Time flies when you’re having fun

Not until today I realized this blog is more than 10 years old! Ok, it wasn’t alive for most of the time, but that’s not the point. Today I have decided we’re going into a new direction with this blog. A lot has changed over the years. For a very long time I had no purpose for this blog. I quit Crossfit, I kept on training for running and triathlons, but the fire to write about is was gone. And that’s not a bad thing, it just happens. And that’s ok.

So since January 2022 I decided to finally write that damn book. The goal was to finish the first draft last November. Life got in the way in a major way! So that didn’t happen. At first it felt like a big failure, but soon I realized it wasn’t.

So now at the end of January 2023 I’m ready to finish that first draft as soon as possible. I’m ready, I feel good, healthier than ever! Let’s do this! I’ll keep you posted on all the progress with this big dream project and I hope you will love it as much as I do!

The unforgiven

The title is an old Metallica song. I love it. Not sure if the song is about what I’m about to write. But still it’s an awesome song.

While I’m writing this, I’m not even sure if this post will ever see the daylight. But for me this is so important (yet vulnerable and painful). Crucial! And I know it is for all of us.

I have to admit I can hold a grudge for soooo long. And repeat the pain and hurt someone did to me over and over and over again in my head. Countless times. I’m able relive it so vividly in my mind I get all the same emotions as when it happened. Remembering each detail a bit too well. I get so mad and so sad and angry. And for what? It has been done, it’s in the past. I can’t change it. Can you imagine how much energy this costs me every time I relive it?

And do you also know the saying, what you give attention to grows. So this thing becomes bigger and bigger in my head. And this thing doesn’t belong in my head at all anymore. It weighs me down and it prevents me from moving on. And as long as this big thing is in my head, I don’t have space for new amazing things.

This behaviour is holding me back. This is a serious form of self sabotage. It’s draining my energy and it takes a lot of focus. Both could be used for writing or new adeventures. Because what if I give the fun stuff attention and it grows? I actually could have fun and feel truly free! What? Yes.

To get rid of this stupid toxic behaviour starts with the realization of this behaviour. Ok,check. That wasn’t that difficult. Ehm, actually it was quite difficult, because I’ve done a fair share of this behaviour for years and years before I realised this all.

Then you have let it go. Just like that. And that’s really hard. Because how are you supposed to do that? What I tried is the next thing. I realized that reliving that thing over and over again is a very persistent thinking pattern, wich has a very solid highway in your brains after all those years. What we need to do is break down that highway and build a new high way of a new thinking pattern, something constructive and energizing and make a new solid highway.

So every time I was reliving that hurtful heartbreaking thing, I had to remind myself, to get off that highway, tear it down and build a new high way. A new thought, that creates a new thinking pattern. That could be my next travel, a post I wanted to write, dreaming about the future, about money, about writing books and being a blogger. So that worked, until I stopped trying. But ain’t no stopping me from trying again and again. Just as long as I need to in order to let go.

And you have to forgive. Maybe not for them, but for yourself to move on and let go. You can’t let go until you forgive them. Even though they hurt you so badly and it’s still aching. Forgive them! Do it! But how? I do it when I meditate, because I can’t do it at once. Remember that ancient solid highway? It takes a while to tear that one down. I repeat over and over again. Until I start to believe it and until I start to feel it, until it really happens. The anger will subside and go away eventually.

Forgive yourself. As compassionate as we are for others, so hard we are on ourselves. We are our own worst critics, set the bars insanely high and we get so mad at ourselves if we fail. Sometimes I get so mad at myself for thinking those stupid things. It’s OK, I’m human, I will get by, I will forget, I will forgive.

Lets focus and think more about love and peace and adventures and travels and money and everything we wish for! How do you deal with forgiveness and letting go?

It’s OK to feel like shit

This entire weekend I’ve been in a very bad mood. And you know what? It’s ok!!! It ain’t pooping rainbows on my unicorn all the time.

I ate too much candy, I definitely had too much suger, I also ate a lot of fresh fruit and healthy food and I had wine too. I baked a peach strawberry cobbler, a banana bread and a nice zucchini spinach lasagne.

I was submerging in the feeling of feeling sorry for myself. Well not entirely, but definetely a bit. Well not entirely feeling sorry myself, more feeling like shit.

This Saturday I was supposed to do Ironman 70.3 Vichy for charity. But I didn’t! My knee injury wouldn’t let me. I decided to withdraw two months ago and I was feeling OK with that. Because it was the most sensible decision and I was able to defer my registration to Ironman 70.3 Barcalona in May 2020.

