What would you tell your future self?  As team NB looks to what’s next, they reflect on their values, convictions and experiences through a letter to their future self, which reveals not only who they are, but also who they want to be.

Watch their stories and write your own letter below.

Kenji Murapa

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kenji

DEFY GRAVITY: Meet the Man Who Has
Made the World His Playground.

Letter to my future self

Kenji,

You’re here to run, jump and fly.

You’re here to be the boy with the toys, not the man with the plan. You’re here to be your own, not just another clone.

You’re here with an ‘S’ on your chest, not your heart on your sleeve.

You’re here to be the boss, follow your own rules. You’re here to run the zone and sit the throne.

You’re here to recreate your surroundings. You’re here to push your mind.You’re here to defy gravity.

Don’t analyze risk, nothing is off-limits.

You’re here to make the most of being alive.

Yours Truly,

kenji write your letter SHOP HIS LOOK

DEFY GRAVITY: Meet the Man Who Has Made the World His Playground.

“Why?” This word is one of the first we learn as kids. It becomes our refrain throughout childhood as we ask it again and again, learning from those around us as we explore our world. It is the simplest question we can ask, yet perhaps the most profound. But as we grow up we begin to ask it less and less. We begin to follow the “rules.” We begin to accept the answer “because that’s just the way things are.”

One man who has never stopped questioning his reality is South African parkour athlete and professional stuntman, Kundai “Kenji” Murapa. Why go from point A to point B? Why be held down by gravity? Why walk when you can fly? The answers that Kenji received to questions like these never quite satisfied him. The rules always seemed boring to Kenji. So he made his own.

When others walk down the street, they see a sidewalk, a street lamp, a building (that is, if they even notice these things at all). Kenji, on the other hand, sees a launching pad, a pole vault, a jungle gym. For Kenji, the entire world is a playground.

In a constant state of flow, Kenji rides the wave of the present moment, always in tune with his surroundings. He moves through his environment as if he, and he alone, has found the portal to a new dimension. One where gravity no longer exists. One where you are only limited by your imagination. And Kenji’s imagination knows no bounds.

When we caught up with Kenji he offered these words: “you’re here to be your own, not just another clone.” Fearlessly independent in all that he does, Kenji inspires us to get out and move. To follow our own rules. To live life to the fullest.

Because why not.

milos raonic

#teamnb


     
milos

World Tennis Star Milos Raonic
Fueled by Fire Within

Letter to my future self

Milos,

Never lose the fire.

The fire to train, to compete, to win.

The fire to get better, to rise, to succeed.

It’s the fire that drives you, that forces you to hit harder, to keep going, to bleed.

The fire is your source of energy, your power, your character.

But, don’t let it consume you. You use it. You share it.

You can spark in others the fire to fight, to overcome, to become fearlessly independent.

The fire will give you everything in life...

...or take it all away.

Keep the fire burning.

Yours Truly,

Milos write your letter SHOP HIS LOOK

World Tennis Star Milos Raonic Fueled by Fire Within

When you meet Milos Raonic, several things (besides his insane height) become immediately clear: his poise, thoughtful nature and graciousness. But underneath Milos’ quiet demeanor is an intense passion for tennis that he can’t contain. And never wants to.

Originally born in Yugoslavia, Milos moved to Canada at a young age, where he was encouraged to pursue academics by his parents, both engineers. Unable to resist the allure of the court, he convinced his parents to let him pursue both school and sport. But the thing about Milos is - he pours everything he has into anything that he does.

Milos excelled in the classroom, graduating two years early and fluent in four languages, all while fanning the flames of his rising junior career, which eventually led to him breaking the top 100 in the world at 20-years-old.

Despite how effortless he made his journey look, as he become the most successful Canadian tennis player in history, Milos explains that he channeled his inner-fire to focus on improving just one day at a time.

“To be the best at something takes a lot of work. It doesn’t happen quickly,” he explains. “I constantly strive to get better at everything I do, every day, but it’s an ongoing goal.”

Fueled by his successful 2016, highlighted by his first Grand Slam final appearance, Milos’ fire is burning stronger than ever. The hunt to become #1 in the world is officially on – and when you ask him why he continues pushing, he responds simply, “Because I love the game.”

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alexis sablone

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alexis

XGames Gold Medalist
and Architect,
Alexis carves her own path

Letter to my future self

Alexis,

Don’t do what’s expected of you.

That’s boring - more importantly, it’s not you at all.

You have to be yourself, and if that means being different, be different.

You’re a female, an individual, you have something positive to offer, so don’t limit yourself or let the world limit you.

Pursue only the things you love.

Do that endlessly, without compromise, and without fear of failure. Do that and there will be no time wasted - nothing to regret.

See things in a different way.

Every detail and empty space - Imagine somethig new there.

Carve your own path.

And don’t look back.

