The ideal way to challenge yourself is to take on a challenge

March 24, 2022


Trend report 2024: ‘Wellbeing & Sustainability’

Trend Report 2024: ‘Wellbeing & Sustainability’ Download the Trend Report 2024 here. ‘Well-being & Sustainability’ Yes, please! Wellbeing & Sustainability The social weight of ESG...

The ideal way to challenge and encourage yourself physically and mentally is to take on a challenge. It is motivating and also just more fun to see a clear end point on the horizon. So did Joris Smeulders, Member of the Executive Committee and Managing Director Baloise Insurance. He spent the past year training for the RocDuMaroc, an extreme mountain bike endurance race in the Atlas Mountains. Energy Lab’s Ward Vande Capelle was his mainstay.

‘I do not feel like I have had to give up anything, I have mostly gained a lot’

Joris Smeulders, managing director Baloise

Why is good coaching important in this kind of challenge?

Ward Vande Capelle, physical coach Energy Lab: ‘There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all training schedule. We always start with a thorough vetting of the client, looking not only at their physical fitness, but also at lifestyle and professional life. With Joris, for example, there was still some work to be done on his weight and dietary habits. But we also had to take into account his busy professional life.’

Joris Smeulders, managing director Baloise: ‘For me, that guidance is really crucial. Especially with Energy Lab, you know everything will be professionally built and structured towards the goal to be achieved. I also have a lot of confidence in Ward, if he says I am ready, I am ready.’

How do you start?

Ward Vande Capelle: ‘The important thing is to create new routines, and that naturally takes some additional effort in the beginning. But these new routines soon become habits and then you gain energy and time. After all, it really is no myth that you are more productive and have better ideas when you are fitter. Those who are mentally strong will also perform better.

Joris Smeulders: ‘When you take on a challenge like this, it is of course also important to have your loved ones with you. And of course, a busy training schedule means that I often have to do my training either very early or very late, but that does not bother me. I really do not feel like I have had to give up anything, I have mostly gained a lot.’

In the video below, Joris and Ward take the floor. Perhaps you would like to take up a challenge yourself or you are also interested in Wellbeing works’ well-being programmes?


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annelies theunissen

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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