Episode 2: Aart Vierhouten
by Eduard Schaepman, on 28 Jan 2021
How healthy is Aart Vierhouten?
From the Tour de France to the Tour of Flanders and even to the Olympic Games, my very first guest for Nomads over the World is a special one: Aart Vierhouten. From the age of 10 until the age of 24, he had only one mission: to become a professional cyclist. And he succeeded: Fourteen years on the bike, and then he became coach of the Dutch juniors and promising cyclists.
Sharing knowledge and experience
But even after that, he remained closely involved with cycling, and combined this with his passion for sharing knowledge. With two books to his name (written with Koen de Jong): 'Ik, de wielrenner', about breathing, posture and nutrition during cycling, and 'KOPWERK', about the brain, breathing and training, he inspires starting and professional cyclists. He gives cycling clinics, lectures and presentations for companies, and advises companies that want to get into cycling. In addition, he has written and developed a 100-day online training programme for anyone who wants to build up a better cycling condition in a guided way. And just before our meeting, he announced that he is the new team leader of the South African cycling team Qhubeka-Assos. In short: enough reasons to sit down with Aart and see what we 'office clerks' can learn from this professional.
We talk about the start of his career, his highlights and the mentality in cycling. Of course, we also talk about his drastic accident in 1999 and how, by stimulating his brain, he managed to recover in less than nine months from a broken pelvis, 11 broken ribs and a shattered iliac crest. The accident happened in January and by September he was back at the start. Talk about perseverance. The accident awakened his interest in the workings of the brain, which would later be the subject of his books. He talks a lot about the effect of sugars on your brain, and also gives a good tip: try a slice of sourdough bread instead of many slices of supermarket white or brown bread.
Of course, we talk about his latest position: team leader of the South African cycling team Qhubeka-Assos, similar to our Jumbo team. Qhubeka means 'moving forwards', a nice thought for the foundation that donates city bikes to the South African tribes so that children no longer have to walk for hours to get to school. Talking about progress. Next week he leaves for Spain with the team, and he's sure to share some of his goals with us already.
We talk about his health, which he gives an 8. There is room for improvement in the area of food and drink after he loosened up a bit during the festive season and had a few 'extra beers'. But you can enjoy that, and you can't deny yourself everything, says Aart. He even gives his happiness an 8.5: if your body feels good, you have more energy for the fun things in life.
Breathe out longer
Watch or listen to everything Aart does in the field of sports, sleep, supplements, nutrition, prevention and more to stay healthy and experience happiness, but especially take his tip to heart: breathe out longer. So one breath in, and three out. If you want to know more about this, read his book KOPWERK, highly recommended.