Valentí Sanjuan was one of the most impressive people I have ever heard speak. I was blown away by his story. The fact that he has dedicated his life to completing Iron Mans, Ultra Mans, and not only has completed both of them but continues to challenge himself by doing them back to back, three in a row, and now is about to complete 5 Ultra Mans in 5 weeks in 5 different countries is insane. I would never be able to fathom the thought of completing a half marathon let alone a marathon, let alone a marathon back to back with an Iron Man and an Ultra Man. Valentí really inspired me because the thought of completing such grueling physical activity seemed so unattainable for me, but knowing that all of a sudden one day he just made up his mind and decided to do this, and has completed the most insane combinations of races makes me feel like it would be possible for me to tackle a goal like this. Maybe one day I will run the New York Marathon.
Besides his physical accomplishments, Valentí is a successful influencer and social activist as well. His following on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube is just one way to see the immense effect he has on people. I loved scrolling through his Instagram feed after hearing him speak. One post that really stuck out to me was this one.
In this post, Valentí is riding a two person bicycle up rugged terrain in the mountains of Barcelona. He is riding with someone named Alex Roca, a man who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Alex Roca has completed 4 triathlons in his life and uses sport as a way to improve himself and his life. Seeing Valentí struggling to get up the hill and taking along someone who struggles even more than him was very moving. It definitely struck emotion with me because I have spent a lot of time throughout my life working with people with special needs. Seeing the smile on Alex’s face in that video was very moving. The fact that Valentí not only pushes himself every day to stay in amazing shape and conquer impossible challenges, but also pushes himself to make the world a better place, make connections with people and help people that need the help is incredible. I love how he really cares to make relationships with people who have suffered in their lives, hear their story, and makes something positive out of it. He doesn’t just use peoples’ stories for his own benefit, but he truly cares about every person he meets and from listening to him speak and seeing his posts, it is very obvious.
Valentí shares his personal stories through his Youtube videos and Tweets above, which both captivated me. I loved watching his videos about his family to see the reasons why he dedicates his life to what he does and why he pushes himself so hard. On his blogs, he does an amazing job of showing the entire picture. He displays his whole life, he is very honest with his followers, and he stays true to himself. That is what I think makes him an exceptional influencer and sets him apart from the rest. People are impacted by his work and his passion. I am excited to follow Valentí and keep up with his life, and I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for the future!