Without passion our lives would be dull 9-to-5 jobs with nothing to look forward to. The characters in this story are anything but dull and continuously strive to balance their passions for work and for extracurricular activities. It’s not every day that you meet an
Interactive Marketing Manager for Neoris, like Julio Blanco, who also is a Stand-Up Comedian; or a Senior Software Engineer in Argentina, like Esteban Planells, who is passionate about supporting charities such as “Fundacion HOPE” and “Fundacion Nutrir Salta” and will be participating in the world famous Dakar 2012.
Julio Blanco, the Neoris Executive Corporate level has been practicing theater for the pasts 10 years. During 2001 to 2005 he formed part of a theater group, and later moved on to practice stand-up comedy and create original material.
The first thing noticed during our interview was Blanco’s energy: his words flew with ease as he recounted his experience in a way comparable to storytelling. He touched on two kinds of comedians: the person that tells jokes and the stand-up comedian. Blanco, the latter, is a storyteller who recounts his life in an exaggerated manner to which his audience can relate. Whether at the workplace or on stage, the connection you make with your client or your audience is paramount. Blanco goes deeper by explaining how stand-up is directly related to everyday life:
“Practicing stand-up comedy makes you aware of your surroundings. You learn to anticipate people’s reactions and have an easier time presenting your projects because the ease of communication of being on stage is the best preparation.”
Racing for a Cause
From Blanco’s humor we go to Esteban Planells participation in the high-energy 2012 Dakar. Working for a Global SAP project in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Planells’ love affair with motorcycles started as a young man. He has participated in various races through Argentina’s beaches and deserts, and this year he is leading a charity project called “Dakar Por Los Ninos” (Dakar for the Kids), to raise funds for charities he believes in, and to fund his Dakar competition fees.
The first charity he focuses on is “Fundacion Hope,” created to aid children with cancer and their families. Fundacion Hope strives to provide aid through housing, support and any other means to accommodate the lives of these families. Currently space is limited to three children and their families, but Planells hopes to receive donations to improve these conditions and to help more children in need. “Fundacion Nutrir Salta,” the second charity supported by Planells, was started in 2010 as an initiative to promote an Argentina without exclusions. Motivated by assuming the social responsibility we all have within our nations, their first achievement was the creation of a prevention center focusing on children ages 0-5 to ensure they receive correct nutrition and early stimulation, as well as workshops for mothers on diverse subjects such as alphabetization and social assistance.
Although some want to focus on the amazing fact he is participating in the world-famous Dakar, Planells pushes that aside and talks about helping the children of Argentina; the future of his nation. Solidarity is the keyword in his interview and you can feel that he has a caring heart and really wants to push forward to help these organizations. His daily routine consists of running and resistance training, and will incorporate endurance training on the bike. When asked about his work/family/training balance, he says that if you love what you do, you find time for it. His family will accompany him on weekend trips to practice bike endurance, so balance is found quite easily. When asked what skills can be easily passed from training for the Dakar to his job at NEORIS, Planells comments:
“Skills such as coordination, leadership and project management are what will make you a stronger competitor in the Dakar 2012; all these abilities are highly requested in the workforce as well.” – Esteban Planells
Talking to Planells would definitely get anyone in the workout mode but, after interviewing Oscar D’elia, not only will you want to hit the gym, you’ll want about 10 hours to sleep it off! D’elia was an Iron Man participant and dreams of competing again while his day job title is of an SW Center Manager in NEORIS. The Iron Man competition, “the mecca of triathlons,” is a multi-sport endurance competition that consists of swimming, cycling and running, and for D’elia this is a trifecta of passions. He has practiced sports all his life, and has played semi-professional soccer in Argentinean leagues. In 2005, the triathlon bug bit him and he decided to start training specifically for it.
An Iron Man competition, this one in particular, consists of approximately two miles swimming, 111 miles of cycling and 26 miles running! So, what does a Neoris Manager do to train for such an intense event?
“Work and training have to be balanced, especially with the amount of work we have this year at Neoris! I wake up every day at 6:45 a.m. to either train swimming or running. After work, I head to the gym again to train with more running or cycling. It’s an intense workout, but I always try to have one day off a week to rest my muscles and have energy to do longer sessions during the weekend.” –Oscar D’elia
For his first Iron Man, D’elia trained for five years for this “crazy” race. Running and cycling were not an issue, but the fact that he hadn’t learned how to swim was. During his first triathlon stunt during 2005 he was pulled out of the river semi-drowned but that never stopped him. Fifteen days later, D’elia passed the test. He refers to this determination and passion as “an addictive drug for my body; challenges motivate me and calm my anxiety.”
Why does he do it? The pursuit of sweating more, running more, reaching more distances at a faster time. And that’s what all these men have in common, whether it be sweating under stage lights or during a triathlon, Blanco, Planells and D’elia are perfect examples of Neris team managers and leaders. By combining a successful work life with a life passion, they’ve all developed relationships that go beyond the workplace and have seeped into their daily 9 to 5 jobs, making them anything but dull.
Connect with Julio Blanco and laugh a little:
Follow him on Twitter @juliocblanco
How to join forces with Esteban Planells and his “Dakar for the Kids” project:
For more information on the Iron Man competition Oscar D’elia trains for: