Running between discotheques and marathons (episode #1)

If the #YOLO generation is right, it seems like we should always go for more. But more of what? Where to draw the line between your expectations and your limitations? How to soften the eternal struggle between hedonism and self-restraint? Or how to mix nightlife and a healthy life? Voila some of the questions KRIKET ambassador Koen Galle (aka Kong DJ) will explore in our new blog series. 

October 20th 2019, Amsterdam. That time of year when thousands of clubbers, DJ’s and nightlife professionals from all over the world unite in the Dutch capital for a prestigious event called Amsterdam Dance Event. But also the exact date when thousands of runners participate in the annual Amsterdam Marathon. Two events that could be perceived as opposites (although both dancing and running require moving your feet), the former happening mostly during the night, the latter during daytime. I have been part of the more hedonistic happening several times, as a visitor, DJ and conference host, having spent several hours partying, working or just relaxing. This year though I’ll be waking up before dawn and making my way to Het Olympisch Stadion to try my best at running 42 kilometers. 

It will be my fifth marathon and to be honest and fair: I was gifted with the body and lungs to enjoy this endurance sport. My legs are long and already at a young age I was the one holding the school record on long distance trials. I never joined an athletics club - football was my game - but as an adolescent I tried some half marathons and almost without decent preparation I made it to the finish. Simultaneously I enrolled at Leuven University and started to play records at the hometown youth club. Electronic dance music was my passion and would guide me in my professional choices and turned me into who I am today. But I also noticed a change in my body. It wasn’t limitless anymore, but started to show the consequences of many nights out. I continued to play a weekly game of soccer, but I had lost all my speed and stamina. At the same time my DJ hobby became a job, I started to make more money and spend more nights in clubs. I experimented with softer (alcohol, cigarettes, marihuana, …) and harder drugs. Life was fun, but I wasn’t paying much respect to my body.

Sounds familiar? It’s probably a story of many: experimenting first, coming of age later. Why am I telling you this? In this blog I won’t be talking much about myself, but I wanted to draw you my little story first. I’ll be writing about the relationship between hedonism and a healthy lifestyle, based on the stories of other DJ’s, sport enthusiasts or anyone with something to share on the subject. In my case, this can lead to running 30 kilometers and DJ’ing a long night in the same 24 hours. I’m curious about how other people maintain their personal balance, stories I’ll share here with you. These writings will not be about being the greatest, fastest, strongest, longest, … though, but about finding peace of mind somewhere in the middle, sketching authentic inspirational stories of fun-loving personalities I admire for their capacity to to stay sane and screwy all together. 

So let’s go back to about 5 years ago, I was in my early thirties. I ended up in a hospital bed for a throat infection, my body was sending alarm signals. It was an eye-opener and I decided to take up running again and why not even go for that mythic distance that had always fascinated me: the marathon? But there is no way I was about to give up my passion for music and nightlife. So how to merge these two worlds? How to stay healthy when your work environment is pleasure-seeking? And how, as a society, do we deal with hedonism? Is it true, as you would believe from watching the television news and reading the papers, that electronic dance music is mostly about taking drugs and dancing to brainless beats? (of course not)

For every blog post I’ll update a dedicated Spotify playlist, selecting music that is both suitable for day-time and nightly activities. 

Why Kriket? Because I love it. I often eat it after a run, to reload. Especially the protein boost bar is great for recuperation, with a little touch of sea salt (my sweat comes extra salty) as the icing on the cake. And because Kriket is the future, rethinking our food system with an innovative 100% Belgian and fair product. Eating insects? Took me 1 bite to savour. 

Dive into Kong's universe. 

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