Monthly Archives: January 2016

A strong body is a beautiful body

Seven months ago I started CrossFit. If you have no clue what it is, read this. Last weekend I joined a CrossFit competition. No, of course I didn’t master any of the skills. No, of course I wasn’t ready, or strong enough, or any other excuse you could possibly think of. But I did it and it was stressful and amazing and I liked it and here are my top three reasons.

1. The team spirit
The team spirit is great. We joined the competition with six individuals that had worked out together every now and then. We supported each other as if we had known each other for years though. I was proud when I did something better than I thought, but I was even happier when one of my team members did something they thought impossible. You’re doing your best for you, but you’re especially doing your upmost best for the other five. After day one we ended in the bronze category with 24 other teams. We had totally expected this to happen. What we hadn’t expected at all was that we dominated the first WOD (workout of the day ) in our category of that second day. The flow was right and our double unders just rocked. (If anything, master those dubs! ;))

2. Yes you can
Your body can handle so much more than you think. Yes, of course I was (extremely) nervous before every single WOD, but I linked 10 pull ups instead of 5, I could lift more weight – okay, this is not true, I really am an average lifter on a good day – but I jumped higher and fought harder and we achieved so much more than we thought possible. Of course you push yourself during a normal workout, but a competition makes you go the extra mile, a competition is not only physically challenging, it definitely is a mental challenge as well. I’m truly amazed by what you can handle when you feel you have to.

3. You’re so strong mom!
My family came with me and supported us. It was a conditio sine qua non (I wouldn’t have done it without them because joining a competition was already way out of my comfort zone). They danced around on the field, they enjoyed watching everybody and they were the perfect cheerleaders. Especially Boris thought it was so impressive what we were doing and what we were capable of. He told me a few times: ‘Mom, you’re so strong!’ It was the BESTESTcompliment ever and it’s something that I hope my children will live by. Forget about pretty, thick, thin, small, tall, old, young, tiny or big; a strong body is a beautiful body.

So yes, I can recommend CrossFit. It has made me stronger, more resilient and happier. And yes I would definitely recommend joining a competition. It’s surprising to see what you’re capable of, the team spirit is amazing and above all, it’s so much fun!

Crossfit comp

Bobbie crossfit
Crossfit locatie
Crossfit group
Crossfit kettle bell

New beginnings

It was december 2010 and everything was covered in snow. We finally experienced a white Christmas in the Netherlands. Not only a white Christmas btw, it would not stop snowing.  We took a picture of our family of five; one baby, one almost two years old and a little boy who had just turned five. We did it again, striking the same poses, a few days before we left South Africa and, yes, we did it again this year, on the 31st of December. (Leading to a quarrel as Joost said ‘Yes, I remember how we did this, we don’t need the picture!’ Well…)

Foto family moving

Taking this picture made me realise that we really are moving. It’s not easy, it’s never easy and I’m very thankful to be able to share my experiences with my dear Instafriend Anna! She is also Dutch and has been living in Sweden for two years. We ‘met’ online and she and her lovely family are also moving back to the Netherlands. We decided to write each other bits and pieces about our moving process. I have included the first correspondence!

Anna & Eva are moving

Anna

Dear Eva,

It’s the day after Christmas and me and my laptop sneaked out of the house. Now I sit here in this coffee bar, where the Swedes have their endless Fika and I try to think and write. I have a lot to think about, because we are moving back. Back to the Netherlands. Just like you. I actually don’t like the sound ‘moving back’. It gives me that feeling you get when you got the Jail card at Monopoly ‘Go directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect 200’ You have to start all over again. I think I prefer moving forward.

And I know it is not true. We are not ‘moving back’. You cannot move back when it comes to the life you are living. It made me think of this quote of Eric Roth

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you”

So moving back is actually moving forward (are you still with me?). It is just as exciting as moving abroad, only then with the good Dutch cheese and friends and family nearby to help us!

Next time I wanted to write about how I will miss being ‘special’ when we are moving to the Netherlands again. Don’t you think you will miss being that ‘weird open Dutch family’ when you are back home again. How many times I used the “o, sorry, it must be a cultural difference” -excuse when I found myself in a (social-) awkward situation. Going to miss that.

 

Love Anna

Eva

Dear Anna!

Trying to get my head around writing having the kids sitting at the other side of the table. They’re doing arts and crafts and you never know if it will keep them busy for 4 or 5 minutes.

Just like you, we’re moving to the Netherlands in February after having lived in South Africa for three and in the USA for two years. Do I feel like we’re moving back and if so, back to what? We’re Dutch, yes. Well, at least, Joost and I are Dutch. The children have lived in other parts of the world for more than half of their lives! Besides that we’re older, experienced other cultures and I think we learned from that, maybe even adopted habits. Meaning, we’re not the same anymore. We’re moving forward and back and with different versions of ourselves. (Love that quote you used!)

I remember how it was having three little ones moving to the other side of the world. They were 5, almost 2 and 5 months. We were going on an adventure to Africa, see wild animals, do cool things! Yes, it was an adventure, but I also noticed that you take it step by step. The first weeks you live in a dream world, you’re in Africa! After those first weeks it’s just you and your family in another house, in another city,in another country. You make sure the children go to school, you arrange playdates, you learn the language (better) and you find things to do (the toughest thing ever). After another few weeks you start exploring.
It’s weird, you go from Africa, to the city, to your house and when you feel at ease you slowly start making your circle bigger again.

Not sure if I make myself clear, but I think the same will happen to us in the Netherlands. Yes, we’re going back, but we will first have to settle in as a family. The children will go to a new school, make new friends and get used to our house (that we don’t have yet and furniture will be on the boat for three months too, but no stress, NO stress) We will probably cocoon with the five of us, maybe the closest friends and family, to be able to give the children a feeling of security. After that we will explore and slowly expand our circle.

The process will be the same and thus adventurous. I think it’s not going back, it’s definitely about moving on.

Love, Eva

Ps. Yes, I will miss being special, haha! I will speak with an American accent just to have people ask me: ‘Wow, where are you from?!’