Dóra Révész (Postdoc researcher at the Maastricht University and founder of Amphibia on Fuerteventura)
After an active triathlon year in 2015, my 2016 year was full of changes and a lot less triathlon! The reason for this sudden drop in triathlons was not only due to the logistical problems of traveling or the lack of triathlons on Fuerteventura. Neither was it due to my new big fascinations for open water swimming and surfing that took over.. And in case you might think next: laziness? Nope, not the case for me! I love sports, the physical challenges and the beautiful courses that you can swim, bike or run.
There was something else that started to stop me from doing triathlon as enthusiastically and fanatically as before. Something was growing inside me that slowed me down. No, I can hear some women already thinking (my mother), it was not a baby! It was a feeling, maybe a fear or a shameful thought. But I could not give any words to it yet. But racing didn’t feel the same as before, and I could not explain my lack of interest.
The answer came around new year. I ended 2016 and started 2017 with a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the Netherlands. This not only learned me a lot about myself (with all my insecurities, emotions and patterns), but also about my attitude in the sports. A new path!
Please, be prepared, this will be my first big confession of 2017….
Even though my body and mind have always enjoyed sports, also my EGO was boosted by it, big time!!
How can you train freely and be aware of beautiful nature around you, if you’re busy thinking of your appearance and your sporty image? How can you be happy for other athletes for their good achievements, if you can’t stop comparing them to your own? How can you write an honest blog about the races you’ve done or the nice collaborations with sponsors, if your ego wants an extra boost and you only mention your strengths and material richness? Moreover, how can you invite and motivate people for this cool sport if your ego takes over and you start bragging about the distances?
All in all, I realized that my ego had been involved in my sports for way too long! And in the beginning of this year, I decided to leave it out from now on and walk a new path! Triathlon with a clean mind, enjoying the trainings, races, my team and sponsor collaborations.
What a freedom! I’m ready for egoless triathlon and swimrun 2017, bring it on!
What are my dreams and goals for 2017?
Apart from Amsterdam sprint triathlons, where I would love to compete as relay teams with Womendurance, I have some bigger races in mind that I will spread over the year. In May, we will compete in various distances of the Amphiman swimrun race with the entire team: swimming and running through lakes and trails in Belgium. Somewhere before May, I want to build up my running kms with a half marathon, and many trail kms on Fuerteventura. In March, I will then train hard with the Amphibia swim-run training camp that I’m organizing. Just now, I’ve heard that Marijcke is joining me for those good training hours, happy news! The sea around the island will be my training ground both in March and April, even though the water temperature will not be similar to the Belgian lakes (coooold!).. Then, later this year, I would love to run a marathon, perhaps somewhere in an exotic place (inspired by Marijcke), my new home town Maastricht, or just with the help of a map, a friend as good company, a camelbak and loads of SportvoedingTriathlon candy :). The exact races are not on my list yet, but I’m working on it and letting ideas and inspiration come in.
And just to be clear: the aim of being egoless and non-materialistic does not necessarily mean that I can not make use of products/services that simply make the sports more comfortable, efficient and fun! Take the Swimfantastic trainings: I do not attend these in order to brag around what a good swimmer I am because the one and only Marjon Huibers is training me! And even though the glasses I bought last year at Athlete Sports World are blue and shiny, they perfectly block the sun and are comfy during running. I enjoy working together with nice people that we now call our ‘sponsors’, a term that seems to be only available for elite athletes.
Big inspirations in sports?
Various persons (and their books) have inspired me in my sports. First, Jolanda Linschooten, a Dutch ultra-runner woman who has done various big expeditions on her own or with her husband. Her job description is: adventurer and photographer!!! How amazing is that?? And the expeditions she does are totally ‘muscle-powered’, no engine needed. Next Saturday, Josta, Marijcke and I are also going to her new theater show about her expedition to Scandinavia. I’m still fascinated by the concept of ‘traveling from A to B on muscle-power’, so running, biking, kayaking etc..
Another athlete that has inspired me is Scott Jurek, an ultra-runner living in Colorado. He has been really big in racing, while advocating for vegetarianism, saying that his 100% plant-based diet was really good for his endurance and recovery. He wrote a book about his running and eating, and has experimented a lot with his body and diets.
Since 2 months, I’m also experimenting with a vegan diet, and can say that I feel really happy with it! I’m curious to see how this diet will affect my trainings, once I start to make more serious endurance efforts. One thing that I’ve seen as a change since this year is my recovery in heart rate! Whether it’s the meditation or the vegan food, my heart rate recovers a lot faster after exercise now. Exciting prospects…
Most beautiful time of the day for a training?
I must say that I get a very good flow in the dark. Even though it’s hard to get out of the house at first, once you’re over that hurdle, running in the dark is magical… This is perhaps more difficult on the bike or with swimming :). For swimming, I think sunrise must be just as perfect, although that’s another challenge in the morning during waking-up! And biking, well, biking can be somewhere in between, enough hours to spend with the eternally spinning wheels..
Rituals before a race?
Some people might have some weird rituals, like making the shape of lightning with their arms, sending kisses into the sky, hitting on their chest like gorillas etc, but I don’t do this stuff..
The only ritual I do before the start is dancing, and that’s a habit I never want to change!!! Dancing is a great stress-reliever, dancing smoothens the muscles, dancing is awesome, dancing is (or should be) egoless!