My name is Samuel, also known as Sotoxine, and I started doing breakdance at a very young age. The passion for this discipline strengthened my arms, shoulders and traps increasingly. I’ve always loved jumping and more in general defying gravity. I remember that I also spent several years practicing parkour at times of the Yamakazi.
In 2014 I met a Group of professional acrobats with whom I spent 8 months performing in a comical acrobatic show in 5 star hotels.
2015 was a year of making dreams come thru’. One of our members of the Unlimited Strength Crew found out that a world championship should take place in the Arabic emirate of Bahrain. We send a video with pre-selected images and were chosen second on the list of participants. I had practiced Calisthenics only for three months and hardly paid attention to ‘Freestyle’. My specialities were statics and balance.
We prepared ourselves for another three months, purely focussed on this championship, so much even that I succeeded to link swingflip with geinger, that nobody had ever done before, which made me very hopeful. We never doubted our capacities and travelled with a very clear purpose, namely to win the championship and bring home the metal price to expand the armory of possibilities to exercise. Meanwhile I participated in more than 30 competitions, six or seven international, but I remember the championship as one of the best, so if not the best ever till now. And not only because of our success but especially for the complete organisation and the treatment athletes and guests received. From the moment of our departure from Barcelona, via Turkey to Bahrain it was a big sensation. It was like being in a dream but awake. These days our team was united as never before. I remember every individual with pride and its precious moments I shared with my friends of the Unlimited Strength Crew. We used the day of arrival to explore the playground. It was a luxury hotel with private beach. The First day already we had to fight in the quarter finals to qualify for the semi finals the next day. We won from Ukraine and everybody wondered where we came from. Nobody wanted to fight us no more because we demonstrated an enormous level. Then the team of the United States awaited us in the semi finals and we beat them too. The finals had been reached where we had to fight the renowned British team Barsparta. Night had already fallen when the spotlights on the bars dazzled the scenery as the tricks demonstrated and the combinations of the athletes did. Alex was first to show his secret weapon, the B-Monkey Trick, which he executed perfectly. Then it was Rhisto’s turn with his endless strength and his exquistite clean lining, that he established flawless. Gergy Petrov showed all his prowess with elite tricks like clapping on the gaiants. I finally had the opportunity to introduce the combination of the swingflip to a geinger, which turned out above expectation! The teamwork always earned a 10. We had a perfect team which was able to do things nobody had ever done before. When the moment arrived to announce the winners I already knew we had won. I was the first one to receive the cup and started to cry when celebrating with my teammates. At this moment the moon was shining like I had never seen before, my heart was bouncing differently and I can assure you it was the closest feeling ever of tasting Nirvana, or maybe I was already there! Next day the sun was bigger than I had ever seen, my brothers danced and sang, waving with handkerchiefs and turbans. We went home as ‘underdogs go winners’. This experience changed my life for good, my way of thinking, speaking and feeling turned 180 degrees. I know we are all creator of our own reality and that everything depends on our own thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Sooner or later you will reap what you have sown.
We started training for the World Cup 2016 to be held in december. I remember we brought Alejandra Garcia with us for promotion and to motivate women all over the world to practice Calisthenics. With her we won the semi finals and in my opinion also the finals, although they made us second best. Being a jury is not easy, but still I think we deserved to win that competition.
After two years of making dreams come true we gathered the team and started living and training together in a house we rented. In 2017 I proclaimed myself the ‘individual champion of bar heroes’ and after this great victory everything started to turn against me, or in my favor, depending on the perspective you look at it. I always crave for more knowledge without losing my personal values. So before I lost my ego and pride I began to lose most of the competitions. I had travelled all over Europe and met new athletic brothers and sisters within this discipline. I shared a lot of knowledge with them which helped me to progress as an athlete and a person, despite the defeats in each competition. I knew I would always be a winner because I kept on learning and was in a clear state of mind. Until 2019 I didn’t win an international cup at all, but I won great friendships, trips and incredible weekends giving workshops, masterclasses and even became a jury member during competitions. Although many times I didn’t have a penny in my pocket I could afford the luxury of travelling and collaborating in the expansion of this wonderful sport thanks to my contacts and my personality. I would like to see that in next future the new generation will have more facilities and bigger support compared to my era. It all depends on the cooperating federations united in one good recognizable organisation. Also governments could participate and help financing to take good care of athletes, because without the athletes you have nothing.
In my experience as an elite athlete I can only say we are all confronted with difficulties, but to control these will make your style and level unique.
Apart from this I would like to remind you to the fact that no matter what your objective is, the most important is that you enjoy everything you do.
Author: Maurits P.