A Grandfather, a Kettlebell, and a Holiday Short That Will Make You Cry

Grandpa Kettle Bell Ad
(YouTube/DocMorris)

Tis the season for holiday shorts that are created solely with the intention of making you cry. Sometimes we need that though, it can be kind of cathartic to feel some tangible emotion, wipe away a few tears, and move on with your day feeling refreshed. I don’t even have to say much about this one to sell you on it. It has no words, and I can’t even tell you the brand it’s advertising because I can’t read German. It all translates though because it’s about a grandfather, and a kettle bell. I don’t want to tell you anymore or spoil the ending, which I DID NOT SEE COMING (ok I did, but only about halfway through).

It will be the most fulfilling 2 minutes you’ll spend on your phone all day.

It features an old man, living alone, who is reminiscing over photos of his family at home. He then goes into the garage and struggles mightily to move an old kettlebell even a smidge. But he trains, day in and day out, in the way only an old man can.

A nosy neighbor phones his family because she doesn’t understand physical exercise and is a rat (this translates into all languages, she is the villain here, mind yo business LADY) at heart. So his daughter comes to check on him, but he continues to train year-round, getting better every day.

Then, at the end of the short, you see the reason he wanted to build a little bit of upper-body strength, and it’s the type of reason that will kick you right in the feels.

The Google Translation of the YouTube description predictably makes little sense, but boils down to your health is the best gift of all, so take care of it so you can spend your time doing what matters in life.

This time of year really pulls out some great onion-cutting content, but this is the pantheon and deserves a solid 10 for the ending and the simple and easy to follow setup.

21-Year-Old Becomes First Person With Down Syndrome To Complete Ironman Triathlon

First person with down syndrome to complete ironman triathlon
(Instagram/chrisnikic)

Signing up for any race, whether it’s a 5k or a marathon, requires both mental and physical preparation. Training is often physically uncomfortable, and it takes a huge amount of perseverance and dedication to make it to the day of the race. For people without physical limitations, it’s a difficult and admirable pursuit. But when you’re pushing through additional physical barriers, the accomplishment is even sweeter. Not even necessarily because it’s more challenging physically, but because there’s a high likelihood you’ve been told that you can’t. You were told it was impossible, but you did it anyway.

The Ironman Triathlon is a race far beyond most of our physical capabilities. Even for people who consider themselves fairly fit, the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, and 26.22-mile run (yes, after you’ve completed the swim and bike ride, you have to run a full marathon. All in one day) would require a huge amount of training. Chris Nikic, a 21-year-old from Florida, made history this week. He trained and pushed and persevered just like any other athlete – because of his incredibly hard work, Nikic is officially the first person with down syndrome to complete the Ironman Triathlon.

Completing the arduous race was a long-time dream of Nikic, and he knew the only way to get there was to start working. Dan Grieb, an Ironman competitor, was paired with Nikic by the Special Olympics to help with his training. The athletes trained together, motivated each other, and on November 7, completed the triathlon side by side.

Reflecting on his accomplishment, Nikic tweeted, “A year ago I wrote ‘Chris World Champ’. Anything is Possible.”

As he crossed the finish line wearing a shirt that read “1% Better Every Day,” Nikic truly embodied the words “anything is possible.” He completed the Ironman Triathlon in 16 hours, 46 minutes, and 9 seconds. He set a Guinness World Record. He made history. But before Nikic even began working towards his lofty and admirable goal, he had some hurdles to overcome that most of us never have to face.

“From the time he was born, we were told by everyone that he’d never do anything or amount to anything or be able to accomplish anything [beyond] being able to tie his own shoes,” Nikic’s dad told Orlando Sentinel. “And we believed them for the longest time.”

Sadly, those with disabilities are told so often that they can’t. Rather than setting their own limitations, they may be told their limitations. With the support of his friends, family, and fellow athletes, Nikic set out to prove that whatever it is you think you can’t do, you’re wrong. If you put in the work, as he did, anything really is possible.

Dad With Cancer Does 176,200 Pushups for Others Diagnosed With Blood Cancer

Dad with cancer does 176,200 pushups for others diagnosed with cancer
(YouTube/Pushing through Cancer)

When you’re faced with a serious illness, there’s no right way to react. There may be fear, uncertainty, hope, determination – you can experience all of them in the span of an hour, or something different altogether. When fighting a potentially fatal disease, perhaps the best course of action is to focus on something that makes you want to keep going. Maybe that’s your family, your dog – but for a dad named Nathan Tirey, it was an unusual and admirable mission.

In 2019, the former army sergeant was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a rare form of blood cancer. After his diagnosis, Tirey realized that though he was facing an extremely difficult situation, he was far from alone. In fact, Tirey learned that 176,200 people were diagnosed with blood cancer in the US every year.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center where Tirey participated in a clinical trial shared a YouTube video of this dad’s incredible feat. In the video, Tirey explained, “I just kept thinking about that number. And just one day I decided, you know what? I’m going to do 176,200 pushups in a year while I’m in treatment.”

As if the arduous journey to recovery wasn’t enough, this determined dad decided to do roughly 500 pushups a day while undergoing treatment for his blood cancer. Tirey wanted to do one pushup for every person diagnosed with blood cancer annually in the US, showing not only his commitment to his own battle but his commitment to those fighting the same one.

“Just doing that amount of pushups really drives home the fact that there are a lot of people who get this,” Tirey explained.

Though he’s admittedly “not a big social media guy,” Tirey wanted a way to both document his pushups and share his journey with the world. He created a YouTube channel called Pushing Through Cancer, an aptly-named channel filled with dozens of videos that combine his ambitious daily workouts with reflections on his mission.

In the powerful final video, Tirey invited his two kids to join him for his final five pushups. After a year of building up to the final stretch, the father of two wanted his family to finish with him. When the trio completes their final five, Tirey’s wife shoots a confetti cannon and balloons fall from the ceiling. Exhausted and proud, Tirey laughs and reflects on the work he’s done.

“176,200 pushups in about nine months,” he says, tearing up at how powerful his seemingly silly mission really was. “There’s a reason I had to do this.”

Greek Runner Helps Disabled Woman Achieve Dream of Climbing Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus Climb With Disabled Woman
(Instagram/marios_giannakou)

Greek mythology is full of legendary heroes, tall tales, and the like. The word hero even comes from a Greek word, as protector or defender. One Greek athlete proved the heroes aren’t all relegated to the mythical stories, as he helped carry a disabled woman to the top of Mount Olympus, making her the first person with a disability to see Greece from its highest point.

It’s inspiring, on many levels. It’s inspiring that someone with a disability isn’t afraid to tackle something most would think is inaccessible to her, and that she sets a great example that she isn’t limited by it. And it’s always inspiring when people go above and beyond to help someone achieve a dream. There’s nothing purer when one person directly helps another. Those gestures can seem small to some, but they can make a world of difference.

Distance runner Marios Giannakou had climbed Mount Olympus before, dozens of times. Eleftheria Tosiou, a 22-year-old student, had not, given her disability. But when she met Giannakou earlier this year, she expressed her goal. So he made it happen. He carried her up the famous peak, known as the Mountain of the Gods, in a specially-modified backpack.

The climb took 10 hours, but when they got to the summit, you can see nothing but joy on their faces.

 

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Εχθές ένας από τους παιδικούς μου ήρωες και ενας από τους πιο διασημους αστροναύτες της @nasa, ο @colchrishadfield ανέβασε την φωτογραφία μας με την Ελευθερία από τον Όλυμπο. Αυτές τις ημέρες έζησα αρκετές δυνατές στιγμές , συναισθήματα που δεν πίστευα ποτε ότι θα νιώσω, που καμια εξερεύνηση σε οποιαδήποτε ζούγκλα , ερημο ή στις παγωμενες εκτασεις τις Γης μας δεν μπορεσε να μου προσφέρει αυτά τα χρόνια .Το μεγαλύτερο μου δώρο ήταν η φιλία με το ζιζάνιο που λεγεται Ελευθερία .Και επειδή με ρωτάτε συχνά αν νιώθω ευτυχισμενος που ημασταν οι πρώτοι που καταφέραμε μια τέτοια ανάβαση στον Όλυμπο θα πω πως η πραγματική ευτυχία και εξερεύνηση δε βασίζεται στο γεγονός ότι ήμασταν οι πρώτοι που το πετύχαμε αλλά στο γεγονός ότι αφού το κάναμε εμείς μπορούν να το πετύχουν και να ακολουθήσουν και άλλοι. Εξάλλου πολλές φορές ακόμη και τα πιο μικρά βήματα του ανθρώπου μπορούν να εξελιχθούν στα πιο μεγάλα βήματα για την ανθρωπότητα. 📸 @c_sofikitis #keepdreaming

A post shared by Marios Giannakou (@marios_giannakou) on


“There is nothing more real than the dream,” Giannakou wrote on Instagram. He also thanked Eleftheria for helping remind him to “live life without fear” and for helping to make him a better person.

On their way down, the duo received a special call from the Prime Minister of Greece, and their story quickly went viral. Giannakou said, many times, how happy he was for Eleftheria. But he also said he was most happy because they proved to people that it could be done, and helped pave the way for others in her situation to follow.

He summed up the experience in an Instagram post, borrowing a somewhat famous quote when he said:

“After all, many times even the smallest steps of man can evolve into the biggest steps for humanity.”

Absolute Legend Bikes Over 2,500 Miles From Poo Poo Point Trail To Pee Pee Creek

Man Bikes From From Poo Poo Point Trail To Pee Pee Creek
(Twitter/rubydrummr)

Getting enough exercise takes a lot of motivation. The tough thing about motivation, though, is that it’s drastically different for everyone. Some people may be motivated by competition, while others may find motivation in working to improve their health. Ruben Lopez from Chicago took a different route when it came to finding the willpower to bike for 36 days – he found his drive in humor (at least partly).

We all know that jokes involving bodily fluids or gross bodily functions are automatically funny. I mean, there’s an entire line of products dedicated specifically to making it sound like someone farted as soon as they sit on them. It’s classic. Lopez shared his journey on Twitter, in a post that has accumulated over 700,000 likes in about a week. Why? Because poop jokes are classic. Or, in Lopez’s case, Poo Poo and Pee Pee jokes are classic. What an overachiever.

Ok, so technically, Lopez made his cross-country journey to raise awareness about the Yemen crisis. But for some beautiful reason, he took us on a magical journey through what feels like a 13-year-old’s dream.

Lopez briefly dropped into the Poo Poo Point Trailhead in Washington to begin his journey, and before long, he was off and riding. He slid right through Sharts Road, and in just 36 days, he made it. With a sigh of relief, Lopez reached the long-awaited “Urine Pee Pee Creek” sign (full disclosure – the sign really only said “Pee Pee Creek,” which is a huge missed opportunity if you ask me).

One observant Twitter user pointed out another interesting aspect of our hero’s journey…

Biker Miles
(Twitter/FSUAndrew)

But, no. It couldn’t be. He’s already given us so many gifts – it had to be a coincidence, right?

Biker 69
(Twitter/rubydrummr)

This impressive 23-year-old isn’t finished with his business quite yet. Lopez plans on biking to the Maine-Canada, for a grand total of 5,000 miles. Hopefully, the rest of his journey goes as smoothly as the first half. 2,500 miles down and he barely even looks wiped.