70m in height, it came to weight 120Kg. But everything changed two years ago.

“What was harder when I reached that weight was the anger I felt of myself for being a guy who always liked sports and let me get to that weight,” says  now the  triathlete.

One fine day, watching an Ironman video, he was thrilled.  Salvador had known Ironman since he was 13 years old when he saw, on a TV show, the epic arrival of Jullie Moss crawling on 1982 Ironman.

That changed his life, as it counts in this video.


There were 42kg lost in 9 months and a new life:

Then in 2016, through the CoachMatch platform of the Ironman site, Salvador begins its search for an Ironman Certified Coach. And that’s where our story begins.

After we exchanged some e-mails and conversations online, we closed a partnership with the goal of finishing the Ironman Florianópolis 2017, here in Brazil.

On that moment, i knew i should make several changes to your training style. And of all the transformations that would occur due to the new methodology  Ironman methodology, in which I could apply,  he had a condition that really could not change, although I  insisted in a very hard way!

Among the various technical trainings that require motor refinement for the modalities that make up the triathlon, I spent an exercise in which he would need to practice the unilateral pedal stroke, in which the athlete should perform the pedal stroke with only one of the legs.

And that’s when he told me he did not wear cycling shoes!

And then, surprisingly, he justifies the reason for this option.

“Coach, the reason I do not want to wear cycling shoes is because if there is a problem with my bike on race day, I will never give up. And if by precision, I’ll take my bike in the back. And with the sneakers, it will be very difficult for me to be able to walk down the road to the transition area! ”

This was shocking to me, because it fatally reflects a lot on an athlete’s performance, but I felt that I should respect this kind of choice, since I was facing a stubborn and relentless person in the pursuit of his dream at any cost.

But the most shocking was to come …

 The dreamed day

From here, I let this story be told by himself:

“About my IronMan …

Ironman morning … I arrived early, very cold in Florianópolis … 04 Am and I was already there … I put on my swim suits … I organized things in bike, racing and special needs bags.

We went to the beach about 800 meters away to start swimming. Nervous … swimming in the open water was always a bit intimidating, but I did not care … I was in the mood to fight and I was not even bothering about it … and the time came, I went into the water and I started swimming … I fitted my swimming and always trying to calm myself and saying all the time “slowly and always”.

I had stipulated a time for myself to acout  1:51. I made it in 1:34.

I ran out of the water, I went to the T1 (first transition). Changed my clothes and I got the bike energized and with the pleasure of being happy on the bike too … but … more or less at Km 4, I was to the left of a cyclist who Was in front of me and approaching me to pass him when a woman decide to cross the street where I was coming with my bike…the cyclist that was in front of me diverted from the woman and I, who was already surpassing him, had to deviate from the cyclist. Conclusion:  Left clavicle broken bone  and a right hand broken bone … also broke the bike’s rear brake in addition to 2 spokes And the whole wheel warped.


I lost much of the supplementation, which flew at impact.

I was in a lot of pain and the left shoulder and right hand turned two balls of swollen … but I saw that the bike even that way out of place, conclusion? I went pedaling anyway … I pedaled another 104Km with 2 broken bones, no rear brake, warped wheel and with practically no supplementation.

I stopped … I said that I did not give up the test but the pain was too great … and the danger in the wet track and without rear brake would already be putting too much life in danger … then I had to postpone my Ironman .. But I’m going to continue behind him … I’m proud of what I did and I’m sure that if it were not for the incident I would have made a happy and emotional test from start to finish.

I’m not going to blame anyone or even myself obviously … these things I have to try to understand q occur.

In my heart and in the tears of sadness that I put out, I know it would be an IronMan … and I would listen, “You are an IronMan.”

Salvador, is the purest definition of the word Amateur, In portuguese (AMADOR), if we split the word, it can be read “AMA = LOVE” – “DOR=PAIN”. Who loves pain.

He could not reach the finish line. He could not hear the announcer say: you are an Ironman.

But surely he had created a new level of resilience in this sport.

And as soon as those scars heal, we’ll be there at the end of some test, so we can all scream together: You’re an Ironman!

“The river only crosses its way through the rocks, not by its force, but by its persistence”.

Joel de Bem is an Ironman Certified Coach