A Dutch Christmas

 In Motivation, Speed Skating, Travel

 

Walking through an eerie mist, remembering a somewhat busier than busy city, 3 years ago when I last stepped foot here. Humid streets, lit up with life, laughter, a hint of possibly overdoing alcoholic late night beverages, and people watching at its finest, has now become a place of silence, flow and low vibration – while keeping its historical beauty. Amsterdam, never fails to please, even during a global pandemic. The Dutch have it somewhat figured out. Despite the fact that everything is locked down, walking around and really seeing the beauty of it all with fresh eyes, really makes you not only appreciate the culture and architecture, but also the contrast between what is now, what has been, and how it will all be.

 

Most times when I travel, I’m pleasantly distracted by people watching; sitting on a terrace, overlooking cobble streets and interactions of the finest moments. This time you could clearly see that people held onto what truly matters. It’s a time where you can’t buy your happiness. You can’t escape from yourself and travel, or try to forget what really goes on inside; I don’t speak from experience, but from observation. People so often try to escape their reality to mask whatever goes on deep inside, but this time they can’t. You really have to face yourself – maybe it’s what we all needed. People walking hand in hand, spending time with family, or even on the opposite of that spectrum: really realizing what the reason is behind past actions, and working together on changing their lives, parting ways, and really doing what’s best for each-other. I was never one to run, yet work harder on what needed attention. Throughout this period, I learned to appreciate time spent alone, and realized that when this is all over with, I will continue to selectively choose who energy flows to.

Spending 4 months (holy hell, it’s been that long already?!) doing what I absolutely love, in a country far away from what I used to call home, definitely makes time fly. I can’t say it’s been the smoothest of my rides, but I kept my rubber down. For a country that is so damn flat, it did have its major ups, and of course followed by its lows. As I continue to maneuver my way through things that were out of my control, I am beyond excited to start the new year on the bike, and focus on the 2022 Olympics from another perspective. The crazy part about all of this, is that COVID really has affected everyone in the sport world, equally. While there was no ice in Canada, we had ice here in Holland. It’s easy to look at all the negatives and spiral down, but oh baby, if you look at the good, and the up’s, oh how that can change your attitude, and your drive. There is so much beauty in all this stillness.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Stay safe, and see you on the other side.

 

Alex

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