But then as the other athletes went to France, went to registration and being all excited. And I started feeling so sad and so dissapointed in myself. I know I get a second chance, I know I will be back so much stronger, but at that moment I wasn’t feeling that. Rationally I could totally make sense of it me not being there. But suddenly I got all the feels and I felt like shit. Like so much shit I just wanted to roll in a little ball hiding under my covers for the entire weekend. But I didn’t. I did what I could, I did what I wanted, I ate what I felt like. And I’m still alive. It felt uncomfortable but that’s OK.

Dissapointments and setbacks are part of life, maybe even part of the plan. It molds us to what we need to become for our big plans and dreams. Will it push you back far? And how will you bounce back? That’s what matters.

After some canceled appointments I had some time to be still and think. Feeling bad feels uncomfortable. We tend to run away from it. We don’t want to feel uncomfortable. But feel it and sit with it a while. Look at it and let it blow away like cloud in the sky. After this bad mood weekend, I will bounce back. But now it’s fucking OK to feel like shit.

When you feel like shit? What are you go to-s to feel better?

Writing new code

Are our beliefs the absolute truth?
How did we get those beliefs?
And why are false/limiting/old beliefs so tenacious?
Can we change our beliefs for the better?

I watched a motivational video this morning and it made me cry. No worries, every touching video I watch about kittens or puppies make me cry when I just wake up. I don’t wear my real life mental coat yet. So I’m very vulnerable.

Anyway, that motivational video got me thinking. He told quite a harsh story and I was hesitant if I even want to finish the video. He had a very hard youth. With an upbringing of a not very loving father. He always needed to do chores before he could eat breakfast, never get to play ball with his dad. His dad never watched his hockey games, but waited in the car. The boy worked so hard and tried so hard to get his father’s attention, but nothing worked.

I felt so sorry for this boy. He worked his butt off, he tried the best he could and it didn’t work out. I do believe his father loved him, but he probably had a tough upbringing too and didn’t know how to be a father.
Long story short, when he was an adult his father got sick. And he asked his dad on his sick bed, if his dad could think of anything that made him proud. He was sure his dad could think of something, the kid have had his successes.
After thinking for a while, his dad answered: No, I can’t think of anything.
The kid felt like that little kid again all over.

Wow, that’s rough. The adult kid hit rock bottom, no money, divorce, living at his mom place and more of that. He eventually ended up getting a job in real estate working very hard. He knew how to do that, he had been working hard his entire life. His boss told him he admired his work ethic and some other compliments and the adult kid couldn’t recieve them. He still felt like this little kid, who was never got his dad approval, who was never good enough. This was HIS belief. It had been his entire life.

His boss told him, that needed to change as soon as possible. He made him say something like ( I can’t remember it anymore so I’m going to make stuff up now, sorry, but you get the point),I am amazing. He made him say out loud and repeat it several times. He made him say at home when he woke up, when he was getting ready for work. He boss explained, the adult kid still believed he was that little kid that was never good enough and not worthy any attention. This was his belief. But we are like computers we can write ourselves new codes and reprogramm ourselves. By making new beliefs by repeating mantra’s like I am good, I am filled with love. When he started to believe that he was actually amazing, he started saying to himself; I’m gonna be the best real estate agent. And guess what? It did happen of course.

That limiting beliefs that got programmed in our brains by our parents, school, ex-boy/girlfriends, co-workers are persistent and nasty. Because they have been there for so so so long. But when you’re done with those shitty limiting beliefs, you can write new code for your brain and reprogram and repeat until you believe it, until you really feel it deep down in your core.

For example for me it was for a long time: I’m entitled to take up my space. Because I never did that, I was taught to be and feel small.

A few months ago it became: It can be easy and fun. Because I was raised that good things always have to be hard and a struggle.

And now I’m not sure. Sometimes it’s hard to say out loud what you really want, because it is scary. What if I fail? What if people think it’s stupid? But you know what, I am goint to put it out here. Just to let the universe know I’m ready, although still a bit frightened and for some accountability.
My mantra now is: I am a writer and it will bring me wealth. Not sure how it’s going to happen, but just keep writing and this will get clearer.

If someone knows wich video I’m talking about. Please let me know.
Wich limiting beliefs do you have?
And what will be your new one? I really love to read yours.

Monday Motivation

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Don’t you get annoyed with the #mondaymotivation hashtag sometimes? When you feel like crap? Dude, get out of my face with your so annoying positivity! F**k Mondays! I just want to stay in bed!
Yeah I have those thoughts, we all have.

What can you do about it? Actually a lot.

It’s all about the baby steps.
It is about celebrating your progress no matter how small.
And most important, it’s about feeling good about yourself and embracing yourself no matter what.

