Summer strong: Anna
We don’t know about you, but this summer, we want to be strong. Powerful, positive and ready to take on the world. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if a little extra strength makes us look extra good in our swimsuits. So to achieve that summer strong, we’re taking on the Summer Strong Challenge. With 12 rides in 30 days, you’ll feel refreshed and accomplished. Plus you’ll get a little reward from us. To celebrate the strongest summer yet, we chatted with one of our most dedicated Ro’riders, Swedish sweetheart Anna Kuylenstierna about how her incredible strength has helped her in her daily life as well as her climb to Everest Base Camp.
Hey Anna! Thanks for sitting down with us and being such a strong, inspiring woman! We heard about your incredible trek to Everest Base Camp. Can you tell us about it?
Holy cow it was incredible!! The views really are breath-taking. After safely landing at the most dangerous airport in the world, we set out – I was nervous. Not so much out of fear, but more the possibility of failure. Nervous for nothing, as the weather gods were with us. We spent the days walking (some parts slower than sloths), day-dreaming away or sharing anecdotes about life with our fellow trekkers. At the top of every hill, you completely forget about all the huffs and the puffs and inner struggles, and you are reminded, similar to the path of life, that happiness and growth is all in the journey and not the destination. The first sight of Everest (we were less than halfway) is humbling and terrifying at the same time. And once you reach Base Camp – Everest towers over you and reminds you just how small you really are and that your issues in life don’t matter, shouldn’t matter.
What an insane journey! It obviously took immense strength. How did you stay strong throughout?
Determination is key. One baby step at a time, one baby breath at a time, we kept going. At moments, admittedly we had to remind ourselves that we signed up for this voluntarily; we were doing this not because we had to but because we wanted to! We wanted to walk days on end and sleep in freezing cold tea houses rather than a beach resort holiday (mind boggling, I know!). But the highs, the lows and the memories we made together will forever be dear to my heart.
You’re inspiring us to go. Maybe we’ll bring you with us… How did you train to tackle it?
I like to do a mix of workouts to try to achieve a mix of physical and mental stamina, strength, endurance and flexibility. Far from a strict routine and certainly with a lot of moral support from my fellow workout friends, I went jogging by the Amstel, boxing in the Vondelpark, yoga practice at Delight Yoga and spinning at Rocycle. Given we live below sea level in a pretty flat city, any altitude training was omitted.
Sounds like you were pretty prepared! Who do you find to be the strongest person you know?
My sister Amelie! She is a doer. I admire her strength in following her own path, trusting her own passions, strengths and her community to create new things and inspire others to do the “impossible.”
Well, if you ask us, she sounds a lot like you. We have our Summer Strong challenge coming up. Will you be up for it?
Absolutely! I strongly dislike saying no to a challenge!
That’s exactly what we like to hear! What makes you feel strong?
Confidence in myself makes me feel strong. When insecure, I second guess myself, I start tearing myself apart and overthinking everything. As long as I believe in myself, I regain confidence in myself, giving me strength to conquer challenges in life the way I want to.
That’s advice we could all learn from, so thank you for that! Finally, what does strength mean to you?
Strength is power. With strength you can keep going, you can reach any mountain top you like if you just keep climbing!