Tolerance is the most frightening thing in Bulgaria, says Varna man who teaches Americans how to live happily ever after
Deutschin Karshovski was born in Varna 53 years ago. Throughout his conscious life he has been actively involved in various sports. At the age of 16 he was a master of the sport of sea all-around (swimming, cross, shooting, rowing and sailing). In 1992 he graduated from the National Sports Academy with a degree in sailing. He founded and runs the Mayday Foundation. In 2003 he moved with his family to Cincinnati, USA. Built a career as a personal trainer at one of the largest fitness chains. In 2018, driven by the understanding that everyone should and can invest in their own health and longevity and that it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes a day to do so, he published the book “401 Fitness – How to Save Health for Longevity”. It will soon be available in English. Today, the multi-coloured themes that obsess his attention can be summed up as longevity and mindfulness (observation and awareness to achieve balance between body and mind). Or to put it in a nutshell: to be healthy, full of energy, enthusiasm and joy of life until our last day.
– Hello, Doichin! I would like to take you back to 2002-2003, when you were in Varna and you were involved in ecology, encouraging people to recycle with “Leaf by Leaf”, together with Ilian Iliev, Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development and Mayday Foundation. What provoked you to go to the States and change your lifestyle?
– Those were very turbulent years and changes. I wasn’t just doing ecology then. Maybe I was even least involved with ecology. I was in an office with Darina from the Friends of the Sea Sea Club, Ilian from the Public Center for Environment and Sustainability, and my foundation, the Mayday Foundation. All three of us were running different projects. I don’t remember which was the first organization we submitted the Leaf by Leaf project to, but I remember that we often consulted each other about who was writing what, how to formulate it. I was, quite immodestly, the one who came up with the best project titles. I remember how Ilian came to me with two ideas. “Leaf by Leaf” was the second one. Of course, he had written it as blandly as only he could, so that one would fall asleep on the first words. I told him that the idea was super, especially if we implemented it together with the kindergartens. Somehow the title came naturally – “Leaf by leaf” or step by step. 20 years later, this philosophy is also the basis of my work. The most important thing you do for yourself is what you do every day. You are what you show every day, not what you think you are or what you wrote on your resume. Soon I was thinking how this campaign is something that has gone with me, like a life philosophy.
– This year marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the “Leaf by Leaf” paper separation project in Varna…
– The most important evaluation of a project is the evaluation of time. 20 years is not a short time. Not everything has gone according to honey and butter. It was very difficult for Ilian, especially when I went to the States. He had started collecting paper every day because there were a lot of participants. There are not many projects like this that have stayed alive for so long. The ones that we started then – Leaf by Leaf, Lifeguards on the Beach and Maritime Academy – continue to this day because obviously the community needs them.
– Since you’ve been quite successful here with the projects and the foundation, why did you decide you needed to succeed elsewhere?
– I didn’t know what was waiting for me. If I had known, I’m not sure if I would have left at all, or if I would have done it with a shrunken heart, and not as I did then – the world is mine, I can work anywhere. At my send-off party, Darina and Ilian gave me a broom because I was going to work there as a cleaner. Coincidentally, that was my first job. I was the head of the cleaners of a huge museum. My first employees were Georgians – immigrants who didn’t know a word of English. My chance to become their boss was that I knew both Russian and English. I left because I realized that if I didn’t take this chance, then every time something bothered me, bothered me in this country, I would say to myself: what am I doing here, why didn’t I leave, why didn’t I take some step to change my life? Even though it’s trivial to say we left because of the child, I wanted to have a different, better view of the world. It wasn’t just an economic opportunity because at that point my family was in a very good position to grow. I had just won the biggest project at that time with the foundation. My wife was working in customs in a high position. We lived in a great place – in the Schkorpil house. We by no means left for economic reasons. But adventurism and the desire for something new prevailed. You know you always have the door to come back through. The first 2-3 years I thought many times about whether I should do it, because they were extremely hard. This capitalism and the need to fight for every account, for in