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The year of top athlete and MIB trainer Tasa | Mom In Balance


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The year of top athlete and MIB trainer Tasa

2022 is a year full of highs and lows for Tasa Jiya, top athlete and trainer at Mom in Balance. A year full of major milestones, major obstacles and life lessons. She enters 2022 with the goal of competing in the World Athletics Championships (relay) and European Athletics Championships (individual, 200m). Her plans take a different turn when she gets injured in November during a strength training session. Tasa talks about the impact this had on her athletic goals and the powerful lessons she learned from it.


"Thanks to support from Mom in Balance, we can go on two training trips this year. The NK Indoor (60 meters) on the program. With a new personal record (PR, 7.42) I raced into the finals. The difference is only two hundredths of a second, but I fell just short of a medal. However, my 4th place does earn me an invitation to the relay selection at Papendal."

With the World Athletics Championships just around the corner, June is the selection moment at the Outdoor NK. Tasa reached the finals in both the 100m and 200m sprints. With a new PR on the 100m (11.48) and a top-six spot, an important selection moment follows.


The athletics season has two major tournaments this year. A World Cup in July and an EC in August. "My goal at that time is individual qualification for the European Championships. I don't have that qualification in my pocket yet. I now have a choice: join the World Cup as part of the relay or try to force individual qualification for the EC." Tasa decides to go for the latter, accepting the risk of possibly missing both tournaments as a result.  "At the end of the season, I would be disappointed if I had played it safe. I want to get everything out of it."


It will be exciting. "In my last races I came to a PR in the 200m and 0.05sec from the limit. Even though my body has run out by now, I want to keep pushing the limit until the end." The individual qualification fails and both physically and mentally the tank was empty. For eight weeks she cannot see an athletics track. During this period she enjoys providing Run Clinics for Mom in Balance and shares her knowledge during a special clinic at the national trainers' day. "With a lot of energy and inspiration, I am closing the month of October. I needed that energy, because there was still one big choice on the schedule."


Her stated goal will not be met. "With an eye on the Paris Games, something has to change now. After a long selection process, I decided to train with the national selection at Papendal. Here I get everything I need: the best coaches in the Netherlands, the best sprinters to train with and all the high-performance guidance to get the most out of myself." It also means searching for a new balance between family and ambition. "With renewed energy, we are now looking at sports year 2023 with the first possibility of qualifying for the Paris Games."

LEARNINGS for 2023 | according to Tasa


"Often we hear cries like: always give 110%! Or: always be the best version of yourself." During her injury, this made her feel pressure to be "the old one" again quickly. The result: she works herself over the head and gets in more and more pain. "By now I know: top performance is cyclical," she says. Moments of being consistently good enough, top performance and rest & recovery alternate over the year. "That's the only way you stay full of energy and able to perform."


It's in our habits to want to resolve difficult emotions quickly: in the case of anger, we think we need to calm down, and in the case of sadness, to be comforted immediately. Even more often we put emotions away and move on. "This year I am learning that they are also just allowed to be there. Not everything is a wise lesson and not every unpleasant event makes you stronger. "Sometimes I just get extremely bummed out and that's okay. Because I now know how to give space to difficult emotions, I am learning to feel more deeply. And that includes that sadness and anger, as well as being unabashedly happy and joyful."


When Tasa is invited to train at Papendal at the end of the year, my first reaction is: but that is impossible. The long distance travel (almost 200 km per day), less time with her daughter and the high costs. "That will never work for me..." After the initial tension subsides, she begins to visualize what a life would look like in which this would work. Suddenly there it is: the insight that offers a solution. "Is it going to be hard? Absolutely. But going halfway in two years also results in half results. Now that I am at Papendal, I feel everything: this was the right choice. Half-choosing is often more painful than really choosing."

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