THIS IS MAX'S STORY.
CURRENT ROLE: PROFESSIONAL ROWER
BASED IN: DORTMUND, GERMANY
B&S: CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR?
Max: I can definitely say that I've had a very exciting journey with lots of ups and somedowns that helped me grow personally. I´m extremely grateful for everyexperience. My biggest passion is rowing. It started as a hobby and soon became thecentre of my life. This sport is fulfilling for me because I am able to chase mygoals together with teammates and friends. It’s the most rewarding feeling if youachieve something that you always wished for.
B&S: HOW DID YOU GET INTO PROFESSIONAL ROWING?
Max: I started rowing in the age of 10. Four years later, I decided to move to a boarding school with professional circumstances for training. That decision was the beginning of my career. At first I was trying to be successful at national champs and then junior world champs. To get to the profession of now, it was a long journey with different steps. After finishing my A level, I moved to the national training centre in Dortmund. I started studying there and I got one of a few spots for professional sportsmen in the German army. From that moment, I finally became a professional rower – earning enough money to say that I turned my hobby into a job.
"Qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was like a dream come true. Taking part in the biggest sporting event in the world was an incredible experience. However, it happened to be my biggest disappointment. I struggled in the competition as well as with the surroundings. Soon I realized that I became stronger and awakened my hunger to win a medal in Tokyo 2020."
B&S: DID YOU HAVE MOMENTS OF STRUGGLE?
Max: There were definitely some moments of struggle in different chapters of my career. I´m very grateful for all of them because they helped me grow the most.My first big challenge was my move from my hometown to the boarding school.It was a totally new situation for me where I had to adapt to the higher pace. At the end of the first year I started believing in myself and soon became national and international champion. After finishing my A level and lots of successful years I had to decide if rowing would stay the centre of my life.
After considering different options I luckily made the decision to move to the national training center in Dortmund. This move enabled me to find some really good new partners. The training also began to be more fun again which led to more success in competitions. Qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was like a dream coming true. Taking part in the biggest sports event in the world was an incredible experience. However, it happened to be my biggest disappointment. I struggled in the competition as well as with the surroundings. Soon I realized that I became stronger and awakened my hunger to win a medal in Tokyo 2020.
"My personal definition of success is to try to become better on a daily basis. Being better than yesterday or weeks, months or years ago is more important than being better than others"
B&S: WHAT WERE THE MOST REWARDING PARTS?
Max: The most rewarding parts came right after the biggest disappointment. In thebeginning of 2017 we got a new coach who gave everyone a new chance. I tookmy chance and earned a spot in the legendary “Deutschlandachter”, for the second timeafter 2014. This time, I became World Champion with my crew, being undefeatedfor two consecutive seasons. 2017 was like riding on clouds – from world cup toworld cup, from success to success. We also set a new world best time. We feltlight, we felt good. I felt like the hard work finally paid off. After this amazingseason, we were able to stay undefeated with the same crew in 2018 again whichis historic in rowing.
B&S: WHAT DO YOU DEFINE AS SUCCESS?
Max: My personal definition of success is to try to become better on a daily basis. Being better than yesterday or weeks, months or years ago is more important than being better than others. In every training I give my 100% motivating myself by thinking of the next competition. This gives me confidence and enables me to give my ultimate best during competitions. This attitude brought me to where I am now.
B&S: HOW HAS YOUR SUCCESS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
B&S: WHERE IS YOUR JOURNEY HEADED NEXT?
Max: This year I want to qualify for the “Deutschlandachter” again and win the world championships. Next year I´d like to be successful at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 together with my crew. A medal at the Olympic Games is still my dream.
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