*this post has been added for those who want to know a bit more about me, as I have replaced the info on my “about me” page!
A long time ago
Back when I was 18, I attended Athens University of Economics and Business to study Business and Management. A few years later I graduated with a Bachelor and a Masters Degree with specialisation in management and technology. Growing up, I was a “high flyer” in school and my teachers conspired with my parents to push me towards a profession with “high status” and “good prospects for a career and a good salary”.
I wasn’t made for that, though. I have always had a talent for anything physical. I tried every sport there is when I was young and knew I was made for that. I was a competitive swimmer during elementary school and played volleyball throughout my high school years. When I turned 21, the sport of windsurfing won me over. 5 years after picking up the sport, I started competing on an international level in the World Championship of the PWA. Although I didn’t pursue a “proper” professional career as an athlete, I did quite well in international events, including 2nd in one of the competitions in Gran Canaria 2008, 5th overall PWA Wave in 2009 as well as 2011. I also hold the greek wave & freestyle title in women.
Life changing events
My journey involves two major upsets where I had to change course. I had an accident whilst training jumps on the water in March 2010: I sustained a quadruple fracture on the body of my C2 vertebra. Second accident: April 2014, I was hit by a vehicle whilst crossing the street. The bumper of that car hit me right under the knee and I sustained a 6th degree tibial plateau fracture on my right leg. Although this accident marked the end of my competitive aspirations it turned out to be a blessing, too. As we say in Greece, ill winds blow somebody (or somewhere) good! After several months in rehab/physiotherapy, I realised that my natural working environment is not a desk and a computer (although I do spend a lot of time studying nowadays!!); I became increasingly interested in learning how the human body works, decided to start coaching people in windsurfing and embarked on a new career as a coach to help people practice sports, maintain a healthy body, fight disease and reach their goals.
My first experience teaching windsurfing was in 2008 and I started doing it without any proper qualification. I organised the first “girls windsurfing camp” in Greece, aiming to introduce more girls to the sport and inspire them to progress in windsurfing. Between 2008 – 2011, my girls camps had a total of 300 participants, a record number for Greece. In 2011 I completed my first windsurfing coach certification.
Another step I took towards becoming a full time coach was quitting the world of business/technology and pursuing a personal trainer diploma in London in 2015. I completed this qualification a year later, with the realisation that the human body is so much more than “muscle groups” and the three metabolic energy systems. Human movement is the most fantastic thing to study and I wanted to get a deeper understanding of it. So a year later (December 2017) I sat exams to enter the Physical Education & Sport Science Faculty of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens.
I work as a windsurfing coach for the Nautical Club of Vari-Varkiza whilst studying in University. The Sports University of Athens has professors & scientists with years experience coaching, teaching and researching in their field and I am privileged to be their student. May the road go on forever.