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Through the Eyes of the Lion: A Glimpse of Hope

Jan 05, 2014


Leonel Manzano

Today's training
First of all, thank you for visiting my new blog. When I began this new endeavor, I was not sure how it would work or if it would be worthwhile. I was also afraid I would be forced to stop running if I did not take action, so I decided to take the risk. I was fortunate to have the help of friends who believed in my idea and gave me the encouragement and help to figure it out. Since I wanted to be completely involved in the project and did not have much money to risk, we began meeting in the evenings doing most of the planning since August. Though it took some time, we were moving forward with hopes to be able to let my supporters know my situation. The result of this is a very basic website done with a tiny budget, but which we will improve soon! But the best of all is that thanks to the positive feedback I have received, I am no longer feeling ashamed of myself for not having an apparel sponsor.

I have faith that you will continue to support my T-Shirt project. The first orders have been shipped, so some of you should be getting your shirts on Monday, but please bear with us as we improve our system. We are also working to improve the shipping fees and processing times in the near future. I also have a money back guarantee. If you are not happy with your shirt, I will issue a full refund if you let us know within 30 days.

As you know, last year was difficult for me, but I also realize that we can overcome those obstacles by not giving up. In 2010 and 2011, I suffered injuries and had to make sacrifices, then in 2012, I accomplished my dream of becoming an Olympic medalist, but also lost my sponsorship shortly after. Each step of the way I know it has been a struggle, but I know that it has not been for nothing. We must go through hardships to help us grow, learn to be strong and learn how to walk again. Adversity has taught me to defeat those obstacles to continue doing what I love without limits.

That being said, it is a New Year and boy has it has been an exciting New Year! As you know, I launched this project last Wednesday, January 1st. After responding to messages, at midnight I began to pack and got ready to catch a flight the next morning to San Luis Potosi, Mexico for my altitude training phase in preparation for the indoor season. I am currently training with Duncan Phillips, Knox Robinson and Rafith Rodriguez, and this week we will be joined by Miles Batty, and Nick Symmonds.

I have been traveling to the beautiful city of San Luis Potosi to train since 2009. It has the perfect weather for this time of the year and the altitude needed to get in a good training. Altitude training away from home gives me a chance to also reflect on everything that I want to change in my life for the better. If it all goes well my mini-season will consist of New Balance indoor games in Boston on February 8th, Melrose in New York on Feb. 15th, and USA Nationals in Albuquerque February 22-23. I am looking forward to qualifying to the World Championships which will be held March 7th - 9th in Poland. I will keep you guys updated.

Training has been going well. Duncan, Knox, Rafith and I went out to run this morning to one of my favorite places at a small town which sits on a plateau surrounded by small mountains, located just outside of the capital of San Luis Potosi at an altitude of about 7,400 ft.

As we trained, we were unexpectedly joined by two donkeys that started chasing us. We ran away from them as fast as we could; they stopped following us after we crossed a small creek, but boy was it a rush… We unfortunately didn’t have time to capture that moment, but here is a picture of “more friendly” donkeys that were hanging out.

Just a month ago, I thought that track and field would be over for me soon, but by believing in me, you have motivated me to keep going. You have uplifted my spirit and encouraged me to continue the good fight. I have received many messages.

That’s it for now. I am going to be very busy for the most part, training, working on keeping you informed of how I am doing, and will also be adding a new shirt soon. We are working to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your decision to sponsor me.

I will be sending brief updates during the week through Twitter @Leomanzano and Facebook. Don’t forget to check next Sunday for more details of what your sponsorship is enabling me to do! We are in this together!

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