The things I listed above I don’t master yet master in expert level, but I’m working on it. And it’s actually fun.

Let’s start with how you feel about yourself. This is the foundation, this is your basis. We all have bad days, that’s normal, it makes us human. But they should the exception to the rule, not the rule.

For me I always go bad when my base is shaking, when I’m not grounded and every social media post, every opinion makes me feel bad about myself. On Instagram I mostly follow (tri)thletes. And when I see those posts, they are much faster, way thinner, more beautiful, much better equipment, they seem to be the perfect fit couple etcetera etcetera.

First of all social media simply means nothing. It only shows a tiny bit of a version of their truth. And it also could be just a big fat lie. Some people post the most happy couple pictures, while one of them is cheating. One could share all the most happy posts and suffer from severe depressions.
On a side note, that’s why I think you should always be kind to everybody, you don’t know what battle they fight.

Second even if all the beautiful posts are true, why does it bother you? Ask yourself that. And answer it as honestly as possible. I garantuee you it bothers you because you are not happy about something about yourself and it makes you insecure. You are not grounded, your base isn’t firm and what other people say of show affects you in a negative way. When your base isn’t strong you tip over way too easily like one of those childeren’s toys puppet thingies.

I am not a fast runner (not a fast swimmer or a cyclist either)and when I feel insecure about it, I hate aaaaaaaaall the fast people posts. But really! I am jealous, I envy them. While when I feel proud about my accomplishments and I feel confident about myself, those fast people make me proud. And I think; good for you! And also what they do, how they feel says nothing about me, about my worth. Yet we keep comparing.

But how do you feel good about yourself? That is a good question. And I believe it has many answers to it.

The point is we all are different and unique, comparing ourselves to another person is just plainly stupid. You don’t compare an apple to an orange right?! They’re both fruits but also very different. And we should celebrate and support each other just because we are different and unique. Let’s cheer for eachother and make one big party!

Embrace all of yourself, you are unique and bright and beautiful! And remember this:

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff”.

– Carl Sagan

Happy camper

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Last Sunday I had a sprint triathlon and I took my own advice. Because you know what I did?

I had fun! Yes, I had to dig deep and I had pain and I was undertrained, but I had tons of fun! Of course it wasn’t like this before the start. Because of many reasons. I have a lingering knee injury wich keeps me from training properly. Runs longer than 5k are not in order, cycling on high watts neither. So i felt not well enough prepared and yes it made me insecure.

But then I thought; Wait a minute! I know I still can do this, not at my fastest pac, but I already paid, let’s go! And for the first time I enjoyed the race. Had my best swim, cycling went fine, the run was painful of the cramping legs, but I still had so much fun! And I could have beat myself up about the swim not being fast enough, I should have pushed harder on the bikeleg and not to be such a pussy during the run. But I didn’t for a change. I was happy and satisfied with my results. And I was so proud of myself I actually enjoyed the whole thing.

With this mindset and energy I can start the next phase in my life; recovery! I’ve been battling with an annoying knee injury for a while. Because of that I can’t participate in the planned Ironman 70.3 Vichy for charity this year. Luckily I get a second chance next May. I love them second chances, don’t you?

It might look like a setback. But maybe it is the opposite and get way more stronger and better. Wouldn’t that be great.

So the next few weeks maybe months it’s about healing and recovery. Making a recovery plan with my PT soon. And get better and stronger. So I can run freely again, literally! And cycle as much and heavy as I please to. I hope I can still ad a sprint or two if PT will let me. Would be nice close this season with a bang!

After that I will be training with a professional coach for my next triathlon season. It sounds so professional. And saying this makes me so excited! Next May I just want to be in my best shape ever. I know and believe with all my heart there is still so much room to improve. I’m still very new to swimming, same with cycling. And I also have the feeling I can get faster at running. So why train with someone who knows about this all?

Can’t wait to start this new adventure. For the time being, get as many swims in as possible and get rid of this injury and get stronger physically and mentally.
Is there anything you want to improve in your life?

How to enjoy the damn thing

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My athletic confidence. That is what I want to talk about. What does it mean? To me it means on every level you perform, you own your athletic perfomance, how confident you are in your physical ability, how much you trust your body and how to put it in perspective and how to enjoy this all together.

And more important how does it effect me as a person? How does it makes me feel? I noticed something lately and it startled me. And I’m still not sure how to figure this out.

