Our History ... (by Stefan)

 

For all my life I loved sports. Soccer, tennis, skiing, … just anything ! I was lucky I never suffered from any severe injuries. That was until January 28th 2002, when I was involved in an motor cycle accident. 16 days and 2 surgeries later I left the hospital with 2 toes missing and a message from the doctor that climbing trees might be difficult in the future … I always considered I had been lucky. Just think about Marc Herremans, our famous Belgian triathlete who, on the exact same day in 2002, was attending a training camp on Lanzarote to prepare himself for the World Championship Ironman 2002 competition. That day he fell heavily during a descent resulting in paralysis from the chest down and ended up in a wheel chair. That news immediately made me realize I had been very lucky and that it could have been worse. Six monts later I again joined my soccer team to prepare for the new season …

As I was getting older and the average age of my team mates was going down, it was clear I needed to make sure I was fit not to lose my place in the team. So I started endurance training running, something I used to hate before. As the weeks and months went by, I enjoyed it more and more. And the good thing was that I had read a book that said you have to build up slowly, always being able to talk while running and never getting too exhausted. That suited me perfectly as I really hate going deep in training ! Step by step the idea of ever running a marathon grew and in March 2011 I decided to subscribe for the Eindhoven marathon. On October 9th 2011 I completed it successfully in 4:02. As I am writing this (29/12/2015) we are 6 marathons, 1 ultra run, 4 triathlons and 5 long distance cycling challenges further and still a lot of events to come.

It was during preparation for one of the last challenges that the seeds of MYHAPPYFEET.ORG were planted. I was training for the Dodentocht 100K ultra run in Bornem and I could use some extra motivation. It was while talking to my good friend Miet Brutsaert about a school project in Kenya that the idea crossed my mind. “Why don’t we combine my challenge with your charity ?”. And so we did ! On August 14th 2015 the Dodentocht event took place. I completed the run within 11 hours and the donations from family, friends and collegues resulted in a cheque of 7.275€ for Bongwe Primary School in Kenya, where we supplied new school uniforms for more than 100 kids and where we provided lunch for the most needy.

Being able to fulfill my own athletic dreams and, with the support of many, being able to help those who need it more than us, was a combination that felt great and tasted for more. In addition, many people told me that this event inspired and motivated them to start running (again), to lose weight, to go for that extra mile, … This all made me decide I had to continue with these 'challenges for charity'. And as I still have many athletic dreams to chase and as there are plenty of charities to support, I decided to make it more official by creating a non-profit organization that runs challenges and events for charity. As you need to be 3 persons to create this kind of organization, I asked my friend Miet, who has a heart for Africa and Sven Haenen, a former soccer team mate with the right spirit, to join me. Lucky me, they said ‘yes’ and so MYHAPPYFEET.ORG was born on 29/12/2015!

(Y)our Future …

MYHAPPYFEET.ORG could be all about me, but it is not. The history as described above, is indeed mine, but the future is (y)ours ! I indeed think I have very happy feet . Although they had a bumpy road in the past, they were very lucky to be able to accomplish all the athletic challenges they already faced. They might not be the most beautiful feet (believe me!), but they can walk, talk (??), run, swim, cycle, … maybe even climb trees (I will let you know)! And I am sure that if you look down (just do it!), yours are happy feet to ! Lucky to be more beautiful than mine, blessed to be born in a part of the world where we are free to chase our dreams, happy to (be able to) do sports now and then and ready to help those who can use a little help … ! Am I right ? Just look down one more time and say it … “MYHAPPYFEET … let’s kick some ass!”. Are you in ? Then here's our mission ...

Our Mission ….
- Achieve our own athletic goals and dreams.
- Motivate, inspire, support, push others to accomplish theirs.
- Help those who had some bad luck along the road ... !

 

Together with Miet and Sven, we will organize events to support this mission and we sincerely hope we can meet somewhere on our MYHAPPYFEET.ORG journey !

