Yup, I am happy, really lucky, with a great passion – an amazing sport to life for (on the water and the snow), nice friendly people around, a loving family, a home, a nice van for the trips, trainings & competitions. Things are arranged well, the things I cannot do alone I got help with – mostly. A life filled with fun, exciting adventures, sports and development. Travel the world at times, a nice study & work. It’s great, something I’m proud & grateful about.
But happiness doesn’t knock on the door for free
You don`t just catch happiness and luck from the air, neither you can find the rest in a jar after throwing some around – saving some for later in case you need some. Or buy a jar of happiness and luck at the local supermarket. Neither it`s finished for you, after I had some luck, no there is enough for everyone. I also didn`t catch happiness and luck from the sky, neither it blow into my hands. It is tough, I worked hard for it, made difficult not to say impossible decisions…and I still have to do sometimes. Something I suppose you have to do to… And I won`t take it for less now. It will be all worth it, promised. Once the decision is taken, go for it – there is no way back anyway.
“You can own it all, visit it all, but if you are never grateful for this opportunities, you will never find happiness and luck. When you have the ability to be always grateful, it doesn’t matter where you are” – something I learned along the way.
Happiness isn`t in a jar – Happiness is a choice.
Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. I am surprised about the amount of people, complaining: finding themselves in a situation they are not happy about. But also then they don’t want to do anything about it. I always learned: “If you do what you`ve always done, You’ll get what you`ve always got”. So if you are unlucky, you will stay unlucky, as simple as that. Just telling you the facts.
So, that means if you don’t do something else, everything will remain the same over and over again, you will stay unlucky. Some health issues, you can’t do anything about, but the situation, the environment you are in, you can change. The mindset you can work on. Do what you can with what you have. Where you are.
I get it, in one way being unlucky feels safe. In your own cocoon. You know what you have and what you don`t. You can safely complain. Especially now with social media. The pressure to being above average, showing all forms of happiness is high. We cannot hide, we face it all the time: the people with special talents, who have everything.. Being average is almost scary… In the other way, I can’t imagine you will be lucky in that cocoon. What I can imagine, that it is hard breaking through the shell. But once you try you will find out eventually; “Because what is being average..?” I believe everyone is special in its own way and everyone is having his or her own talents to achieve great things in a different way – it doesn`t need to be shown on social media, you’re awesome in real life already! We don’t have a choice whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it . (don’t ask google ask me..!)
“Luck is when opportunity knocks and you answer”
Luck & happiness begins with the decision to no longer feel sad. You have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go. Life is given but how you live is your responsibility. Being present and finding the joy in every moment. Believe in what will be, be grateful for what remains.
One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change. It is what it is. You have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go. Focus on yourself. See the bigger picture, you don’t need to fit in or be compared. Live your life according to your own rules!
The yar of happiness and luck isn`t a yar. It`s a decision.
Give it a chance! May I suggest to try, before letting me know luck comes to me for free, and I have a yar full of it. Please be vulnerable to ask for help, read, talk.. try, try again. Take more chances, be more active and show up. The best way to find happiness is not to wait for it, it is not the absence of problems, it is the ability to deal with them.
Believe me or not I have been stuck in that cocoon many times, finding myself doing the same over and over again, waiting for? The yar of luck? No, from that moment I teach myself to do whatever makes me happy – no matter what other people “so called friends” think or do. They will push you around, you shouldn’t care. You only live once and if you do it right, once is enough. When finding out what change can give you.. you get good at it.
I am one of that persons that loves change, fair, development, fear it is what makes me happy, excited and chasing the things worth living for. I get a kick under my ass a lot of times, either I do it myself or someone else will do it. But life gets more exciting like that though. Go on a journey of discovery. Making mistakes is allowed, giving up NOT.
“you deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life you are excited about. Don`t let others make you forget that or take that from you. Being happy and lucky doesn’t come from having it all, it comes from appreciating what you already have”
Just in case you want to know, at the moment of writing this, I just published my blog – My passport back in action. I also just arrived in Greece after an adventurous road. At the spot, but I couldn`t find my thing, be happy in the place, feel safe sleeping alone. No – one around yet and wind from the wrong direction. So, what the hell; I just decided to move on. In a split second I booked a ticket. Take the ferry to …Paros and even that was hard, because of the suddenly bad weather, strong wind the ferry didn’t go. After a night of driving, one day in the sunny line (-useless). And the last ticket in de night sold out, a night in the middle of the harbour.. I almost thought what did I do now again. But hey I just went the next morning on the ferry……… and visited Athens for the night. Enjoyed the evening watching the boats and fisherman. Taking a shower on the parking lot, slept in front of the boat. I was thinking; “will it all be worth it….?!”. But NO that`s wrong. It will be worth it, definitely. I have never been on that island before and … I am here right here, right now living life. Enjoy it and be lucky for the chance given to travel and kite all around the world. And take a shower on the parking lot… who can say that…..;) .. And I had the best time on Paros!
Last but not least: What makes you happy doesn’t have to make sense to others! If you don’t like something, change it. If you cannot change it, change your attitude.
Perfection can’t stay there, you can’t stay on the line of perfection, perfection is the straight line through life. Life goes up and down and will occasionally hit that line – that perfection: that one moment, that one peak you need to win – that one moment of perfection – a happy and lucky moment: That will stay with you!
Once just a dream… I would see only in those bleary moments just before sleep, I felt ready to try this new reality. I’ve known for as long as I could remember that I wanted to travel and see the world, have my own VW – Van. My parents even gave me one for my birthday long ago .. a so called “piggy bank” tho. My surfbus… where I would save all the tips I got working my side jobs. We made jokes about the Van and my life , my Van, the future, vanlife…the bus, surfing. At the same time everyone did now far deep from the inside it wasn`t a joke deep down it is true. That it only needed some time to accomplish this dream.
“Every family needs that kid that always goes somewhere, somehow”
At the moment of this dream, the surfboards and waves, the beach already appeared and I wasn`t even kitesurfing – yet. I have had always a big passion for extreme sports and traveling, adventure and freedom, making the most out of everything. Competitions have always been and still are the red line in my life. Always in need for a goal, preferable one just too far away, a dream. Like the van, the surfboards….. While we already painted the palm trees on the wall of my room, the bleu sky, the sun and the sand…I started to realize my kitesurfing dream.
….But once I’d moved out of the comfort of my parents’ house (oke a little.. I still have my palmtree bedroom over there), the realities of being able to save enough money on a not-that-well-paid jobs sank in. A normal full time job was simply not doable because of studying and my other passion & life: kitesurfing & snowkiting – competing international and training all over the world. Working an events, hotel, restaurant, distribution, cleaning and transport job in the night, that I enjoyed and still do enjoy (thanks to all the people around who make it fun every night again 🙂 ), but wasn’t passionate about. Please, don`t get me wrong in this. I have a huge respect for all working people, no matter where or what.
I had to take care of myself now. And somehow still manage to compete on the highest level in snowkiting, kitesurfing, kitefoiling & learn the wing foil thing, train, finish my second master and enjoy life.
With most of my income going on rent, college money and bills: the accommodation costs for training, travel expenses, subscription fees (!) and competitions, the newest kites needed (!)(20 000 euro) and transport: I began searching for a way to cut my monthly expenses (especially when training, traveling, going to competitions). This was when the idea of living in a van started to creep in – again (I did it before – from frozen to liquid water)- I could live in it, continue working (or at least find a way to continue) and then travel in it to competitions and training locations. Save a lot of time, money, so I could work less. Sleeping close to the places I have to work, I train and drive straight after to the beach or mountain… gym for a shower. Make the world my backyard, train everywhere and compete without too much costs. With vanlife, I was ticking two boxes at once!
Well, not really. I definitely ticked multiple boxes and it made my life way easier, flexible, adventures and definitely more fun. On the other side it is still hard work to make it happen. And to continue it. But so worth it.
So finally last year I made it happen, I converted my own van. It is not perfect but it is very much mine. This year I already made more than 5 trips in two months, to the snow to the sun, competing, training. And… I loved every moment of it! Vanlife makes you happy…. 😊
Once just a dream, now made reality.
I hope to inspire you to believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. A dream doesn`t become reality through magic it takes sweat determination and hard work.
