How healthy is Neal van de Kamer?
by Eduard Schaepman, on 1 Apr 2021
With 12 championships to his name, Neal van de Kamer has quite a judo career behind him at the age of 31. In 2016, he made the switch to the business world, where he has guided people in the workplace to get the best out of themselves. But his story began much earlier: as a small boy, he began the journey that would eventually bring him so many beautiful victories.
Neal started judo at the age of four and competed in his first matches at the age of six. He was very fanatical, trained for an hour three times a week and was supported by his parents. His father - who also played judo - was present at every training session and travelled with him every weekend to attend matches. From the age of 6 until 10 he only lost 2 matches, and he became more and more fanatic. He won his first Dutch championship when he was 15, and his last when he was 19. In the meantime, he won 12 titles and exercised twice a day, about 20 hours a week. From strength training to running and yoga, he was top fit, and judo was his life. His great example was Mark Huizinga, Olympic Champion at the time, and he did everything he could to go to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
But when he competed in 2014 in Prague, part of the qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, things went wrong. Fear, stress and frustration broke him down, and he got further and further away from his goal in Rio de Janeiro. That is when he changed course and started to focus on himself. With the help of a professional, but mainly by doing a lot of self-study. That is how he became interested in the workings of the brain, and laid the foundations for his later career. The tournament in Prague was in retrospect his worst game, but also a turning point. In 2016, he played at the biggest tournament in the world and ended up facing the world champion in his third round. A Georgian world champion, who was unbeaten for 5 years in a row. He managed to get him against the mat, but the referee refused him. Half a minute later he was on the ground himself, and the referee decided in favour of the world champion. After that, Neal decided that it had been enough, because he had already achieved his dreams. From his childhood dream of a black belt, to the Dutch championship and a world cup. But especially proud of his comeback after 2014, he decided to frame his medals and go into business.
He started in Dublin at LinkedIn in a commercial role, after which - back in the Netherlands - he started a coaching programme at Indeed to encourage colleagues in the workplace to get the best out of themselves. There he discovered his passion for sharing knowledge, and the idea arose to write a book about personal development. A few months ago, he quitted his job to focus entirely on his book, and with results: it is about to be published. But he has also started his own business; a Netflix-like platform where knowledge and expertise is shared by well-known experts.
Health & happiness an 8.5
We are not only talking about business, but of course also about the familiar topics: exercise, nutrition, sleep, supplements, stress, emotions and prevention. And he's got it all together: although he's gone from 20 hours a week of active exercise to at least 3 hours a week of sports, he feels top-notch. Maybe it's because of following the blood type diet, where he completely abstains from dairy and caffeine, and eats mostly vegetables and meat, as these would not be a good match for his blood type. Together with good sleep and daily meditation, he keeps stress at bay, takes the well-known supplements vitamin C and D (the latter only in winter) and magnesium for a deep sleep. He gives his health and happiness a good 8.5, and he wants to gain the last few points by getting to know himself even better and more consciously. His tip is a very practical one: don't sit down when the phone rings, but make all your calls on foot. You pick up some extra activity and stimulate your brain!
Watch the episode this afternoon on Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTsjbI2Zjcxwo8Tyc_7_FQ?app=desktop or listen on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/72j2FSBuqOenNtGqY6KRXh?si=zlnYmYdzTmqQtUF5J3GUCA