Mindset – Regain Energy

As a pro-athlete it is very important to keep a good balance of being on court (in my case) and taking your mind off your daily routines. Everyone has their way outs, or at least should have. For office workers, it is sports that helps them to recover from an exhausting day at work. For us athletes, it definitely is not to go on a run or to the gym; we are already doing it all day anyways. So, this is not really an option for us to relax and regain energy for the next tournament, meet, or practice session.

What are we athletes doing to calm down? I know from friends of mine and myself that Yoga is a great stress reliever for athletes. Through meditation, stretching, and mobilizing muscles, it is a wonderful exercise session that helps us calm down and prepare our body for the next practice session. It also helps me to forget about all the worries I have and focus on myself, rather than the people around me. Next to Yoga, some athletes love to go out and party with their friends, watch other sport events, or just chill to some Netflix and chips/chocolate (cheat-days are allowed for every person on this planet!). As you may guess from earlier posts of mine, I love coffee + a treat. Today, writing this exact post, I am in Cologne at Wndrfuel, a great coffee shop in the middle of the city. Having a big garden area where one can sit outside, as well as a big indoor area, one can get creative either to the smell of summer, or to smell of coffee beans. It is so quiet here, and I can just let my thoughts flow and write them down. What a relieve. Having a cappuccino with spelt milk and some toasted vegan banana bread; I am literally in heaven. No one is telling me ‘Romy, move your feet’, ‘Romy, more spin!’, ‘Romy, put that ball in play.’ I am just all to myself, in my own world, enjoying the little things in life.

It is a sunny and warm day, I already went on a cycling tour with my better half, and now I am here having my treats of the week, preparing myself for another battle on Sunday. It couldn’t be better. Thinking about my luck and that I am able to do all of this, I am also thinking about the aspect that the key to success is to take time to yourself and just do whatever you want to, whatever you are in the mood for.  It doesn’t always have to be the same thing you do, the only important aspect is that you do it with passion and you know it helps you to relax & regain energy. It also doesn’t matter what others are thinking or saying. My boyfriend, for example, hates coffee shops and he always makes fun about me going. I, on the other hand, know that it helps me and will relieve me of the pressure I felt from the past week. So, what benefits you to feel better, will, in the end, also make the people around you happier. Why? Because you are happy!

To sum this up, just go ahead and do whatever the ‘heck’ you want to. When it helps you to relieve the stress, it will make this world a better place, …not only for you! 🙂

 

 

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Welcome back!

God, it has been forever. I missed this moment so much: Coffee, 1h of time to myself, and write down what’s on my mind.

Hi, and welcome back to myself and all of you guys.

I really missed this. I promise myself and I promise you, such a long break won’t happen again. Why? Because I have finally settled in.

This tennis world has been crazy and I didn’t really know what’s going on (I still don’t sometimes :D); how to handle the stress of playing, traveling, making friends, and be a good human being, as well as being good to myself and not losing myself in helping others and be the teammate I used to be in college. The pro Tour is no team-sport and you have to look out for yourself. I had to learn the hard way, as I got disappointed here and there and sometimes you just don’t get back what you’ve put in. I know, I know, this is how life works, still, it was tough for me to realize and mostly accept it.

So, here we are, 9 months later, after traveling all around Europe and the USA, way richer in experience and more constant in hitting around a yellow fluffy ball, after my one-year-long tennis break.

I guess let’s get this journey finally started!

Next to the tennis life, my private life changed, too. I moved in with my boyfriend and we settled down in one of the best cities ever, Cologne, Germany. Next to the ‘Dom’ (cathedral), this city is full of secretly hidden and amazing coffee shops, great restaurants, and lots of green spaces. Next to shopping and crowded streets, you also have quiet parts where you can relax und unwind. I love it. I also love my new way of eating: vegan. This is a topic for another post though. 😛

IMG_6316.JPGSo this was just a short summary of what’s going on. Now I am off to practice!

