My 2020: year of shit or chocolate?

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For me it works well that thing of drawing a line at the end of the year to reflect on what happened, what I did or didn’t do, and what I wanted to do; I try to look honestly at everything and listen to myself to understand how I feel about it, and what makes sense to put on my list for the next year by prioritizing each thing.

For me it works well that thing of drawing a line at the end of the year to reflect on what happened, what I did or didn’t do, and what I wanted to do; I try to look honestly at everything and listen to myself to understand how I feel about it, and what makes sense to put on my list for the next year by prioritizing each thing.

It may seem trivial but doing it for real is a whole other thing so let’s get started, I do!

First let’s get the “how hard was this 2020…” issue out of the way. It’s not over yet and, as I say in my latest book Who Cares, I Do!, it also seems like 2020 should never end.

Regardless of when it does end and how hard it’s been, I have to admit that while it’s been unsettling, it’s also been a truly inspiring year for me. 

Certainly underlying it is that opportunity thing that lies behind every major crisis, inside every abyss, which I think is an absolute truth. But it’s not just that.

This year has also been a confirmation of the strength and effectiveness of a method and a process I’ve always believed in:

the DOING. 

The importance and effectiveness of Doing has always been my hallmark – and if you want to learn more about it go read The Ornitorianna’s Guidebook – but one of the aspects of this approach that has guided me most throughout 2020 is its connection to hope.

Doing is a basic ingredient in fueling hope.

Because it’s really true that if there’s no hope, what’s left!!!?

Consciously or unconsciously, 2020 for me was a year in which I nourished in a practical and emotional way my hope, which is certainly innate within me but which I also train.

And this very year I decided to train my hope by pushing it far beyond any comfort zone… Unknown for unknown, at this point I said to myself, “Go, dream and plan big!”.

As Karina Hollekim a beloved athlete of mine says,

“What could possibly go wrong?”.

So, struggling as never before but with the joy of those who know they are in their “flow”, I launched myself without thinking too much into doing, clinging hand and foot to hope. Of course, I can’t deny that it’s been a tough job, it’s been adding to the fire in addition to everything that was already in the program and, in this difficult time, has required efforts beyond the forecast, but in short … I threw gasoline on the fire with the enthusiasm of an arsonist! If you know me at all, you know: I exaggerate to entertain…

But now I’m going to enter for real into my year coming to a close, lay out some of the laundry in the square so that it also becomes an archive and memo for the future. Let me be clear, this is my To Do list, and I’ve chosen to share it here with you, not so much to show how good I’ve been (I’ve already patted myself on the back privately), but because if I want to talk about Doing I think it’s very important to be concrete and hence my list: what did Marianna do in her 2020? 

During this year, with an amazing team, I successfully concluded a training project for a hair cosmetics company by bringing the metaphor of sport first on a stage and then in the classroom, going around Italy – how beautiful Italy is! – just in time before imprisonment!

I made the leap from sole proprietorship to corporation, SRL (LTD). In fact, to tell you the truth, we did it because with me in the limited company there is Lisa Baseggio, an invisible partner since always, or as I call her my professional sweetheart, the one of numbers and finances… the most important of the two 🤩

I have published (finally!) The Ornitorianna’s Guidebook. Since my TEDxtalk on November 25, 2017, in which I staged my “handbook,” I kept getting requests to purchase a handbook, but one that still didn’t physically exist… It took me a while, you could even say it took a lockdown ( ouch), but I did it and now it exists for real!

Despite the difficulties and uncertainties of this 2020, the partnership with my athletes has remained solid. Together we have worked to reinvent ourselves and reinvent new spaces by creating avenues for their need for adventure, exploration, and at the same time sharing positive and constructive emotions that are valid for all. During the lockdown we trained with a new Jane Fonda Tamara Lunger live on social networks; we did miles like hamsters on the treadmill or around the house with Stefano Gregoretti and his Tor des Hamsters; wrote a book with Simone Moro and his Ho visto l’abisso. Then, as soon as the cages opened, we traveled around Italy with Tamara and her Tamara Tour; we were on the Orobie ridges with Simone; and on the five peaks of Lombardy between biking and trekking with Omar Mohamed Alì. And above all, we have never stopped planning our exploits and projects for the new year, always under the banner of hope!

I got screwed on a super-mega project I had shared with a great partner, an excellent partner. Am I an idiot? So much. It cost me a punch in the gut and a tear, but you learn something from everything. Quoting Elizabeth Gilbert and her Big Magic, I can say that the fault was mine, because the idea came to me but I wasn’t fast enough, skilful enough or able enough to develop it, so the idea went elsewhere…

I didn’t give up, I took back the original dream and redefined the starting point while raising the bar on the end point. Most importantly, I was able to put my heart on the fact that, in these things, you also need patience.

Today I think I can say with a good dose of confidence that it is also “thanks” to the great swindle above if I decided that the time had come to question a few things, and to take steps forward. And it is precisely by taking these steps that I am ending my year and preparing to start the one to come.

I’ve decided to “separate” from Sports & Beyond (not like a wife from a husband, but like a parent from a child who lets him go so he can grow up), and so Sports & Beyond will become a bigger project (but I’ll tell you about that in January). 

This site, becomes a platform for sharing my inspirations and life lessons. It changes, grows and expands in many directions: the Speaker Bureau space is enriched with a lot of new names (some you can already see, others will come soon!); my webinars are coming (you’ll soon know more about this too!); and most of all, Ornitorianna is coming! If in the last two years in fact she lived her own life with dedicated social channels, now we become “partners”, and we share everything (from the platform to social to communication), after all we can say that we have always been two bodies and one soul 😉.

Having reached the end of this long to-do list, I can’t say that I know what will happen tomorrow, but I do know that in this present of mine, difficulties included, I am privileged: I have food to eat, I have a roof over my head, I have affections to count on, I have pets that teach me how to live and to give the right value to things when I forget, I have the possibility to dream, I have the ability to live well in the present and the drive of hope to keep moving forward.

And all of that is always and always happiness to me. Even when I’m sad, even when I’m angry, even when I feel powerless. I’m happy because I know I always have a chance to DO something.

Has it been a year of shit or chocolate?

Maybe the right answer is: who cares! After all, the color is the same and, if there is this Hamletic doubt, the best thing is not to think too much about it and keep walking, surfing the waves of life, moving forward finding in the confidence of doing and in the hope of continuing to do the motivation and the space for happiness. And if you have a brown and steaming cup in your hands, maybe remember to drink it only if you smell the chocolate…

Ah, I almost forgot… also this year I published Who cares I do! Day by day with the guide of Ornitorianna, a book/agenda del fare that continues the path started with Il Manuale di Ornitorianna with the intent to tell me/us: come on! There is always a way to move forward and do it well.

Yes, sometimes it’s hard, in this moment even more so, but we must not stick to excuses not to do what we want and can do!

That goes for me, that goes for everyone!

NB for myself: also this year the first place of satisfaction goes to my teammates, to a working group and to excellent partners, who share with me vision and values. They know who they are!

A precious treasure to be truly grateful for.

And where do you stand on your list?

I wish you a toast at the end of this year and for next year I hope to wish you well in person. In the meantime:

Stay grounded, keep flying and doing & comevavabene!