How I went from always stressed to train CEO's reducing tiresome stress and increasing performance with breathwork
.... and supporting (ultratrail) runners improving their sport performance with conscious breathing
Suddenly there I was - confined in between the sterile walls of the ICU. Drastically lowering the average age in this unit. Arrhythmia combined with a dangerously high blood pressure struck me “out of the blue”. I hadn’t anticipated it. It sneaked in without a warning,
A week later, I was discharged with a stern recommendation to take life and work at a slower pace. And boxes full of medicine. That marked the beginning of my transformation journey. I haven’t talked much about it. I felt a sense of shame. I wasn’t as strong and resilient as I thought I was.
Slowing down hadn’t been part of my vocabulary.
I was always busy.
I believed that ‘doing nothing’ was for the lazy.
The belief in constant activity, relentless hard work and being always on was my norm.
I had lost trust in my body.
My body had betrayed me out of nowhere!
Or had I ignored the red flags and warning signs?
Pushing harder, chasing an ever-expanding to do list?
I needed to restart slowly.
Easier said than done.
I lost my smile. I lost weight.
I was angry, frustrated and scared.
I promised myself to find ways to become relaxed, healthy and stress free while continuing making a succes of my international corporate career.
I tried many different things. All with the same aim: ‘living and working happy and relaxed while being able to recognize and manage stress”.
I changed my sport routine bringing in more yoga and stretching, time management programs, silent retreats, learning how to prioritize activities, meditation, spending more time outside in nature, clear communication programs and signaling boundaries.
The number 1 thing that really made the change = conscious breathing. I learned how to let my breath work for me in all kind of situations. The immediate change in how I feel when working with my breath is powerful.
That’s why today,
Countless other wonderful things happend along the way, and what means the most to me, the ability to face the mirror with a genuine sense of relaxation, a smile and self acceptance.
Me and the cold weren't really good friends. Also not because I suffer from the syndrome of Raynaud (white hand and feet) and best advice is avoiding cold. But you can do more as you tell yourself, and with that mindset I started to do cold showers, Ice baths and became Wim Hof Instructor. In the cold there is only one focus: me in the present moment. Powerful.
If you are looking for me, I am outside. In nature I feel alive. Outside in connection with natures' energy. Mountains as my favorite place: for the views on top and the efforts to reach them.
Highlights: Hiking Kilimanjaro, Torres de Paine, Tour de Mont Blanc (2024), UTMB trail running Andorra, Costa Brava Trail (2024)
I have worked for > 25 years in international corporations making a successful career.
Thanks to the possibilities in my company, my curiosity and eagerness to learn I worked in different teams in many countries. I learned a lot about how to get things done in complex business environment and staying true to myself.