 

Positivity is Key

Uiuiuiui, it has been busy, as I have been jet-setting through different countries in Europe for the past weeks. Going from Germany to Luxembourg to Italy and tomorrow back to Germany and finally to Sweden for my last two tournaments of the year (visiting my VCU Ram Sofia.. YAY <3). Time has flown by and I really can’t recall all the experiences I have made in these past weeks. You know the feeling when you are so overwhelmed by a new fullsizerender
world, culture, and people? A combination of all different kinds of impressions can take your breath away and you sometimes have the feeling to choke. On the other side though, all the memories and experiences are something so brightening and make you wake up everyday because you are excited for the day to start.
I have been on the pro tour for exactly two months now and it has changed my life and goals completely. How things turned out and how you start seeing your potential in a specific situation can change your views and actions from one to the other second. As I hated, yes I think I can use the word hate here, my first experiences in this world, I started loving it, because you meet so many new people, and some of them are actually super nice, which made my life so much easier – puh! One of the most important things though is to create an environment around yourself in which people care and support you in any given situation. Trust, mostly in pro sports, is something so important and helps you to make one step forward, one step closer to your goal.
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The best advice I got during my time in Clemson was to surround myself with positive people and vibes. It is so, so easy to find people with a negative attitude, or people who just spray around this nasty and funny smell of negativity. I promised myself that I don’t want this anymore for myself. Everyone has a choice, so surround yourself with happy and positive people and your life will be so much better. My pro-tour-life turned out toIMG_6768.JPG
be full of happiness and energy; being around the right people plays a huge part in my daily well-being.

Put yourself out there, make friends and with a second look you can decide who you want to let in your circle of positivity. *yay*

Back at it …for real!

Did you ever feel you want something so bad that you would give up everything else for it? I definitely did, multiple times, for different reasons, but at this moment in life, my little world started spinning again in the universe of those tiny – felty – yellow balls. Entering the professional tennis universe has always been a lifelong dream of mine and I can’t wait to start this adventure, as well as letting you be part of my journey.
ToniOpen2016-RomyKoelzer-0409.jpgHave you ever done something outrageous? Something no one expected, but for you it felt like the best decision ever? Maybe it was running a marathon, or doing a bungee jump, which for me would not even be imaginable because I am super afraid of heights and I think that people who jump of bridges and cliffs with a rope around their feet are ‘crazy’ people, but hey, if it makes them happy, please go ahead and do whatever puts a smile on your face! After almost one year of not playing the sport I love, some people may think I am ‘crazy’ to have chosen this path after completing my Masters. I just missed this sport and everything that comes with it so much, that I couldn’t resist to take this opportunity and see what joy it will bring in my life.

My body definitely doesn’t feel any joy at the moment 😀 You probably know the feeling and how hard it is to get back to practice when you had an injury or a cold; multiply the days you were not able to do your favorite sport by as many days, weeks, and months, that it adds up to almost one year and you will have an answer. Not practicing for so long and not having any time to workout next to my classes, studying, and my job makes my life right now that much harder, but you know what? I love it. I love it so much that even whenToniOpen2016-RomyKoelzer-0341 I am totally out of breath and my body hurts at places where I didn’t even know are muscles, I want to go beyond, push harder, and see how much better I can get. Isn’t that what we all love about sports? It is all on you and your willingness to work harder than you think you can. Day by day I see improvements; everything is a work in progress. The rock to climb sometimes seems so high, however, lemme tell you one thing, I am ready for it.

 

P.s: If you want to know more about my tennis adventures, please follow my blog and my profile on Facebook. My Instagram profile is linked to my blog. Let’s get this all started. #nowornever

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomyKoelzer/?fref=ts

Stay hungry – Back at it!

Long time no see! Gosh, it has been a while since I wrote my last blog. Well, I am baaack and have some time again for all the fun stuff in life, such as writing!! So look forward to lots of traveling (including food and coffee), random thoughts, insights on my chaotic life, and what it means to enter the real world… maybe 😉

Let’s update y’all first on what happened this past year: I am proud to announce that I added a master in sport leadership to the long list of mIMG_2229y education … What a great feeling when you are finally done with your academic career, or at least that’s what you are hoping for. As our professors told us in grad school: “You will never stop learning and please try to stay hungry to get to know the unknown.”

‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg is my to-go-to hungriness right now and I love it. If you are female, about to enter the working world and haven’t heard of it, then please go ahead and click buy. If you are male please don’t hesitate, read, and learn. 😀 I promise, you won’t regret it. The book gives you so many insights on what it means to be a successful woman and how to get there.

The how-to-get-there approach definitely describes my situation best at the moment. You just finished your masters and are about to enter the real world… the world of the old… The world of taking care of your own ‘business’, insurances, banking account, taxes IMG_2500… and the list could go on. It is kinda scary what goes along with becoming an adult, but at the same time it is a challenge, and we all love challenges, right?

Writing a new chapter in your life story is full of unforeseen and exciting opportunities that you never excepted to come up. Which way do you want to go? Where do you want to end up?
Well,… I hope my future will include the sport I love ..at least in some way. How I plan to embrace this idea in my life will be the topic of one of my next blogs. So stay tuned!

 

By the way, I just arrived in Hamburg, so check out my Insta for some foodie pictures. Byeeee and hi from the ‘Außenalter’!

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New Year’s Resolutions – Yes or No?

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Hello 2016!!

Gosh this past year flew by and without knowing where the time went I came to the conclusion that it was pretty successful. I don’t want to annoy you with the same old stories about getting my bachelors degree and starting my master, bla bla bla, but lets talk about New Year’s resolutions. Do you believe in them? Or do you think, same as me, that many people make promises they can’t keep? The feeling of excitement and starting afresh into the New Year transports many people’s minds into dreamland.

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Here some of the most common resolutions:

“Get fit.” -> Did you already sign up for a gym membership?

“I will lose half of my body weight.” -> First of all, do you think this is healthy? I don’t think so.

“I will never put a cigarette back in my hands.” -> Then please don’t ask your friend to hold it for you. Thanks.

“I will save up some money, read more, learn how to cook, travel, watch less TV, get off social media (which would be a huge mistake, because it’s awesome), and don’t drink.”

Did you find yourself in these New Year’s resolutions?

If so, then I am sorry, because in the second week of January your dream bubble probably explodes and brings you back to reality and then you reach the same moment as every year: “Oh well it didn’t work again, lemme try again next year.”

DUDE, we are just 2 weeks into 2016, give yourself some cheatdays and if today already was your cheatday, then try to get back at it tomorrow. Everyone only needs a little bit of discipline and will, and you can conquer the world. Just do it, as Nike would tell you now and I couldn’t agree more.

In 2012, my New Years resolution was to go to a country on the other side of the world, start my degree, make friends from all over the world and stop being a baby that gets homesick and gives up a dream opportunity. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy and still is not, but I made it and kept my resolution al4055c0b9ef911b1875d1ac105074e190.jpgive until 2013 [where I probably made a resolution that I broke 2 weeks later]. Buuuuut, nevermind because I allowed myself to fail and then stood back up to try again. It’s not about how many times you fall down, its about how many times you get back up. Now, I am stuck in this wonderful land, called America, and even call myself Germerican. Hello? That’s crazy, but I love my life free from resolutions and just the will to follow my dreams. I take every day at a time and make it happen.

Cheers,

Romy

What world are we living in?

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Waking up every morning, I’m scared to turn the TV on to see what is going on in our world. At first, the plane crash over Egypt, …then the three attacks tonight in Paris. I keep on asking myself:

What world are we livening in that people think they have to express their religion or opinion with killing others?

What world are we living in that terrorism is the only form people think to be heard?

What world are we living in that taking away loved family members and friends is the solutions to someone’s problems?

What world are we living in that that human lives are worth less than the opinions of individuals?

What world are we living in that hours of fear and anxiety rule people’s lives because some individuals want to express their beliefs?

Sorry, but in what world are we living in?

