On the lower back of the jersey is one of my favorite proverbs:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the wearyand increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall; those who hope in the LORD will renewtheir strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run andnot grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I had some really hard times behind me the past few years, with many emotional and physical ups and downs, but I still managed to do at least one great result each year. In 2016, I came to a point where I was no longer moving forward, and one month before the Rio Olympics, I got diagnosed as being over-trained and having physical burn out. The way back was so much longer than I had ever imagined or expected and it wasn’t easy to be patient.
During that time, this proverb was really important for me, as I was trying to be patient and to trust God to bring me back to the highest level.
Step by step, I got closer and closer to my previous feeling and was beginning to see the improvement in my fitness level. Over the years, I had forgotten how this felt and what regular strength and confidence were about. During the past winter (2017/2018), I finally managed to race a consistent season again and even managed to finish on the overall podium of the Cyclocross World Cup. That made me so happy and gave me lots of motivation for the MTB season.
I had found my excitement and love for this amazing sport again! I felt like an eagle, spreading its wings to soar. That’s why there is a flying eagle on the back of my jersey.