For me windsurfing is not just a sport. It’s a lifestyle, and a real passion but also a way to connect with myself and the elements. Windsurfing helps me to face my fears, to challenge myself and to step out of my comfort zone.
Windsurfing makes me forget everything else. You use every muscle in your whole body and at the same time your head is totally focussed on the moment, the next move, wave or wind gust.
You become one with your board and sail, the wind and the water. The mix of excitement, fear, sensation and power is an amazing feeling.
The power and unpredictability of the ocean, the ferocity and force of the waves always give me a feeling of pureness and make me be totally in the moment. There is nothing else than the present, the here and now.
I love sharing my passion, sharing this incredible feeling and the power within it can give us.
As a little girl windsurfing was my passion and I couldn’t wait till the day I was old and strong enough to lift up the sail. In my diary I used to write that I wanted to become a professional windsurfer when I was older.
But I thought those were both impossible goals. At that time it seemed quite unlikely though, that one day in my life I would travel around the world, without having a house, just me and my windsurf bags going on adventures. I was a sweet but very sensitive and insecure child. I didn’t dare to go anywhere without my parents, I was afraid to be left alone and I needed a lot of confirmation.
But I was very sporty even as a little girl. At eight years old I had to come in front of the class to show my little arm muscles. Both my parents were keen windsurfers (and still are) and they took me windsurfing every summer holiday.
I finished my high school and also obtained my blackbelt in Jiu Jitsu. I went to University in Amsterdam, to study. The big city was not a logical step for me, but my study choice forced me to get out of my comfort zone.
I torn my crucial ligaments during a Jiu Jitsu training: I needed surgery and recovery took more than a year. It made me realise many things about how I wanted to live my life. After recovery I took a few months off to go on my first real windsurf trip to Brazil.
This trip changed my life. I saw people doing freestyle tricks on the water and I fell in love with the beauty of it. I wanted to learn this too. I made very quick progression, the combination of windsurfing since I was little and all those years of doing gymnastics probably helped me a lot.
But it was not just the windsurfing that changed my life in Brazil. The whole lifestyle and sense of freedom that came along with it. Being on the water every day, windsurfing for hours and going tired but satisfied to bed every day.
The sun on my face, being one with nature and completely losing yourself on the water. The simple outdoor life, connecting with different minded people and living for a passion.
I finished my Bachelor degree and decided to focus on windsurfing. I did my first competitions, gained my first sponsors and in 2010 I made my debut on the World Tour.
In 2013 I became Vice World Champion.
My first competition I finished last place and people told me I was too old to get a top ranking result. It made me insecure but I kept believing in myself and it only gave me motivation to train even harder and put all my focus on windsurfing.
Only one year later I managed to finish in 5th place. From that year on, I travelled the globe in search of the right training conditions and for competitions.
In 2013 I became Vice World Champion.
I love the feeling of competing. The adrenaline rush, the concentration and power you feel within. Competing helped me getting rid of fears. I could however get very nervous, and struggled a lot with this. Over the years mindfulness, meditation and yoga helped me a lot and it showed me how it’s all in the mind.
It's not just a sport
I love all watersports. Wing, SUP, surf, kite.. they all complement each other and can that feeling of freedom.
Yoga helps me to be in balance