A Winter Tale

Last Saturday I was to a party. Yes, I do this from time to time. It was a rather informal meeting in a Bucharest club, 10 people at most. I only knew the organizer, a close friend of mine and partner in my blogging workshop.

I don’t know if it was the music, the quality of the people or the fact that I didn’t attend to a party for some time now, fact is it was amazing. I had a lot of quality fun and enjoyed good music, dancing and exquisite company. Little I know at that time that this rather beautiful experience had to set course for one of the most pressuring experiences in my life.

Around 4 AM we decided it’s time to go. Since I was one of the few people who came by car, I got the honor of driving a few people home. Once out of the club, one of the most snowy nights in my life took over. I could barely recognize my car, although I didn’t spend more than 6-7 hours in the club.

I drove 3 people home, which made for one and half hour of driving through snow. I live outside Bucharest, in a rather isolated compound. Around 5:15 AM I got home and after getting over the isolated road which connects us to the world, I finally entered the compound. Only two turns and I’m home. With my mind already at a hot cup of tea, I took the turn to the left and puff… car stopped.

Let me tell you something about my self: my car doesn’t stop in the snow. Never. And I mean it. Puzzled and almost ashamed, I tried for at least 30 minutes to use some balance, accelerations and other techniques, to no success. My car was stuck in the snow. And the blizzard got more and more powerful. I walked to my house (50 meters away) and took a shovel. Another 30 minutes of work, using the shovel. No success.

Almost desperate, I got home and took some blankets left outside on the bench. Put them under the wheels and voila: I was finally moving again. Took me one hour of work at 50 meters from my picket fence, but I finally got home. Huh.

The Second Act

Around noon, I decided it’s time to go for some shopping. Weather news were rather worrying and the next day I have to fly to Rome. So getting some supplies for my family to make sure they’ll be fine while I was away seemed like a good idea. Back in the car and rushing to the store.

Alas, I was rushing only for 45 meters because 10 meters to the infamous place of my first forced stop, here I am, stuck again. This time, I got a huge quantity of snow under the car and the wheels didn’t actually touched the ground. Funny. And irritating.

After 45 minutes of shoveling and swearing a neighbor came. Probably frustrated by the noise of my car engine. He bring in a fence made by dry reed. After a few trials and errors we pulled the car out. All this time blizzard was getting stronger and stronger.

I parked the car, entered the house and started to watch the TV weather report closely. Apparently, it was an orange code for blizzard and snow. Which means it was pretty nasty. Orange code is bad. Worse than orange code is only red code and when you have red code is super bad.

After a few hours my ears were pleasantly surprised by the incredible sound of a really big engine, entering our street. A snow plough! Yes! It was about time.

The Third Act

With only 1 hour till dark I decided to give it a try. Again. After all, my plane was leaving tomorrow (early) morning and I still had to do that shopping. Snow plough seemed to cleaned up the streets of the compound but when I got out, I started to feel a little bit chilly. Obviously, the snow plough was there too, only outside the compound it was… well, open field. The blizzard was going on pretty strong so I could barely recognize the road.

Took me only 200 meters outside the compound to get stuck again. Third time. Open field. Nothing to see around, other than the compound, blurrier as the weather got worse and the dark was rapidly going down. I took my good friend, the shovel, and started to strengthen our relationship.

To no success, of course. After 45 minutes of shoveling I decided to abandon the car in the middle of the road. Or what I thought it was the middle of the road. Snow was around 80 cm deep. Back home, all televisions were broadcasting catastrophic news about the snow and how the entire South of the country was blocked.

And my plane? Am I going to catch my plane? I stayed awake until 12:30 AM when I decided I won’t. Even if I would make it by foot (that would be a mile on open field at 4:30 AM, blizzard and 1 meter snow) what about my car? It was right in the middle of the road and in the morning there will be another snow plough coming to clean the compound streets.

So, I took a nap and slowly allowed my feelings of depression to take over. When I woke up I was pretty pumped with frustration. I hate being stuck.

The Fourth Act

Well, around 11 AM a neighbor come to my door telling me to get the car out of the road, making some room for the snow plough. Happiness and joy. Only for a few minutes, until I got outside. It was surrealistic. Snow was around 1.5 meters around my house and blizzard was going on as strong as yesterday.

Briefly watched the sky, same way you watch a bottle of wine trying to figure out if there’s still something left. Only this time I didn’t want to be any snow left in the sky. But nope, the snow was strong and so was the blizzard. When I got to the car I saw the snow plough made a detour, leaving my car untouched. I talked with the driver and he told me he had to clean the compund first and he’ll see if he can help me after that. Should I wait for him in the car? Of course, I’ll be back in 15 minutes, driver said.