And although traveling in a campervan won’t always be picture perfect, One day you’ll look back on this journey and think: “That was one hell of a ride”.
Once just a dream, now made reality. Just like my dream to be the best kitesurfer I can be. And my road into the Olympic kitefoiling road as an independent athlete.
The 7 most annoying, yet funny disrupters in the gym
Lots of people I talk to, hate the gym… And to be honest I can`t really blame them. I personally do like the outside more, the freedom…nature, unexpected circumstances, beach, waves, wind… the space – adventure. But I had to admit that throwing some Iron makes you stronger and can be useful at times to reach your goals. Yet, the moment I walk in I already regre.. no regret is not the right word, I love a good workout.. It`s more a thought of what the heck am I doing here again?!.. might be me, that I am quickly distracted, have the focus of a little child. Asking myself a lot of times is it really true.. people actually do that..?!? My eyes get opened a lot of times, wide open… It`s like a big human zoo.
There are some types I see coming back from time to time. They have the talent to summon some funny yet annoying yet ridiculous irritations.. painful to be around, hilarious at times. You have got mead heads, housewifes, woman with skimpy clothes and full on wearing make-up to work out (?!), creepzzz, grunters, the sweet potato’s, the markers, the housewife’s, the hoggs and way more. An that’s just the people. And my first week into an actual gym since forever.
Let me tell you about the 7 most annoying yet funny disrupters in the gym. Please read the article with an eye blink, all in the name of fun! 😉
1. The Grunter
The first that comes into my mind: “I am about to poop in my pants” grunter. You all know that one guy, the one whose guttural “gaaaah” you clearly hear while being in opposite of the building – wearing or not wearing your headphones.
It`s just like the commercial of two tennis players and start to grunt and scream louder and louder every time they hit the ball. In the gym this happens too – only than by moving a weight. Mostly by a deep red face, throbbing veins, deeply in sweat. Its funny on one side, sad on the other side.
Everyone knows them, I did only need one minute and one gym entry for that. That guy that always walks to the weight rack no matter how small or how big he is , well and then you hear it:
Once you’re yelling that loudly, you clearly can’t lift that much weight (yet), you clearly don’t have any regard for the people around you (!), and you’re clearly going to give yourself an inguinal hernia… Just put down the weight one little lighter, more movements and problem solved – I didn’t had the idea anyway I was looking at George of the jungle…
I get it that sometimes in the last set there will be a sign of tiredness escaping… or you can`t put the heavy weight down that easy… but like the whole one and half hour.. screaming, grunting while the whole gym can enjoy it?? Did I mention human zoo?
2. Sweat Puddler
Like the special guest I always look out for in the gym: Mister dipthe sweat puddler.. every dip goes down with a performative grunt, and he does like a hundred a day, last but not least mister dip is sweating like,,,? Every drop counts? – I really leave that machine for the rest of.. my life. Sweating is expected, but sweat puddles left on machines, benches, the floor (!) is just not. Carry a towel to soak up the mess.
Another competitor in the era is: Mister croco the sweat puddler #2 showing up in his boardshorts and crocs, using the stairwalk machine every day, he`d drip sweat like no one before, a giant bottle of frozen coke melting in the sun. It`d be all over the machine.. the place.. not just the handles…a snake track is nothing like it. The whole place looked like it was left outside in the rain.. Yep this people also exist.. leaving sopping in his crocs… without even thinking about cleaning up his mess.
“I grunted loudly at the gym today, nobody looked to see how much I was lifting.. so I slammed down the weights, let my sweat run down the machine, now they will remember me. – Mr. Sweat Puddler – also known as The Grunter.”
3. Collect them all
That one that sets up a bench in front of the dumble reck, surrounds himself with every imaginable weight and plans to use them for the next foreseeable future. Like we used to do as kids with Pokémon cards… The only difference is that we took care of our cards but mr. collect them all, he leaves it all, once he is done. You just lifted them, that means you should be able (at least ) to put them back in the dumble rack. You know the rack, which is organised with numbers 1 -2- 3 – etc. Which dumble goes where: Reracking weights is the easiest thing in the world ( I tought until today).
Just like using one at the time, that saves some cleaning. While you leave with a yoga matt for a stretch in the other room to come back wit a skippyball. What the…?! Am I the only one noticing you might forgot something..
Who is the usual culprit? A doofus just doing drop sets of seated rear delt-trap-neck, belly arm things that no one has ever seen or heard of, but you can tell it’s just wrong. It would be forgivable if it weren’t so selfish. Newsflash: Other people want to train with dumbbells too; you don’t get to keep tabs on all of them.
4. Reserved holiday goer & Machine Hogs
“Actually I don`t do sets, I don’t have any reps, but I wont be done for a while”
You have the machine hogs, the texting machine hogs, the group machine hogs. Because they are with a group the can exchange machines and take their time. Conversations about the girls they got at the club last week. Girls gossiping, talking about rainbows and unicorns and all else that doesn’t make sense in a gym. There is a coffee machine on the other side of the road.. maybe a better place for all daily nonsense..? And you know what: there are actual chairs!
The bro`s, the locusts . They are everywhere and not going anywhere anytime soon. Look at them in your local gym.. They are recognized by drinking workout shakes / water.. together and talking really loudly about the “chick they banged” last night and probably lying about it – I guess.
Or the staring housewife, not everyone is so serious as you… For instance: The little too big housewife that is just staring in front of the machine, or doing just as little as a 50 (!) reps on the machine you actually reallyyyy want to use. Lets get to work.
“What’cha doin’? Not much?
Yeah… not much. “
While others act if they are in an all inclusive hotel…the reserved holiday goer, also well known as the marker: towel on the beach bed 07:00 and still a sleep until 13:00 .. it can better be there before you realize you actually want to use it or..?? The part I do understand is leaving a towel on a bench to save it because you have to run to the bathroom or fill up your water bottle, the part I don`t understand is marking half the gym with your shit. – because you’re 135 pounds, have more zits than muscle, and believe that circuit training is your salvation – is as rude and inconsiderate as it is nuts.
And than we have the all equipment hogger, the dude (or dudine – but I haven`t seen one – yet) that thinks he is alone in the gym, takes three towels, a bidon and some other personal crap ..doing his own circuit; using every single piece in the gym at the same time. and he hollers out across the gym to let everybody know, “Hey, bro! I’m on that. Doin’ a circuit!”
Circuit training has a time and place, but it is not in a busy gym. Stop hoging all the equipment.
5. The Texters
“No squatting in the texting reck, please”
Yep, every once in a while (I hope every once in a while for all of you) during peak hours in the gym you’re waiting for a machine, weight rack and you spot someone spending more time texting than actually working out. The I am not done yet but let me finish this text `slacker, guys. It takes them ages to get off a machine, sometimes and I really wonder how this is possible, but people do it: people will literally be on their phones having full conversations and chatting throughout the entire workout.
Than you have the people with the facebook uploads, to the gym “beastmode on, lifting, training with ma bro`s”.. Do we give a fuck? . NO we don’t give a fuck… For real. Dudeee move onnn…
Great workout #fitness#cleaneating
#shutup .. Guess you know all these people by .. wait no.. you won’t, because you unfollowed them three months ago..
“What if I told you you can go to the gym without telling everyone on facebook about it”
6. Selfiesss Selfiesssss, Everywhere!
The shame… but it’s not enough to stop you from doing it again! After all, do gains even count if you don’t share them on Insta? Goes to the gym once: 4 status updates , 65 photos, and buys “I gym for live tee”.
“I don’t always go to the gym but when do I make sure everyone on facebook knows about it.”
Have you ever ‘checked in’ at the gym? If the answer is yes, go hang your head in shame. More selfies than reps… but that’s none of my business. – watch me bro, post this on insta. Well, to be honest, I was shocked when I saw this for the first time… people actually do this!?? The answer is yes.
7. Strike a Pose – abusers
Once I was on training camp in another country – the other side of the world – in the local gym – a guy next to me take off his shirt, start flexing in the mirror, and then start taking selfies, staring at his biceps in every possible angle. – IN the gym. On the other side every once in a while there’s a competitor who goes into a side room of the gym and flexes or practices a pose – lets say another world opened up for me. I believe you. Your muscles grow if you work out.. and it is absolutely fine to look at them, but to hit a pose after every set? maybe next time do it at home..?
