Do you believe in second changes?
Yep, my new goal! I have always been challenging myself in everything. I don’t even know how life is without competition. I think athletes always, and always have to conquer something in sports or in life. Finding out I always have to work towards a goal, being on a mission – preferably a super exciting one, no-one ever did. That’s what makes my life fun and worth living!
Why..? It makes me excited if I am scared, I have to do it. The same with kitefoiling and reaching new speeds. And I have the feeling that there is a lot to discover in this world.
Although sometimes life is hard and it will knock you down. Get back up and fight harder. Dad always told me; “Nothing worth having comes without some kind of a fight“. And with the words of my old coach; You should hang on a little longer than you can, that`s where it will change”. Mum was just asking (with smile on her face) can`t it be normal for once…? But you will never be a real champion if you only win, you will be a real one, only when you struggle, stumble, fail and still never quit. So lets go!
A lot learned already, and a lot to learn. It will be my Olympic mission 2.0, because as we speak individual kitefoiling became Olympic and ditched the mixed relay. Which is perfect for me! Do you believe in second changes? I am. I am still learning day in day out. In life and in the Kitefoil racing scene. It`s super exciting and challenging but also really hard to get all the right things, technique, body posture and focus. A long way to go and when still learning and growing – having fun..I will continue explorering this road.
Meawhile I hope to inspire other girls (and guys) to follow their dreams, to represent the first generation of Dutch kitefoilers in the International kitefoilracing scene.
2018 – Mariska always said; hydrofoiling (kitefoiling) a sport for “old man” , too much lines, too much hazzle and swimming risk – scary. But Mariska learned that before having an opinion you have to try it yourself, experience it, get to know it. Mariska started to get to know the foiling in strong wind, just once in a while, using tubekites jumping around.
A lot later she discovered that kitefoiling, with the right foil and the scary foilkites is also a super light wind and racing tool. Quickly she realized it was about time to become friends with the racefoils and foilkites. Because that’s what she needed to learn to, go fast in no wind….how?
2019 – I started up on the racefoil & race kites as a real kook. Did my first real competition as the newbee in this world. .. (whole story) All on my own. Without a coach or financial support – I figured everything out myself. Just like the fact I didn`t really fit into this scene…. But realized my goal: Did qualify The Netherlands – while I just started race foiling with my
waist harness – for the ANOC World Beach Games in Qatar. An International beach multi-sport event organized by the Association of National Olympic Committees. While some of the sports appear in the Olympic Games, all events on the program are non-Olympic events meaning there are new opportunities to engage for every country. There I placed myself 14th of the world. And actually I did that all by myself. Read the whole story here!
Trying to get better in the foiling, I struggled with, the expensive equipment, earning money while freestyle kiting, skating, studying doing nightshifts. A year she lost and learned. She kept on training all “things”. But that came with a risk too , she broke her arm and that took her some months off the water, got a concussion, a sprained ankle etc.. And she also had to finish university, with training on the other end of the country with trainings buddies it became hard – to make it work and make all the ends meet.
2020 – We started KitefoilteamNL. A small group of enthusiastic kitefoilers from the Netherlands training & growing together. With as goal to be on top of the world and qualify for the Olympics 2024. The team is about helping and inspiring others so we can reach our potential together. It’s amazing to see the top guys racing, to see where it can get in such a short time. Becasue of the starting covid not a lot of competitions were happening so we went to Spain, where I became third twice (after a long period of the water with a broken arm)- read it all here. Spain was fun. But overall this year was strange one and their happened a lot, too much actually. I couldn’t find my way and focus, combining it with the team. Ther were made a lot of strange decissions.. and in lockdown (becuase of covid) I worked/studyed most of the year, just like the beginning of 2021 – I still have to make it all work by myself after all. Not that many training hours, competitions, a lot of wrong choices… slowly the differences came in the team and equality disapeared. I wasn`t motivated at all anymore this way. But for the sport and the racing I was still motivated to find a working way for me! Find out how much I still could learn and progress…
Until the long waited moment has come:
2021 – The IOC added an extra medal to kitesurfing: Woman & Men individual. Gone with the mixed team realy. Goal is still the same, plan is changed. I am myself, I am different and I wont`t change. Some days I surprise myself and other days I don`t even know what day it is. Its oke. Acceptance doesn`t mean resignation. It means understanding that something is what it is and there`s got to be a way through it. its my history and I am a proud owner of that.
“if there is no – way, create one…..”
So june I struggled long enough and I made the hard decision to go off on my own – leaving the pack that holds me back. Or maybe not leaving but it was seen as leaving. At this moment I didn`t figured out yet what to do and how. Used to topsport and teams, this team didn`t fit Mariska. She learns things different and her life now is built around trust and openness, accept people the way they are ; she couldn`t find that. Only thing I wanted was to find my own road, a road I can walk, I can stand behind. Even though I know I have to work harder than ever. Also knowing I couldn`t walk that road alone. I jumped into the deep – ready! Ready – to change and enjoy the ride of my second change again…. yet here we are! 🙂 still alone, hard working, but happy!
“Goal: Always seeking never lost.”
Representing possibilities and promoting the first generation of Olimpic kitefoilers (kitefoilgirls) in the netherlands. We are not there yet but closer every day! Enjoy the ride and learn as much as possible through opening up our borders and expect the unexpected. The mission is to leave something behind, inspire all young kitefilers (especially girls) out there to go and chase dreams! While nor beeing the perfect picture, staying independent and allround. Whatever I will face on the road and wherever I will end up. Always have fun!
Follow the Olympic Ride, kitefoil race competitions & the kitefoiling journey: Kitefoilingmissionsofmaris
What is kitefoiling? (still the mixed relay version)
Individual Kitefoilracing became Olympic in 2024, Now What..??
And some not to miss out on Tips & Tricks in the kitefoilworld:
- Why YOU need to start hydrofoiling – 10 simple facts
- How to start hydrofoiling – 10 tips.
- Foil Cup Holland 2018 – 10 faces
- Hydrofoiling & Mariska – the start of our relationship.