While I’m still here in Riga, I photographed my friend Julia. When I met her first time years ago she looked very different. Her transformation has been amazing and I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to watch her journey.
She said she cried when I sent her pictures. “Seeing this body, the project I worked so hard on the last 4 years, is the best reward. Plus, you captured my soul and it’s so rare when somebody does it.“
“4 years ago, I remember this day like today, I woke up in the morning and feeling completely ill, I called my family doctor and asked for sick leave.” – wrote Julia on her Facebook page.
“I was more than 20 kg overweight, I had asthma, a feeling of hopelessness and a referral for surgery. Asthma got to the stage when on a frosty day I couldn’t walk for more than 300 meters without shortness of breath.
The day was so beautiful, frosty and blue, cloudless sky, the sun was shining brightly. I got dressed and went outside, I had no plan to go somewhere, I just walked wherever my feet were taking me, the most deserted route. I really wanted to be with myself and with some higher power, which I absolutely believe. I just dragged my body, which didn’t feel like my own at all, I seemed to be separated from it…We didn’t belong together, my spirit and this body, which I brought to this state.“
“Sure, I had enough reasons and excuses! But at that moment I realised I must chose, either continue to figure out how it happened and get stuck there, perhaps forever, or try to do at least something. And so I dragged myself along an empty road and sobbing, asked for help from some higher power. For almost 17 km (it took me more than 5 hours to walk this distance back then) only one thing was spinning in my head: Please show me the way, I will do everything, I will! I can’t keep doing this to myself, help me, show me how!”
“That same year, in the Summer, in a completely magical way, I discovered SUP.
A year later, just as suddenly, due to a coincidence, I competed with the athletes and took places.
I continued to do other sports that were available once the SUP season was over.“
“Today I am back to myself. My rebellious spirit and my body have become one again. We snowboard together, skate, run, every morning we swim in the ice-hole. And what an absolute delight it is to feel this unity, to feel every muscle, and power of this wonderful, unique machine. How it responds and no longer needs to be forced. My body is healed! Together we’re moving towards the goal and won’t give up, we have a plan and strength, which means the sky is the limit!”
“You never know the value of the water till the well runs dry. Take care of yourself and believe in your strength, and if you like, some higher power too.”
I’m grateful to have such amazing people in my life. When the world drags me down they always make me look up.
I hope Julia’s story inspired some of you as well to do…something. Take care of your health, start fitness journey, stop thinking you’re too old or it’s too late…anything at all.
As she says, believe in yourself. You’re your only limit.
Truly yours, K. xx