Soraya de Visch Eijbergen: Have a great 2016!
As 2015 draws to a close, it's good to look both back and forward. Get yourself a cup of tea, this'll probably turn out as a 'long-read' ;-)
I have much to be thankful for.
Performance wise, I cherish my very fond memories of the Prague Open. An exciting semi-final against Linda Zetchiri and ever-so-close to the final. Additionally, making it into the quarter final phase of several tournaments on the European circuit was a self-set expectation which I was able to fulfill on regular occasions.
However, competing at the World Championships in Jakarta this August may well have been the highlight of 2015: for all the sweat from my pores, all the aches in my body and the mental toll this athlete's lifestyle puts on me... playing that match, regardless of its outcome, furthered and even re-ignited my passion for badminton. Goosebumps all over...
The fact that on November 26th I reached my career high on the badminton world ranking for women's singles (#56) makes my heart skip a beat: it's a tangible testament to my hard work at the national training center in Papendal (Arnhem) as well as in the international tournament circuit.
Luckily, putting that hard work to good use for my French team at Chambly Bad is something very thankful to do. I feel the team (and club members) embraced me right from the start and they are very accommodating in whichever way possible. Merci beaucoup!
Heart-warming has been the outpour of support I've received since I launched this athlete facebook page mid-July of this year. Nearing almost 1.500 followers, a fully-funded crowdfunding campaign and great feedback from you guys on my experiences. I am still, in fact, humbled by the surprisingly extensive reach of what I do, how I do it and - evidently - who I am.
If anything, the year 2015 taught me both how much room for growth there still is to become a better athlete... and that with the right mind-set you can create your own success. A true conviction about the opportunities and results that are forthcoming. Earlier this year that was something I mostly kept to myself and 'sort of' believed. Now, half a year later, I am fully aware that other people - including those outside my inner circle - see this in me too. A type of acknowledgement that feels awesome and certainly motivates me.
And... as for 2016: I've got quite a few new tournaments, challenges, choices and perhaps surprises ahead of me. I will share these with you as I go along.
This leaves me, for now, with the following: I thank all of you for your interest and support and wish you and your loved ones a great start of 2016. See you on the flipside!
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