“I’m from Brazil and have been living in Belgium for six years now. My parents are both entrepreneurs and put a high value on intellectual things. I spent most of my childhood reading books and wasn’t athletic at all. But of course, when you live in Brazil, you go to the beach A LOT. I was the chubby kid next to all of my ‘skinny’ friends and felt quite insecure.
So at thirteen I decided to start working out. I felt way out of my comfort zone. But after a while I started to fall in love with my new habit. Working out gave me the opportunity to take a break from studying and have a moment for myself. It went from an obligation to a fun moment of quality time. In 2015 I fell into depression. I had moved to Belgium for an internship which turned into a great disappointment. The work environment was bad, the team was a mess and I considered going back to Brazil. The only moment I felt happy was when I stepped into the gym. I got into this weird routine where I would wake up, get dressed, spend some time at the gym and then return home to watch TV with a big tub of ice cream for the rest of the day. Luckily after some months things turned around for me and I picked up the pieces.
Although I started my fitness journey to improve my physical appearance, it turned into so much more. It gives me a better quality of life: I’m more productive and I sleep better. I learned to enjoy the process of making progress. I don’t have to be as good or as fast as the people around me from the get go. I can have fun while becoming better at my own pace.For me, it’s important to feel at home in the gym. I do spend an awful lot of time here after all. Sportclub Het Eiland definitely gives me that safe haven feeling everytime I walk in.”
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