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!

29 COMMENTS

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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.
Frank
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by Maaike Frank 18.06.2018
Thanks Frank! Hope to see you soon in Herzo or Amsterdam!
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by Tanja 15.06.2018
Thanks so much for sharing, Maaike. Telling your story is not only inspiring but brave!
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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 :-)
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by Dounia Filali 15.06.2018
What an inspiring journey to share. Proud of you Maaike!
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by Stefan Coester 19.06.2018
What a super inspiring journey and story. Insanely brave to tell your story, keep on going!
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by Valentina 19.06.2018
Your story is real food for thoughts Maaike! Sometimes is hard to be concious about what makes ourselves happy and how we can drive our everyday balance.
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by Gift 20.06.2018
Your story was really inspired me. Thanks for sharing with us.
All the BEST to you!
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by Maaike Gift 17.07.2018
Thanks for your comment. Happy to read that it could inspire you. Something I don't realize all the time :)
Have a good day! Cheers, Maaike
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by Simone 20.06.2018
thanks for sharing your story. it is not only great to see how you overcame cancer but also how you keep up the spirit and continue learning new things and stepping out of your comfort zone. resepect
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by Carola van der Jagt 20.06.2018
Yeah Maaike! Beautiful and inspirational story! Proud of working with you:-)
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by Rhona Marr 20.06.2018
I love this story and excited to hear that adidas is the type of company that supports such great career challenges (I'm sorry you had to go through breast cancer but glad sport helped you through it!) !

I always miss my family when I travel too but it sounds like it was a great opportunity to experience more of what work can offer and connect with your broader comms team/leadership and CEO which is so important in making you feel fulfilled at work.

Thanks for sharing your story so even non-adidas employees can be inspired by it!
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by Maaike Rhona Marr 04.07.2018
Thank you!
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by Sandra Arbelaez 21.06.2018
inspiring...
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by zorana 22.06.2018
Really good to know there is always someone on this planet who shares the similar experiences and viewpoints, indeed, life-threatening disease can easily bring out people’s in-depth thinking towards the whole world and ourselves as part of it, and thus allow us to be able to start a brand new way of living that we never thought possible.
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by Claire 24.06.2018
very inspiring Maaike!! Great article, I am already looking forward to see what will be your next challenge!
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by Antonis 25.06.2018
Really nice. Maaike is the ecom "friendly neighborhood hero"
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by Gemina Stroud 26.06.2018
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to. It’s not for them.” This is a quote I’ve learned to live by. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story Maaike!
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by Maaike Gemina Stroud 17.07.2018
Hi Gemina, Thanks for you comment and the quote you shared. That is exactly what it is, but took a while to realize this. ;) Have a good day! Cheers, Maaike
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by nevena 26.06.2018
what a touching & powerful story, Maaike. Thanks for sharing it.
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by Nanci Hogenboom 27.06.2018
Mooi verhaal Maaike, wat ben je een kractige vrouw. Bedankt.
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by Gabriela Moscoso 02.07.2018
Hi Maaike!

First of all you are so brave, and what a great example of resilience and inspiration! Your message comes at the right time when I am facing a mental challenge to keep consistent in sports and of course on trying new things.
Giving yourself time and space to take on a new challenge and renew your energies is very important and we hardly think of it sometimes.

Keep sharing your experiences please.

Cheers,
Gabi
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by Dharmarajan 06.07.2018
What a inspirational read in the morning! Perfect start to my day. You are the perfect example that one don’t need to search for inspiration outside, we have so many inspirational stories like yours floating like a cloud inside adidas campus. Thanks for sharing!
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by Maaike Dharmarajan 17.07.2018
Thanks Dharmarajan, that is such a nice comment :) Happy to have a coffee with you when I am in Herzo in a couple of weeks. Always nice to meet new colleagues. Have a good day, Maaike
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by Christiane 24.07.2018
Hello Maaike,

Thank you for your inspirational story and happy to have you as a colleague here in Amsterdam. I will start my own (out of my) comfort zone planning!

Chris
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by alexandra morton 14.08.2018
Maaike - what an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing your very personal experience with us, I am deeply moved not only by your story but also by your courage. You are a role model!

Alex
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by Maaike alexandra morton 15.08.2018
Thanks Alex, happy that we work on some projects together in Amsterdam!
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by Alex Ahom 30.08.2018
Sound advice!

Confidence is key.
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by Matthew 04.09.2018
Brilliant idea, I like the fact that it is short and to the point. This way I think it gets a stronger message across and makes you think how thinks can effect me in a positive way
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