'I also want to be able to keep pushing boundaries during training'

Jul 21, 2020

Elze Geurts (25) is a top gymnast at Turnz Amsterdam Gymnastics. She currently trains 29 hours a week, while she also studies philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Like everyone else, Elze has gone through the exceptional period in which competitions were cancelled due to the corona crisis and she was only able to continue her studies through online lessons. Yet she has kept up her training all through this time, even if it did have to be in a different way and at a different level than she is used to as a top athlete.
Pushing boundariesCurrently, she can now do almost everything as she did before. 'We have been able to use our own training facility again for a few weeks now, which is nice because of the available facilities.' explains Elze. 'There, I can do the power training that I need to get back to the physical level I had before the lockdown.'

No standing still
When Elze looks back on the past period, she comes to the conclusion that it was mainly the matches that she missed. 'But I never stood still for a moment,' she continues. 'You lose condition every day that you don't train. I could not access the training hall but I had to keep going. So, I did a lot at home, but also outdoors. And that was quite difficult without gymnastics equipment. But at the beginning of this crisis, I still wanted to qualify for the European Championship, which had not yet been cancelled. And after that did happen, I wanted to keep myself fit for possible participation in the Olympics. Not long after the Games were also cancelled, we were fortunately able to train again in the way we are used to.'

Training structure
And so slowly everything returns to the new normal. Although things remain uncertain regarding competitions, even in this respect there is a light on the horizon: the European Championship in Baku in December. For the time being this is still on. In the meantime, Elze still has to make do with training only, although this can be intensified. And that is why Push Sports braces also come in exceptionally handy. 'During my home and outdoor exercises, I didn't need to wear the braces, the intensity wasn't high enough for that,' said Elze. 'And when I started training in the hall again, I began with fitness and balance exercises, for which I also don't need braces. But the further I get in my training build-up, with an ever-increasing load, the nicer it is to wear braces. At those times, I wear the Wrist Brace and the Ankle Brace 8. I do this because I also want to be able to keep pushing boundaries during training.’

European Championship qualification
The qualifying moment for the European Championship will probably take place in November. Elze's training program runs until mid-July, when it is time for a holiday. 'Otherwise my last holiday will have been too long ago. After that we will build up again, with the goal of qualifying for the European Championship for the first time. Is it difficult to keep finding the motivation through all this time? Of course, I also look forward to competitions, and I modify my training schedule according to that. And without competitions, it is still a kind of empty period in which you are seeking the peaks of your performance less. But there is now a European Championship on the programme, so I can easily switch mindsets. I have also noticed this in the past, when there were setbacks. The lack of competitions during the recent months does make it financially difficult. I earn by far the greatest part of my income from these events, and all of that has gone.'

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