After 1 hour of trying to get warm in my car, the plough finally came out of the neighborhood. My time was finally came! I asked him to pull me to the main road, about 1 mile. He agreed and after another few failed attempts, I finally attached my car to his back and we’re rolling.

Main road was clean and I finally got to do that shopping. 24 hours delay, but did it. My family was about to be happy. On the way back, everything went fine, until I got to a place where the road couldn’t be seen. And it was a very good reason for that: it was completely covered in snow. Not more than 10-15 meters, but seemed like the wind had a preference for that specific part, because it stacked like 1 meter of snow exactly there.

Despite my intention to go through it full speed, accelerating like in a bob race, I only managed to put my car even deeper than I wanted in the snow. 4th time. Open field again. Blizzard as always. With a few neighbors at the other end of the road, waiting for me to get out. Only I couldn’t even open the door. Car was like in a snow container, 5 centimeters to the white walls each side.

If there are ethereal beings surrounding us every moment, called angels, well, my angels surely got enough material to fill up a full dictionary of 4 letters words. I swear. I really do. I can get really, really creative. If I’m on the “right” setup – stuck in the middle of nowhere, for instance, with no perspective to get out soon – I can do it for 30 minutes in a row, without repeating! And I mean it.

At some point I was so frustrated that I was almost waiting for the windshield to crack up. I could physically feel the pressure from the inside. And the pressure from the inside was infinitesimally small compared with the pressure from the outside. Seemed like I just couldn’t make anything to find my way home in that storm.

Suddenly, I remembered I got the phone from the guy with the snow plough. I called him and begged him to come back. Promised an obscene bribe which finally made him change his mind and promise he will come pick me up in about… 2 hours! 2 hours!!! Meanwhile, neighbors at the other end of the road took their shovels and came to help me. Of course, nothing happened.

Minutes later, I noticed something interesting on the field. A few hundreds meters away there was a gipsy shelter. I saw two gipsies running towards me and in seconds I saw them pushing my car. After a few minutes in which they worked with my neighbors, they disappeared.

In less than 10 minutes they were back again, carrying… a horse! Yeap, brilliant idea. We attached the car to the horse and, in a few minutes, I was witnessing one of the most incredible images in my entire life: my 4×4 car was pulled in the snow by a white horse, with a running gipsy near it. For a few seconds, I was living in another world. Don’t you ever dare to ask me why I didn’t pull out my iPhone to take a picture of it. Because it did crossed my mind but at the time I was ready to do it, we were already there.

What I Learned From It

Nothing. Seriously. Sometimes I think we just have to leave away all that personal development shmancy-fancy mumbo-jumbo and just live. Just experience things. I felt powerless and defeated. Missed my plane to Rome – and a potential business involving one of my favorite personal development gurus, Tony Robbins – and got stuck in snow four times. Frustration was a feeble euphemism for what I felt.

But the next day – meaning today – everything was changed. Weather was incredible. Sunny. Clear. Blizzard stopped. Looked like my 4 snow accidents were just nightmares, nothing real.

Took my friend, the shovel, and got out. Without planning it, I started to shovel the snow away form the road in front of my house. Spent around 2 hours. I moved around a ton of snow (300+ shovels at 3-4 kg average shovel).

It was my belated revenge. See, I can do stuff! You can’t make me feel powerless for ever. I can move 1 ton of snow, if I want. I’m still here. Didn’t learned anything from your stupid lesson but I’m still here.

Felt really good.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. I think you learned that you should be living in the Arizona desert with me. Then move back when 120 degree weather hits in July.

    Sorry about being stuck….Just gotta roll with the punches some times.

    David Damron
    The Minimalist Path
    .-= David – The Minimalist Path´s last blog ..Review: The Art of Becoming Minimalist =-.

  2. Read the whole story, laughed out loud 🙂 can’t do otherwise, given the situation. There’s more snow in Romania than here in the North these days.

    Loved your conclusion about there being a life to live apart from the personal development mumbo jumbo. And a big applause for the ton of snow cleared! That’s a good start 🙂

    1. You should have seen me laughing while I was pulled out by the horse. Pure happiness and relief.

      Just realized I didn’t get its name. The horse name, I mean. On a second thought, I didn’t get the name of the gipsy either. But it was good people 🙂

        1. :-))) You should have heard the people around. They were chewing the same theme as you: 1 horse power, fancy 4×4’s good for nothing, etc. Sometimes, that extra horse power is the missing link 😉

          1. Eh, opportunities like these always come in handy to say the grapes are sour, 4x4s are crap, and the old days were better 🙂

            But we who know the truth about horses, know better 😉

  3. Sometimes I think the lesson is to learn when to “go with it”. I think it’s the Chinese who talk about strength being in the ability to bend. What would have happened if you could have relaxed with your family and let yourself be snowed in? My father in law died from shoveling friends’ cars out of the snow one night and having a heart attack afterwards. It’s not worth it. Know when to bend!
    .-= Carmen´s last blog ..100 Ways to Screw Up Your Life – Book Review =-.