To be fair, he’s not as inconsiderate as the others. But because he’s a walking stereotype, he furthers the image of the narcissistic bodybuilder with little intellect and class. In other words, he’s a self-congratulatory douchebag.
Next to this you have the ones that use the gym -mirror, mostly in front of you, to check the hair or the way the too tight pants fit. You know the mirror is there for a purpose? To check your form and maybe check double if you are not a vampire. For all else we have a dressing room or a home.
Who else would you add to the list of gym hero`s ..??
That’s my life and I am proudly living it: my Fulltime Job times 3
If it was easy everyone could do it: my Fulltime Job ^3. Topsport is a fulltime job in a fulltime working job in a fulltime student job.
“yet sometimes I’m wondering more and more if it’s getting in the way of my performance. But yes, I also have to live. ”
It ain`t easy to get to the top as a sporter in The Netherlands – I faced that challenge the past years for the second time in my life (and also not in any other country I can imagine and I have experienced). Topsport is a fulltime job in a fulltime job in a fulltime student job, for most of the sporters out there (it`s my fulltime Job ^3 ). Especially for the ones which don’t have a commercial team or have financial support from a sport association or ….rich parents/boyfriends/family members.
We have to earn every cent we spend ourselves. We don’t have big sponsors, loads of price money (- only for the best once’s – but to get there..), investors who pay our travels, our expenses, our daily life, university, our subscription fees, accommodation, trainings, trainers, equipment. Just if you are lucky enough a part of your gear you can get with a small discount. You got to be a teamrider for a brand – which is fun and will help you a bit. I am super thankful that F- One supports me already for the past two years in all disciplines I can ask for.
But than …how higher the level gets, how more expensive it gets, the more you have to train, the more competitions. The more difficult the material gets and the deals. A higher level means closer differences in equipment.. and maybe just not the gear you are riding with an the brand you ride for. Sometimes the choices are hard – or actually all the time. Competition with old gear, fighting, struggling or buy new gear and stay at home – work or train. Train and don’t have anything left over or save and survive the winter at home and participate that competition with the same skills and equipment. While you know other competitors…that train 6 days a week in the perfect conditions, have the better equipment already. And you can’t work against it anymore, while you got the talent, the skills….
Life is not fair, it’s never been – better get used to it. Your time will come: Nothing worth having without fighting for, Mum & Dad always told me. That’s what you always should remember if you ever want to give up!
A lot of people think pretty quickly: ooohh just a few competitions, a little bit of training on a tropical destination– you should have plenty of time and freedom enough! To work next to it, study and…. no clearly not.
And yet , Sometimes I ask myself what if…?? Is that the best preparation you can have..?
Living at your parents’ home (forever having a room) or that of your boyfriend who are supportive enough to not throw you out – even not when you turn into a rat.. They got your back every single day even though sometimes you won’t see it. A lot of times you’re home, because your injured or studying, working (not the most social person ever, not that as you want to be at least). But he, they will not complain. Don`t ever take that for granted if you won’t lose them, although sometimes they will help you making the ends meet. Or the friends that stay, even though you hardly ever see them or miss out on their parties, because…. your training, travelling. You really get to know the people around you, who to trust and the real friends who will stay along the way wherever you will end up..The ones you can tell everything and you really trust.
Being my own work/study planner and advisor…Double shifts, nightshifts, cycling to them in the shitty rain, straight after to training – I don`t really mind – I like it actually. The cycling to work is a part of training anyway. Following classes in the train, making exams all over the world – chasing WIFI. Playing for doctor, stitching myself, personal trainer, besides that I am a videographer, social media guru, personal cook, and above all I ama professional hustler: always lobbying for the lowest price, the best deals, sleeping in a tent or my van – trying to manage myself and everything around. Dragging all boardbags behind my for days, sleeping on the airport. Yes I am a pretty good I “it can always be cheaper” travel agent by now, always the way less travelled and sometimes a bit scary. But guaranteed you get to know a lot of the surrounding, and yourself. Being my own accountant, bookkeeper to meet all the ends. My own social life manager, what I still suck about, blame the wind. ( I always miss out on the family things, my birthday & celebrate new year / Christmas a lot of time alone in another place and time zone…). Besides that I am also a repair guy. Splicing lines, glue-ing kites – duck taping the rest and a little epoxy will do the job. Might not be perfect, but it will work. After all I am also a car mechanic, electrician, plumber and carpenter in training, after converting a van, living in it on long road trips to training locations and competitions. Really cozy with all equipment I can tell you 😉
Financial & Work
Teaching kitesurfing, coaching foiling, online or at the places I train, taking every job who possibly fit around training, competing all the travelling and university. No job is below you, if it pays, every penny counts. Sometimes I thought I could work more and more. Than after a few days I was tired on training weeks. That ones I do for nothing than… for a physical training block need to be rested and not full of everything. That’s where I learned what rest days are about. Sometimes I am an online teacher, some days I clean the dishes, I help people as an bookkeeper / accountant with the financial administration, other days I serve breakfast or make sure you receive a package the next morning while working the nightshift. It’s a question I got really often so I made a little story about it here!
Thankful for the ones who took that extra step extra when I couldn`t, because I came straight from that competition, or the times I had to leave early, because I had to make an exam. Or the ones that made it a bit easier, working with a broken arm. Meanwhile in what I do, I always try to give my best and do whatever I can, whatever I do. Knowing everyone has its own story – and grateful for the respect they have for mine. Thank You!
Its hard to accomplish a degree when you are never there… You got to be creative and social to arrange that. I managed to get a second master’s degree and I am studying for the postmasters degree – against all odds. So if you there is a will, there is a way to make everything work! Maybe I am a student forever.. but why hurry! Life is still long enough.
Too make travelling, competing and training on the right places easier, cheaper and affordable. I converted My van to a midget house and kite /surf /skate holiday home. It might not be always the best (rainy, cold days), but its a great way to make it work. Read more about my kitevanlife on this page.
Meanwhile, trying to find private sponsor deals, but it’s a hard task. You have to give a lot in return (clinics, presentations – I like it, let that be clear. But on the other side that’s lost time again for work, study .. or the obligatory resting days , training. And sometimes you need to be the top of the world or a pro influencer already. It`s also hard to find a brand that fits and you proudly stand behind.
Once you find a brand, it still needs to work with the other brand or organization. Or the other disciplines you practice. Besides that one little mistake or injury.. and its over again. You’re back at 0 or even less. Sometimes they already want you to be a world champion, the perfect fitness and eat guru, but you need them to get there. It’s a hard juggling game every time again.
The best is to find independent sponsors, not connected to the equipment brands, but these ones are hard in a sport (discipline) that’s still a bit unknown. But worth it, to be part the first generation of Olympic kitefoilers and inspire the future – together with the brands I already teamed up with!
Shop & blogs & Donate
Being a pro athlete, trying to fund myself, I started my own webshop with a little help from my family. Rised out of travel memories, to connect with friends and never forget each other. Inspired by the ocean & handmade. Meanwhile I am writing blogs to inspire you to follow your dreams, chase the things in life worth living for! And for everyone out there who wants to follow my journey in the Topsport, in life, on the road and in the world.
Can I tell you something just between you and me? “yes, yet I’m wondering more and more if it’s getting in the way of my performance. But yes, I also have to live. ”
And yet , Sometimes I ask myself what if…?? Is that the best preparation you can have..?
Driving 24 hours straight to the competition area after a working shift – with a quick pit stop for an online exam. Sleeping in a tent or on the couch in the cold rainy weather on an airbed trying find the right position to sleep, the tent right into your face in between your boardbags – nice and cozy…What if I slept in a better place? without people around, without snoring people, without all the lights and noise around, the garbage truck passing by in the middle of the night, I know with more rest and focus everything will be better.
While I am pumping my airbed – in the middle of the night.. the seconds on the clock are ticking, the competition is coming closer….While I am staring at the sealing and listening to my snoring neighbor and 4 sleeping people in my room.. I think about tomorrow.….nothing is less true. Without closing even one eye – I am at the starting line. And there I have to do it. No matter where I came from or what I did – this is it:
That’s my life and I am proudly living it!
