Ajram: “When the head fails, so does the body.”

Spain's Josef Ajram quits on day two of Red Bull 7 Islands.
"When the mind fails, so does the body." © Alberto LessMann/Red Bull Content Pool
By Red Bull Spain

It wasn't the heat. It wasn't the topography. It wasn't physical impossibility that stopped him.

120km into the bike ride on La Gomera, Ajram realised he simply didn't have the mental stamina to continue.

For a year, I've trained. I've dedicated my mind and body to training for 23 hours a week, every week. Physically, I'm able to continue, but mentally, I do not want to.

Mid-swim on day 2. © Alberto LessMann/Red Bull Content Pool

The day started early for the team — taking the plane at 8am to travel from El Hierro to La Gomera. After completing the 3.6 km swim, Josef grabbed the bike.

In 2012, Ajram had to drop at mile 20 of the bike due to heat stroke. In 2013, after more than four hours on the pedals, he decided to get off and stop. “I had anxiety and I could not breathe. The doctor said everything was fine, but the reality was that from 20km, I was very uncomfortable.”

Ajram pedals on the island of La Gomera. © Alberto LessMann/Red Bull Content Pool

Failure to have succeeded last year weighed on me more than I would have imagined. I've had an avalanche of negative thoughts and I've been afraid all the time for something to happen.

Josef has combined the last year training with his job as a day trader, requiring him to adjust his schedule to meet all commitments and get ready for Red Bull 7 Islands, a very difficult challenge. In the end, the combination of challenges was simply too much.

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