 

Best regards,

Stefan

Our History ... (by Stefan)

 

For all my life I loved sports. Soccer, tennis, skiing, … just anything ! I was lucky I never suffered from any severe injuries. That was until January 28th 2002, when I was involved in an motor cycle accident. 16 days and 2 surgeries later I left the hospital with 2 toes missing and a message from the doctor that climbing trees might be difficult in the future … I always considered I had been lucky. Just think about Marc Herremans, our famous Belgian triathlete who, on the exact same day in 2002, was attending a training camp on Lanzarote to prepare himself for the World Championship Ironman 2002 competition. That day he fell heavily during a descent resulting in paralysis from the chest down and ended up in a wheel chair. That news immediately made me realize I had been very lucky and that it could have been worse. Six monts later I again joined my soccer team to prepare for the new season …

As I was getting older and the average age of my team mates was going down, it was clear I needed to make sure I was fit not to lose my place in the team. So I started endurance training running, something I used to hate before. As the weeks and months went by, I enjoyed it more and more. And the good thing was that I had read a book that said you have to build up slowly, always being able to talk while running and never getting too exhausted. That suited me perfectly as I really hate going deep in training ! Step by step the idea of ever running a marathon grew and in March 2011 I decided to subscribe for the Eindhoven marathon. On October 9th 2011 I completed it successfully in 4:02. As I am writing this (29/12/2015) we are 6 marathons, 1 ultra run, 4 triathlons and 5 long distance cycling challenges further and still a lot of events to come.

It was during preparation for one of the last challenges that the seeds of MYHAPPYFEET.ORG were planted. I was training for the Dodentocht 100K ultra run in Bornem and I could use some extra motivation. It was while talking to my good friend Miet Brutsaert about a school project in Kenya that the idea crossed my mind. “Why don’t we combine my challenge with your charity ?”. And so we did ! On August 14th 2015 the Dodentocht event took place. I completed the run within 11 hours and the donations from family, friends and collegues resulted in a cheque of 7.275€ for Bongwe Primary School in Kenya, where we supplied new school uniforms for more than 100 kids and where we provided lunch for the most needy.

Being able to fulfill my own athletic dreams and, with the support of many, being able to help those who need it more than us, was a combination that felt great and tasted for more. In addition, many people told me that this event inspired and motivated them to start running (again), to lose weight, to go for that extra mile, … This all made me decide I had to continue with these 'challenges for charity'. And as I still have many athletic dreams to chase and as there are plenty of charities to support, I decided to make it more official by creating a non-profit organization that runs challenges and events for charity. As you need to be 3 persons to create this kind of organization, I asked my friend Miet, who has a heart for Africa and Sven Haenen, a former soccer team mate with the right spirit, to join me. Lucky me, they said ‘yes’ and so MYHAPPYFEET.ORG was born on 29/12/2015!

(Y)our Future …

MYHAPPYFEET.ORG could be all about me, but it is not. The history as described above, is indeed mine, but the future is (y)ours ! I indeed think I have very happy feet . Although they had a bumpy road in the past, they were very lucky to be able to accomplish all the athletic challenges they already faced. They might not be the most beautiful feet (believe me!), but they can walk, talk (??), run, swim, cycle, … maybe even climb trees (I will let you know)! And I am sure that if you look down (just do it!), yours are happy feet to ! Lucky to be more beautiful than mine, blessed to be born in a part of the world where we are free to chase our dreams, happy to (be able to) do sports now and then and ready to help those who can use a little help … ! Am I right ? Just look down one more time and say it … “MYHAPPYFEET … let’s kick some ass!”. Are you in ? Then here's our mission ...

Our Mission ….
- Achieve our own athletic goals and dreams.
- Motivate, inspire, support, push others to accomplish theirs.
- Help those who had some bad luck along the road ... !

 

Together with Miet and Sven, we will organize events to support this mission and we sincerely hope we can meet somewhere on our MYHAPPYFEET.ORG journey !

Best regards,

Stefan