Being a Motorcycle racer during Covid-19 times: Mirjam Pol
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, held a press conference on Thursday March 12 at 1:00 PM. A press conference I will not soon forget. But why do I remember the time and date so well?
It was one day before my Dakar 2020 presentation at the Kulturhus in Borne, The Netherlands, and I was planning to tell people about my Dakar 2020 experiences … it was sold out within a week! I was quite proud, having so many people thinking that it was worth coming to my own village to listen to my Dakar stories. I had a nice program in mind for my sponsors prior to the show. That specific Thursday I was busy calling, emailing, apping and updating social media to inform everyone about the unexpected cancellation as quickly as possible.
The temporary abnormal
Now, two months later, it is clear that the whole world is upside down and lives in total uncertainty. Major sport events such as the Olympic Games, which we have all been looking forward to, are postponed. These are bizarre times for healthcare, the economy and the society as a whole. Who would have thought that in January, "the 1.5 meter society would become the new normal"? I would like to stay positive and instead, let's call the 1.5 meter society “‘the temporary abnormal" and hope that we can quickly live together again in a healthy and normal society.
Entrepreneurship and sports during Covid-19 times
In the "1.5 meter society" I try to hold my own. Fortunately, everyone around me is still in good health. But besides being a daughter and a sister, I am also a freelancer and top athlete.
My primary income is lost, am I eligible for something? I try to anticipate the situation as much as possible and to look ahead. I cannot just get in the car and head outside. Keeping appointments and contacts is now via the digital highway and it really feels different. Due to the fact that I do not have to travel as much as before, I now have more time to spend on things that I couldn’t previously do. My bookkeeping is now completely up-to-date for the first time in years so early on, and I keep looking ahead.
I now work with much more structure on my training. Although the gyms, swimming pools and motocross tracks are closed, my trainer Thorsten from Heltos provides my training schedules remotely. I have set up my own "gym" in an empty shed. However, like half of the Netherlands I wanted to purchase a dumbbell set and soon found out that it had a delivery time of at least 6 weeks. In addition, those sets are also quite expensive. So to the hardware store I wernt! There I bought and filled some loose sandbags. I now have 105 kilos of sandbags that I use as a kettlebell, as a loose weight and for my dumbbell set! To perfect my dumbbell set I found a metal bar by the scrap iron that has now been given a second life as a barbell.
Staying fit when the lights turn green
Practice training and competitions have been canceled. The rally in Breslau is currently scheduled for early July. I won this rally last year so I would like to defend my title there, but not at the expense of my or other people's health. If this rally is going to take place is still very uncertain, but I must be fit and on weight if the rally does continue. Until now it was not possible to train on the motorcycle but after the press conference on Wednesday May 6, I am very hopeful that we will be able to get on the motorcycle again soon!
Ride safe and stay healthy
I hope everyone is in good health and can keep it that way. Yes, the situation can be very annoying, but our health is important! And on the positive side, we now have the time to carefully reflect and come up with new plans. Fortunately, we are still allowed to ride a motorcycle on the street here in the Netherlands. Nice to clear your head with a nice ride through the Netherlands or as a commuter on your motorcycle. Enjoy it and make sure you wear the right protection and gear!
We wish everyone good, healthy and a safe ride!
- Mirjam Pol