7 Steps for going Next Level

7 Steps for going Next Level

Skiing is the closest thing to flying and for me it is pure freedom. I probably popped out of my mum wearing skis and have been competing in racing competitions and have been an instructor too. So I would say that my level is advanced. 🙂 But with everything, there is always a next level!

FREERIDING
Well that is skiing on steroids, off-piste, in the powder, through the forest, jumping off rocks an windlips, preferably where no-one else has been before.
Going next level goes even faster when you join the pro’s. So I did, with the National Champions Freeriding @berbersemmelink and @kaarkuipie

Honestly I was scared shitless, the morning of the first ride… I was questioning my judgement:
– Why was this a good idea again?
– What the F** was I thinking?
– I can’t do this, I will slow them down, will make a fool of myself!
– Honestly Jenn, the shit you come up with…
The trick is to ignore these thoughts, as your head is made to keep you safe and in the same spot where you are now, indeed to keep you safe and alive. This is anything but next level.

So here are the steps to going next level:

Step 1. Join the pro’s. Those who can do what you want to learn. ⛷ Ride with them⁠
🎿 Learn from them⁠
🥇Be with them⁠
🥈 Feel them⁠

Step 2. Be prepared and share Two layers of thermo, borrowed ski’s, pieper (search device to find you in case of an avalanche), shovel and probe (to find and dig our your friends) and a backpack filled with 5 liter of coffee, hot rice-milk and cookies to share

Step 3. Don’t compare These ladies are be the best in their field and remember you are good in something else, they are a rookie in. So don’t compare your day one to their year 7!!!

Step 4. It is going to hurt – Pain is inevitable The more it hurts, the more it is teaching. Yes that pain is inevitable when going next level. I had blister patches up to my eyebrows and it was the mental pain that got me… I froze in fear on the top of a mountain. How to deal with that I will tell you another time 🙂 And oh I crawled out of bed om day two. Seriously I felt muscles I did not know the existence of. Went riding anyway.

Step 5. Play full out For me it was serious business, I was learning and wanted to get it all, in detail: understand how to cut the ski at the best angle, weight distribution, position of my hands, reading the snow… and @kaarkuipie snapped me out of this head funk, standing next to me on the top of a beautiful slope. “Hey Jenn, you know, skiing is the best way to play outside. Isn’t it?!” And OMG she is so right. When play appears, flow happens. And it was the best ride of the day.

Step 6. Bring your drug of choice Eh duh!! Obviously, as it makes it all more fun. Add good music or a shot of something something in your coffee, an afternoon nap, for me it was a handful of painkillers on day 2.

Step 7. Take the next step
I made memories and learned a ton, feel way more confident in my skiing, even on the piste and it was all worth while. So now for the next step to next level even more… the ladies invited me to join them for the NC Freeriding in France next year March… 🤘🏻“Yes Jenn you should come, you can totally ride and it will be a ton of fun”

Bonus Step 8: When your inner voice whispers “Yeah, lets do this again” and your head says “Are you f** kidding me? Not again?!” When in doubt DO IT!

Let’s go next level and challenge your boundaries, learn and make amazing memories.

What is your next up level?
Who are you going to join? ⁠

#learnfromthepros #weareskiing #lampjeaan #engaan #mastermind #nextlevel #entrepeneurship #faceyourfears #freeride #playwiththebigones #unknown #freeriding #learn #lifelonglearning ⁠#highvibeliving ⁠#Nkfreeriding #lovetolearn #skiandsmile #letsplayoutside #happinessismycompass

The Journey of Travelling

The Journey of Travelling

Travelling is such an easy and joyful thing to do.
>You choose your destination,make a plan, book your travel-tickets and off you go on your journey and everything is just as easy as you set your plans to be.
Ahhh or is it ?!
On December 7th was my big travel-day planned, an easy 10 hour trainride, three train switches with a 20 min connection time. All good! Booked an 1st class ticket and a reserved seat in a 4-person compartment for the longest haul of 6 hours.
First of all I looovee trains and then a long haul like this, oh I envisioned building a nest of books, my laptop, getting work done and possible some writing. Oh Yum!
Packing Bluey my suitcase, I overloaded him a bit, as I also managed to stuff my skiboots and extra thermal and ski outfit things, into him, he loved it, but made him a hefty 35kg. Ah well only three trainchanges, it will be fine…
Then I filled my second “office” rollercase with some extra books, ah, only three trainchanges, and two weeks of being on my own… just me.. oh the time and rest to read. Yummy! So added some more books and papers and things I decided I needed to get done in the next two weeks… ah well, only 3 trainchanges, It will be fine.

Quarter to 7 in the morning Tony, the cabdriver picked my up. I had to be super quiet, as the family of three small kids was still asleep. So now shower, but extra deodorant, filling my thermos with coffee, sipping Bluey up… and yes I had to sit on him to do so.

Off to the train station, I was way too early, but that is good when embarking on a well planned journey. Managed to heave Bluey into the train… OMG he is heavy, popped him in the hallway and off we rolled, sipping happily on my coffee.
Planned exchange in Utrecht, half an hour spare to shop for lunch items and fresh coffee. All packed and ready to get to my registered seat. YEAH!
And then the real journey started, as the compartments were put together in the wrong order, so the train arrived and instead of being in the front, my beloved seat as all the way in the back… running while tagging Bluey and the rollercase as well as the fresh coffee… I did not manage to reach that carriage, so just on the whistle I pulled Bluey halfway along into the train… completely out of breath and sweating… more sweating as I pushed Bluey and pulled the rollercase, wrapped up in a warm mantle and scarfs, through 7 carriages to finally find my seat. PFFFF good start Jenn I thought as I flopped into my seat and started nesting. The joy did last about one hour and I will give you the short version:
Door failure, 20 min delay, next station all out and had to join everyone in the first trainset, got frazzled, twisted my ankle and landed face first on the platform, Bluey on top of me, my is he heavy, lovely passengers picked my up and I managed to catch the train, next station out and into an other trainset, back in assigned seats, D-tour due to electricity problems, 60 min delay by then, so this train will not travel to the final destination, out again and into regional train, stop at an non-schedule small train-station due to a suicide threat ahead of us, extra 20 min delay, missed multiple connections, so concocted a new travel-plan, that train delayed and my exchange time of 6 min got diminished to 2 min, me yelling on the ramp to the platform “Hold the train” … 13 hours and 7 train exchanges later I arrived in the apartment. No lift and 5 flights of stairs or 69 steps I counted.
Life is different than the plans we make. I could have gotten mad, angry, upset, stressed and more… and for moments I sure did. And then I remembered to lean into it and enjoy the journey, enjoy what it will bring me instead of what I had planned…
Meeting amazing people, having conversations without speaking the same languages and having fun, riding a panorama window train while entering the Alps during sunset, getting free coffee and a glass of wine to go with it. Handsome and strong men helped me graciously to heave Bluey in and out of the trains, you should have seen their face changed, when they noticed the weight… hihi. Time to sniff some holiday spirit at a Christmas Market at the train-station in Zurich, getting exercise and muscle tone, while running and pulling and pushing and getting smiles in return, while I sat in any seat I could get and grinned like a Cheshire Cat.
Life is amazing, when you let it unfold for you.
Make your plans, yes, set your goals, yes, buy your ticket and then let the journey unfold.
Life happens for you not to you and so it is your choice how to deal with anything that is different, then what you planned it to be.
As the only constant thing in travelling and yes in life too, is change.
Feeling super happy and blessed to be spending the next two weeks here in Klosters Switzerland, with a view of the Gletscher, snow around me, and more snow in the forecast, I have many plans and I will let life unfold them for me.
Save travels to you all my fellow travellers.

What Trail to Follow?

What Trail to Follow?

The story goes that when I was a little girl, I would pull my baby-brother out of the buggy and would sit in it myself. Walking just was not my thing.

Why walk when there is a car, a buggy or a metro, hey these things were invented for a reason.

Going hiking for me is like going camping, so to say, it is just not my thing!

Every year I make a list of 100 things I would like to do. That is a list of new things and/or repeating things I have already done and want to do again. This year it ranged from hugging a tree to going swimming in the sea (which is a super challenge for me, which  I will tell you about another time) and what was on the list too: The Scottish Highlands

Don’t know what happened there, but I feel drawn to them, pulled and they have been on my list for a few years.

Beginning of this year it all became real, as I stepped onto the platform at Waverley Station in Edinburgh, these beautiful mountains came closer and I felt them in the air around me.

Just before I left for the UK, my friend Heleen, gave me a T-shirt: She is super creative and uses airline expressions on über-organic items. She really thinks it all through and best of all, these shirts are beautiful, soft and lovely to wear.

The shirt she gave me stated: “Doors may be opened”

Heleen said: “Jenn, go explore on your walkabout, be brave and do things you have not done before. You never know, doors may be opened… ”

So while driving from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, passing the Lochs, crossing Mountain ranges of the Highlands, seeing the barren landscapes, breathing the fresh air, it became evident that now was the time.

I stopped to buy myself some hiking-booties, the ugliest in the shop for sure, or do they actually come in pretty I wonder?

Quiraing a mountain-ish ridge all the way up in the north of the Isle of Skye.

After a fabulous breakfast at a lovely B&B, I asked the host and she was adamant, that it was a beautiful place and that there was so much to discover on that mountain. “the views are stunning – the weather is great today – you should go! But don’t park at the carpark, there are so many tourists, but stop at the cemetery and just walk up the hill from there, you will find the path easily!” “And this gentleman wants to go too, maybe you two should go together!” Ehm okay…

So there I was, next to the cemetery, tying the pink laces of my new ugly walking booties, zipping up the fleece-jacket, which I bought with the booties, dressing my lucky scarf around my neck and getting another woolen mantle out of the car. Steve had a backpack, so I popped my water bottle in there and my handbag in the boot (as it would be very odd, I realized, to bring my handbag, which I normally carry everywhere)

The Isle of Skye does not have the woodlands I know from home, but more shrubs and everything is covered in a green glow of grassland. Absolute beauty especially when the rays of sunlight hit the greens, it almost glows.

I left the pavement and the car behind to step onto that green glowing grassland, little rolling hills, with the Quiraing towering above it. Something was doing somersaults in my stomach and it was a slightly nauseating mix of exciting anticipation and urge to run back to the car and hide.

Whispering to myself: “Jenn, remember Heleens words: ‘Doors may be opened’”

And as I felt the soft fabric of her T-shirt on my skin, I took a deep breath of the crispy fresh air and took a step and another step and another and another and let myself fall in a rhythm of breathing, stepping, walking, following, trusting and then the noticing I was actually enjoying myself.

The hill got steeper, now I was using my hands too, selecting where I was putting my feet, as Steve told me not to step on the rubble and loose stones, to avoid gliding. Okay… gliding is a nice word for slipping and falling on your ass or something else and then waking up at the bottom of the mountain with loads of scratches on my face, if I am lucky… okay okay… stop thinking about the worst case scenarios Jenn… not helping!!…. Focus on what you can control … putting one foot in front of the other… keep up the rhythm.

We reached the ridge where the footpath was, close to the rough cliff towering high up into the blue sky. Well footpath, I was secretly hoping for concrete or bitumen or something, but nothing the like… it was an uneven, earthy path with big and small stones in it and even a stream to cross… ehm Jenn focus, while I watched the pink laced booties following it around another corner. Cliffs on one side and a steep drop on the other…

We stopped and sat down to have a sip of water, Steve told me about his free-climbing hobby and stories about other hiking trails he had taken… I just sat there being silent, while my inner Jenn was having a rant: “Are you nuts, why on earth have you set out on this trail, and with an experienced hiker AND free-climber, you have no right to be on this mountain!” I took another deep breath of the crisp cold air and told myself: “Yes you do have a right to be here, living life is all about enjoying and see where the trail leads you and you are very lucky that you have an experienced climber with you, as having a buddy like him, you can go even further out of my comfort zone, so get up and get into the rhythm, trust Steve and for Peep sake trust yourself woman, lets make this the best out of your comfort zone and see how much you can learn and enjoy it while it lasts!”

What I haven’t told you that where we were sitting was at the end of a sheep path, on top of an overhanging cliff, with a 200m drop behind me and me battling the upcoming feeling of a fear of heights. And breathe…

“So you ready?” “Born ready!” was my immediate answer. “Now that is a good answer! There is a place here called the table, it is apparently quiet a scramble to get up there, but worth the view! You up for that?” Quiet a scramble?? You English live life in understatements….

A wee bit later I was looking at a steep incline, with my pink booties back on that now safe earth trodden path. I saw a few grass pollens sticking out, the black cliffs leaning ominously over it all and a raven pair circling in the air. While Steve was studying his map, he mumbled: “I think it is up here, but I can’t see the path anywhere, well let’s take the short cut up here then!” Like for real man?! My eyes must have been the size of plates in complete disbelief… which he luckily did not see, as he set out on to the steep incline of grassy bushels… as he was ten steps ahead, I tentatively put my booty on a grass bushel too and followed him onto the incline. “Hey it is quiet easy when you follow the bushels!” ehm okay… so that is what I did… follow the bushels, one at a time and getting back into that rhythm.

As I nearly bumped into Steve, leaning casually against the cliff, I saw the joy on his face and turned around on that last grass bushel… oh my the view… wow absolutely breathtaking. The glowing green grass, the rugged peaks and then the smooth and soft mirror like ocean just behind that and the breathtaking Highland Peaks, almost dark blue in the very far distance. A few slithers of mist and scattered clouds across the blue sky, a breeze of salty air, crispy fresh, my heart beating fast and loud and I notice the short intervals of my heavy breathing. “You are city lass, aren’t ya?!” “Yup! But oh I love this!”

With ‘this’, I meant the view… the hiking was, well I was just getting acquainted to.

The next part was even steeper and across black rubble and loose stones. He pointed at the rocks I could put my booties on safely and how to use my hands and put my fingers in goves in the surrounding rocks to give me that extra hold. “Trust your legs, they will hold you, hold you arms straight and use them as leverage”

And up we went. Standing still to breathe for a moment I noticed that my one foot was about at the height of the knee of my other leg. “Ah this I know well, that is when I feel most comfortable when skiing!” and a flush of excitement and joy hit me. Oh this is actually fun, just different from what I have known until now.

Yes we did make it to the table in the Quiraing.

Yes the view was absolutely stunning.

Yes the Quiraign mountain range is breathtaking.

Yes the weather stayed perfect during the hike.

Yes I made it back down to the car in one piece without scratches and new scars.

Yes Steve had a little heights-fear moment on the way down, as I was perfectly fine “skiing down” in pink laced booties down another steep hill to get to the earthy trodden path.

Yes I am proud of that and all of the above.

Yes doors may be opened when you trust.

Yes, just keep breathing while you’re in the middle of it.

Thank you Steve for this amazing experience and the trust you oozed, so I could join you on this adventure. Well he did not know he was hiking with a newbie until we got back to the car. His reaction was priceless: “Ah well done then lass!”

Thank you “Top 100 list” to make me go to the Highlands and trust you to go on this hike.

Life is an amazing hike, when you open up to the possibilities it presents you with. Choose, and even choose something you normally would not do, then get into that rhythm, keep breathing and enjoy the ride, well hike in this case, as there are many more to come. I got a real good taste for it now.

With pink walking boots, lots of love for you,

Jenn

PS: Which hiking-trail did you enjoy most, that should be on my list?

A Messy Business

A Messy Business

I have always blamed it on my German genes. Hitting puberty it got progressively worse. Whether is it was cold or hot, it did not matter.

And somehow for men it is sort of okay, while for a woman it is so not done…

The peak was when I started spreaker-training, ready to start my business and be on stage more and more. The lights on stage increased it tenfold… and then the (possible) smell…

By now I am an expert in hiding it. Wearing the right fabrics and even particular patterns make that it all less visible. Then a scarf or long shawl draped over the shoulder. Jackets in particular colours, even if or because it is warm. Just so no one would notice.

You guessed it right, it is not a messy business, but a sweaty business.

The stains, the patterns, the white rings on black shirts. Have you seen the stains on the picture? (I still can’t believe I am sharing that with you). Then the awkward hugs and touches, while I was feeling sticky. I was always thinking ahead, what to do, how to avoid sweating or even the possibility of sweating. I.e. leaving a party early, standing in a darker part of the room, wearing cardigans, jackets and scarfs even with 20 degrees outside and so on.  And you get so used to it, that you just don’t even notice it anymore, it gets to be second nature.

 

But avoiding is the most time-consuming and energy draining thing to do, as you try to anticipate a million options and make choices on assumptions. It literally sucks all the joy out of anything really.

So to get rid of it, I started testing deodorants by the case load, upgrading to medical deodorants heavy loaded with aluminum, changing soaps, addressing my eating pattern, mindfulness training (as someone suggested it could be stress-related) and even considering Botox, to give those sweat glands a time-out.

I found a way between dressing a particular way, avoiding strategies and a medical deodorant that worked for me.

Until a friend of mine asked me to try the deodorant she had created for herself. Free from aluminum, free from all the messy stuff and based on pure products.. “ehm okay” Still in the back of my mind, “This one will not work either, as I have tried so many..”

 

But lo and behold…this stuff hit the bulls-eye, it took me just a week of use, to actually notice that the amount of “water” reduced and the overall sweating got progressively better. I felt more confident and even started to reduce the amount of times I reapplied it during the day and my experience is, that by using less of this new deodorant, the sweat reduced too.

And this is NOT a commercial, this is NOT sponsored.

Now I feel free and light and have so many more options in life, as I was able to see the avoiding circle I was in and break through that one too. And it is just a deo-stick.

But it is not just a deo-stick, for me it was the best choice ever to get out of my comfort zone and try something new, to give it a chance and to therefore give myself a chance.

So here I am talking to you about my sweaty business, which I have seldom shared publicly, as there is still some shame involved, I have to say. But hey, we are all human and one of the bits that go with being human, is feeling shame. And you know the best antidote for shame is… telling the story, share it all, so here I am and here we go.

And this is just the beginning, as I have been hiding, not only about this, but about other things too, for far to long. So more blogs and posts are coming, and I invite you to join me: Start sharing your stories, the stuff that scares you the most, that make you feel full of shame, that give you the creeps if others would find out… Holding on to them, makes them control you and being controlled by somethings is not a good thing, it makes you do stuff you don’t want to do. As I got myself into that avoiding circle and not fully enjoying life anymore.

 

Join in, speak up and let it out.

It will set you free.

Giving you a non-sweaty hug and lots of love,

Jenn

 

PS: And if you want to know more about the sweaty business and the tricks I accumulated over the years let me know. Happy to share those too. And maybe you have some too to share.

PPS: By the way, the deo is called Loveli made by my fabulous friend @lindabot @loveli.care

 

 

 

Stille wateren, diepe gronden

Stille wateren, diepe gronden

Vorige week zat ik bij een vriendin in de tuin met een kop thee lekker in de zon bij te kletsen. Opeens viel ze stil, keek me met een glimlach aan en zei: “Jeetje Jenn, wat ben jij opgebloeid sinds onze opleiding”

Dat was het moment waarop ik erbij stil stond en me realiseerde wie ik nu ben, vergeleken met vroeger.

Ik ben opgegroeid in het conservatieve Zuid-Duitsland in een provinciale stad en ik kan me mijn schoolfoto’s nog herinneren… oh mijn hemel wat een Fashion-sense. NOT!

Ik was nou een typisch muurbloempje. Net iets te lang voor mijn leeftijd, met ledematen slungelig uit proportie, daardoor verlegen en wat teruggetrokken, me altijd afvragend wat anderen van me vinden. Zelden kwam ik op voor wat ik vond en wilde. Daardoor werd ik ‘De Stille’ genoemd en kreeg ik zelfs op een schoolkamp een certificaat met “Stille wateren, diepe gronden”

AAAHHHH! Ik leerde de kunst van het zich-aanpassen, doen wat anderen van mij verwachten en wat als goed en correct bevonden werd.

Ik was niet happy, maar bleef me aanpassen omdat ik het zo geleerd had. Het was een overlevingsmechanisme geworden.
Maar één ding weet ik nu: overleven is verre van leven! Overleven is je kleuren verliezen en elke dag grijzer worden.
Ik heb me gerealiseerd dat het stille opgelegd is en een label is van buiten af. Dat ik niet stil BEN, maar stil lijk. Dat er veel meer in me zit dan wat anderen vermoeden en dat het tijd was om die Jennifer eruit te laten en zichtbaar te maken.
Niet meer te zijn, waarvan verwacht werd dat ik het ben, maar te zijn wie ik ben en wie ik wil zijn. Van zijn die je moet zijn, naar zijn die je bent. En die Jenn zat afgelopen week in de tuin bij haar vriendin.

Dank je wel Auke, dat je me hebt laten realiseren welke weg ik heb mogen gaan en dat ik nu extra geniet van wie ik nu eindelijk mag zijn van mezelf.

Als extra boost daarvoor heb ik onlangs speeches mogen geven op de beide verjaardagen van mijn ouders voor ruim 50 personen. Vroeger had ik dat nooit gedurfd en nu deed ik het met gemak en had er plezier in. EN kreeg ik ook nog complimenten van de gasten na afloop.

Zoals Elvis zong: “Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren”… nou ik ben het nooit verloren, in tegendeel, ik heb het weer gevonden in Heidelberg en ben intens blij nu mijn hart te volgen in dat wat ik doe.

Uitgelicht

Uitgelicht

Uitgelicht

Vanaf juli heeft de Amsterdam Film School minimaal twee keer per maand Open Dagen. Meestal ben ik daar dan ook bij, al is het maar omdat ik graag in gesprek ben met mensen en nieuwsgierig ben wie er allemaal in het volgende semester bij zullen zijn.
Elke Open Dag is er een docent die een open les geeft. Deze keer was het Ruurd Veenstra, die onder andere als cameraman betrokken was bij Twin Peaks. Dus echt een grote in zijn vakgebied. Hij gaf een les over licht en hoe je verschillende soorten licht kunt gebruiken om een bepaalde sfeer in een film weer te geven.
Voordat ik het wist zat ik op een stoel in het midden van het mij zo vertrouwde leslokaal, met allemaal grote lampen op me gericht. Camera op mijn neus en geboeid aan het luisteren naar de uitleg van Ruurd. Iedereen hing aan zijn lippen toen de deur open ging.
De Directeur Emjay Rechsteiner kwam binnen lopen met een meneer die een grote rode microfoon onder zijn neus hield, gevolgd door een meneer met een camera op zijn schouder … oh het lijkt wel alsof er live verslag wordt gedaan… Hé, dat is Frank Awick van AT5.
En ik zat nog steeds in de spotlights… Dus Frank ging verder met zijn live verslag door de aanwezigen te interviewen. Eerst Ruurd en dan een potentiele student en dan een van mijn studenten die ook aanwezig was. “Zo dus binnenkort ga je afstuderen met een eindfilm? Gaat dat lukken allemaal?” “Jazeker!” “Dan heb je er wel veel vertrouwen in?!” “Ja, want ik heb lessen in Succes en mijn docente zit daar” en ze wees naar mij.

Bij mij was er een intens gevoel van trots. Wow Mans, wat ben jij een topper! En het gevoel om zo een invloed op de studenten te hebben met mijn lessen, dat ze zulke geweldige zinnen zeggen en nog menen ook. Geweldig!
Eén tel later had ik de rode microfoon onder mijn neus … met de vraag “Ben jij succesvol bij de mannen?” Nou ik kan je vertellen dat zich op dat moment een andere gevoel zich van mij meester maakte… verwarring (want die vraag had ik niet verwacht), toen stress (hoe ga ik hierop antwoorden?), en heel even kwam mijn Monster om de hoek kijken.

Hier is een korte introductie op zijn plaats. Mijn Monster is een beest dat het op de meest ongepaste momenten noodzakelijk vond mij alert te maken op de meest vreselijke consequentie die mijn gedrag teweeg kan brengen. Dit samen met een flinke dosis afkeur… ik kan je vertellen dat dit geen goede effecten heeft op mijn zelfbeeld en daarmee met mijn handelen dat daarop volgt. Om je een idee te geven, dan kan mijn monster helemaal los gaan in mijn hoofd… “Wie denk je wel dat je bent? Waar ben jij mee bezig? Dit kan jij toch helemaal niet? Jij bent achterlijk!” En dat is nog maar het begin.
Ondertussen weet ik hoe ik daarmee om kan gaan en zo kwam mijn monster om de hoek kijken terwijl ik de rode microfoon onder mijn neus had.

In een splitsecond had ik mijn monster rustig en kon ik me focussen op het interview, met een goede serie antwoorden tot gevolg:

Bekijk hier het hele interview