When I was born I had two clubfeet and my mom got the scare of her lifetime as she thought I would never walk. Then I spent months in full-leg casts and after that years in splints and orthopedic shoes and spent many hours at the doctor's office.
I was the absolute clumsy one. My feet were crooked, my knees wobbly, my ankles collapsed on me all the time and I was never athletic. In fact, I was bad at the Cooper test, constantly injured and just had given up. Then later in life, as I went through my two pregnancies, I suffered from severe pelvic instability (as I'm not only clumsy but also hypermobile) and I just couldn't walk, sleep or get through my day normally.
Becoming an athlete
Now that I'm 44, my kids are 7 and 5 and in school, and the orthopedic shoes are a thing of the past, things start to slowly shift.
But I'm nowhere near an athlete or "in shape" as they say. I'm in my own shape, but not fit. At least not as fit as I would love to be. My dream has always been to be an athlete, to be fit, toned, energetic. Just a plain bombshell with power and muscles and great stamina!
Last year something shifted though. I went on this search for my health, for my authentic self, for my true potential. As I started coaching others, I wanted to get over my own hurdles. And one of the biggest ones was my health.
Down 46 pounds
So I changed the way I was eating and went fully plantbased or vegan. I implemented movement into my daily routine and started walking first, then mountainbiking, then running (with my bad ankles, knees and hips!) and boy oh boy have I changed!
I'm down 46 lbs/pounds right now, I feel healthier than ever and I run 15k each week. But I'm not stopping there! No, I want to run half a marathon this year, loose 22 more pounds and get a toned and fit body.
I LOVE that I came onto this world with two feet that would "not bring me far" according to the standard expectations. And I LOVE that I am now so active and walking, running, doing whatever my energy brings me.
The highest mountain in the Czech Republic
In a few weeks I will be up for an even bigger challenge, as I will walk up the highest mountain of the Czech Republic, Mount Snezka, as part of my one-week Wim Hof Training with trainer Bart Dankers in Poland. Talk about getting higher up in life! Yes, I'm anxious, in a good way, as this will be the single most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. Physically, but definitely also mentally.
I have always been shown that "acting normally is crazy enough", that normal is good, that safe is good, that playing small is perfect. And I'm so done with that mentality! I'm going for the gold, no, the platinum! I'm shooting for the moon and I'm breaking out of this "Can't do" mentality!
Boy oh boy, do I look forward to this new challenge! I'm so proud of my two feet, my strong legs and my strong body. I know I will be able to complete the task. Who would have thought that 44 years ago, when I came into the world with my "handicap"? I never would, but here I am. And I'm going for it!
Once I have completed my Wim Hof Method training, the next step will be the training for my half marathon. Run, Yvonne, run!
I'll keep you posted!
P.S.: How do you challenge yourself? Do you keep fit? Do you look for opportunities to grow? Do you like or fear changes? What's your response to fear or doubt or to people saying you can't do stuff? Let me know in the comments below. I love to hear your story!
My name is Yvonne van Dalen and I work as photographers coach. I can help you streamline your business, upgrade your productivity and get you to the important issues of running a business.
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