Nina Fahrner: You have to look up to see the stars

I had a lot of fights with myself before I learned to focus completely on one thing and put aside my nervousness, for example when racing. Competing in a competition, regardless of the type of sport or life situation, is never just a question of physical, but also of mental strength. - Nina Fahrner. 

 

I grew up in the heart of Austria's beautiful mountains, in Zell am See. I was drawn to the mountains from an early age, but when I got a voucher for a 'downhill day' from my little brother on my twentieth birthday, it was as if I had found what I was always looking for. The adrenaline rush was incredible and it was clear from the first moment that this sport would not let me go. Shortly afterwards I started studying physics in Graz, but after two years I couldn't stand it any longer in this city without mountains and moved my studies to Innsbruck, where I spend every free minute in the mountains.
I thought for a long time which story I would like to tell to give you an insight into my sport. But the truth is, telling a single experience is just not enough to understand how to fully indulge in that passion. Rather, it is the many small events that make downhill skiing so special for me.

    

“Happiness is the only thing that doubles when you share it.” - Albert Schweitzer

This sport has played a very important and large role in my life from the very beginning. Basically it is not a team sport and yet I have never experienced such cohesion before. You spend the days together on the mountain, laugh at each other together, help each other through difficult injury breaks and enjoy the unique atmosphere at competitions as a group. You actually become a family with whom you share a fascination that falls on deaf ears elsewhere. Someone who cannot understand the fascination with this sport has just as much understanding for our constant search for the 'holy trail' as we humans do for extraterrestrials. There is definitely a downside to devoting all of your free time to something that the non-cycling part of the circle of friends does not understand. Because if you drink splashes and beach baths are swapped for mountains and trails and bruises and rails to the accessories, then one or the other friendship suffers a lot.
When I think of the last few years on the bike, the sport has given me a thousand times more than it took away. Since I started cycling, I have developed a lot personally.

I had a lot of fights with myself before I learned to focus completely on one thing and put aside my nervousness, for example when racing. Competing in a competition, regardless of the type of sport or life situation, is never just a question of physical, but also of mental strength. Only when you are strong enough in your head can your body perform at its best.

I also took this mental strength with me for life situations outside of sport. I've learned that when you are treated unfairly, you have to stand up for your rights, but also have the ability to admit your own guilt.
I was once asked if I believe in the 'power of thought'. I also find the answer to this in sport, because it made me realize that I have to fight for things that mean something to me. In my opinion, positive thinking is certainly a good tool, but you have to stand up yourself and show toughness in order to push the limits of what is possible.

   

"All strength is only recognized through obstacles that it can overcome." - Immanuel Kant

My brother sometimes affectionately calls me icicles because I often find it difficult to fully engage with something that I definitely see as one of my greatest weaknesses. However, if I have taken someone into my heart, their happiness is above mine and I often worry too much. Here, too, my sport helps me to change my mind and to let off steam in difficult situations. On my bike the adrenaline pumps through my whole body, I forget everything around me and enjoy the freedom. I think everyone should have a valve like this - even if it's just turning a L´AMOTION ring while lingering on your thoughts.

I've learned in recent years that the dissatisfaction you have with yourself is the best kind. At least there is a solution - you get up, come up with a plan and fight for your own happiness! That's why my message, which has accompanied me through my life, is: You have to look up to see the stars.