Immediately after my last post, I started the annual build-up period for the competition season. The Winter Training. Anyone in Athletics can tell you, you’re going to break down. So do I. But I’m going great except for some minor aches and coughs.
Christmas is now behind us, and during these days, I have enjoyed the time with my family immensely. But, you also think of the people you are having a hard time with or those you have lost.
As I write this, we live in the last hours of 2022, and I look back on a year in which I have done a lot of difficult work. Work that is of enormous importance for my development toward the upcoming World Championship in Paris this summer. It was grueling, but I could tell from everything that it was essential to do.
At the same time, I feel the fatigue of the past 3 months of training. Three months in which I’ve taken giant steps. I feel much more vital than in recent years. Not in the least because of one of the new Para-athletics national coaches I work with. You may already know him, Joep Janssen. Congratulations, Joe! This means I have a team at tournaments because, if I’m honest about the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, I missed that.
This was a challenging year, one without serious tournaments. A year in which the unique competition in Mexico failed due to the failure of American Airlines, Aer Lingus, Swissport, and other aviation-related companies. Yet this year also had its charm.
I decided to volunteer every Saturday for the Prince Hendrik club. The need to mean something to someone else grew. Now I help give training to children with multiple disabilities every Saturday. I’m not Kimberly, the top athlete for a while. That feels good.
The Camino de Portuguese. I walked 125 km in 6 days, a beautiful walk. I often think back to this adventure. The fact that I did this alone is a source of strength.
In addition, on the birthday of Hervé and my father, May 3, I was asked to marry in Crete. So, naturally, I said, “YES!”.
On the sporting front, I experienced the best season opener ever on July 1 in Leverkusen on the date of my aunt’s death. I also became Dutch Champion in the 100m.
All this was possible because I work with the best people and materials, such as Gijs van Gent. Gijs deserves a special mention. Because my blade and other prosthetics feel better than ever before. He also came up with the idea of having Xiborg develop a custom blade for me. Then, Ken Endo (CEO of Xiborg) came to the Netherlands from Japan to personally hand over the blade.
What I am also delighted with is the partnership with Adidas. From the spikes and clothing to the collaboration with the people at Adidas, like Bob, it’s top-notch! The same goes for Toine van Tsuru and the support they offer, what they do for the business community, helping people to be more vital, has inspired me so much that I started training as a Vitalologist.
Fonds Gehandicaptensport should also be appointed. They allowed me to help make sports a matter of course for people with disabilities. Not only as a role model but also in the political field. All these excellent possibilities and opportunities would never have been possible without Bart and Sports Stories. He unburdens me where possible and opens doors that seem closed.
Last but not least, Van Dort Letselschade. Raoul and his people have supported me for years, and support strengthens me. Just like it did in the lawsuit years ago. I can’t think of a more reliable partner!
I look back with pride on 2022 and am looking forward to 2023!
To everyone reading this! Best wishes and all the luck and sportsmanship for 2023!