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How to Transform an Old Man’s Screaming Into a Lifetime Achievement
Nick Pappas learned early what it means to follow a dream, no matter what. Nick grew up in Athens Greece, near the coast, and throughout his high school years he was a singer in a top rock band and an elite athlete. At the age of 17, he won 3rd place in the hurdles of 110 meters in the Greek school games; At the age of 19, he won second place in diving from the 5 meter platform and 5 by 3 meter diving at the famous Panathenaikos club. But the meaning of never giving up on your dreams came earlier…
The event took place in Athens at the famous marble Panathenaikon stadium where the world championship between Greece and Sweden will be held. Being popular in Greece, there were about 20,000 people that day. Nick had to run 200 meters.
What is special about this course is that it is probably the only one in the world where 200 meters is a straight shot, without twists and turns. You must make sure that when you cross the finish line you turn to your left to avoid hitting the marble barrier. Nick’s coach was a 60 year old, 5’5, 180 lbs 180 lbs who had a passion for the sport and dedicated his entire life to it.
On that winning day, the coach had no choice but to ask Nick to run 400 meters, in addition to the 200 meters, because the 400 meter runner got sick. Nick had not learned the 400 meters; This distance requires a different approach, and a different mindset. A quick lesson from the teacher did not go well that day when Nick set up at the beginning with an unknown image that will be the second and second method. When the gun sounded, he broke out of the sprint with the instincts of a 200-meter sprinter, rather than a 400-meter champion who made sure that with every move he positioned himself against a well-trained opponent. the garden around him. At 300 meters, Nick’s legs weren’t going anymore. His lungs were pumping more air but the signals from the brain to the muscles were going unanswered. At about 330 meters, the machine that would later go on to win the top 5 in several games in Greece stopped. Suddenly, the coach, who had strategically placed himself behind the marble barrier at the 350-meter mark, began to shout for Nick to start again, waving his arms vigorously and pointing to the finish line. Among all the fans screaming and cheering for their athletes, Nick could hear the coach’s screams clearly.
Somehow, Nick was able to muster enough strength with the cart to continue and finish the race, albeit at the end. The proud complainer, trying to catch his breath, tired of being humiliated and beaten, felt as if he wanted to lose and die. But that was nothing compared to what was about to happen 5 seconds later.
The teacher is coming to the end. Nick looks over and sees the teacher with a red face. For a 16-year-old, an angry 60-year-old is dangerous. The teacher wastes no time in getting to the point. Screaming and calling Nick various names, he manages to summarize the following: “you, never, never, never, never-quit the race! You die before you quit the race! You always finish the race even if you’re crawling. 4 to the finish! I’m 60 years old and I can run This is the end of this race!” Later in the dressing room, he repeated the lesson of a lifetime, this time with his father’s face: “Niko, you have not given up, not only the competition, but everything you do in life. your dream. If you stop now, this will follow you in all your actions.
There was a lot to learn that day from the 16-year-old cockerel who up until that point thought he was god-like—invincible in everything he did. Nick won championships, swimming championships, volleyball trophies in Greece and later after moving to the US, and finally in car racing competing for PCA for Porsche. The lesson he learned that day inspired him to pursue and receive four college degrees, including a doctorate, and start the most successful medical career of his life.
Eight years ago, Nick moved to Los Angeles to pursue another dream, following his true passion – music. Over the years he wrote many songs and songs but it wasn’t until he came to California that this dream came true. He collaborated with three famous musicians and completed two CDs that are sold on more than 65 sites.
Nick is calmer now than when he learned that terrible lesson years ago. Now living in Del Mar, again near the beach, he continues his medical research and is still working on his next CD. He can write another scientific paper for a medical journal and add to the 50 already published. Apart from regular training and flying F4 fighter jets on the Midway carrier simulator in San Diego, his main pastime these days is… entertaining his rare Aston Martin Vanquish or riding his Harley up and down the coast. By the way, he built this bike and won 4 trophies at bike shows; “no more of that”, he says, “too much cleaning, too much pressure; I just want to ride now”.
One thing is for sure: Nick will be following his dreams no matter what.
“I think the coach is somewhere still watching me to make sure I don’t give up on my dreams”, he says running his hand over his chin and looking up at the California sky…
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