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Fit For Life Stories

There’s no such thing as one ‘perfect fitness’. We all have our own unique goals, whether its setting new PRs, bulking up, or getting to that next level in whatever sport you do. Fitness goes beyond physical skill or looking good in the mirror. It gives us confidence, balance and creativity for our everyday lives. In this series, we explore how fitness supports people within our community, not just on a physical level but on a social, practical and emotional one, too.

From early morning shifts and late night revision, to keeping up with the kids and hitting important deadlines — your fit is for life. And we’re here to help you find it. 

Elmar Haneveld: freelancer, dad & CrossFitter  

For Elmar, juggling freelance work and two lively boys can be draining. The CrossFit box is his sanctuary. It helps him stay creative, resilient and set the right examples for his kids — to be healthy, strong, and ready for whatever comes next. 

Elmar: "I like to have a challenge with my work. I’m always looking for new ways in which things can be designed better. Currently, I work from home about half the time. My wife is a journalist and is on the road often. So, I’m taking care of our children quite a lot. I have more flexibility to pick them up from school during work and those kinds of things.  

Working from home also gives me the opportunity to exercise at home. I go to the garden, close the door and take that moment to myself.

I do what I can to live as long and as well as I can.

I like the idea that CrossFit is not only good for my current health, but also has a long-term effect. I do what I can to live as long and as healthily as I can. When I think about my family, about my children, I want to be there for them for them far into the future. That’s my deeper motivation for training. I’m not working on that all the time, of course, but it plays into it.  

It’s easy to get low on energy sometimes. The morning routine can be draining. What works really well for me is jumping into the garden around lunchtime and doing a workout. A new challenge. When I’ve done, it gives me a euphoric feeling. Then you step into the shower, and it’s actually like starting a new day. I just feel the creativity coming back and I’m looking forward to the rest of the day. 

For me, the great thing about CrossFit is that you only see what the workout will be on the day itself. I think that’s done something to me mentally. It’s given me a mindset that whatever happens, you’ve just got to buckle up and do it. It’s made me a lot more resilient. During a workout, it’s hard work, but secretly I enjoy it. Always pushing your limits. Always achieving new goals. It’s never finished. You can always push that little bit harder, faster and stronger.

Nutrition plays a big role in my life. Once you’re really ‘hooked’ on CrossFit, all you want is to get better. You soon find out that if you don’t sleep much or keep eating poorly, your performance won’t be optimal. I also started eating more protein. My body really needs that. It’s a must for my recovery. I’m also not afraid of carbs. When I eat carbs before my workouts, my body uses the calories as energy. It gives me the strength and stamina to make it through an intense session.  

Life is like juggling sometimes: being an entrepreneur, designing, being a dad, working out. I think you can only combine it if you can find the balance between those things. I need my sport to live my busy life. So, I make sure I create opportunities to be able to do it. I feel more comfortable, fitter and have more energy to wrestle and tumble with my boys. I like being able to just say ‘yes’ when they drag me off my chair at the end of the day to play again. To have enough energy for that. That’s what I do it for." 

Daryl Yngard: law student & bodybuilder

Currently in his final year of law school, Daryl uses fitness to help deal with the pressures of living a busy student life. Whenever things get too much and doubts start to creep in, the gym is his spot to reset and clear his head.  

Daryl: "I was always an athletic kid growing up. I actually played football all my life. At one point, I got a lot of injuries, and lost the motivation to play. That’s when I started working out. I feel at home in the gym. It brings me peace. It pushes me forward. I have a certain balance and routine that works for me.   

I would’ve had a lot less structure in my life without fitness. Discipline, too. I need discipline for my studies. The days can be long and pretty strict. I start early in the morning with a lecture, often have classes until late in the afternoon then I go straight to the gym. I’m often not home until later in the evening.  

I love fitness because you really have to push yourself to get somewhere. Sure, your genes can help, but to see results you have to work hard. I like that. It doesn’t come naturally."  

“Quitting is not in me.”  

This lifestyle can be quite intense. At times, I’m just done with it for a while. There’s always a lot of pressure on my shoulders. I have to drag myself to the gym sometimes. It seems like I have no free time. That thought of being crazy busy; it can give me anxiety sometimes.   

“Quitting is not in me, though. Even at the gym, when I saw no progression in the beginning, I just kept going. I started learning more about nutrition and proper technique. I never wanted to give up.  
When I do have doubts or anxiety, I listen to a motivational video on YouTube. That always helps me pep myself up… “Come on man, you’re not feeling so great right now, but you’ll feel better when you go to the gym”… “You’ll pass that exam”… You remind what yourself what you’re doing it all for. I get motivated very quickly, so a video, or documentary, is enough. I’m not someone who easily talks about his feelings, though. I put on my headphones, and go to the gym.”  

“Sure, all those muscles are nice, but training has made me mentally strong more than anything else. It makes me feel better in my skin. It gives you a certain look. You feel like you can be proud of yourself. I think of it like some kind of therapy. Working out always makes me feel better. I truly believe that if I didn’t go to the gym, I would find my studies a lot harder to sustain. It’s given me the right balance. I would have a lot less discipline than I have now. I makes me feel calm and ready for anything.” 

Kelly Urrea: Bus Driver & Weightlifter 

A dedicated bus driver, Kelly Urrea’s work gives her time to think, relax and keep her emotions in check. The weightlifting gym is where she seeks out her challenges in life — staying disciplined, getting stronger, perfecting her technique.  

Whether she’s behind the wheel or the barbell, it’s always with a smile on her face.   

Kelly: "I love driving in nature. I drive in Lisse, a small town in the Netherlands. It’s where the famous tulip fields are. I really feel like a tourist sometimes, because I’m just surrounded by these beautiful colours all day. I get to see the sun rise on a morning shift, and set when I’m working lates. I’m so happy with my job.  

I have a lot of time to think about life when I’m behind the wheel. Who do I want to be as a person? Where do I want to go? That mental space has helped me find more peace. Everything feels in balance now. When I get off the bus, I don’t take anything  home with me. I don’t get calls from colleagues. I go to work, do my thing, and go home again. That’s nice for me. I find my challenges elsewhere."  

“I always want improve, get stronger, perfect my technique.”  

"I started exercising because I was sitting all day driving the bus. I started to feel unhealthy. I tried a few things out and discovered Olympic weightlifting. I fell in love with the progression - constantly improving myself, getting stronger and improving my technique. I give my all with my training sessions. It’s all I really think about when I’m in the gym. If you get distracted, your focus is gone. You have to keep your full attention.  

I always leave the gym feeling good. I like being there. It feels like a second home. When I walk inside, I let go of all my emotions. I mean, that’s always easier said than done, but I try. It’s easier there at least."  

"The more aseriously you take a sport, the more aware you become. I want to achieve things. So, I try to adapt my lifestyle. Nutrition plays a big part in that. I use Juicy Whey Isolate and snack on protein bars because they’re so easy to take with me on the bus. I also take creatine, fish oil and magnesium.  

For me, weightlifting and working as a bus driver go together perfectly. The training I do is intense. If my job was more physically active, it would be too taxing for my body. I do sedentary work, so my body can rest more. At times, it can be inconvenient. Like, if I have muscle pain in my arms, then steering the bus can be a bit harder. I guess that’s something I need to deal with if I want to improve!"


For more inspiration, alongside expert advice, recipes and workouts tailored to your unique fitness goals, check out our blog. Get your questions on performance supplements or sports nutrition answered by getting in touch with our team of Nutrition Experts via Instagram or the customer service channel on our site. As always, we’re here with everything you need to #FINDYOURFIT.