Thank you guys for thinking with me in hard situations, sharing incredible moments ups & downs, working with me, supporting me everything (even if it might be a “little” crazy), celebrating Christmas, sharing rooms, floors, tens, stories, secrets, dinners, moving in the middle of the night because we got soaked of the rain, sunsets, sunrises moments, way to long and scary boat rides, being a family away from home, being a part of my journey, let me forget I am alone in this craziness … For believing in me even though I didn`t in myself some moments. That makes you realize to appreciate what you have, all small things, to be excited about what you want. I will never forget you! Just like the nice team members at work, helping me out. Giving me the easier place so I could train afterwards, even though I am just a number. For the study groups and teachers, being helpful and patient. Grateful to have my awesome family back home – for always being there for me!
I know it’s not always the best way, but it took me already where I am now. Wining competitions, training, qualifying the Netherlands for the world beach games, winning snow worldcups, freestyle tours, big air. Fighting for every place and moment. These memories, no one ever takes from me – coming this far by my own. Nothing worth having without fighting for. Mum & Dad always told me.
That’s my life and I am proudly living it. And yes that is the best preparation I can ever have! . After all the complete package is not something you just do. That’s Topsport, my life, my fulltime job^3. . No days off. But 99% I think you have a choice! I choose this life 100% and I am proudly living it!
How the experience of sport prepared me for life: 10 Life lessons of sports.
From soccer with the guys – a national team, running competitions for the university team – international, to swimming getting all licenses, to dancing on stage, skating the street and skateboarding the bowl. Inline skate 120 km, taking the SUP, surfing the ocean and the streets with a surfskate. Learning the wing thing. Climbing, mountain biking, rafting, canoe…, Kitesurfing in freestyle competitions, big air, Kitefoil racing in the world tour and big air competitions. Individual & teamsports, practising myself, coaching and teaching others. The biggest part of my life was and is about sports; Skiing 140 km an hour, flying over kickers, flipping through the mountains, sliding the rails. A life in the snow. Battling on the highest level possible, winning competitions, losing, learning but more about enjoying it- nothing worth doing without FUN – has always been and still is rule number 1. From frozen to liquid water I learned a lot. Actually my life was and still is built around sports and competitions – maybe nowadays a bit more about enjoying the little moments, to see what I actually have reached already.
“life is to short to do only one thing”
All these sports taught me a lot, the meaning of life, how to keep a balance and how to pick up myself after falling down. Coming back after injuries, dealing with fear. Push myself to get better and get comfortable with the uncomfortable. That sometimes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it, you don’t need to stay between any lines. There are no limits, the world is the stadium and nothing is out of bounds. Sports taught me how to be a good winner, be a good loser, to work harder than everyone else, to be a leader, a team player, have grit, have determination, have patience, and so much more.
“Don’t take the sport you love for granted. Every time you play, you better be damn thankful that you got to do something you really love. When you reach the day you can`t play and you can only watch, than you will know how much you love something that you once took for granted…..”
I also learned through sports that life is precious and some day you can get injured and reduced to your raw vulnerable self. Losing all you had, come back from 0. Against all odds. There is light on the end of the tunnel. Never lose that hope! Never give up, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn. Some moments with great results, but still struggling silently. I learned to accept, that something is what it is, there is got to be a way through it….. Please be vulnerable enough to ask for help to get answers you need. I hope I can inspire you this way to never, never, give up on the dreams you have and once had. And it`s oke not to fit in and to be different.
The 10 life lessons of sports, how the experience of sport prepared me for life:
Lucky that I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed and still do enjoy a variety of sports and activities throughout my whole life (thank you mum & dad), and have learned and am still learning that sometimes it isn’t the game itself that is fun – but instead it is our ability to have ‘fun’ playing it. With all the friends around, learning new “things”, enjoying to be outside to kick that ball and be part of something – together. Pushing each other and get better – develop. As well as in life, doing a job, sometimes it`s the people that make it fun and keep you going, appreciate that. The trick is to enjoy life & the little moments. Before you know life is over…. And you will regret not having fun.
Even though the conditions are not always (or never) on your side, get used to it. Make the best out of it and be happy you can go out at all. Every minute out there counts. Fun makes it so much easier.
2. Nothing is given you have to earn it.
Hard work is the key to success. Not only in sports, also in life. Before being good at something you have to feel awkward and you need to suck at something. Crash that trick, stand up and try again, again, again. Be open for feedback and to learn. I don`t even know how many million ways I found out that didn’t work out in that trick.. broken bones.. bruises…concussions.. scratches…stitches, but I always got back up again, trying again – and before I knew I was battling against the best of the world. When I started playing soccer without any experience as a little kid, too young … I started on the bench as the newbee. After seeing my brother play and the guys, I put in tons of effort and work to become just like them. From that moment I played every game and others were offering themselves for me – On day I even got asked by the coach of the opponent to play for them (national champion & the best team in the group – all colored guys and me playing as a white girl – a game I will never forget, they even let me kick the penalty).
Once they told that little girl to start at the lowest grade of highschool, that was her level… yeah right. I hoped to do one level higher, so I did. (In the end not one level…) Once you believe in yourself you can do so much more. Proof them wrong. I went to the highest grade, got a bachelor, two masters and now I am doing a post master. I did the premaster two times, the day I made it I proved to myself, that you should listen to you and only you. That feeling of reaching something scary, untouchable is the best feeling in the world. Same with tricks and sports!!
From that moment one I always wanted to earn something instead of just receiving it without putting in the work. Hard work is the real core of every sport because, without putting in hours you cannot really succeed at anything. Nothing worth having comes easy. In real life it is too, nothing comes easy – so don’t sit and wait, go get your dreams! Nothing is like expected, maybe its better, in a different way. I rather have high standards and drop down a few times before getting back up, than not trying at all.
“Don`t let one stumble on the road be the end of your journey”
3.You won’t always win and that’s oke.
Somedays, when I lost a game, an important one .. one point less to become the world champion. I would always got angry and wanted to quit, because only the first place counts. The rest are losers… but my parents & coach made me stick to it. Is there a sportsperson or a sports team which haven’t lost a single match in their entire career ? they started to ask me.. The answer is no. But did it stop any of them from playing again ?– always the second question..Still, the answer is no. And this taught me that failuresare a part of life but should not be mistaken as an end. No matter how many dead ends you encounter you need to keep thriving until you achieve your goal. If you don`t fail, you won’t learn, if you don’t learn, you will never change.
When I was younger, my coach wouldn’t let me finish unless I landed the trick with no mistakes – until the next mistake. I still do that to this day as well and it has helped me greatly. Practice does not make perfect rather perfect practice makes perfect. So always try one more time…
4.Teamwork & trust.
You can’t do everything by yourself sometimes and that is just a fact. This lesson is applicable in life, sports, and anything you do, to be honest. There is no “I” in a team and that is something that has helped me a lot in sports and outside of it. In many sports trust is the key to success – whether its trust in a coach, teammate, family member, co worker or equipment. A lack of trust in a te am mate’s ability to play his/her position, a coach results in others not being able to fully commit to theirs – while in others trust is a matter of life and death. With this I struggled a lot this year.. Like in a business, great things are never done through one person….Sometimes you have to set aside your individual wants for the collective good and the end purpose. An individual can make a difference, A right team can create a miracle. And sometimes the right team is not that far away!
I learned to put outside problems aside, and just play the game, make a goal your drive. Much like co-workers, teammates will not always get along, but this taught me to put differences aside and just get the work done.
5.Believe in yourself before others start believing in you.
A really difficult, BUT important one: You need to believe in yourself before others start believing in you. It takes a lot of courage and belief in your own self to get into the field and face your rivals. And as you know, you can never win if you don’t show up. Your dreams matter, there is only one you. Do your thing and don`t waste your time changing opinions. There will be always people telling you, you can`t . If you never try you will never know. And sometimes it means going left while everyone goes right. I have been told many times I wouldn`t reach anything in kitesurfing anymore… I am not a runner….. Laughed about, because girls don’t play soccer….I had to do the lowest grade on school.. and right now I am the proud owner of two masters. Made it to a world title in snowkiting and first places in freestyle. Have been on the international running podium and won tournaments with my soccer team..
So: Trust in yourself, you already survived a lot and you will survive whatever is coming – no – one is going to take that from you. Do it for yourself and no – one else, it’s your development, your life.
