Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Marathons, Me & Robbie W.

Cultural posts are usually written/posted  @My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands, and yes zapping through the tv channels to find something entertaining on a cozy Friday night with the family is considered cultural in our home!

I am writing this blog about Friday night television evening here because it has something to do with my two marathons: Berlin and Amsterdam, which I both finished this year. 

Van der Vorst Ziet Sterren (roughly translated: Van der Vorst Stargazing) is a Dutch televison programm in RTL4.

In the show, Peter van der Vorst, Dutch host is invited in the house of famous Dutch and  international stars, and given a tour of their home during their interview.

screen shot of Van Der Vorst Ziet Sterren website
When the family and I stumbled upon the show Friday night, he was in the middle of an interview with Robbie Williams!

I am a huge Robbie Williams fan.

One of my early post  @My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands is about his song, and I used it as the title of the blog as well: Something Beautiful - my celebratory song, my warrior song, my personal song!

While watching the interview, I could not help smile from ear to ear because I felt Peter van der Vorst's interview was highlighting the positive growth and progress in Robbie William's life.

Google image of Robbie with daughter Theodora Rose

After a commercial segment, I saw on the screen the Twitter handle of Peter van der Vorst .  I felt, I had to check it out! Very glad I did because he tweeted about the chance of personally meeting Robbie Williams next week Friday here in the Netherlands!

screen shot of Robbie Williams website

I felt it was fate that I stumbled upon the show.  I felt it was the perfect timing. A chance to meet Robbie Williams after recently achieving not one but two personal goals - running Berlin my first ever  marathon, and three weeks later Amsterdam marathon - fulfilling two dreams, and he was a big part of me achieving them.

Photographed computer screen from the set of my Berlin Marathon pictures - original to follow

Photographed computer screen from the set of my Amsterdam Marathon pictures - original to follow

I count myself as a dedicated silent fan.

I don't own all RW's albums, and only so far managed to go to one of  his concert, the one where he was very ill and still pushed through to perform in Hamburg (2006).

Although I have a little "collection", as a fan of RW, he was a huge positive influence at crucial points in my life - when I felt almost giving up.

During my first year in Germany, I attended private language school, and met Ximena, a 15 y.o. girl from Equador, whose father worked for the consulate, and was learning German with me.

She was crazy about Take That.

I was only 6 years older than her then but I had to smile inwardly because I no longer had the nervous energy over a boyband.  At the same time I  had flashes of images of my teen-age self. Not only 5 years prior, I myself went gaga over the latest picture of Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran!

Duran Duran image  from Wiki

Ximena "introduced me" to Robbie.  His image, was the one I got pulled to more amongst the many fan pictures shared to me by  this cute 15 y.o. Take That fan girl  from Equador.

I lost touch with her but Robbie stayed in my life.

After language school, followed life: marriage, adjusting to a new culture, more schooling, new job. 

A decade later (2003), in our small flat in North of Germany, I find myself with my head bowed on the ktichen table, crying and feeling utterly miserable and despondent - I was suffering from yet another bout of chronic depressionRobbie was singing "Something Beautiful" over the radio.

Somehow the lyrics, his rendition of the song, touched my soul.  Of course, I was not miraculously cured from depression.

How I wished!

The song gave me hope, though.  It became my personal song.  The Escapalogy album was my sweet serenade, and empowering scream to life.

2 years later (2005) my German bestfriend gave me 'Feel' by Chris Heath for Christmas. Again, it was just what I needed to read at that  point in my life - I needed to have some kind of assurance that I am not "alone".

As "strange" as it may sound, I identified strongly with the sensitivity to life Robbie shared to Chris Heath in this book.

A year later, I watched Robbie for the first time live in Hamburg. I was experiencing panic attacks, and Nikki, my bestfriend, who gave me the book was able to calm me and convince me in her sweet way to go to the concert and not miss it because I would regret it.

Robbie was not feeling well, very ill actually but he made a funny sketch about it , and he shared this after the opening song. He went through the show and gave his everything. He shone.

At the end of the concert, as if a light went out, you could see the exhaustion caused by his exertion to perform, so as not to disappoint his fans.  This stayed with me.

Google Image:  Intensive Care Tour Hamburg, 2006

If Robbie will not give up, I won't either.  This concert became a concrete message for me to never give up, even when circumstances seems to be pushing you into that direction...

Google Image: Intensive Care Tour, Vienna, Austrai 2006

I cheered for him in my silent way as a fan, wishing he would endure and never give up on life. I celebrated for him silently as he did.

Now, if I have the chance through Peter van de Vorst's show Van der Vorst Ziet Sterren, I would love to  thank Robbie Williams personally for being genuine and sharing his struggles honestly.

I would also feel honoured, if I could show him the medals I earned, symbolizing my efforts in trying to endure through my own struggles - efforts, which he has motivated and inspired through his own battle with his personal demons.

I believed and held on to the message of his song:

If you're lost, hurt, tired or lonely
Can't control it, try as you might
May you find that love that won't leave you
May you find it by the end of the day
You won't be lost, hurt, tired and lonely
Something beautiful will come your way

And something beautiful did...I did not give up. :)  I found something beautiful in me, worth loving, and I found out that I can let others discover the beauty in them, with my writing (and running!).

After years of Escapology, I Take The Crown to living life passionately.