Yours Truly,

alexis write your letter SHOP HER LOOK

Alexis Sablone carves her own path, in sport and life

If you have an image in your head of what Alexis Sablone might be like, think again. Pro Skate boarder and X games medalist, Columbia undergrad and MIT grad, and an architect to boot—Alexis Sablone doesn’t fit the mold, and never wants to.

Alexis grew up where her creativity took flight at a very young age through drawing and storytelling. Perhaps that’s why she fell into skating, as she commented on the symmetries between these arts. “It’s a way to never be bored, because there’s always a possibility in things” she said.” And by the age of 12, she was already competing with big name sponsors behind her.

Her risk taking nature made her a fit for the skate world. And her focus was unparalleled. “I’m not paying attention to other athletes or what they’re thinking. It doesn’t feel like a competition against other athletes. I’m focused on me. I’m in competition with myself. Trying to be in the moment. It’s a mental game, and a risk taking game.”

By the age of 17, she reached the cross roads that many pro athletes reach: go to college, or continue competing. The decision to go to school and not compete felt like the biggest risk she’d ever taken. The choice to follow her intellectual dreams versus her athletic skateboarding dreams was daunting. “When I decided to go to college, I had to drop my sponsors to focus on other things – it felt scary, but freeing at the same time. It was a choice I wanted to make. I thought this was the end of a cross roads.”

But in true Alexis fashion, she didn’t let one supersede the other—she conquered both. In between classes and sleeping in the lab, she was skating. And when she graduated with her Masters, she got right back into it. Even with limited board time compared to some competitors, she’s already nabbed 5 XGames Medals!

Alexis is a role model for many young, up and coming female skaters. She’s really defied conventions of what’s possible in life, and in sport. Above all, she reminds herself, “don’t do what’s expected of you,” and “never look back”

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boris berian

#teamnb


   
boris

Fast Food to Fast Times:
Boris Berian's Rise to the Top

Letter to my future self

Boris,

Remember the pleasure of running?

Remember the pain?

How much it hurt?

When you knew you were made for more.

The struggle...the work...the failure.

Remember the pain has a purpose.

Thats how character is built.

Remember your coaches that pushed you.

When Big Bear took you in.

When the world believed in you.

Remember when NO ONE believed in you?

And you were on your own...Fearless.

Remember all of it because that is what made you.

Remember all of it, everytime you put it on the line.

Remember yourself.

Yours Truly,

boris write your letter SHOP HIS LOOK

Fast Food to Fast Times: Boris Berian's Rise to the Top

Despite being one of the top 800m runners in the world, 2016 Olympian and World Champion, Boris Berian’s place in the track and field world wasn’t always as clear as it is today. Just three years ago, training alone and flipping burgers part-time in his hometown of Colorado Springs, Boris struggled to unlock the potential he knew he had.

Luckily for him, he wasn’t the only one who recognized his potential.

At the same time, out in Big Bear Lake, California, Olympian and World Bronze Medalist Brenda Martinez and her husband, Carlos Handler, had just founded the Big Bear Track Club, to provide opportunities for middle distance runners to pursue their potential in the sport. Brenda and Carlos were actively recruiting their first group of fiercely dedicated athletes when they began tracking Boris through race results.

“I had seen Boris’ 800m times, but his 400m time is what really stood out to me,” says Handler. “I remember thinking, ‘Man, this kid could be running so much faster.’ So I reached out and said I’d love to have him come out to Big Bear and join the team.”
After an hour-long phone conversation about training and the new team, Boris accepted Carlos’ invitation to join Big Bear Track Club and began making arrangements.

“Carlos bought me a plane ticket to come check out the club and I’ve been here ever since,” says Boris. “I love training in Big Bear because it’s a small village with no distractions. I can really focus on my training here.”

With the benefits of having a coach, teammates and resources now built into his training plan, Boris logged months of solid training. When the 2015 outdoor track season came around, Boris was ready to show everyone how fast he could really run. And it didn’t take him long to do it.

Berian showed strength and speed in his opening races, but he reached a new level at the IAAF Diamond League meet in New York City when he dipped under 1:44 in the 800, clocking 1:43:84. At that moment, he found himself near the top of the world 800m rankings.

“To be honest, we weren’t surprised by his race in New York,” says Carlos. “We both saw the workouts he was doing, so we knew that he could run that fast. We knew the potential was there.”

Boris went on to run sub-1:44 again in Monaco, solidifying his place as one of the top 800m runners in the world. Following his monster debut on the professional circuit, he returned to Big Bear more motivated than ever.

In 2016, Boris showed no signs of slowing down. Not only did he win the 800m at the World Indoor Championships, he won it his way – leading immediately from the gun. His momentum continued into outdoor track, where he nabbed a second place finish at the U.S. Championships.

With his momentum more powerful than it’s ever been, Boris looks ahead to the 2017 season hungry and eager to continue lowering his personal best and climbing the world rankings.

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