Sil Pimentel - Pro Track Athlete
My name is Silas Efraim Bezerra de Araujo Pimentel, but most people know me as Sil. I am originally from the beautiful coast of Natal, Brazil and moved to the U.S. when I was 13. This is where my appreciation for running really began. Running has played a big part in shaping who I am as an athlete, but more importantly as a person. My journey has been one of blood, sweat, and tears but I wouldn’t want it any other way. The sport is one of discipline and dedication. Today, running is very different than when I first started in my youth. My respect for the sport and for those I compete with has continued to rise throughout my running journey as I have moved from racing my buddies in junior high school to completing against some of the best in the world.
Running has always been a part of my life. One of my favorite childhood memories was waking up in Brazil to the smell of my favorite sugar sweet black coffee and crackers for breakfast. After eating, I would get together with my friends and we would all race to the sand dunes near my home. I can’t forget the feeling of red hot exploding volcano lava running through my little legs as I ran at full speed in hopes of getting there first. I promise I’m not a masochist, but pacing was not yet in my vocabulary. Growing up I never knew track was a sport, but running was necessary to perform well at soccer, so I did it quite well. After moving to the United States, I became more and more passionate about running due to a PE coach who recruited me to run for my school. This is where the limitless opportunities started to rain down from heaven, slowly snowballing into a full-ride scholarship to Utah State University for track and field. Who would of have thought that the feeling of red hot exploding volcano lava would follow me from my boyhood in Brazil to a bachelor’s degree and now on to my doctorate in physical therapy.
When my time as a collegiate athlete concluded, I realized that the privileges I had been receiving had come to an abrupt end. Access to athletic trainers, state of the art facilities, personal tutors, etc., were all a part of my past. I had to make a decision, like most other collegiate athletes, to continue or not with my sport. I actually made the decision to stop running competitively for a little while. What brought me back to running was my drive and my desire to find out my true potential. I wanted to find out the athlete I could be without all the perks and built-in support system I had at Utah State. There are three categories I use to determine my success in life: success in my relationships, success in my career, and success in my sport. To me, achieving the greatest success in my sport, would be making it to the Olympics. If I didn’t try, I would be depriving myself of one of the greatest opportunities this sport offers. This is what I am striving for today both physically and mentally. I consider my raw talent to be a gift from God. That is a gift I have treasured and worked countless hours to develop into the runner I am today. I hope to show the world that one can accomplish anything they put their mind to if they are willing work hard enough for it and never give up. This is my hope as I prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games. I got so close these past games and I hope that I can re-write this page in my book, not only to show gratitude to God, but to give hope to all those who have a similar dream.
In order to prevent history from repeating itself, we have to do something different. I came across a quote from a very good friend of mine, by Charles Bukowski, that has given me a constant reminder to always be improving myself in order to overcome complacency. "Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, don't swim in the same slough. Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself and stay out of the clutches of mediocrity. Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you. Reinvigorate yourself and accept what is but only on the terms that you have invented and reinvented. Be self-taught and reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you." I have learned to take advantage of the opportunities and blessings that have been given to me. I’ve also learned that even though I have been blessed with a unique talent, I must act. Success can only be achieved by always working for something bigger and better, and not settling for anything less.
There are 3 things that every athlete must do in order to see success in their sport:
Life sometimes can get very busy and crazy, believe me, I know. Every once in a while I get home from a long day and think to myself, "I'm too tired, since it's pre-season training time I could easily skip today..." What helps me overcome these types of thoughts is scheduling my workouts into each day. This is what my schedule looks like:
-5:00 AM get up
-6:00 AM coach for an hour
-8:00 AM to 4:30 PM rehab patients
-5:00 PM coach for an hour
-6:00 PM start my run
-7:00 PM start my lifts
-8:00 PM free time
-9:00 PM sleep
This is how I structure my day-to-day, but I also make sure to have a good life balance which includes time for a social life. Even though I don't schedule it in, I make time each day for those I care about.
One of the biggest reasons for my success is the trust I have in my coach. At times it can be tough coming to track practice after a long day of performing clinical work, to your coach asking to pull 5x300 meters at 38 seconds out of your already exhausted legs. However, because I trust him and his philosophy, I make it happen.
A preseason week of training for me may look like this:
Monday – 10x60 @ 80% with 80% HR Recovery
Tuesday – 3x150 @ 100% with 80% HR Recovery
Wednesday – 20x200 @ 30.80 with 1:48 minutes rest
Thursday – 4x300 @ 40.5 with 4:18 minutes rest
Friday – 5:20 mile, 4x60 meter springs, and drills
Saturday – Block starts
Sunday – An easy bike ride or a 30 minute walk
All of my workouts are planned for me to peak at a specific time, and trust is a must in order for me to see success. People often don’t see the road, only the results, and this is what the road looks like.
Running can be considered my number one passion in life, with food coming in as a close second. A VERY close second. I really, really like food. As I have consulted with professionals, my appreciation and love for food has increased even more as I have learned to properly fuel my body. I have learned that there is more to food then meets the eye. When I first started down this path in college I tried to eat very healthy with a very high fruits and vegetable diet, and even though I was excelling, I now know I was not my best. In college I was probably not eating more than 2400 calories a day, and now I consume 3800 calories a day, which is a huge jump. Since this change I have improved in all of my events. I often get sick of eating, but just like training, you eat for your sport.
We all have gifts, find yours and work to develop it. There is a quote by St. Jerome that goes, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best”, so be your best!
FAVORITE NAAWK PRODUCTS
-NAAWK ATHLETIC RUB (Great for sore muscles, especially for my hamstrings)
-NAAWK UP - ENERGY BLEND CAPSULES (There is nothing like these energy capsules for a good gym sesh. I can proudly say I’ve made huge gains in the gym due to this product)
-DUO BOTTLE (Super convenient to just throw in my competition bag for when I travel to competitions at very hot places like AZ, California and Brazil)
- Facebook - Sil Pimentel
- Instagram - @Sil.Brazil