I realized I DON’T ENJOY MY RACES! So the mail question is, why not? And also am I doing the right thing? Let’s figure this out! I just didn’t realize this until a few days ago. It has always been like this. Felt like a struggle, it scared the shit of me almost everytime, anxiety kicked in, not having fun like it was something you just not to suppose to enjoy or something. Like I didn’t deserve to have fun doing runs or triathlons. Weird right?

It’s not an easy question, wich has no simple answer. Or has it? What do I need to answer this question and how do I solve this non-enjoyment thing. It’s starts with my ahtletic confidence. Is it even there? To be honest. No. Not a big NO as it used to be, but still a no.

In 2018 I started my triathlon adventure. Took swimminglessons to learn how to freestyle, bought a beautiful second hand roadracingbike and I already was into running. Overall I’m not a fast athlete, not particularly a talented athlete with a gift for swimming, biking or running. Swimming is still my nemisis. We slowly hate each other less and less each session.

Being a slow athlete makes me really insecure. I also kept comparing myself to others, wich also didn’t help at all. Being slow also gives me the feeling that I’m not enough and I’m not good enough. Am I right feeling insecure and feeling not enough and not good enough? No, of course not! I am totally wrong how I feel about myself. But how the heck do I flip this around?

As I am writing this, I didn’t/don’t have the solution yet. I hope by thinking about is and seeing this on paper, it will give me answers.

The first thing to remember always, is that we are always enough and good enough. Yet sometimes it is so hard to believe we are actually good enough. Maybe you were raised by false believes to keep small and not to be extraordinary. Maybe you were raised that being your absolute self was wrong. The things we learn in our youth are mostly the things the hardest to un-learn. But luckily it’s not impossible.

Second of all comparison is the thief of joy, said a wise friend of mine once. Comparing myself to other (tri)athletes does not make me happy most of the times. Most athletes I know are pretty fast and I’m not. And it effects me, it makes feel less, it makes me wonder why I even still do this, it makes me feel bad about my own athletics accomplishments.

The only one I need to compare myself to is just me. Do I get better at swimming? Do I get to run better and faster? Am I having fun? Of course you get to see other people’s accomplishments, but that’s their business and I should be happy for them and proud. Foremost I should be happy for my own progress and be proud of myself.

Last of all we should be way more kind and empathic to ourselves. Most of the times we are our own worst critics. We punish ourselves needlessy. We forget that we are unique and we have to walk our own path, our path is our own and we are the only ones who know what is going on. We should celebrate all our accomplishments, we should embrace our own unique personalities and encourage ourself and others to bloom, to fail, to try again, to discover who we are and what our mission is. And enjoy each moment of this journey.

Tomorrow I have my second sprint triathlon of this season. I was already feeling bad about myself because of the bad preperation due to a knee injury and not looking forward to it. Feeling insecure about it, not looking forward to it. Actually dreading it. I was almost considering just calling in sick.

Stop the madness! I’m going to have fun tomorrow and enjoy that I get to do this and be proud of my body. This body I get to use to challenge myself. It is not a struggle, I can make this nice and easy for myself if I allow myself to enjoy it and have fun. I own this! And so be it. And so should you!

Easy breakfast for champions, overnight oats Snickers

When you don’t have time in the morning, have a long day ahead of you or a long training scheduled, this is a good breakfast option. I didn’t think of it myself, but sharing is caring. Right?

Best about this breakfast is, you have to make it the night before. So you don’t have the hassle in the morning. I just don’t have time for that in the morning. Do you? This is about overnight oats. Oats are healthy for several reasons, just look it up on Google, I’m too lazy to write it down here. This combination is with oats, peanutbutter and chocolate flavour, wich tastes like Snickers sort of. What is not good about that?

What ingredients do you need?

– 40 gr oats
– 80 ml Greek yogurt
– 160 ml milk
– pinch of salt
– 2 tbsp cacao powder
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– vanila essence or sugar
– half a banana

Mix everything together in a little except the banana. Use a fork, the peanut butter will not mix well if you use a spoon. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you can also ad more milk like I did. And I used soy milk. You can use each type of milk you want. Store it in the fridge.

Have a good night of sleep.
Open the fridge.
Open the jar.
Top it off with some banana slices.
And eat!

I have to say, this is quite a big portion. So you can trim it down a bit if you don’t like big breakfasts. Let me know if you tried it and you liked it!

Like a dolphin

after tri foto
Today I am supposed to do my first Ride for the Roses ride, instead I’m moping on the couch coughing and sneezing my ass off. I was really looking forward to it. It’s quite an event and it would be my first. But this time off gives me some time to get my head together.

