The world belongs to the brave

Nina Gulde doesn’t just think about online sports courses when she thinks about lockdown sports. She thinks about her outdoor workouts, early in the morning, at -15 degrees Celsius. She was surprised to find she wasn’t the only person up and active in the park at 6:30am before work. Soon Nina found a small group of workout buddies to get fit with in the early hours.

“It felt like a real accomplishment to work out that early in the cold,” she says. “And when people joined in, it created such a good atmosphere I felt better mentally, too. That feeling of togetherness generated by motivation only comes from within.”

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Nina lives and breathes sports and being active is a huge part of her life – this is clear from the way she talks about her personal successes and how she overcomes hurdles. Nina is HR manager at Spoonflower as well as a personal trainer. Because of this she understands how important community is and the role self-confidence plays in difficult times. She believes having confidence in yourself is a true expression of mental strength, but the good news is it can be learned. When you link self-confidence with a sense of achievement, you’ll find it keeps growing and it’s easier to muster the courage to overcome challenges.

©Stefan Haehnel

Self-confidence and the role of sports

“A ‘we-can attitude’ – like being outside in the park in the cold during winter – can only develop with trust,” Nina says. “Confidence in others and in yourself will help you and those around you achieve certain goals. This is especially important during long periods of lockdown, as you must trust yourself in order to stay positive and not hole up at home.”

“This applies to your professional life, as honest and open communication and transparent corporate communication builds trust between employees and management which strengthens and accelerates self-confidence.”

“In sports, self-confidence helps you achieve certain fitness goals and helps push limits. When you invest time and show dedication, your confidence naturally grows. When you first start training, you might not have much confidence. But training in a group with mutual support can push your self-confidence immensely.”

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Nina practiced cross-training intensively for a long time. It’s a sport that pushes you to your limits and often beyond. She’d train hard for several hours a day with the aim of competing. Her training impacted her entire life. With each competition, she was better able to tackle the challenges in everyday life, and Nina quickly realized sport helped her grow. “The more I want something, the more time I invest. And where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Nina says proudly.

©Stefan Haehnel

Motivation is contagious

Nina cannot wait to get back to training now studios have reopened. “The thing I’m most looking forward to is being able to go back into the box and train indoors together with my people,” she says, the words bubbling out of her. “There’s more equipment and you can completely exhaust yourself. I can switch up my workout and try new things.” 

Nina can’t wait to add some variety to her training and integrate yoga into her workout regime for more balance. “Sport is a real energy booster for me,” she says. “It gives me more self-confidence and self-satisfaction which has an impact on my professional life. I use this energy to motivate my employees.”

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©Stefan Haehnel

Nina has longed for the end of the lockdown. “Self-confidence is one of the most important building blocks of all,” she says defiantly. “If you believe in yourself and are willing to invest in that, you’re ready for any challenge.”

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