A boy from Tyrol
There comes a time in our life in which we feel like there is no one to trust, to support us or to guide us. We feel alone, unwanted, unloved. There are various ways to fight that, and some fight back harder than others.
Today Gregor Schlierenzauer turns 27. A name most of this planet’s people probably never heard of, yet this man is special in so many ways.
Everyone who chooses ski jumping instead of a normal sport like soccer is extraordinary. Ski jumpers are special and normal at the same time.
Why is Gregor so special to me? I can’t say I have the perfect answer, but I can say I have an idea.
My age might not give it away and neither does my Tumblr blog, but in real life, there’s a girl with a big dream behind this. I’ve grown up with the thought of fighting for myself. As I’m growing older, I’m turning into the fighter I want to be. I have yet to learn a lot about how things work, but I can say for myself that I’m trying. I’m trying the best way possible.
I show myself on here in such a different way, I’m a completely different person to be honest. Ever since I first heard the name Gregor Schlierenzauer, this man peeked my interest. Part of it probably because of his name. I remember doing actual research on him and when I had found out how he became the person he is now, I was in complete awe. There is a list full of athletes being worth more than just their achievements and Gregor is one of them. I’ve learned there were only two options when it came to Gregor. You either loved him or you hated him. There were either positive responses or negative ones. Somehow I got the feeling that sometimes there were more negative than positives ones, but overall you could say the man by the name of Gregor Schlierenzauer was known and the man behind it had a very specific character.
Of course, I always say ‘this is just ski jumping’, but I cannot deny that I count Gregor as one of my biggest role models. When you get thrown into the ocean of success at the age of 16, it takes a lot not to break. Gregor surely has learned from the best, he got trained by the best and he became the best, but I don’t know if his inner self was able to take that all in.
Sadly, I have not reached my top level yet, but when I remind myself of how Gregor’s career came to a stop, I know that sometimes it’s better to take the slippery road than the short cut. Because if you take the short cut you might be rewarded for it more easily, but looking at it from another angle, you’ll trip over your own ego sooner or later. Because that’s exactly what happened to Gregor. At one point he wasn’t rewarded for his effort anymore, he wasn’t on top anymore, he wasn’t the best anymore. The records he had set were broken and in general people started to forget about him. He wasn’t ‘up-to-date’ anymore. And then he vanished, just the way he had appeared. The mystery of this man remained. After being part of the circus for more than 10 years, very few people really knew what’s behind him. People only see his achievements, his victories, his face.
I’ve learnt a lot in 2016. How things go from easy to difficult, barely manageable. But somehow, I’ve fought through it. I’m still young and I don’t know what ‘life’ even means, but I surely know that if you want to be a happy person, you can’t lock yourself away. You have to face your inner self. Your inner self that’s been telling you you’ll never make it. It gets better, it gets worse.
I’m no psychologist, but I can somehow imagine how Gregor must’ve felt when he realised there was no moving forward for now. That this was his station to get off and to look for a place to stay. And I can imagine he must’ve had struggles finding that place.
I remember reading an interview with him in which he said that there’s nothing else he could do besides ski jumping. Looking at Gregor from afar, he’s the perfect camera-catcher. Breath-taking smile, flawless facial structure, well-built and cheeky. The endless commercials of the Superadler showed that. Of course his image was used to keep him in the news and it worked.
To sum it all up, I could not wish for a better role model. Gregor’s career shows that you can achieve anything you want. It’s yourself stopping from doing so. But his career also shows that you can go from zero to hero, but you’ll be a zero again just as fast. And he overcame his inner self by fighting back. He stopped when it was right. And it was him choosing where he’d go from there. It was his very own fight. And he won. He won and he showed that nothing’s impossible.
My life has taken so many different turns and I haven’t even reached what I want. But I know that I will keep fighting, just like Gregor, and I know that I will make my dream come true. No matter how, but there is only one thing and that is to keep up the fight, to fight the good fight.
And now, Gregor, I wish you the most amazing birthday. Turning 27 is quite something. But you’ve got to let it happen. You kept fighting. And I know, even in 20 years’ time you’ll be fighting. You’re a timeless man. You’ll always be that 16-year old that got hit by success way too soon.
You never gave up, you never gave in.
You are a fighter, you’re my hero.
Gregor Schlierenzauer, you will come back stronger because you already beat everyone else, by coming back.
You are limitless. You’ll always be.