Rider spotlight: Daphne
At Rocycle we’re all about Mind Body Music, but, just as important is the fact that we’re a family. So, to make sure each class is not just a party but a reunion, we’d like to introduce some of our Ro’Regulars. It’s difficult enough to power through those 45 minutes at Rocycle when you’re just one body, but have you ever wondered what it’s like to do that when you’re carrying another human inside you? Rocycle superwoman Daphne Matthew does just that. Keep reading to find out about her inspiring journey being pregnant, giving into what her body needs and what Rocycle means to her.
Hi Daphne! We are so glad we get to chat to you today. Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Daphne Matthew. I’m 34 years old and live with my boyfriend Sjoerd in Amsterdam. I was born here but moved to Hoorn at the age of 3. My love for Amsterdam is so great that as soon as I could, I moved back to Amsterdam. I’ve now been here for about 12 years.
It’s hard to resist Amsterdam, isn’t it? Sort of like Rocycle. Can you tell us how you joined our family?
Actually, my friend Ilona already trained at Rocycle, and I joined before. At the beginning of my pregnancy, running wasn’t for me anymore, so I thought cycling could be cool to do. So I joined her again.
It always helps to have a buddy. So we know that you’re one of the fittest pregnant gals around, but would you share your pregnancy story with us? We know you’ve had quite a journey with IVF.
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure. POF results in very low hormone levels in the body, causing short periods and hot flashes. Having POF also means that it would be incredibly difficult for me to get pregnant. Though it sounds scary and rare, one in six women actually struggles to get pregnant in a natural way. I want to remove the stigma here, as this is part of me and is not a bad thing; in fact, the struggle makes the process all the more special for my boyfriend and me. So, #letsgetreal and break taboos, showing who we really are, as we are here to help each other!
That is incredible! What a journey you’ve been on. Through this journey, you’ve stayed extremely fit. How do you do it?
Until my 30th, I played korfball at the highest level in the Netherlands. After that, I was still very sporty and trained 4 or 5 times a week. I wanted to stay fit and become the best version of me for my IVF journey. In my first trimester, I was very nauseous and tired. I didn’t have the energy to do anything at all, but at 13 weeks, I felt much better and tried to exercise when I felt fit enough. Slowly, I built up a schedule that fits me perfectly. I train 3 times a week: a high intensity training at Robby Nelson Training Club, one Rocycle class or swim session and the STRONGHER Mommy lessons at Vondelgym. For now, it fits me perfectly, but I listen carefully to my body. When I’m tired, I’m tired, and then I skip my exercise. A few hours’ sleep or just relaxing is good enough.
We think that sounds like the ideal plan indeed. Since you keep so fit, we can imagine you’re also quite a healthy eater. How do you fuel yourself?
I think it’s one of the most important facets of a healthy lifestyle. Before my pregnancy, I was eating mostly vegetarian, but during my pregnancy, my body has asked for meat sometimes. I was a sucker for a simple chicken sandwich. And I let it be. I always try to ride in the morning or early afternoon. My breakfast is 2 wholegrain slices of bread with a boiled egg and orange juice. Right before my ride, I eat a banana, and after my ride, I treat myself with a smoothie from the Cold Pressed Juicery.
Speaking of healthy food, do you have a hotspot you frequent in Amsterdam?
I love Lavinia Good Food!
You can definitely find us there sometimes too! Alright, last question: what does Rocycle mean to you?
It’s a place where I can exercise to good music while completely focused on myself, and afterwards, I can have a smoothie, eat something and sit on the bench in front of the studio when the weather behaves. Talking, laughing and enjoying the cosy city. I also love the luxury of having clean towels, deodorant and hair elastics if you forget yours.