How far has humanity come? I couldn’t agree more with the words that are trending on the Internet and around world at the moment: I see humans, but I don’t see humanity.CTvEsUXUYAAQmOX.jpg-large

As explained in by Merriam Webster dictionary: “Humanity is the quality or state of being human; the quality or state of being kind to other people or to animals; ALL PEOPLE.” Everyone is a human and everyone has the right to live the way they want. Everyone follow their own religion and make the choice in what they want to believe in. No one, but no one has the permission to kill someone because of their beliefs, life style, how they dress, what they eat, or even with whom they are friends. WE ARE ALL THE SAME. TERRORISM CAN NOT BE THE SOLUTION for anybody’s problems.

I can’t even express in words how I feel at the moment about the current events in Paris. I should be doing work, but cant focus because my thoughts and heart are with everyone in France. I cannot comprehend why people behave this way and think that it is the solution for their problems. I hope that the whole situation can soon be resolved, and put to bed, so that all the hostages and their families can be back together soon, and so that the bereaved families can find some sort of peace amidst this sickening day. #PrayForParis

Open yourself to change

After a long writing break, I finally found some time to share some stories of my life and what I experienced in my Germerican career again.

After finishing my senior year in Clemson and being away from home for a while I was super excited to go back and see my family and friends. It’s always such a great feeling to be back and see everyone. Spending time together after being apart for so long. Sometimes though, I just feel that I don’t fit in anymore. Something changed; I changed. Being away from home, living in a foreign country shows you many different sideJim-Rohn-Life-Change-Quotess of life than what I experienced back home in Germany. Coming to the USA I did not know anything about life; I was well raised and knew right from wrong, but how life actually worked was a mystery for me. Being put in a foreign environment made me grow as a person and turned me into the woman I am today. It might be better, it might be worse, but the most important thing is that I feel good with myself and that I know that I can still grow into something even better. Into someone that has more life experience and who has the right mindset to be successful in life. (I sometimes have to work on that one :D)

Also, seeing all kind of different cultures and living together with people from all over the world taught me to accept different lifestyles than I was used to back at home. It made me realize that I grew up in a bubble and that there is so much out there in the world than what we are used to.

This, I think is something that separates my opinion and myself, from other people. I am not just talking about Germany, but everywhere in this world one can see this behavior. Obviously, I can just talk about my Germerican experience, so this is specific to my lifestyle and what I experienced and I am not generalizing anything. When I get back to Germany I the-secret-of-change-is-to-focus-all-of-your-energyoften realize that people like to have their own views, and aren’t open-minded to change their thoughts, and only feel comfortable with what they have and what they know. I just don’t fit in this type of person anymore. I am hungry to see more things, get to know more people, and explore the unknown. I am not ready to settle yet, and build up a life that I will have forever. Some people say you are already 23 years old (soon 24) and others say you are so young you have time to decide what you want to do. Everyone is facing this challenge at one point in life, but this point is not there yet, at least not for me.

Life experience, and mostly being exposed to new challenges can change something in you; it did in me. I can just suggest everyone to not be scared of something new and go out in the world to figure it out by themselves. It can change everything. It can turn you life upside down, but as long as you have it under control and it doesn’t overwhelm you, you are going to be fine, and maybe help you understand my way of thinking better than you do right now.

Thanks for reading peeps. See ya soon.

Graduate School – A new chapter of my Germerican life

Sorry I haven’t been very active over the past few weeks, but there has been so much going on that I did not even have time to go to Starbucks to get my daily blonde roast coffee with skim milk and brown sugar. I couldn’t give up on my daily treats though. A cookie here and a piece of cake there is a must for me and I just need those kinds of sugar bombs to survive and have enough energy to apply for grad school, scholarships, and keep myself active. As I already explained in earlier posts, hard work pays off and I have some good news!
1525300_10153190314346422_3178849272427470061_nFirst of all I had to graduate in order to apply for graduate school. I did not even have time to tell you about those good news, but here you can see some pictures from our private 11138072_10153190311751422_2361572771280266784_ngraduation with President Clements. We were not able to make it to the regular graduation ceremony because we went to University of Alabama to qualify for the Sweet 16 (and we did!) So we had the privilege to meet  and chat with the President of Clemson University in his well decorated office and take as many pictures as we wanted, which was great, because girls love to take pictures. 😉

