Fit Five Friday and the Ultimate Coffee Date

6 January, 2023 22 By Renée

January 2023

Not only is it the FIRST Fit Five Friday of the year, but it’s also the First Ultimate Coffee Date as well!

Welcome to the Fit Five Friday

It’s 2023 and we’re here again; Fit Five Friday with with your FIVE amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida ! Feel free to join in on the fun! And head over here to join the Ultimate Coffee Date with other amazing, supportive and friendly bloggers.

If we were having coffee…

Obviously first I would great you with a huge hug and wish you a Happy New Year! And we’d probably both chat about how the year went by so quickly! I mean, what??? and How??? And I imagine we would quickly catch up on how our New Year’s Eves went and how we are either not ready to go back to reality or that we are SO ready to have the holidays behind us so we can get back to our regular schedule!

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you about my new job. What I find the hardest is actually letting go of the familiar. Learning new people, new systems and new processes. I find myself still rather sad sometimes that I had to leave my old job, even though it really was the best decision.

I’d tell you that I am the only woman on my team and I’m the only non-Dutch person. These guys are also older than me and they have worked here for a LOT of years. Decades. One even just had his 41st work anniversary. And one of them is not the nicest person ever. In fact I already had a confrontation with him because, well, he was just super rude to me and I will not accept that kind of treatment any longer. Years ago I probably would have just pushed it down and tried to move on, but that doesn’t help anyone. Spoiler alert: after the confrontation he’s been quitte normal to me. It goes to show you that using our voice is important if anything is going to change. It just kind of sucks to be in a situation like that in the first place.

The commute has also been fine. I’ve been in the office twice a week for several weeks and the last few weeks only once. I do have to get up very early. The first month was really hard. Now it’s ok. I leave the house at 6:10 and ride my bike to the station. The train is nice and calm and quiet. It’s about 1 hour to where I need to go and then I hop on a metro for 3 stops to take me to the center of Amsterdam. From there it’s about a 5 minute walk.

The company is also very well known for treating their employees very well. I’ve done a newcomers program that took about 3 weeks and have done plenty of trainings to get me up to speed with policies and procedures. And I also had to take a very important and legal oath, since I am now working for a bank.

It’s still early days (2 months) but I believe it will only get better from here!

I try to get out for a walk at lunch on my office days. I work very close to one of the most touristic squares in Amsterdam.

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that I’ve been much more active in Arnhem Together and I have met some amazing women through the group. I’ve been helping with events and social media and it’s honestly been so much fun. We’ve had coffee mornings and wine evenings and other events like collaborating with parkrun, and participating in the Airborne Commemorative March. This year we have big plans as well and I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds.

I have been in the Netherlands for 28 years and in Arnhem almost 17, but I think it’s not actually said enough how hard it is to make friends in a country that is not originally your own. Here in the Netherlands it is just really tough as Dutch people tend to have their friends from their school time and they stick with those people. Which is fine of course! But as an adult, wanting to make friends and being a foreigner it’s almost impossible to break into those circles. I do have a few Dutch friends and I love them to pieces so it IS possible, just very hard. Having an amazing group of women from all over the world to get to know is an absolute treasure. That’s why I feel it’s so important that groups like Arnhem Together exist.

Not only am I helping with events and regular social media, I also did a social media takeover last year as well, along with these other amazing ladies

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that parkrun is still going super well for us here in Arnhem. We started our volunteer pool in late 2019 around 12 people. Now there is more than 50 people in our volunteer group chat app. parkrun is fully run by volunteers and we need about 8 – 10 every Saturday to make it happen. It’s not the same 8-10 people every week either, because people do have lives as well and sometimes they want to run other parkruns or other organised events. Having this many people in the pool makes it so less stressful to organise every week.

The local government parks and recreation department also decided to make Sonsbeek parkrun a fixed feature of the park! This month they will go around the course with us and will place permanent arrows on the path to show the route! Normally we put up (and take down) arrows ourselves every week and we chalk draw arrows on the ground. It’s really exciting that even the local government thinks parkrun is a good thing for the community and they are supporting us in this way!

If you have a few minutes, please watch this video that one of our volunteers made for us. It’s 6 minutes long and actually I promise you the best part is not me being awkward! And you get a bit of a glimpse of what our park is like and how participants feel about parkrun.

If we were having coffee…

I would have to admit to you that I am not having the best time in my life right now, I feel like everything has been slipping downward for the past couple of years and I am struggling to find a balance and a rhythm in my life for so long now. The positive part of all this is that I HAVE taken steps to make things better. It’s the being patient and getting through each day that is the challenge. I keep reminding myself that this is temporary even if it feels like it’s permanent.

I am still struggling a LOT with menopause – I keep getting new symptoms / going through new phases it seems. When does this end? My latest issue is massive acid reflux. It is SO annoying. So finally I was able to be rid of hot flashes and night sweats and able to sleep again, to be hit with something else that keeps me awake at night. Not only that but I also have a lot of pain in my joints, sometimes my entire leg just hurts from hip to foot, out of the blue. What is going on??

What would you tell me over coffee?

Join the Fit Five Friday Link-up!

Here are the guidelines:

  • Your link should center around some kind of fitness (exercise, wellness, mental health, nutrition… the possibilities are endless!)
  • Please link back to your hosts! It’s the right thing to do! 
  • Share the link-up love by visiting and commenting on your hosts and at least two other Fit Five Friday bloggers!
  • Feel free to share about Fit Five Friday on your social media! Tag #FitFiveFriday to get the word out!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter