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The moments that matter! – the year of 2020.

The year of 2020 – The moments that matter 

Hope you all enjoy your 2021 as far as possible!?

Starting the year of 2021 in the freezing cold of the Netherlands… frozen hands on the water,  I missed that.. NOT. But hey,  I can’t complain a few years earlier I earned to kite in the middle of the ice. (it’s still feels like summer now  ) … Winter just became my new summer!  

While at the moment of writing this little story,  the politicians are discussing the evening clock and all rules I don`t even know about yet – But hey!  today its 45 knots and above 5 degrees, we are allowed outside.. that means WINNING!!  And that’s what matters!

“we can`t control everything that happens, but we can change our experience of those things”

 … Lately I get a lot of questions about my 2020 and about my 2021.. and what the hell am I doing in the cold on the water.. working every night….since mannyyy years.  “When are you leaving again? Training? Competitions? Travelling? Is it possible? Cancelled? Postponed?  Well,  I don’t have the answer either – it`s all difficult and strange, with a feeling am I doing it right or …… what will happen if ……”. It has been a year of chasing freedom, home gyms….and new experiences. Learning to enjoy the moments that matter!  Leaving to train has become expensive with all obligatory tests etc… and risks not to come back or… cancelled. So meanwhile I make the most of being HOME! 

2020 – You have been one hell of a  stormy year in all directions!  Yet an extremely though year, for some more than others. But it can`t rain forever (even not in Holland) and the dark clouds, they come to pass not to stay – don’t worry, I promise.

I (we) have been “home” more than “normal”. And that’s when…I realized, there’s no going back to “normal”.  It will never be the same. The world changed and so did we.  .  Sadly seeing people leave this world (are they victim of the virus or the rules?), on the other side lives are saved, I  lost and I learned,  we cancelled and found new opportunity’s, I closed doors and opened new ones, got stuck but created new ways. After all, all around the world life is not the way it used to be – anymore. So many questions, but there are no answers – just choices, life is to be lived. Just because things are not at their best right now does not mean that we should give up or shouldn’t enjoy the moments we actually can! Yes we haven’t been training as we wanted or competing the way it is supposed to be… reaching the goals we wanted to, everything is uncertain – it is what it is. And yes life is unfair at times, and it might be not the year I (we) hoped for.. what  did I hoped for anyway….???

I just want you to know: There are rules, but there is really no wrong way. There is not a specific “right way” to go through this pandemic. Neither there is “an award” for who is the best or the most miserable going through this. There is no government in the whole world saying “fun” is cancelled.(and that’s an important one I personally think!)  Neither that we should go in social isolation or finger point at each other. While appreciation, cancelled,  social distance, acceptance, quarantined, evening clocks, virtual dinner, balcony bingo and shared screen meetings are the new words we learn. Neighbor bush tennis is a new sport and patience is a big part of our “new” lives now.  

And yes this year might destroyed some lives, dreams, families – everyone  struggled. And yes there are no promises 2021 will be easier. Simply because: you can`t prepare for the future. We never know what life might throw at us tomorrow….. 

“it isn`t where you came from, it is where you going now – that counts”

So I made up one rule this year, finding out the things I wanted to do wouldn’t work out as usual:

Don’t miss out on the right things worrying about all the bad & wrong things:  All you can do is focus on the good, the reasons to smile, to laugh and do the best you can!! Take care of yourself and those around you – focus on the moments that matter!

 ……..because  once this storm is over you won`t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won`t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won`t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm`s all about. And so you should make 2021 another storm to never forget for yourself- wherever you are and whatever you do! Be brave be kind and be YOU!

The moments that matter – 2020 I:

  • Started off in  Cabarete, with lots of kiting in all disciplines and new adventures and friends, ready for more foiling and snowkiting the weeks after (I thought).
  • Snowkiting competitions ended up with lots of free snowboarding and skiing instead.
  • Learned for the first time about the Covid 19 and quickly realized it wasn’t a joke: Everyone and all underestimated this virus, not realizing what kind of impact it would have on our family’s and lives. What this virus will take from us and how hard we will face the reality after… But maybe also a bit what it will bring us.
  • Broke my wrist with while skating .. oooops. But if I had to anyway – the timing was perfect.  Got finally back on the water in June. That made me make more walks than ever, discovered the dunes just around the corner…but no, walking ain`t for me – yet.  But I  also learned to surfskate,  endless rides on the new swell…the concrete waves. Which was way more fun!
  • Got myself a new challenge and inline skated 100 km & 120 km – which was pretty cool to do. And I will do it again some time  next up: rondje markermeer……………
  • Learned to wing & that’s where the door opened into a new direction on  gusty lakes… they instantly became fun!  Tried to SUP foil for the first time in my life… costed some bruises and some fights in the waves, but ..yet another door opened……… And I also went on a little wing adventure which taught me some more ocean knowledge.  Did my first attempt to surf foiling – which I still suck at for the moment and – I am a bit scared for… the mast the waves, the leash.. But to be good at something you have to suck at something first is it… ??
  • Flew a 21m for the first time(without downlooping it  straight into the water). Finally took the floaters & the chickenloop of the bar…………. Also…. Decorated a pole on the beach as a Christmas tree with my kite … somewhere in spain…….  Oooops….Still not the most skilled “foil nerd” out there…learning every day 
  • Worked more than ever (- people keep on ordering) – counted teddy bears on the road (bicycle) to work. Through the empty streets and city centre of the first lock down.  No partying people anymore in the city in the middle of the night, whishing me good luck at work.  And the second lockdown made it even worse, I can`t imagine a Friday evening with partying people anymore…?? I need to have permission to be outside t cycle to work every night… and yet I explain it every night….because police officers are just doing  their work.
  • Learned Balou (our dog) what kiting is all about.
  • Travelled for the first time again during the whole covid situation:  To spain for the Spanish tour, became third.  Realized I needed a bit more practice.
  • Discovered kitespots in Germany, camping with all (!) kitegear, winggear & foil gear.  Twintipped more than I foiled. – but enjoyed every moment!
  • Became 20th on the individual Europeans in Poland. Kited in more seaweeds than I would have ever imagined.  Finally legal, participated my first ever team event as Dutch team in Austria at the europeans (the new Olympic class). Which was fun to do.
  • Slept in a van for over a month, drove more than 6000 km in total with my co driver:  DOG. Meanwihhile……Killed 4 phones in a year incl. simcards – personal record. Reconnected with my best friend on the road the VW van.  read more Learned everything about how to convert a van, how to install solar panels, a window, became an electrician, still learning for car mechanic though.
  • I have been HOME with Christmas! (right on time for dinner). No Christmas tree but a house full of kites boards, skates, skateboards, skies snowboards, wings and love  its Christmas every day at our house. I have been awake during the Dutch New Year. (that has been a while……).. and HOME.
  • After tooo many requests I finally started the shop again… still a work in progress project.. but coming sooooooon for you guys toooooo!!  So from frozen to liquid water you can support my dreams and become part of my road around the foiling world again.. representing the Dutch on competitions and trying to reach the top in kitefoiling!!    Anyway … stay tuned! 

I should have… I wish… I planned … ooohw: cancelled!  I miss.. but I embrace what I have and appreciate HOME!! Grateful for the little getaways and training moments we have now and then.  I can still work, study and am still al live – which is pretty cool  . The most valuable things in life cannot be seen, bought or touched – 2020 taught me.

The Netherlands became our new adventure project with the kite, sup , surf foil, wing, skates, skateboard AND  winter just became my summer so let`s enjoy it!

From being unplanned, flexible  and unorganized, too creative and making a mess, to all of that  finally works out in a good way, because 2020 was and 2021 still is all about that!  Stop swimming against the current (accept life is what it is and it will be unfair sometimes) – it doesn’t make any  sense, go with the flow:  be imperfect, be that one that says; “Nah that ain`t for me”- set your own goals and go or it – even though its different!

 Keep shreddin`  & see you out there!! 

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