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I found my balance again, and I feel stronger than before my burn-out.

After a long period of holding onto tension and excessive stress, I got the feeling I was completely burned out by May 2016. Overnight, my energy had disappeared. Of course, I had had these symptoms before, but I’d ignored them. Ignoring it was no longer an option, because it seemed my body was giving up on me. I was also getting tingling sensations, muscle aches and I was losing strength in my arm and leg muscles. After being examined, there was no apparent cause for these symptoms, it was evident that my body was simply no longer able to keep going; I had burned out.

When I realised this, I was able to think about how I wanted to turn my life around. I was prepared to do anything just to feel better, but I was also terrified. By now I had so many ailments that I had started to shut myself off for fear of aggravating my condition. On the other hand, I knew that shutting myself off and avoiding situations was not the solution. With this in mind, I eventually signed up for an intake with Martijn and Bart.

My first goal was to re-establish contact with my body. I didn’t want to feel my body, because then I’d feel everything that was wrong with it. That is exactly what I told Martijn and Bart, and thankfully they understood. I then started training twice a week in order to feel the changes immediately.

During the first few weeks, there were many obstacles. Fear of muscle soreness afterwards, fear I wasn’t doing it right, fear I was doing too much, fear that others would see I wasn’t doing it right. What I noticed is that Martijn and Bart could read these cues and supported me in facing these fears. Together we worked to overcome those obstacles step by step, at my own speed. I could be honest about what I was feeling and thinking, and there was always room to express myself. This made me feel completely at ease, and I wasn’t afraid to be myself.
After the first few weeks of mixed feelings, I started to feel stronger both physically and mentally. I started to feel like working out now that I noticed it was really working. Of course, Martijn and Bart also realised I was doing better, and together we started looking for training challenges. What also helped was making better choices in my diet and my balance. Since 4 weeks ago, my physical ailments have declined to the point where I can do anything I want to without being limited by low energy levels or aches. The training was a major contributor in this, I’m sure of that. The things I learned during our sessions are not just for now, I will keep using them.

With every training I realise that with Stronger than ever, I have made the right choice. I am motivated the right way, the session is aimed at me as a person, at who I am and what I can do. Martijn and Bart really understand how people work, and are able to put a little of themselves into every session. Training has made me both physically and mentally fitter. I found my balance again, and I feel stronger than before my burn-out.

Ilse
Works for the Leiden municipality

Foto Van Ilse
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