On Tuesday, March 1st, 34-year-old journalist Valentí Sanjuan spoke about his past experiences in relation to the journalistic opportunities that he has created for himself. After working at a Catalunya radio station for seven years, rather than renewing his contract, Sanjuan chose to create his own athletic-based Youtube channel and document his attempt at completing el Ironman de Lanzarote—other than playing soccer for Blanes Third Division and Jupiter in First Catalan, he had not swam since high school nor ridden a bike in twenty years. Therefore, despite the criticism, Sanjuan began training three hours a day for the 42-kilometer run, 180-kilometer bike ride, and 3.8-kilometer swim. Despite his lack of experience, he received second place in the entire competition and plans to partake in other Ironman events in the future.
Sanjuan explains that every video has history and a story behind it, but each one shares a common theme—motivation and persistence. Valentí states that the goal is not to run to fulfill what you need, but to fulfill a need through running. He also touches on the fact that if you truly have a desire that can only be filled by an Ironman competition, you will find the tools and the time to complete your goal.
Not to mention, when Sanjuan started documenting his adventures through Youtube he opened two channels: one to upload videos of athletic milestones and the other of daily videos that were not necessarily sports-related. The former soccer player has more than 100,000 subscribers and each video has between 100,000 and 300,000 views. “Today, something that was a hobby is now part of my job,” says Sanjuan.
Sanjuan tells our class that his job incorporates advertising, marketing, journalism, storytelling, and most importantly building communities, explaining that creating a successful society including unique content and engagement.
In terms of his next challenge, which is perhaps one of the most important of his life, Valentí plans to travel the world with the intention of participating in a different sport in each of the cities he ventures to with the help of athletic specialists.