Hoek tot Helder Challenge
Every year the Dutch Heart Foundation organizes a 130k downwinder at the Dutch Coastline to create awareness for their research and to collect money for their foundation. We like to support this initiative and therefore there is always a Girlzactive rider joining the challenge, this year we invited Sanne Durieux to be our main girl! We will follow her preparing this journey via our social media channels.
Want to support Sanne and the Heart foundation? *DO IT* All donations are more than welcome.
let’s meet Sanne
How kiteboarding changed a life once again:
It’s summer, 2016, and I am going on holiday soon. It had been a year full of work, continuing the weekends to just go the extra mile and make clients happy. So you would assume I couldn’t be happier to go on that well deserved holiday. However, nothing was less true: just the thought of me traveling around, paying attention to a different culture and being interested in their people; exhausting! How on earth was I going to do this, and I hadn’t even booked a flight home yet..
You would probably say “well, what would you expect going to Kirgizia, with just a one way ticket, are you serious?” But discovering new countries and their cultures had always been my second nature. Whenever I could travel, I would: Malawi, India, Iran, I never thought a second thought, would grab my bag and always just go. Nothing had ever made me happier and would be more inspiring than traveling.
But here I was, sitting at my desk working extra hours again and I decided to just turn around my plans and book this flight to paradise. When I closed my eyes, I could already see myself lying on that beach, white sand everywhere and the easy sound of friendly waves. I booked a ticket to Zanzibar instead! Three weeks of doing nothing but lying in the sun, and well, just doing nothing. I felt the excitement instantly!
And so it went: I arrived in paradise and loved its tropical temperatures which completely slowed me down. Every morning, I put on my bikini, took a sunbed and would just lay down. Sometimes I would wake up for lunch, but other than that, I would be doing nothing. A routine I could easily continue for days. And even better: no WiFi! Which meant no updates, no emails. A perfect digital detox!
After 4 days I felt the energy coming back to me again and thought a short walk would be nice. Not too far away, but I saw those bright and colourful kites up in the air and got curious. Let’s go check that out! Coming closer, this kitesurfing looked actually really awesome! And how long since I had learned something completely new?! I mean, as a child you do this all the time, but as an adult? Before I knew I had booked my first lesson where Giorgia would teach me how to fly “your eights” and try to stand on the board.
At night, I unconsciously focused on getting better by dreaming about myself standing on that board. Wishing I could ride the next day. After all, this holiday turned out to be one of my most painful ones ánd happiest ones. Ribs and legs got bruises everywhere, but it didn’t bother me as I was enjoying being in the moment again! Being by the sea, thinking about wind and steering your kite at the right moment: it made me realise how much we rush through life every day.
Convinced I would continue kitesurfing back home, I bought my first kite. Really having no idea what I had myself gotten into, but I hád to bring the happy feelings back home.
Two years later, I can definitely say this holiday was life changing: not only am I still in love with the feeling kitesurfing gives me, I also decided to move out of the busy city and except a new job. Message of the story: listen to your heart and slow down every once in a while. It will create space for new things and show what is really important to you. Life is too short to be rushing through it.
‘Hart voor Bart’
That life is literally too short was painfully shown to my family and Bart’s friends in January this year. Whilst we were still thinking of our resolutions and beautiful plans for 2018, Bart died of a heart attack. Grief and disbelief. Was this really happening? How is this even possible? “Bart, this was not supposed to happen, right?”
That is when I decided I would be joining the 130 km downwinder this summer, paying homage to Bart and raise money for the Heart foundation. Let us remember life is precious, you never know how long it lasts. Let’s do this!0