Cruising on the right side of the road in the wrong side of the car.

There’s been a deafening silence up here! Reading back some old blog posts on my Facebook page – I surprisingly – got so motivated by my own diary that I realized I needed to: JFDI* and start writing again.

Just a little catch up about why I decided to change direction and have an early Brexit.

My first race season as a pro has been one to remember: from getting roasted on a spit by the world’s top 10 during my initiation pro race (Ironman 70.3 Dubai), winning Grafman half tri in Cambridge, rising and falling the Ironman European Championships in Frankfurt, proper racing in  Zell am See 70.3 and an injury but a top 10 in Ironman Italy…  Never before I saw so much of the world, invested so much money on sports and spent so much time training.  But it still was something I ‘did on the side’ and wasn’t my focus. So at the end of the season, the balance sheet needed to be made up: whether and how to continue?

I loved every second of all races. Competing triathlon at pro level clearly was unfinished business for me. I needed to create a better environment for myself to grow in the sport. At the age of 30 you know this is your final chance. Switching jobs in London would mean another 3 years away from home, and in Holland there was a potential offer of a pro team and better training circumstances. So off we went.

At September 1st I resigned at FitnessGenes (London), at the 22nd I raced Ironman Cervia (Italy) and at the 29th I were to leave the UK. Of the five days I had to arrange my move I spent most time like an ostrich putting my head in the ground for all the things needed to be done – it could be because of the sore muscles from the race (you don’t recover within a few days from a full triathlon) or because I realized it was a crazy step to take, or because I still had some piadine and Lambrusco in my blood. Instead of selling the car, buying boxes, bring stuff to recycle centers et cetera I spent all my time saying goodbye to my friends, pissing away oceans of time at the local markets, parks and pools – of which I knew I would be missing one day. So in the end, I packed the entire house within 5 hours and just made it on time to the Eurotunnel in the little Pugget 206 (British pronunciation).

Leaving Shutter Island behind me, there I was, cruising on the right side of the road in the wrong side of the car. (Uh yes, I was too late to sell it…) But the good part is that I won’t be able to order any food at the McDrive, the co-driver won’t feel bored as he/she gets a little task when a gate needs to be passed, and it doesn’t matter that I’ve already made 10 scratches on it (you can’t sell it here anyway..).

IMG_0591

After passing the Indian-summer colored fields of France and Belgium, I reached the media city of the Netherlands, Hillywood, by midnight. A warm welcome was waiting for me at my sister’s place, where I would stay another month. In the guest room. In a kind of lost state. Injured and bloody scared of what to come: I had decided to change my life and now it actually happened (and what exactly was my plan?). OMG. In a few weeks’ time the three factors for stability (1. job, 2. house and 3. relation) were either a gone or far away (bf had to stay in London for a while). I also ended the collaboration with my previous coach, who I had gotten to know very well in the past few years. Not knowing how working with my new coach and his squad would be like.

Of course: if you put it into perspective, it really isn’t a big life changing event, but that’s easier said than done when you’re a millennial girl (maybe I’m too old to be categorized as such but I like to use it as an excuse anyway), so to me this felt like a huge step.

Luckily, I had the pleasure to share a lot of time with my 3 years old nephew and 5 years old niece again and being insanely well-looked after by my oldest sister. She certainly is the best host in the world. As if I was a genuine part of the family, she did my laundry, made me food and even tucked me into bed. I owe her.. So when turns 95 and is in need of care – and I’m obviously still a shiny fit 90 years old girl – I know what to do.

So during autumn I found myself not focusing on big events yet, but working on the key elements of an athlete’s life; 1. tranquility, 2. purity, and 3. regularity. Next time I’ll update on those, before I crack on to the fun stuff of triathlon: how it is to be the only girl in a pro tri team, a training week in Malaga, the beach challenge of Egmond, and the plans for coming race season.

[I usually write about the great experience of training and races, but I thought this also needed to be part of the story line]

*JFDI = Just fucking do it = my slogan in times I’m feeling too sorry for myself . Now a common expression for me and my oldest sister. Works very motivating at times.

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