Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing

Fjallraven Polar Contest

Okay.. Where to begin? It took me about six days to find the courage to write this. I’m not exactly sure why, but the last four weeks have been a crazy rollercoaster and writing this is actually pretty emotional for me.

(If you’re not aware of the competition I’ve been competing in for the last four weeks, than you might want to read this post first.)

Fjällräven Polar 2017

Last Thursday (December 15) at 10:00 in the morning, the application period for the Fjällräven Polar contest closed. After four weeks of campaigning as if I was running for president, the fight came to an end. I was SO relieved that I would be able to sleep, eat and communicatie with my loved ones again. I think I cried for 30 minutes, then went to the store to get cake and champagne and drove to the office to thank my colleagues for putting up with me for the last four weeks. Seriously guys, thank you for that. <3

The moment the application period closed, I was in first place in my region. I still don’t exactly know how it happened, but on Wednesday afternoon the first place competitor from Belgian disappeared from the contest. Which left me in first place with 6000 votes ahead of the new number two. I have to say I was pretty skeptical about it all, since the official announcement still had to be made and Tiemen kept rising to a difference of 5000 votes on Thursday morning (well done!).Fjällräven Polar 2017

But Friday afternoon at 13:00, this happened.  There it was. The words I’ve been hoping for. My name was on the list of winners based on votes on the Fjällräven official Facebook page. There was no way of denying it anymore now. I am a winner of the Fjällräven Polar 2017 contest..

Fjällräven Polar 2017

I must have been crying for three whole hours. As I was working from home that day, I tried to finish up my work, but I was pretty useless from that moment on. The entire weekend pretty much consisted of eating, sleeping and crying. I thought I would have a gigantic party to celebrate, but my body refused after this period of stress, no sleep and bad eating habits. Which was not helping the whole ‘dealing with emotions’ part either.

But at least I can talk about it without having to cry now. And now it’s starting to settle in. I am going back home. Back to my happy place. I’m going to experience something I’ve been dreaming about for years.

ALSO! As promised I donated €0,01 per vote to Stichting No Guts No Glory. And since I won, I doubled the amount. So because of every single person that voted for me, I donated €246,52 to the foundation. I sincerely hope this helps the foundation with brightening up peoples lifes in 2017. (If you’d like to donate as well or get to know more about the foundation, please check out their website!)

Fjällräven Polar 2017

Here comes the hardest part. I have to start thanking everyone who made this happen. Every single one of you 12326 voters. You made a dream come true. YOU did this. You helped me run, jump, reach out and grab this dream by the balls. And I am forever thankful for that.

Fjällräven Polar 2017

Please understand that this is not easy and I’m trying my best to do it right..

The first thank you is for my boyfriend. Who has been putting up with me pretty much being glued to my laptop and/or phone for four weeks, refusing to go to the cinemas with him, making him do chores around the house and walk the dog so I could work on my contest, fixing me up after my nervous breakdowns, emotional rants and keeping me motivated troughout the entire thing. I owe this to you, my love.

Second: my Worldwide Polar Girls. Thank you for who you are. Even though we have never met, you are already friends for life. You’ve been a great source of inspiration for me and I’d like to thank you for your endless motivation, positivity, amazing personalities and being who you are. Even though not all of us made it, please stay true to yourselves and hopefully we’ll all meet up someday for the most amazing group hug ever. Keep the dream alive!

I can’t list every single one of you, because I honestly don’t even know 12326 people, but I’ll try it like this: Mom, I love you to pieces. Thanks for being the proudest mom ever and believing in my dreams. My babes Marloes, Dani, Ingelise, Anke, Muriël, Kimberly, Lin, Lara, Xandra, Clarencia; thanks for rooting for me and keeping me sane. Maris & Frans, you are the best competition buddies ever and I owe you guys one. Gerry, thank you for everything you did. You worked so incredibly hard for someone you don’t even know personally, I can’t thank you enough. My dear colleagues; thanks for putting up with my bullshit, being understanding and supportive. My awesome CATSY clan; thanks for dealing with me abandoning you for four whole weeks and being so proud, sweet and compassionate about all this.

Thank you to every single person that took a moment of their time to vote for me. And a special thanks to the ones that shared my story, asked other people to vote for me and made me smile time and time again with their help. You have no idea how amazing it feels to see people supporting your biggest dream.

To all of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers: thanks for surprising me with amazing motivational posts and making me cry over 100 times with the kindest words ever, thanks for sharing, liking, retweeting, sharing, liking, sharing and not unfollowing/unfriending me for spamming over and over again.

And ofcourse thank you Tiemen, for being amazing competition and supporting my dream. I really hope yours will come true one way or another as well. You deserve it, buddy.

A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to all the media that supported me and were interested in my story. I have no words to explain how thankful I am for your time and effort:
Editie NL
Algemeen Dagblad
Noord-Hollands Dagblad
Alphen Vandaag
Radio Decibel
– Omroep West
– NPO Radio 2
– RTV Ronde Venen

Fjällräven Polar 2017Fjällräven Polar 2017

Last but not least, I’d like to thank Fjällräven for this amazing opportunity. This whole experience was so much more than just a ‘contest’ and just winning a ‘prize’. I won a dream. An adventure of a lifetime. A journey that’s going to change me forever. Which it already kind of did. These last four weeks made me a more loving, thankful, patient and understanding person. I learned so much. I wasn’t bothered by my S(easonal)A(ffective)D(isorder) at all. I made new friends for life. I am going back home in april and I don’t have the words to say how thankful I am.

Fjällräven Polar 2017

Thank you.

No really, thanks.



It turned out that every mountain top is really within reach if you just keep climbing. <3

2 thoughts on “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing

  1. Heel graag gedaan Michelle, ik was onder de indruk van het stuk in het Noord-Hollands dagblad, en het was voor mij een kleine moeite om te stemmen. Nieuwsgierig als ik nou eenmaal ben, ben ik op de Facebook gaan gluren. Toen alles gaan delen om zoveel mogelijk mensen te laten stemmen, en dat is gelukt! Geniet ervan! Ik volg je!

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