So here’s the actual big news: I just got accepted to graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University. From now on, I am going to be a part of the Rams family, but am still a Tiger deep down in my heart. Once your blood runs orange and purple it will run this way for a lifetime. I am going to study Sports Leadership at VCU and I am very excited to be living in a bigger city, such as Richmond, Virginia. Meeting new people, living in a new place with my new roommate Virginia, finding new coffee shops to go hang out and study, and mostly starting my coaching career will be a wonderful new experience and at the same time a challenge I want to take on.g1snz88eu2ri2blf

Uncertainty can be fearful and can drive me crazy at times, as my boyfriend and parents can confirm, but I am very happy I took a step into the right direction and I hope I can help the girls at VCU to develop as people and tennis players, as I did during my collegiate career.  With this said, I also want to thank my teammates, coaches, and Clemson University again for the past three and a half years. It has been a blast. Once a tiger, always a tiger!

Failure in Sports

Failure is something that no one likes to experience. The feeling of disappointment and not achieving something you want so badly and that you would give your all for it everyday. If it is a bad test grade, 5 more pounds off the scale, or you once again forget to pay the rent at the end of the month. Failure is a broad word and can be used in so many different ways. The one failure I can talk about best is the failure in sports and especially in tennis.

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Most sports consist of either winning or losing; there is no grey zone, which means that your performance on a given day is put into either one of the two categories. Tennis is very harsh with distinguishing between success and failure. First of all you are all by yourself on the court, which makes it very challenging mentally. So, imagine you go on the court, feel very prepared because you have worked your tail off the past week and 45 min later you are done and lost 6:0 6:0. It’s a slap in the face; many people breakdown statistics, not knowing what to do, and others are just angry and grumpy. Everyone is unique and reacts differently to adversity, which makes this game—and generally sports—so interesting.

You probably think that a win feels great, as if you can touch the sky and fly with the birds. And a loss makes you feel horrible, sad, and puts you down as in the example mentioned above. But is it really that way? Do we define ourselves by winning and losing?

My answer is no. Failure is a personal notion of achieving your goals or not. You set goals for yourself; realistic goals that you can think you are capable of achieving and then you see if you are able to turn your goals into reality. If you failed to do so, then one can define your actions as failure, as something you were not good enough at. Generally, failure should not be brought into connection with winning or losing. Winning is a nice side effect of doing the right things, but it doesn’t define who you are as a person.

What defines you as an athlete are the goals you have set for yourself, how you want to achieve those goals, and how much effort and work you put into it in order to get rewarded. Let me tell you, if you are doing all the right things, practice hard, eat right, and get enough sleep, and trip at the last hurdle, it is the worst feeling you can experience. It hurts so much that sometimes one can’t stand it. This pain can break you into pieces; it can destroy you physically and mentally. Thinking about putting in 30h a week to get better and then you go to do what you love but let yourself down.

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Still, in sports there is no such thing as excuses. If you are a real sportsman or woman, you don’t find excuses for failure, you just try to find solutions to make it better next time. Failure often leads people into the direction of trying to find reasons why they didn’t end up having the results they wanted. In sports its very easy to say: “Today was not my day,” “I was hurt, so I couldn’t perform on my highest level,” or “I just wasn’t in the mood today, next time I will win anyways.” Those are the people that keep on talking, talking, and talking, and don’t show any action to make it better. Those are the people that don’t put in extra hours to work on the things they need to improve on. Those are the people that will never achieve real success in life, because they don’t know what real success feels like.

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Success and failure are so closely connected to each other that sometimes it is hard separate them, because once one experiences success, one is scared of the next failure, or once one experiences failure, one can’t wait for success to come. Failure hurts and failure can put people into a mood of giving up and resistance to do the right things anymore. Champions on the other hand, take failure as something positive. As something that helps them improve and get better. You can either give up or use failure as daily motivation to not experience this painful feeling anymore. Use failure, don’t let it take control over your life as an athlete. Make a change. It’s up to you.