How it started
Our story is an inspiring one of resilience and balance. I was born in The Netherlands but had to start over when my family immigrated to BC, Canada in 1982 with very little. When I moved, I chose to abbreviate my name to P.L. There is a fun story behind it that I can’t wait to share! My wife Kristen’s own story of courage is impressive too; she travelled across Canada to start anew following the passing of her mother from Breast Cancer, and eventually settled in BC in 1994. Together we both bring unique sets of qualities that provide an unwavering bond between us and aid in our responsibilities as a couple and team. It’s clear that between my persistent Dutchman roots and her passionate Italian spirit, we are an unstoppable duo when it comes to making life work for us.
As we prepared to take our vows in August 2000, Kristen and I shared a unique bond; we had both competed in university sports and then chose to carry that love of competition and athleticism into Triathlon racing. On our honeymoon 10 days after the wedding, we competed together in the Penticton Ironman Triathlon, forgoing traditional vacations for perhaps an even more memorable experience.
Although this hobby of ours has taken us on breathtaking adventures throughout the years, Kristen’s greatest passion lies closer to home—as a girl’s high school Physical Education teacher, she is determined to empower young women through athletics. I couldn’t be prouder of her efforts or more passionate about my wife; her patience, kindness, and unwavering support have seen me through three major career changes since we first said: “I do”.
My journey to discovering my purpose began with personal frustration and stress. As a person that generally has a very positive outlook on life, it seemed strange that I found myself questioning ‘there must be more to life than this?’. After expressing my feelings to a psychologist, I decided that the best way forward was to go on a personal retreat. During this time of solitude and introspection, I created this equation “Patience + Purpose = Peak Performance” which would act as a guide going forward. It made me realize that to get back to my highest level of performance, it was necessary to first take the time to identify what these two components were – patience and purpose – so I could then strive for peak performance.
My ambition was high, and my patience was low as I searched for a deeper meaning in life. Thus, I adopted a unique plan to assist in the journey: five epic bike rides spanning five continents over the course of the next five years. It felt like a big challenge, but I also made sure it was something that could not only benefit me but people across the world. To that end, I would partner with five different charities whose exposure we could help build to raise a total of more than $500,000 for each of them – Cycle 5 To Survive. As soon as I explained this idea to Kristen, she thought it was crazy, but immediately wanted to join me on this amazing adventure and said “sure, let’s do it!”.
Our journey together as a family has enabled us to explore various hobbies and activities, all thanks to our active lifestyle. This, in turn, has proven to be beneficial for our two children – Maijken and Marijke – who are now amazing multi-sport athletes!
Not only do they both share an incredible bond as siblings, but they cheer each other every step of the way with great enthusiasm. Despite their different paths of sport pursuits, Maijken is looking to make it big on the international rowing front while Marijke is currently playing soccer at a university level; their connection as best friends remain unbreakable and makes us proud parents!
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