Arni

Arni's challenge is to compete in the German Sports Badge

- join him!
image

 

 

Meet Arni
Age: 30
Country:  Germany
Haemophilia A
Challenge: Compete in the German Sports Badge

 

 

Meet Jasmine
Age: 35
Country:  Germany
Role in journey: Fitness instructor

image

Hi! I’m Arni, 30 years old, hobby pianist, competitive chess player, recreational athlete, dreamy bookworm, old school gamer and globetrotter.

Ah, and I’ve also got a severe haemophilia A. But fortunately, that barely influences me anymore.

This time, I’d like to face up to the German Sports Badge.

That’s a decoration of the German Olympic Sports Federation for superior and versatile physical fitness regarding endurance, strength, speed and coordination.

And that’s what I want!

Blog: 1

An idea was born

“Could I still do it?” That was the question I asked myself when I thought about my old German Sports Badge (GSB). The one (and only) I earned at university 6 years ago. Not a long time, you may say, but it has happened a lot since that. At my left ankle, arthrosis was diagnosed and my doctors told me to be very careful with some sports, especially with running and lifting heavy weights. Anyway… An idea was born!

Let’s be active

Don’t get me wrong. The advice of my docs has always been very important for me – and always will be. But I also remembered a sentence I’ve read during my time at university (by the way, I studied M. Sc. Health Promotion): Inactivity is bad, activity is good, and overload is bad. So, let’s be active!

The German Sports Badge

The GSB is an award for special physical fitness and consists of four categories: endurance, strength, speed and coordination. In each category, there are different exercises, but you only have to choose and perform one. In the following table, you can see the requirements for me (age: 30).

image

Blog: 2

My Training

The plan is to train every second day, though I do not want to follow a strict training schedule but listen to my body. In addition, I chose exercises with a low risk of injury. For example, although explosive strength is needed a lot in the GSB (e.g. for (standing) long jump, shot- and stone put), I do not want to stress my joints during preparation too much and will avoid such exercises. In contrast, I want to execute all strength exercises slowly and controlled.

Week #1: Let’s start!

This week, I went twice to a local park for running and performed at home a strength training for the whole body. Of course, my running performance is still very weak (after 15 minutes I needed a break…), but I am confident that this is getting better soon.

In addition, what is much more important, I am glad to tell you that my left ankle reacted very well to the training. I even got the feeling that it feels better than before. This is going to be very interesting!

Week #2: Never back down!

When you see me running like a turtle, it is hard to believe that I once was able to run 8 km in less than 30 Minutes. However, I am not willing to give up! Endurance, speed and strength are coming back, slowly, but steadily!

My ankle is also getting better and better. After running, it feels like someone is “working” there – does this sound strange? Probably, but it is true. I am more than glad that I started running again!

Another good message: I got a coach, Jasmin, who wants to help me with my challenge. Can’t wait to work with her together the next weeks!

Week #3-6: Things always seem to happen when you least expect them…

Well, that was definitely not planned. Due to illness, I was not able to train the last four weeks. Yes, I really lost a whole month, suffering from a tough infection.

image

Blog: 3

Week #7: Never give up!

I started with training again, try to get back into play. After four weeks stuck in bed, that won’t be easy. Actually, my latest run was a mess: After 10 minutes running in a slow pace, I had to stop due to pain in my chest. I could have ignore this pain, but after an infection, you have to be very careful.

However, giving up is not an option, I really want this sports badge!

Week #8: When it rains, it pours

More bad news: Jasmin contacted and informed me, that she is right now suffering from a heavy blow and not able to coach me. I fully understand that and hope she will recover soon!

In the meantime, I follow my own training schedule. Fortunately, the heart pain is completely gone. I also do not have any problems running 30 minutes in a slow-to-medium pace.

image

Week #9-10: Stress

The last two weeks were very stressful: My wife and me, we are about to move back from Istanbul, Turkey – where we have been living since 2015 – to Stuttgart, Germany. Combining training with finding a new car, flat and job is not easy, but I could find some time and did some small workouts.

Furthermore, running in the forest in Germany is much more fun than in a circle in my park in Istanbul. I just love the smell of nature!

image

Blog: 4

Week #11: Back in Turkey

I decided to come back once again to Istanbul for three reasons:

  1. To spend some days with my wife, who still has to be in Turkey 
  2. To visit my parents-in-law again
  3. To take another 30 kg with the plane to Germany ☺

Although this trip costed me precious time in which I could not train much, it was absolutely worth it. Running was not possible, because there are too many wild (and sometimes aggressive) dogs in the village where my parents-in-law live. They hunted me once and I definitely do not want to repeat that experience. However, I still managed to do some 4x25 push-ups in the morning and evening. GSB is close!

image

Week #12: Two weeks to go

Back in Germany and in training! I am very happy with the progress I make and confident, that I will reach a good result in the upcoming GSB in two weeks.

