Why on earth would you move back to Germany?

That’s what my friends asked me when I told them that I would be going back to Bavaria for a month in the spring. Why would I want to leave a way cooler city in the Netherlands: Amsterdam. A city that gives me so much inspiration, has endless fun things to do and enables me to meet people from all over the world. Why would I go from a city that has it all to a village that, from their perspective, hasn’t got that much to offer?

The answer is: I’m not doing this for others, I’m doing this for myself.

My yearly challenge

After facing breast cancer last year, I want to explore new things and embrace wonderful experiences that make me happy. I made the decision to explore something new at least once a year. Something that gets me out of my comfort zone.

The opportunity to join my global corporate communications team on a short-term assignment was exactly the challenge I needed. Filling out my application I could already feel the excitement I get every time I enter the adidas World of Sports campus.

It is something I can’t describe to my friends but I’m so proud to be here; to be part of such an inspiring organization that has a core belief I can relate to.

Woman working outside sitting on a land near a lake. adidas, GamePlan A, job, work life, lifestyle
Find a space to work that really brings out your inspiration.

Through Sport, We Have The Power To Change Lives.

My favorite moment is when I walk into the office and see our core belief at the entrance: Through Sport, We Have The Power To Change Lives, I know the truth that lies behind it.

My life changed completely when I got sick. I was struggling mentally and wasn’t fit which made me lose my confidence. Something we all face at times, but now in a way I had not experienced before.

It was time for a change. I started going to the gym three times a week, changed my nutrition and got rid of my bad habits (well, almost all). After a few weeks I started noticing the difference.

Woman holding kettle bells while doing lunges in a CrossFit box. adidas, GamePlan A, work life, health, lifestyle
Sport gave me my confidence back, something what I’d heard people saying but once you reach that feeling yourself, you realise that sports can really can change people’s life.

Because of this experience I have a different view on life and myself. This isn’t always easy, but to overcome things makes it all worthwhile.

With sport back in my life I thought “What’s next?”

Group picture of adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted, employee Maaike Dejeu and Jan Runau at a video shooting set. GamePlan A, work life, lifestyle, job, health
Me, together with adidas’ CEO Kasper Rorsted and Chief Communication Officer Jan Runau.

How awesome would it be to be part of a team that works with our core belief on a daily basis?

I got the short-term assignment and arrived back in Nuremberg, the city where I had my daughter and that therefore always has a special place in my heart, ready to push myself out of my market-mind and into a global way of thinking.

A great team spirit and some exciting projects greeted me and I jumped straight in, supporting on a video series with our CEO, attending our annual general meeting and seeing our media relations team in action.

My highlights?

Watching Kasper Rorsted being briefed while in make-up and then delivering a word-perfect interview, filming a video across four locations in just 30 minutes and finally an impromptu coffee with my bosses, Jan Runau and Kasper.

I had missed my family life for a month but went home feeling more relaxed and with a wonderful inner peace. I wasn’t worried about what I had missed in the office, instead I had a backpack full of ideas and experiences to incorporate into our Amsterdam set-up to make work even more awesome for me!


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by Frank 14.06.2018
What a great reminder to seek the positive and whatever gives us strength as often as possible. Thanks for sharing. It was great to have you over here! See you soon.
by Tanja 15.06.2018
Thanks so much for sharing, Maaike. Telling your story is not only inspiring but brave!
by Martina 15.06.2018
So proud of you, Maaike! Inspirational and honest story of yours - thank you for sharing!
Wish you keep on filling your "backpack of ideas and experiences" by memorable, inspiring and most of all positive moments :-)
by Dounia Filali 15.06.2018
What an inspiring journey to share. Proud of you Maaike!