You look through the window. The weather is cold and it is dark. You’d think that it will be a bad day. Your soul is almost as cold as the weather outside. Right there, in this moment, somewhere in Sofia, in a small gym, there is a man, who could find all the reasons to stay at home. He could find a reason to curse the weather, his fate or his life. But instead he is always smiling. He fights every difficulty with a smile on his face.
Somewhere, Ilian Petrov is fighting for what he believes and what he loves. He is fighting for what gives him strength to face the hardships that every day has to offer!
Ilian is born without a limb and he grows up an orphan. But that isn’t a green light for him to use it as an excuse and become a failure. He has strong faith and big dreams, which take Ilian to the tops of athletics. Today he is one of the top athletes in the world in his discipline!
Read what Ilian Petrov had to share. Dig deeper in your soul and find the strength that will help you achieve the impossible!
Ines Subashka: What do you do now?
Ilian Petrov: I am just coming back from a training session. I did some squats and jerks. I have a competition on Sunday so I have to be in shape! J
Otherwise I am a track athlete, and more specific throwing events- javelin. It is a really technical discipline, requiring a lot of hard work in order to get good results.
IS: How did you start doing track?
IP: It all started about four or five years ago and to be more precise, when I went to study in the National Sport Academy. That is when I understood that it won’t be east. I was a “barefoot” boy, who couldn’t do even running drills. I was ashamed of my class mates, because they were all athletes and I was coming from a school about Economics. But I told myself that if they can do it, then I could do it too- that is how everything started, with the desire to prove everybody else that I am SOMEBODY! 🙂
IS: Was it hard? What hardships did you go through and who were people who gave you strength and hope?
IP: People who were beside me, weren’t my family or relatives. I grew up in an orphanage for kids with physical disabilities. While I was in school I started doing sports. At every competition I was ready to “kill” in order to be a champion. In order to be somebody in other people’s eyes! While I was still a kid, I told myself that I must be a person of value and not a failure… just going from one orphanage to another and waste my life!
While I was competing, the president of the Bulgarian Paralympics Association, Mr. Ilia Lalov noticed me and he gave me a chance to achieve my dreams. And he still does it!
In the National Sport Academy I met my present coach- Prof. Stefan Stoykov, who is a champion in javelin with his 86.24cm( who could be better than him- to “drink” water straight from the spring). He is beside me in good and bad moments, because sport isn’t only about success. Success is just 10% of everything I, you and every athlete go through.
IS: A lot of people complain that they can’t find the motivation to workout? How do you manage to find motivation to wake up every morning and go to the gym? What gives you strength to fight?
IP: I will answer with this: I hate every single minute of training, but I tell myself: “Don’t quit. Suffer today and live the rest of your life as a champion!”.
I have to say that another reason to do is the financial part, because I don’t have anything and I am not ashamed to say it! 🙂
IS: What are your dreams for the future, both in professional and personal aspect?
IP: My dreams are a lot and they are all BIG. But I am a realist. I fight to have my own home to live in!
IS: Do you follow a nutrition plan? If yes, what is it?
IP: Nutrition plan… I try but it is hard. Everything comes up to money, because it is a matter of being strict and I am still a student. I can say that my recovery is really good!
IS: If you look back to the past, what was the hardest moment in your life and what did you learn from it?
IP: The hardest moment… every moment is hard! I don’t know, I can’t think of one. Even if I had hard moments, I got back up, looked up and told myself “ It could always be harder”. That is why I consider myself a happy person! 🙂
IS: How would you finish the sentence “ I workout because…”?
IP: BECAUSE I WANT TO BE A CHAMPION! I WANT TO BE THE STRONGEST PERSON WITH A DISABILITY! BECAUSE I WANNA BE SOMEBODY!
And some more motivation: