Suyin Aerts
June 18, 2021

Never Surrender

It was a special birthday this year as I started my day with a condition test at 9 in the morning, after 4 months of relatively intensive training it was time to find out where I was on the curve. As maybe some of you might now I said yes to participate in some breathtaking challenge. When after almost 20 years of building great memories together, you marry the crazy sportsmen that loves raids, it is not that much of a surprise that this is the a kind of pre-honeymoon he comes up with. I could have imagined it to happen one day, and I was particularly surprised my friends thought it was my idea…guess we are a match made in a crazy heaven. But then when the questions comes and I say yes, it is not without a physical or mental preparation that I will show up at the start.

In October I will be participating in Roc du Maroc. A 666km mountain bike race in the Atlas that we need to finish in 6 days. I guess I found it an interesting one to buy a ‘niner’ bike and look at the six-es from another angle. Once a rebel always a rebel I guess.

Every time I have a hard time on my bike, which mostly would happen indoor because these trainings are more mentally than physically giving me a hard time( although they are very physical especially with the hot weather of this week) I think about the fact that we should never surrender in believing in ourselves.

During an outdoor training, you always have the view and the need to drive up a mountain, to concentrate for a descend and to find your way back home. When I am on my skillbike indoor the only thing to do is to finish the training, with the correct heart rate, not letting the pace down.

Very often my mind thinks about Ayla, a little girl I met about 3 years ago in the Atlas, the place where the race will take place. The way the sparkle in her eyes made me realize she will never ever surrender. She made me believe that some little girls are very ambitious from a very young age on. I really felt very close to her as I think this assertive, sometimes even called aggressive ambition is also how people saw me.

I have written a blog about her some time ago, with a beautiful picture, those who were with me will remember. And ever since I think about her from time to time and I hope she gets changes in the dusty village she lives in to become the women she deserves to be

And that is one of the reasons I did not fail or did not finish one training that was on my planning for the past 4 months. As an ex top sporter I know what it takes to get there, struggle, fight to get better, every single training is important if you want to reach something. And yes the improvement last Tuesday was making me proud. 30% is not bad after 4 months, will never forget the blue eyes of my PT by the way when I showed him the figures on paper.

We have 4 months ahead and when you want to go from good to great, I know what it takes. So count me in.

We are all much stronger than we think we are, and we should never let anyone take that from us.

My mission is to make this world a better place for all the girls that come after me, and that means for my own daughters, but also for Ayla. And sometimes all it takes is to pedal when things gets though, when things get long, when the mountain seems endless, when the water is gone, when you are hungry, when you are on a downhill and you remember you are actually under medication that would make things very bad in case you fall.

So sometimes all you need to do is take the speed down and break, but trust me for a rebel as a I am I think that is the hardest part. Be aware of danger but never get paralyzed and move on, whether it is up or down.

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