When I was 15 I wanted to travel the world. Which I did. It started with a sailing trip to Holland right after high school, followed by a 4-months trip to New Zealand, Samoa and Hong Kong when I was 19. It has continued ever since then, to all part of the world, mostly off the beaten path, with a special focus on South East Asia.
I always felt a strong appetite to learn from other cultures and to seek the unknown. My travels have taught me to adapt quickly in situations that change unexpectedly and to look beyond my own nose. As well as resilience, and the right mix of focus and flexibility. I thought it has well-armed me to face life, no matter what.
Until I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was in August last year, after weeks of sickness and uncertainty.
Successful people agree; beside hard work, focus, determination as well as flexibility, a great sense to learn new things and some strategic planning, it also needed the right combination of connections, circumstances and a pinch of luck to get them where they are today. Whereas the latter is out of our control, is self-management, the right approach to get things done and our attitude entirely our own responsibility.
Where does it start?
… and why we shouldn’t ignore those signs
Sport, in my case especially outdoor, obviously tells us a lot about our physical fitness. It tells us if we are trained at all or not. And well-trained sportspersons immediately know if they are having a good day or not.
But beside the physical aspects such kind of sport also tells us a lot about our mental state.
I remember a particular day I went snowboarding on my own. And like mostly when I go on my own I don’t take many breaks and like to challenge myself. Hence, at the end of that day I chose a not so easy valley run down through a forest. It was actually a slope, but due to the heavy snowfalls over the previous days it turned out to be a pretty tricky, zigzag transverse along the mountain with a one side open deep down fall – and it was extremely icy. First it went ok, but it got more and more narrow and steep. My legs were tired and I felt some instability. I started to feel scared, knowing if I’d gained too much speed and fell over on the wrong side I’d fall down the cliff.