Probably, these will be my exercises:

Endurance

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

3 km run

18:40 min

16:10 min

14:10 min

Strength

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Standing long jump

1,85 m

2,10 m

2,35 m

Speed

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

100 m run

16,8 s

15,1 s

13,6 s

Coordination

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Rope skipping

10x

15x

20x

 

At first, I did not want to choose rope skipping but long jump, because I was pretty good at it some years ago. Well, let’s say 10-15 years ago, when I still went to school… However, long jump is probably not suitable for my left ankle, so I bought a rope. Still trying to figure out how I can jump over it…

image

Week #13: Last week of training

Here we are, in the last week before the GSB. Am I nervous? Not really, actually I’m feeling great and can’t wait for the challenge. Today, the day before the GSB, I wanted to relax and do nothing, but 28°C and sunshine could not keep me at home. So I took my bike und drove to a river. Was a great idea!

image

Week #14: Day of the German Sports Badge

Finally, we have come to the day of my challenge. Now we will see whether I am good enough for the GSB. I start with rope-skipping (criss cross) for coordination. 10 reps are enough for bronze, 15 for silver and 20 for gold. In total, I have got three trials, but at the very first one I already manage 21 repetitions – GOLD!

Let’s go to exercise number 2 – 100 m run for speed. But right after the start, I realize some strange pain in my left ankle and knee. Because of that, I am afraid to mobilize all my strength and reache the finish line in 0:15:59 – bronze. However, there is no need to use this exercise; I could also swim for 25 meters. I probably will do this later…

For the moment, I choose the standing long jump exercise for strength. If I reach 1,85m – should not be too difficult – I will get bronze, silver for 2,10m and gold for 2,35m. I stretch my upper body, bend my knees and jump explosively: 2 meters and 38,5 cm – GOLD again!

The 3000 m run is calling. Due to the problems I had today with my ankle and knee, I am a little bit nervous. So I jog some meters, stress my joints carefully and realize happily, that the pain is gone. Alright, let’s go then! The route I have chosen is 800 m long, so I have to run three complete rounds and then until the 600 m mark. Fortunately, joints, muscles and breath are working together harmonically on my way and I reach the finish line in 13:39 min. Gold for the third time!

Technically, I am done with the sports badge. However, now I am going to an indoor swimming pool for another exercise: the 25 m swim. I want to add this, because I am not very happy with bronze in the speed category and I am pretty sure I can do this better. At the pool, there is a good and a bad news waiting for me. The good one is that the pool is not too crowded. Unfortunately, the pool attendant is not willing to remove the rope that is hanging between the swimmers and non-swimmers – but for 25 meters, I have to cross that rope! No time for whining, let’s go to the starting block! My dive is pretty good, as well as the crawl, but then – as expected – I struggle at that rope and loose precious time. After 0:19:96 min, I reach the other side and silver.

In total, I was able to win gold for three times and silver once, so 11 out of 12 points. That’s still gold! All things considered, I am very happy with that result and look forward for a second round – maybe with you?!? ☺☺☺☺

Endurance

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

3 km run

18:40 min

16:10 min

14:10 min

13:39 min

Strength

 

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

Standing long jump

1,85 m

2,10 m

2,35 m

2,385

Speed

 

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

25 m swimming

16,8 s

15,1 s

13,6 s

19,96 s

Coordination

 

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

Rope skipping

10x

15x

20x

21x

 

image

Blog: 5

Part 5 – Conclusion

”Could I still do it?“ That question started my little journey to the German Sports Badge. A trip with ups and downs, success and setbacks. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure at all how my ankle would react to the increased training I planned to do. The many critical voices did not improve my mood, too. However, soon after I started to train, I realized my thoughts at the very beginning (inactivity is bad, activity is good, overload is bad) were true: The weird, sometimes very painful feeling in my ankle hardly occurred.

Anyway, please do not get me wrong, of course I did not find a way to heal arthrosis. Even though running undoubtedly improved the situation of my ankle, I had to train carefully. Every time I trained too much (>4x/week), my ankle and knee started to hurt – that probably was my personal “boarder”.

In total, I am more than happy and thankful that I participated in the liberate life challenge. Well, and I think, I found my answer ☺

Dislcaimer: Before starting your own physical challenge, it is important to discuss it with your treatment team first.

Responsive banner

It is possible to live a life beyond haemophilia. 

 Click here to read more about how it is to live with haemophilia at different stages in life.