    1. Sorry about your father in law. Yes, you are totally right about “going with it”. The fourth time, while I was sitting in the middle of an empty field, cursing as much as I could, I realized how powerful was that thing I was trying to go against. And had to obey.

  4. Very interesting post Dragos! Very well written!

    No offense, but I couldn’t stop laughing! I wish I could hear you swear too. Ever thought about selling a podcast of you swearing? 🙂

    You just put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
    .-= Phil Starn´s last blog ..Challenge #1: Become an Early Riser =-.

  5. No more complaining from me about the snow here in Eastern Austria after reading this story.

    At least I know now whom to call for shoveling away the snow. Dragos, you are hired. 😉
    .-= Marko´s last blog ..Challenge of the Month — January/February 2010 =-.

    1. At least I can add one more skill to my CV: “snow shoveler, solid experience, will even stuck your car in the snow as a bonus” 🙂

  6. Hello Dragos,

    I sympathize with you as that kind of weather we have it here.
    Learned to plough the snow with my own shovel and always come home exhausted.
    It is not easy to be stuck in a snow with the car. Done that and damaged my vehicle with a hard icy snow that piled right on the side of the street. Winter it is not easy for anyone. Sorry, that you missed your flight. I must say, you had quite an ordeal lately. Looking on the bright side this shall pass too, and soon will be springtime!

    Thank you for sharing your story,
    Zuzanna
    .-= ZuzannaM´s last blog ..Butchart Gardens =-.

    1. Yeah. A ton of sand in Arizona. A tent in the middle of nowhere. Hot, hot sun. No neighbors for miles. You know what? I might try this! :-)))

  7. I think if anything you learned a lesson in persistence! Wow, I can’t believe you got stuck so many times – I might’ve killed myself at some point with all that frustration. We got a lot of snow here in NY last night…it looks nice. Anyway, thank you for the story!
    .-= Steven | The Emotion Machine´s last blog ..My First Free Ebook On Mental Health And Energy =-.

    1. Yeah, maybe it was persistence, or what I call “if you want something really bad don’t quit until you get it”. Of course there was something to learn, the “I didn’t learn…” sentence was a hook 🙂

  8. This always happens in the Adirondacks except this years not so much snow.I haven’t been stick in the snow yet this year I usually cab it, if it snowing just to avoid driving my car.
    Great story and I can relate to it.
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..The Clique Of Frigid Bitches Or Are They? =-.

    1. If somebody will establish a cab company with only Hummers, than I’ll buy a monthly subscription. Anything less than a Hummer, unfortunately, won’t make it to my neighborhood 🙂

  9. Stuck – should have read it first before I pressed enter!
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..The Clique Of Frigid Bitches Or Are They? =-.

  10. Your story made let out a chuckle or two. Actually I kept rooting for you while I read. And then the horse…a horse?! Very cool. Life is not always out to teach you something. Sometimes life likes to throw in a good story for sheer entertainment value. 🙂
    .-= Marianne´s last blog ..Movie Review – The Book of Eli =-.

    1. If there was at least 1 millimeter of entertainment value in my story, than I’m happy. And I’m sure the horse would express the same feelings, if only this damn WordPress won’t be so damn complicated for a simple horse like it :-))

  11. We don’t you try Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” in Orlando March 11-14. Is 20 C in Florida right now and the stay will be on me!

    1. It’s about a cooperation with the company which represents Tony in Europe. And about his UPW in Rome in June for which I want to close some sort of promotion partnership. I’m pretty sure there will be a side ticket for me too out of this business 😉

      But I got the invite and next time I’m in US I’m going to visit you 😉

  12. Loved this post Dragos!

    All day today, I’ve been having those synchronicity/coincidence moments and running across examples about how our way of life needs generated resources (such as electricity & gas) to function for even the basic essentials such as clothes and bread.

    Then I read your post about natural power (horse) against a natural power (snow). Definitely a lesson in here somewhere 🙂
    .-= Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health´s last blog ..Expect a Miracle, Prepare to Work =-.

    1. Never saw it like this: natural power versus natural power but it opens a new perspective. Since I shared my experiences here I discovered I liked them more :-). Really.

  13. Lol, I can relate to your experiences here. We recently got 30+ inches of snow, and in Virginia that NEVER happens! Luckily I didn’t get stuck, but I came quite close on more than one occasion! While there isn’t always a direct “lesson” to be learned, every experience is one that we can use to build upon, this one being no different.
    .-= Travis´s last blog ..Misery Loves Company =-.

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