Omar Di Felice - Passion Is That Thing Which Help You When the “Game” Gets Tough (Ultra Cyclist)

Omar Di Felice

When you’re alone, in the middle of nowhere (for example in a desert, like the Gobi one, or on the Dalton Highway in Alaska or over the arctic circle in Lapland…) you can just count on yourself.  You’ve to be strong in your mind. Sometimes you think “Why am I doing this?” but it’s just a moment.


1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I am a Cyclist since I was 13 years old. I discovered cycling falling completely in love with this sport. At the age of 23 I was graduated in “Habitat Design”, and I started working as Graphic and Web Designer. 

Cycling was, for sure, my biggest passion and this is why, at a certain point of my life, I decided to start thinking about it as a profession, not only a passion.


2. What inspired you to become an Ultra Cyclist?

I really was inspired by long distance adventures, something like Race Across America or the long adventures by the great Alpinist. This is why I started doing long distance rides, first just for fun, then starting to compete in such ultracycling races. 

The beginning wasn’t easy as you have to adapt your body and your mind to this new kind of effort. Staying on a bike for days, sometimes all night long, without the possibility to sleep well for example, is really hard. 


3. How do you Train yourself for Expeditions?

The most important thing is the mental aspect: you can train at the best possible but without a strong motivation you will give up at the first difficult. 

I train as a standard cyclist, with gym, interval training session or endurance one, adapting my body to simulate the same conditions I will have to face during an expedition. 


4. What Physical and Mental challenges do you face on an Expedition?

When you’re alone, in the middle of nowhere (for example in a desert, like the Gobi one, or on the Dalton Highway in Alaska or over the arctic circle in Lapland…) you can just count on yourself.  You’ve to be strong in your mind. Sometimes you think “Why am I doing this?” but it’s just a moment. 

Then I use to look all around me, to all the beauty of the nature I’m crossing, and I think “Wow, I’m doing what I love more, what I was training for! So keep cycling and go over..” For sure motivation is the best way to end successfully a long distance challenge.


5. How can one build a successful career in your field?

Passion, Sacrifice and Dedication: these are the three basic words you shouldn’t never forget.  Success is something you reach after a long process. 

It’s like the building of a house: you’ve to start from the base, working hard day by day, without forgetting what you started from and where you want to go.  A long career is like a long distance ride: it’s just an adventure. An adventure called “Life”


6. Who inspires you the most and why?

For sure when I was a baby I looked both at the best cyclists (like Marco Pantani) and great alpinists and adventurers (Messner, Bonatti, etc) and I tried to mix those kind of experiences - adventures and high performance sport - to do something new in cycling field. 

I can consider my self a dreamer and an explorer. The only difference with an alpinist or a skier or an ultra runner is that I use my bike to discover places or to do long distance challenges.


7. What tips do you have for people who want to work in this field?

As mentioned before, first of all, you need a big passion. If you do something just thinking about money or success this is the wrong way. Ultracycling is a really hard discipline and in the difficult the only way you can do is to cling to your passion.  

Passion is that thing which  help you when the “game” gets tough. Nothing better than this. Sometimes could be easier to give up, especially when you stress your body going to it's limit.


8. Which is your favorite Book and Why?

I don’t have a specific one. For sure I really love biographies about famous people (not only sportsman) as I think that great lives can inspire all of us with their example.  

If I’ve to mention one, for sure “OPEN” by Andre Agassi is a real example of how sport can influence your life.


- Omar Di Felice

   Youtube


  Interviewed By - Serene Ingle


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