Arni's challenge is to compete in the German Sports Badge

- join him!
image

 

 

Meet Arni
Age: 30
Country:  Germany
Haemophilia A
Challenge: Compete in the German Sports Badge

 

 

Meet Jasmine
Age: 35
Country:  Germany
Role in journey: Fitness instructor

image

Hi! I’m Arni, 30 years old, hobby pianist, competitive chess player, recreational athlete, dreamy bookworm, old school gamer and globetrotter.

Ah, and I’ve also got a severe haemophilia A. But fortunately, that barely influences me anymore.

This time, I’d like to face up to the German Sports Badge.

That’s a decoration of the German Olympic Sports Federation for superior and versatile physical fitness regarding endurance, strength, speed and coordination.

And that’s what I want!

Blog: 1

An idea was born

“Could I still do it?” That was the question I asked myself when I thought about my old German Sports Badge (GSB). The one (and only) I earned at university 6 years ago. Not a long time, you may say, but it has happened a lot since that. At my left ankle, arthrosis was diagnosed and my doctors told me to be very careful with some sports, especially with running and lifting heavy weights. Anyway… An idea was born!

Let’s be active

Don’t get me wrong. The advice of my docs has always been very important for me – and always will be. But I also remembered a sentence I’ve read during my time at university (by the way, I studied M. Sc. Health Promotion): Inactivity is bad, activity is good, and overload is bad. So, let’s be active!

The German Sports Badge

The GSB is an award for special physical fitness and consists of four categories: endurance, strength, speed and coordination. In each category, there are different exercises, but you only have to choose and perform one. In the following table, you can see the requirements for me (age: 30).

image

Blog: 2

My Training

The plan is to train every second day, though I do not want to follow a strict training schedule but listen to my body. In addition, I chose exercises with a low risk of injury. For example, although explosive strength is needed a lot in the GSB (e.g. for (standing) long jump, shot- and stone put), I do not want to stress my joints during preparation too much and will avoid such exercises. In contrast, I want to execute all strength exercises slowly and controlled.

Week #1: Let’s start!

This week, I went twice to a local park for running and performed at home a strength training for the whole body. Of course, my running performance is still very weak (after 15 minutes I needed a break…), but I am confident that this is getting better soon.

In addition, what is much more important, I am glad to tell you that my left ankle reacted very well to the training. I even got the feeling that it feels better than before. This is going to be very interesting!

Week #2: Never back down!

When you see me running like a turtle, it is hard to believe that I once was able to run 8 km in less than 30 Minutes. However, I am not willing to give up! Endurance, speed and strength are coming back, slowly, but steadily!

My ankle is also getting better and better. After running, it feels like someone is “working” there – does this sound strange? Probably, but it is true. I am more than glad that I started running again!

Another good message: I got a coach, Jasmin, who wants to help me with my challenge. Can’t wait to work with her together the next weeks!

Week #3-6: Things always seem to happen when you least expect them…

Well, that was definitely not planned. Due to illness, I was not able to train the last four weeks. Yes, I really lost a whole month, suffering from a tough infection.

image

Blog: 3

Week #7: Never give up!

I started with training again, try to get back into play. After four weeks stuck in bed, that won’t be easy. Actually, my latest run was a mess: After 10 minutes running in a slow pace, I had to stop due to pain in my chest. I could have ignore this pain, but after an infection, you have to be very careful.

However, giving up is not an option, I really want this sports badge!

Week #8: When it rains, it pours

More bad news: Jasmin contacted and informed me, that she is right now suffering from a heavy blow and not able to coach me. I fully understand that and hope she will recover soon!

In the meantime, I follow my own training schedule. Fortunately, the heart pain is completely gone. I also do not have any problems running 30 minutes in a slow-to-medium pace.

image

Week #9-10: Stress

The last two weeks were very stressful: My wife and me, we are about to move back from Istanbul, Turkey – where we have been living since 2015 – to Stuttgart, Germany. Combining training with finding a new car, flat and job is not easy, but I could find some time and did some small workouts.

Furthermore, running in the forest in Germany is much more fun than in a circle in my park in Istanbul. I just love the smell of nature!

image

Blog: 4

Week #11: Back in Turkey

I decided to come back once again to Istanbul for three reasons:

  1. To spend some days with my wife, who still has to be in Turkey 
  2. To visit my parents-in-law again
  3. To take another 30 kg with the plane to Germany ☺

Although this trip costed me precious time in which I could not train much, it was absolutely worth it. Running was not possible, because there are too many wild (and sometimes aggressive) dogs in the village where my parents-in-law live. They hunted me once and I definitely do not want to repeat that experience. However, I still managed to do some 4x25 push-ups in the morning and evening. GSB is close!

image

Week #12: Two weeks to go

Back in Germany and in training! I am very happy with the progress I make and confident, that I will reach a good result in the upcoming GSB in two weeks.