That might be the most important lesson I learned, next to fun. Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.Impossible is not a fact, it is an opinion…..
On the other side sports teaches you to never be overconfident. It’s good to believe in oneself but nothing good ever comes from underestimating others. Also, victories should be a reason for your happiness but not an excuse to stop working harder. Be confident & keep humble.
“you have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there”
6. Priorities & Sacrificing
In life (with sports), you have to find out what your priorities are, and with that comes sacrificing. The hardest thing you have to do. You can’t do everything and that is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you are a kid. You won’t have a great social life because most of the time you are either traveling for sports, have some sort of training, needed to work to make it all happen. You can`t have a normal steady job, be friends with coworkers…I didn’t go to any parties from friends or school parties, sporting events, club nights at all, not that much time hanging with friends ore seeing family, but I don’t regret it at all. Those sacrifices will help you get closer to whatever you are trying to achieve and it helped me a lot in life. Sacrifices will hurt but you have to think about it in the long term because that sacrifice will help you get an inch closer to what you are trying to achieve.
I found some great kitesurfing friends, friends in my soccer team, new friends all around the world and I’ve got some awesome stories to share with my family when I am at home. The rare moments I see them I enjoy & appreciate even more now. Just like the different jobs I got back home, with the different people – still there when I come back.
7.Life isn`t fair.
This was one lesson everyone learned as a kid and it was the toughest one to understand – and still I can’t sometimes. Not only in sports but also in life I notice it all the time. You might be the best employee at your job but you still haven’t gotten a promotion. Or you worked so hard to get a ten on your exam but you have to do the re-exam. Promise, when life isn’t fair: you don’t sinker down and give up. You rise to the occasion and try again because life will throw these obstacles at you all the time, to test how you respond. And yes, sometimes life sucks and it`s hard to push forward. But you can! Keep clawing back up, keep pushing through doubt, fear, and failure. That’s what will make you grow . It is a sad reality, but life isn’t fair so you must find a way to overcome it. You are stronger than you think.
Never give up: persistence and perseverance. Nothing good ever comes easy and the road to success is a long one. For achieving that end, the first step is to stay on that road and never quit. You will meet failures on the way but winning is always possible as long as you don’t quit.
Somedays, my parents were no longer able to drive me everywhere, because of work. I would take my kites to class, walk a lot of miles, drag everything into the train, just for one hour of training. Some days I had to play soccer after and I came straight on my skateboard. Rather than quit, and let down my team-mates, I skated there, to be able to continue to play. By the end of the season I had achieved a fitness level that I still aspire to. Besides that – if possible my parents always took me from one to another sport, picking me up on the other side of the country and driving me straight to the match or the airport.
With commitment comes focus. You need to focus to thrive and excel at something. Life always gives you both positive and negative – focus on the good and move ahead with commitment. Told at the age of 18 I wouldn`t reach anything in sports anymore…. Once I committed to the kitesurfing and started to believe in myself.. I actually found a new passion and did reach the stage a multiple times.
“stop competing with others, start competing with yourself”
9. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Risk is correlated with reward. You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take. But also, you don’t necessarily succeed in 100 per cent of the shots that you do take. In all aspects of life, the principle holds that to achieve great success, you must take risks. However, this is not an excuse for recklessness. Sports are loaded with opportunities for risk-taking, and exposure to these opportunities is the best training for developing a sense of when it’s a good time to take the shot and when it might be better to pass. Take the risk or lose the chance – an elderly Peruvian lady ones told me.
10.Integrity & Accountability:
It is in the world of sport and competition that I learned not everyone shares the same values or principles. For some winning was everything. In an early stage I was already taught the difference between playing ‘hard’ and playing ‘dirty’. But more the importance of always playing ‘my’ game. Through sports and the outside world I started to see the parallels between how players conducted themselves on and off the field. Consistency is key, but integrity IS everything
Every action has its consequences. In sports and in the world, but in competitions you notice that every move counts. Each moment could be the deciding moment. One wrong move, one little mistake and that could lead to you losing a game which was going in your favor or worse, losing it all and get injured. It’s the lesson of accountability and owning the consequences that will result from your actions.
Accountability ever when I participated in, or competed in any sport and still do, its always with the support of others – such as my parents, coaches, and team mates, sponsors. It is through their support that I initially learned the importance of being accountable.. There are many times when we need to invest 100% of our effort and energy despite nobody watching. Be accountable for the life you want – we get what we give.
Although this season was a hard one for me, I would not trade it for the world. Playing sports has taught me more life lessons than anything, by far. Although we won tons of games and tournaments, I developed a lot the last years – won, learned, the hard losses are the ones that always stick out the most to me. Especially if its the choice between money, old gear and new gear & unfair team choices raining around. And even though most of these memories were great, there were also some bad ones. However the good memories combined with the bad have shaped me into the young adult I am today . Might be a “little” bit less reckless, still as wild and fearlessly as the little me. Bring it on sports & life!
Sports will prepare you for the trials life will give you. Thank you sports! 😊
“Don’t take the sport you love for granted. Every time you play, you better be damn thankful that you got to do something you really love. When you reach the day you can`t play and you can only watch, than you will know how much you love something that you once took for granted…..”
You know all those things you`ve always wanted to do..? You should go and do them!
De vraag waarom? Die krijg ik best vaak, het antwoord is simpel: Het blijft je bij!
Ja, het blijft je bij, nee je wordt er niet rijk van. Dat is voor heel weinig weggelegd. Het gaat niet vanzelf, het is keihard werken. En ja met een klein foutje kan alles over zijn. En ja je moet dingen opgeven, keuzes maken, teleurstellen. Maar waarom dan nog? Nog een keer.. Nou, het blijft je bij. Het gaat om het moment van die ene overwinning. En dat blijft je bij.
Dat ene moment. Waar je alles voor gelaten hebt, alles voor gedaan hebt –de weg die je hebt afgelegd, de persoon die je geworden bent – doordat je, je passie hebt gevolgd en niets anders:
De obstakels die je moet overwinnen. De obstakels die je los moet laten om te groeien. Leven gaat niet over vallen, het gaat erom wat je erna doet. Wat je eruit meeneemt en daarmee doet. Slechte dingen gebeuren die kun je niet tegen houden. Het is allemaal onderdeel van het proces. Jouw groei als persoon en als atleet. Dat blijft je bij, niemand pakt je dat meer af, het is jouw ontwikkeling, jouw weg jouw passie – jouw droom!!
Perfectie kan er niet blijven, je kan niet op de lijn van perfectie blijven, perfectie is de rechte lijn door het leven. Het leven gaat op en neer en zal af en toe die lijn raken – die perfectie: dat ene moment, die ene piek die jij nodig hebt om te winnen.
Je leert dat dingen in leven niet altijd perfect hoeven zijn, maar af en toe die lijn raken. Dat houdt je gemotiveerd. Dat daagt je uit. Dat laat je keihard werken voor datgeen dat je wilt bereiken. Ookal krijg je soms de vraag: Wat doe je dan hier? Waarom ben in je in Nederland? Werken hier? Dat is toch niets voor een atleet? Mag dat wel?… Trainen alleen, dat heeft toch geen zin..? Je hebt twee masters..? Onthoudt: Niets is zoals het lijkt.
“Imperfection is a way of freedom”
Ja, dat ene moment van overwinning.. en de week erna zit je weer gewoon in de collegezaal alsof er niets gebeurd is sta je gewoon weer shakes te maken, dozen te stapelen, of cappuccino’s met hartjes in elkaar te zetten. Alles om toe te werken naar dat grotere moment – je droom waar te maken. Met een vrolijke goeiemorgen voor die chauffeur, die nog en lange dag te gaan heeft , maar hem nu wel positief begint ondanks alle chaos, ondanks zijn eigen verhaal. Voor die ene lach van die conducteur, iets kleins wat zijn hele dag weer goed maakt…. En die van jou ook, want het blijft je bij. Dat ene moment, die glimach, die alles toch heel even perfect maakt – dat moment waarvoor je alles doet. Het moment dat het harde werken waard is, ookal is het maar voor even. Ookal is het iets kleins. Je laat iets achter, het blijft iedereen bij – je laat zien dat een glimlach het waard is, ookal is het voor heel even. Wees de reden van die glimlach, het begin van de goede dag. Die overwinning is iedereen weer vergeten na een week, maar de weg die jij vrij maakt, wat jij laat zien, de mogelijkheden in het leven, hoe jij je passie volgt, die droom, de glimlach die jij geeft – dat blijft ze bij! Je kan zoveel meer dan je denkt. Door mijn weg te delen, hoop ik dat ik jullie inspireer om ook je eigen weg te vinden in deze wereld, te geloven in niets en niemand anders als jezelf en je dromen waar te maken. Doordat jij je passie hebt gevolgd.
You know all those things you`ve always wanted to do..? You should go and do them!
Mijn leven is ook niet perfect maar imperfection is a way of freedom. Je kan geen grootheid bereiken met alleen obstakels te overwinnen. Het gaat niet om die te overleven , het gaat erom ze te begrijpen – ervan te leren. Ermee om te gaan en soms te geloven in die imperfectie. Het gaat om kleine dingen bij succes, geen rommel. Je pakt in voor gevecht, je bereid je voor op een gevecht, je werkt toe naar die piek. Dingen om je heen moet je leren respecteren, dat geeft je meer controle. Leren accepteren en leren aan te passen. Het hele proces eromheen, of het werken (cappuccino’s met hartjes maken, dozen stapelen), school, trainen de supermarkt of t` dagelijks leven is. Wat het ook is goede atleten zien uitdaging en pakken die aan. Je gaat voor succes. Of het nou alleen is of met een team om je heen. Elke fout, is een leerproces. Die horen bij het leven, het gaat om de reactie erop. Als je er toch aan gaat, dan helemaal. Je droom volgen, je eigen passie, niet die van iemand anders. No matter the conditions. Alleen dan gaat het je lukken. Om af en toe die lijn te raken, die lijn van perfectie, die ene overwinning op dat juiste moment! Die glimlach en je droom waar te maken
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more left to take away. “
Ja en soms lijkt het of je in cirkels loopt, ronddraait en niks bereikt, maar vergeet niet dat een springveer ook uit cirkels bestaat en dat die de weg omhoog laten zien. De weg naar dat ene moment.
En dat ene moment…. dat blijft je bij J En die ontwikkeling, de weg die je hebt afgelegd, de dingen geleerd, de ervaring, de avonturen, de nieuwe vrienden gemaakt, de inspiratie die je achterlaat: dat proces, dat proces van imperfectie naar dat hele kleine moment van perfectie dat pakt niemand je meer af, dat maakt je sterk, maakt je wie je bent en laat je glimlachen. En alleen doordat ik mijn passie heb gevolgd, en mijn droom. Dus daarom
“Sometimes – Dreams do come true”
Blijf imperfect, blijf jezelf, klim de berg zodat jij de wereld kan zien, niet omdat de wereld jou kan zien. Geloof in dat ene moment en die lijn – ook al is die klein. Op je eigen manier. Er bestaat niet iets zoals een perfect werk – leven- studie -familie balans. Alles wat het vechten voor waard is brengt je leven in onbalans. Wees niet bang om te vechten voor je dromen en wees niet bang voor een beetje onbalans – soms brengt dat je juist naar de beste momenten! En daarna …. trek je het gewoon weer recht! Volg je passie, en je eigen droom – vertrouw op je eigen keuzes!
“Perfect people arn`t real and real people.. they ain`t perfect – Be brave, Be kind & Be YOU! ”
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!
Vaak hoor ik: maar dat staat niet op facebook? Dat post je helemaal niet? Eeuh nee, we weten allemaal dat de klaag muur ergens anders staat toch? 🙂 En een zielig verhaal delen, de mindere dingen, is dat om het delen, of om aandacht te trekken. Ik weet het niet. Alles krijgt altijd zijn eigen leven op social – media. Aan 1 leven heb ik genoeg. En we hebben allemaal een verhaal, ons eigen verhaal, waar alleen wij zelf de waarheid van weten. Vaak wordt er geoordeeld vanuit het hoofdstuk waar mensen binnen lopen. Of bij wat ze zien, een moment opname, vergeleken met het eigen pad. We luisteren, lezen en kijken om te reageren, te oordelen, niet om te begrijpen. Is dat wat ik wil bereiken? Nee.
“ik ben jou niet”
En wie zegt dat facebook een reflectie is van mijn complete leven, mijn werkelijkheid. Dat is wat ervan gemaakt wordt. Reality, open en eerlijk is het zeker wel als het om het kitesurfen gaat, de competities en het reizen. Gewoon omdat ik dat leuk vind om met jullie te delen. Omdat ik weet dat er vragen over zijn en dat het gelezen word. En misschien andere weer verder op weg kan helpen op een reis, te inspireren of die dromen toch echt te volgen. Om niet bang te zijn anders te leven dan anderen. Soms en later worden altijd – nooit! Sommige mensen zullen toch nooit begrijpen waarom jij een bepaald pad in slaat om te bewandelen. En dat hoeven ze ook niet, het is jou reis, jou verhaal! Dus waar wacht je op. Niet perfect is ook goed. Gemaakt om te laten zien wat er is in de wereld, wat er kan en niet om ook maar iemand jaloers te maken. Want geloof me dat is echt nergens voor nodig!
Mijn verhalen en herinneringen levend houden – voor mijzelf.
Degene die de rest willen weten , kunnen het vragen. Degene die het verhaal achter die positieve, motiverende toch kritische post willen weten. Of waarom deze quote? Die zijn er ook. En dat laten ze weten, een berichtje of een vraag. Gewoon persoonlijk ipv aan de hele wereld. Een wedstrijd die eens wat minder gaat, resultaat waar ik niet trots op ben, is allemaal part of the game. Maar ik zie dat meer als motivatie. Niet perse slecht / dat komt dan ook zeker wel voorbij. Zonder “struggles geen progressie”. Werk studie school / familie, mijn verhaal, dat is van mij en niet van social media. This is real life! En hier vind je stukjes daarvan, antwoord op sommige vragen, aan jullie om een relevante puzzel compleet te maken. Om alles echt te begrijpen i.p.v te beoordelen.
Because…Life isn’t perfect but it has perfect moments!👌 😊 #throwback🔙
Yesss I am still alive🙃, maybe not that responsive or sharing the kitesessions with you – yet, but my arm is still in one piece and I am just hanging on, learning to be patience, to not fight the facts, to deal with it and this world!🤷♀️ What about you guys?
Even now, when times get tough & things get super strange (well, not only things…also people’s mentality). 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!🙌🙌
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. Neither that we should go in social isolation or finger point at each other.👮While appreciation, social distance, acceptance, 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🤷♀️
Just remember life isn`t about surviving these things, it`s about understanding this –we are all struggling (and not only the ones in need of a hospital bed). Do we focus on the right things?We might save lives now, but don’t we destroy some in the end?We can’t hide from it, it exist and it will exist forever. And we might have to live a bit longer like this. 🤐Keep hustling, keep fighting and keep hanging on!💪
And once the 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.🌪️⚡
We might be further away from each other, but in another way we are closer than ever.Be brave, be kind and be You!😊❤️
World? yes you world, know what?? Should we uninstall 2020 and reinstall it. This version has a virus.. it ended up on standby – but not on hold – for a lot of us. Are you confused already? Trapped inside? On standby – mode? Kiting? Or isolated? Or reopened already?? What to do and what is the best decision? This year.. I rather skip it..? Or.. well, maybe it brought us some good things to?
We ended up into two worlds. One with really bad things, hospitals full of reality – showing how vulnerable we actually are. Closed businesses, people without jobs, closed schools… uncertainty about the future. Working at the grocery store is suddenly a highly important job, we might have to realize after this as well. Just like the transport. Without transport no medication – food – or anything. In the other world it brought us together, the you know what gave us time. We might be fyrther apart than ever, but in the other world we are closer than ever before.
And some days, I think it brought us a bit apart, because of different opinions, lost lives, lost friends, family, all processing this on our own way, discovering new things thoughts and having time…. Yes it`s still our world we have to live in.