A week ago I had my last triathlon for the season. That sounds like I did a whole bunch, but I only did two this season. And that’s perfectly fine. It’s my first season. I did a half marathon in June (on the Northpole, YAY!) and after that two sprints. This november I will run my second half marathon this year. I never did two half marathons in one year before! Combined with the triathlons I almost feel like a true Olympian. You have to understand I have never been this athletic in my entire life and this december I’m turning 40 (more about that later, or not
). Yes, I am a late bloomer and that is so awesome! I finally appreciate it.

OK, so my last triathlon.

The swim was horrible! Again dead last out of the water. I just couldn’t catch my breath, could get that rythm, the asthma took the best of me. After two lanes I had to take a breather. I didn’t understand. I have been practicing my ass off and I did make progress. What the hell? I tried to focus on my own, not watching everybody leaving, but it’s hard you know.

Even though I was 12 minutes faster than my first tri, I felt bummed by that bad bad swim. I just couldn’t shake that feeling. Two days later I did a short pool sessions and again it sucked big time. I kinda panicked. For the 70.3 Ironman there is a timecap of 1:10 for the 1,9 K swim. With my current open water swim skills it would take me about 1:20. My goal is to finish the swim within an hour, so I still have room, if I get cramp or my asthma kicks in.

My work is always all over the place, so it’s impossible to join a triclub or a swimmingclub. But until november the 1st I have an assignment in Amsterdam. So I e-mailed a triclub in Amsterdam called Dolphin and asked if I could join their swimming practices until november.

And… They said yes…

Holy shit!
This is insanely out of my comfortzone. I feel very much uncomfortable meeting new groups of people or just new people at all. I’m an introvert, you know. And I feel so bad about it that I’m such a horrible swimmer. In my head I make up false believes, that the other swimmers get annoyed by my lack of swim skills, or that they think I’m just a strange girl, or they think my charity 70.3Ironman is a stupid idea for such a rookie like me. And on and on…

So next week swimt practice is going down! Scared as hell, but it will get me closer to my 70.3 Ironman goals. Besides that, I am allowed to swim as shitty as I do. Everybody started at zero. Everybody got scared at their own open water swim. And especially I need to remind myself, that I am allowed to take up the space I want and need. I’m worth it. We’re all worth it. Don’t be small, don’t allow yourself to be small and don’t let other people make you small.

Let’s do this! I’ll keep you posted how my first swim practice went!

Go big or go home

In my last post I told about my insecurities and selfdoubt. Since then I really got inspired and I’ve got a big plan to nail that selfdoubt and insecurity. But that is not the biggest reason why I’m up for this epic big plan.

Let me tell you.

Once there was a former Olympic swimmer, Maarten van der Weijden, who decided to swim to most epic iceskating tour of all ages to raise money for several cancer researches. The eleven city tour, in Dutch it’s called the elf stedentocht. Once you have finished that tour you have made it. It is more than 200 kilomtres at once, you start in the middle of the night, it’s freezing cold, it’s often windy, it’s brutal. If you are not Dutch it’s hard to explain the madness of it. Finishing it on iceskates is rather an accomplishment, but trying to do it swimming is rather a crazy adventure. But he tried a few weeks ago.

He swam for days and nights, people cheered him on from the land day and night, while he kept swimming and swimming. Unfortunately on doctor’s orders he to quit about 60 kilometres before the finish. But still, he is our hero. The willpower, the skills, the stamina…

It inspired the crap out of me.

So scrolling through my Instagram feed I stumbled upon a sponsored post of Kika Extreme. You can register for an awesome physical challenge to raise money for Kika ( a Dutch children’s cancer free foundation). You could choose between the Great Wall (half) marathon, obstacle race and 70.3 Ironman Mallorca.

I decided to register for the 70.3 Ironman. With hardly two sprints under my belt and with the slowest swim of the competition, it seems almost impossible to achieve. Not just the fact I’m a really bad swimmer, but also the asthma thing, makes it double challenging. But I’m willing to work and fight so hard for this. Children with cancer don’t have the choice but to fight for their lives. Then who am I to chicken out? I am more than willingly to work my butt of to finish that 70.3 Ironman and to raise money for children’s cancer research.

The moment I clicked the send button, I almost got a panic attack.

What did I do???

Where did I gotten myself into?

Can I do this?

Me? A slow (asthma) athlete?

It will be a difficult and hard road to 70.3 Ironman ready. But I will do this. No matter how frustrated I will get, no matter how insecure I will feel about my abilities, this is my go big or go home challenge. No concessions…

If you want to help me raise money, please check here. No matter how much, everything helps!

If you are a very experienced swimmer and you give me a few pointers, I would love to hear them. Mental support is also very very welcome. I’m gonna need it desperately! For sure!

Let’s start this adventure!

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