Probably, these will be my exercises:

Endurance

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

3 km run

18:40 min

16:10 min

14:10 min

Strength

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Standing long jump

1,85 m

2,10 m

2,35 m

Speed

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

100 m run

16,8 s

15,1 s

13,6 s

Coordination

 

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Rope skipping

10x

15x

20x

 

At first, I did not want to choose rope skipping but long jump, because I was pretty good at it some years ago. Well, let’s say 10-15 years ago, when I still went to school… However, long jump is probably not suitable for my left ankle, so I bought a rope. Still trying to figure out how I can jump over it…

image

Week #13: Last week of training

Here we are, in the last week before the GSB. Am I nervous? Not really, actually I’m feeling great and can’t wait for the challenge. Today, the day before the GSB, I wanted to relax and do nothing, but 28°C and sunshine could not keep me at home. So I took my bike und drove to a river. Was a great idea!

image

Week #14: Day of the German Sports Badge

Finally, we have come to the day of my challenge. Now we will see whether I am good enough for the GSB. I start with rope-skipping (criss cross) for coordination. 10 reps are enough for bronze, 15 for silver and 20 for gold. In total, I have got three trials, but at the very first one I already manage 21 repetitions – GOLD!

Let’s go to exercise number 2 – 100 m run for speed. But right after the start, I realize some strange pain in my left ankle and knee. Because of that, I am afraid to mobilize all my strength and reache the finish line in 0:15:59 – bronze. However, there is no need to use this exercise; I could also swim for 25 meters. I probably will do this later…

For the moment, I choose the standing long jump exercise for strength. If I reach 1,85m – should not be too difficult – I will get bronze, silver for 2,10m and gold for 2,35m. I stretch my upper body, bend my knees and jump explosively: 2 meters and 38,5 cm – GOLD again!

The 3000 m run is calling. Due to the problems I had today with my ankle and knee, I am a little bit nervous. So I jog some meters, stress my joints carefully and realize happily, that the pain is gone. Alright, let’s go then! The route I have chosen is 800 m long, so I have to run three complete rounds and then until the 600 m mark. Fortunately, joints, muscles and breath are working together harmonically on my way and I reach the finish line in 13:39 min. Gold for the third time!

Technically, I am done with the sports badge. However, now I am going to an indoor swimming pool for another exercise: the 25 m swim. I want to add this, because I am not very happy with bronze in the speed category and I am pretty sure I can do this better. At the pool, there is a good and a bad news waiting for me. The good one is that the pool is not too crowded. Unfortunately, the pool attendant is not willing to remove the rope that is hanging between the swimmers and non-swimmers – but for 25 meters, I have to cross that rope! No time for whining, let’s go to the starting block! My dive is pretty good, as well as the crawl, but then – as expected – I struggle at that rope and loose precious time. After 0:19:96 min, I reach the other side and silver.

In total, I was able to win gold for three times and silver once, so 11 out of 12 points. That’s still gold! All things considered, I am very happy with that result and look forward for a second round – maybe with you?!? ☺☺☺☺

Endurance

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

3 km run

18:40 min

16:10 min

14:10 min

13:39 min

Strength

 

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

Standing long jump

1,85 m

2,10 m

2,35 m

2,385

Speed

 

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

25 m swimming

16,8 s

15,1 s

13,6 s

19,96 s

Coordination

 

 

Bronze

Silber

Gold

My result

Rope skipping

10x

15x

20x

21x

 

image

Blog: 5

Part 5 – Conclusion

”Could I still do it?“ That question started my little journey to the German Sports Badge. A trip with ups and downs, success and setbacks. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure at all how my ankle would react to the increased training I planned to do. The many critical voices did not improve my mood, too. However, soon after I started to train, I realized my thoughts at the very beginning (inactivity is bad, activity is good, overload is bad) were true: The weird, sometimes very painful feeling in my ankle hardly occurred.

Anyway, please do not get me wrong, of course I did not find a way to heal arthrosis. Even though running undoubtedly improved the situation of my ankle, I had to train carefully. Every time I trained too much (>4x/week), my ankle and knee started to hurt – that probably was my personal “boarder”.

In total, I am more than happy and thankful that I participated in the liberate life challenge. Well, and I think, I found my answer ☺

Dislcaimer: Before starting your own physical challenge, it is important to discuss it with your treatment team first.

Responsive banner

It is possible to live a life beyond haemophilia. 

 Click here to read more about how it is to live with haemophilia at different stages in life.