The You Know what virus got us like:
“I have seen people doing the craziest things finally find their creative inner self. Challenges from the best crash to foiling inside to the in your face, throwbacks and push up challenges. Looks like were all still alive…... from the toilet paper madness to doing skateboarding backflips of the roof, snowboarding on blankets from the window, climbing around the whole house, skiing on the table, kiting at the stairs. Granny’s with sticks in the park to chase everyone on a 2m distance… We are guilty too, actually already whole my live I realized just now: Made a little skate bowl in the backyard, practice board flips from the chair (sorry neighbors ..again) , skate tricks on the carpet and I do play soccer indoors, slide the table and nothing to say about the gym upstairs.. meanwhile I write this blog, still with one hand, staring out of the window – I see people starting new hobbies though the street… skating, slackline etc.. We all got our own quarantine goals it seems. #stayathome #dontstaysafe or..??”
TheRide of uncertainity
One thing is sure: We have to ride through this together. Even if it`s through the swell in your living room (for some countries around the world). Or kiting with the wind of the ventilator in the bedroom. We are in this together – not alone! Don’t be selfsentric. It surprises me how disciplined some people are.. and some totally not. During the day, going skating – I am never alone anymore – everyone is outside. (I am too.. #quilty). But Every step I make, every trick I do someone is talking to me, looking for communication, positive though… Being some kind of entertainment show dancing on my longboard in front of the “street of old people”. Recognized by every window that shows a head with grey hair – staring and waving – and secretly smiling. Yes I still play outside – because staying at home and staying safe just doesn’t work for me. But I don’t complain if some beach or anything needs to be closed. They should have a reason for it. We shouldn’t discus this. Closed is closed. But for now I am happy we can still be outside and…. no –one said fun is cancelled. But we have to keep our distance and not make it too busy everywhere. Do what you got to do and go home! J
Meanwhile, some are worrying about them being chased of the beach with a drone. Competitions that get moved, a way to still effectively train. Why? To beat the rest of the world? but what if the world beats us? While you were too busy living your live, finding a spot to kite driving across borders… It shouldn’t be a discussion.
You know that people die alone? People fight the biggest fight of their lives, alone? People are left alone? People do there last breath, alone? We are not untouchable. I hope you realize that too. I know some do, but some not. I know by now how vulnerable we actually are, after seeing a hospital full of reality and hardworking people. You can for sure, but don’t complain if they close something because of you. Instead team up, accept it and try to understand. If you really want too: Make it happen, find a way to keep the spirit alive in a responsible manner, so sport can stay (without finger pointing each other). Just like the people that had to shut down there business. Or the once that lost lives or beloved ones. I don’t hear them complaining too, while they are suffering just like the people in need of a hospital bed. So do something useful with your time. And don’t make the world think we don’t care. Be self-disciplined – accept what`s expected from you.
You will discover some funny facts though:
The new hobby of the neighbor is maybe not where he is made for.
That the dog is the most wanted object nowadays.
That we fight about who is throwing away the thrash.
People that keep so many distance, they must be measuring in inches.
Hand sanitizer helps you discover new cuts you never know you had.
That some people know shit about technology and skype “I can’t hear youuuuu, Hellooooo, Hellloooo – Maybe switch on the microfoon” . and you can work in pajamas, sticking some tape on top of the webcam. Don’t start with sharing a screen.
That your girlfriend (or boyfriend!!) is not made to be a haircutter – another reason to switch of that webcam.
That you actually have nice neighbors. And playing badminton over the wall can be fun to.
Never had so much fun with toilet paper, admit it.
Wishing your parents good luck when they go shopping.
shopping together everyone with their own cart made it a bit more funny.
Hamster virus or the virus of stupidity? Anyway –Use it wisely.
The you – know – what …It made me realize waking up, seeing the sun shining – outside, I have the chance to see another day – be thankful. Many others are not able to, some never – and it happens faster than you ever can imagine. Within one week I started to ask myself the question again and again… Is this our world? Yes now it is. Some are still free, some are locked, beaches are closed, gyms, restaurants, schools and even the borders – everything thats not important to healthcare. Some friends are stuck on places you don`t want to be- almost in a war kind of situation. It s serious.
The reason I share this story with you : This week my opinion got asked… I actually dont got one: I am just curious whats going to happen with our world.
Our world: I looked around with my surprised face. My eyes wide open (and no I wasn’t in the supermarket in front of the toilet papers – this time). Is this our world? An elderly woman asked me if I know she could go inside to her husband. Once she told me where he was – even I know that moment I couldn’t help her I tried – really hard – because that’s my work and that`s what we should do during this times – help each other. But then I realized no-body could help her anymore… Life changed, the world changed- we have to accept it and deal with it – help people even though we know we can`t. Be nice but keep distance and listen to the advice.
..a bit shocked to leave the elderly lady alone, waiting like that. I gave her one of my kitesurfing magazines to read an get a bit of distraction in this ..world.
…Walking further outside the door with my fresh cast, all test survived – still in another world. It changed in a week. A reporter catches me to ask about my work, my cast, my arm and anything inside and outside the hospital – I didn’t realized it, did some staring at what’s going on around. My friend works at the IC in Italy and.. meanwhile I am seeing her with tears in her eyes this morning on skype:
” no- one knows what`s really happening inside the hospitals”. “The neighbors are in quarantine… friends in voluntary quarantine to travel others stuck on dangerous places… people lose beloved ones they never had the time to see or properly talk with…or let the phone ring 10 times, just because you didn’t make the time – later suddenly became never” “healthy people can transfer the virus without noticing… or too late.. and I need to make impossible choices” – i dont like this world – and people dont take it serious. That all, because you’re live was based on financial decisions, egoistic decisions, you wanted that party, or that gym session above all and now you regret not picking up that phone earlier or saying hello once in a while a little more. “threated my first patient and now months later, I already did too many – too many who did not survive – I can`t do it anymore.. my parents…they are in another hospital…how long can we continue like this…?”: she said.
I didn’t noticed but the reporter is staring with me for already half an hour, quietly – listing to the conversation with my friend. In the supermarket and the streets around we still make fun about it, children play, we are talking cloe to each other, but this world here is different. It opened my eyes – wide open. With respect to all nurses and all other hard working people inside this world, our world. Be nice, help people out, but keep distance and listen to the advice. And just make a stupid video, enjoy netflix, start another challenge at home, have a skype party with friends, play with the toilet paper, shower in desinfaction.. but dont go running all on the same road… enjoy the nice weather from your backjard for a while. We are in this together as one world.
“I work inside the hospital & transport on location , not at home and in the night shifts aswell (not as a nurse )and I do have a cast around my arm I have been in there, seen the quarantine, the tests, experienced it all yes”… oow … “My story from inside and outside this world, you asked?”
Forget about the other viruses going one these days: the hamster virus and the virus of stupidity. But honestly, I think it’s a gift, a gift of time we never have. Always people have the excuses I don’t have time, I can’t make time. Here you go: Now you got it. Use it wisely. Now you have the time to play with the kids, talk to your parents on the phone, to read that book or watch that movie, to study, to sit on that couch you didn’t even know there was in your house, to clean everything you needed to clean for ages, ask your friends how they do – by zoom. Time, to reset and realize what really matters the most in life. To overthink your dreams, passion and goals.Use it wisely. Before starting to get angry, panic around or complain or do if nothing is going one.
Some of us have been there and have seen how it is in the hospitals, quarantine and around – it`s not a joke. Seen with own eyes what is going on, been inside this story. And usually I am the one going against it and ditch that rules, because I am not scared and like adventure. But this ..this is different. People are crying – outside – because, people who are loved really die, alone. Never seeing your beloved ones anymore. Nurses have to make sacrifices they never want to. Need to implement ramp scenarios teached on university but never thought they would ever use. But its what’s really happening now – all around the world – and we are just hanging on.
So if you have been given time, because of a cancelled trip or work shift, you’re not allowed to do your favorite sport- Use it wisely. I know you are disappointed not being locked down on that favorite kite or holiday island, not being able to work, too see your friends, you wish you studied for another job to work now (accountant or transport.. or nurse), but there are worse things in the world right now. Enjoy your gift – time and Use it wisely. Be glad if you are at home and safe – keep it like that.
We can still make fun about it, because when you look outside the window the sun is shining and all is the same but the world is different. We can still do things we want to and have to do, because we got time – Use it wisely. And not by emptying supermarkets or pharmacies…or going against rules that are necessary, follow advice and keep on smiling there is more than you think! You don’t have to react to everything and always – let it go. Open up for new things, help and be nice – stay home.
“And personally..? “ Well …eeeeuhhh I dont have too much to say “you use it wisely..?” “What about the isolation..?.. did youre life changed..?”
I just love it when the hardest choices are made for me… (for the once of you who missed the cast around my arm)
I don’t hold myself back. Even though a broken arm or something else that still let me walk. There is always a way ..always, you just have to find it. So the Red bull race in Norway.. I didn’t even think about how to fit that hand glove with the cast. I will make it happen, just like holding that kite. Be brave and go out there. Against some opinions.. but I can’t decide not to do it – if I can. That’s not me. Appears that they cancelled the race because of the you-know-what….and shut down the whole country.. and two weeks of quarantine to Snowkite in a country is a bit too complicated if home is nice too… And the countries around did shut down too, so the choice is made for me again – no snowkiting also somewhere else, stay safe.
Same story: Soccer, rainy , outside and we had one person short. We just can`t afford it to get a fine and to lose, to lose the points we need – because it would be an easy win… And I can’t let a team down. Because that means no champion this year – not an option. So even though I had to run away from the ball, hide for the shot of the defender, I would have gone there for sure. What appears? They cancelled all the competitions – next weeks…
Happy me again
It let me think Isolation ready or normal lifestyle…..?
When you actually find out, your normal lifestyle is already self- isolation – proof…
We did some unintended hoarding already – no not because of the you-know-what. But because of going to Norway. So we are ready for 3 weeks at home.. Usually we don’t have any food at home.. need anything?
We do have a floor full of gym toys, maybe sooner than we had a real bed – I didn’t had a gym subscription anyway.
Well, I already practice my skate tricks, soccer tricks inside the house on rainy days… sorry neighbors, plants and mum (but you should blame dad for the ideas and kicking the ball always to hard). Am I the only one in this? The kitebar is also swinging around in the room. Just like the dinner table we use for table tennis or the wall made empty for tennis…or who has still the skippy balls at home..?
No – one looks strange now if I have 1 arm and 1 arm inside my jacket, I can’t shake your hand. Its policy now is it? Maybe I should keep the other arm inside as well, do you think?
Finally people woke up or am I the one isolated always… ?
Thinking more about that… my life goes one like usual…. (Sofar)
Watching the class together with my teammates back at home. Usually I am the strange one watching all classes from under a palm tree, from a boat, on top of a mountain or in the ice cave – on the other side of the world. They might follow me next time….well and its 2020 after all so we all have some sort of skype, Facebook, Instagram to stay in touch. It’s not that hard, I had to fight the first years to convince everyone I could study online, stay in touch online, work online… the world is changing. oké and I stil have to watch 30 lectures old 3 hours back ……………. How long should I stay at home? another year?
They don’t always have to bump into you in the train or bus anymore.. and no traffic jams. Its nicely quit outside in public transport and people keep distance. You get even a seat in the busy train in the early morning or on Saturday night after a shift – nice! but also strange in a way…..
And you know? You can always switch of the tv or social media. (if you only know how many time my phone is on flight mode… ssst). Take a break from everything and stay in your own world and use your time. But not too long, the world might have moved on during that time. Not guilty… but yes I am the one who sometimes misses out on complete conversations and appointments, questions…etccccc.
I can finally (yes mum – really this time) unpack my boardbag, which I already had to do for ages. Every time I left I just took another boardbag, snow, sun – or the same and never unpacked just switched incl. the dirty clothes… The story of the past months. And finally the skies are waxed up and ready.. for next season. This season the wouldn’t make it ready anyway
Actually home feels like a holiday now if you are there three quarters of the year. No place like home. Finally the time to fix that door we had to do already a few years ago… And did you now I also have family? Just wished them happy new year J finally I wake up and I know where I am. The same place for more than a week. And you know.. I also have neighbors.. not just the bisons..? I am the biggest tourist there is nowadays in my own country.
Say yes, Finally time to clear that hard drive and all the SD cards of the phone, drone, gopro and camera… I run away from already way to long. Ooow and… finally: Found the Dutch chargers for my laptop again. Every time I start searching I end up somewhere in between not finding it and not a wanting to miss my flight.
Do all the 10.000 updates on my laptop, which I never even try to do with the Wi-Fi networks I meet abroad…waste of time (and maybe, just maybe not patient enough).
Finally I hear the delivery man thinking ( and the neighbors) they open the door , are actually at home to receive their own package for the irst time in yearsssssss.
Many are complaining and I know it will affect everyone around. But hey be positive. Think about other things.. meanwhile I have so many shifts I can’t even work them. As a freelancer it`s about time now to find something else, be creative. Cause everyone around is complaining and I have so many shifts I can`t even work them ..without that much effort. So there is plenty of work out there. Find the places where you are needed. Or in this three weeks you can be a pro in editing software, designer, another language and wayyyy more, while safely staying inside.
Finally the time to kite– you don`t want to talk to people anyway if fits windy – finally a legal reason to rush to the beach, be unsocial and kite… and rush home again (in wetsuit) because it cold. Play indoor soccer. Stop making excuses and do the workouts you always and always wanted to do. Just finish that puzzle. Or try that new skates + trick.. or maybe leave this idea for safety reasons…
You’ve got time – use it wisely.
“What do you think about the shopping?”
The dangerous hamster stupidity virus:
Am I the only one not getting it….??
Empty supermarkets within a few minutes…I really do enjoy shopping in the supermarket now. I used to hate it, in and out and you always forget something. I mean how funny is it seeing someone grab ALL – I mean 30 bags of 16 toilet paper rolls. Just stare and watch – I did this morning with just tree apples in my hand. The lady at the desk said: “ that’s all? “With a surprise face I told her: “Yes that’s all”. I mean how many sheets of toilet paper you use in a day..?? As well as I noticed the Dutch don’t like mandarins – even the expensive, not so fresh, already cut fruit is more popular. Do we live of bread and toilet paper? It`s 2020 guys! The virus kills, you get sick… and you have lots of toilet paper – nice! But for what?
And you know? if you come in the morning the supermarket is al filled up…and so is your kitchen by now I guess?
We should all be a bit more creative, we’ve got time now is it..? It reminds me at the moment on a boat in the Philippines I got pushed a bucket or something into my hands when entering the toilet…. A “tabo” – I learned a year later. No its not to wash your hands/ face or flush the toilet.. or a cooking pan (looks like it though). No its another way…there I learned how to survive this toilet paper crises… and more … baking your own bread is really not that difficult and its fun! Well, and not only with this, also with staying home and keeping distance of each other. We can do this.
Or just enjoy your quarantine – time while visiting another country. Every problem is an opportunity! Mindset guys…don’t lose it – open your eyes. Like mine did at the hospital. Change is the only constant thing. We will adapt, we will grow and we will gain a greater appreciation, strength and passion. Together we are strong. Let nature be your teacher and use the time given wisely. Even if it means not coming outside or allowed to go anywhere, than just stay at home and be safe – shouldn`t be a problem is it? Be aware you might never get a change like this again! Make the best out of it See the world changing but also see it as an opportunity. While others are fighting where we stop. Lets not intterupt that, but support each other, stay at home or away from everyone. We often lose sight of it but: Health is and stays more important than anything else on the world!
“…..and we have seen the example in italy. the reporter concludes….” What do you think?
And I , I think: We can`t escape, the news, the quotes, the story’s, facebook – The-You-Know-What. It is what it is and we have to deal with it.
Airplanes disappeared from the sky, cycling to work through the city, in the middle of the night suddenly became boring, no bridge huggers, still looking for people dancing around coming out of the café, drinking to that party without reason. It’s scary when I`am literally alone on the world early morning with my bike….. Did the world stopped turning?
Thinking, when finally seeing people how to greet them or at the traffic light to press the button or not. It’s the little things.. While in the parks, beaches and on the water it seems nothing is going one, everyone enjoying life, freedom – all running on the same roads, talking with friends we now meet in the supermarket, but is that the right thing to do? They have time enough while others have time too short. Can we make that joke? Can I greet my friends? We have to wait on distance of each other for this storm to pass…?
I don’t know.. But what I do know: We took everything for granted and we have to solve this together. Now the strange thing is there are two different worlds. The-You-Know- What gave us some really bad things, experiences, but also some good things and lessons: Don’t take any sunrise or sunset for granted.
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