~ ‘Inform yourself to stay fit!’ ~

By Laura Bijnsdorp

Most people on Sint Maarten know Jacob “Kobbe” Streefkerk through the tunes he plays on his guitar in the Orange Grove band. But besides writing and playing music, keeping fit has always been an important part of this musician’s daily life.

As I sit opposite 38-year-old Kobbe, I take time between my questions to check him out. “Something must be working,” I think to myself. Let’s find out what that “something” is!

Have you always been this active?

Yeah. Since I was about five, my mom always spurred me on to play sports. I tried many different sports, and I was quite good at them; baseball, running, swimming, windsurfing, taekwondo, golf and more. I kind of went from sport-to-sport as I aged and went through different cycles. When I went to university in the Netherlands, I loved playing beach volleyball for example. These sports were always a great way to have fun and be in a social environment with other motivated people. Also; I am a pretty competitive person!

Is the gym also part of your fitness routine?

Next to playing sports, the gym is my go-to, as it is for many other people. I bought my first set of weights when I was a teenager. It was a cheap way to bulk up, look good and thus feel more confident. I started thinking about fitness at that age; realizing that I had a choice to work out so I could not just aesthetically look better but also feel better.

Working out also became somewhat of an escape of daily life stresses for me. I played in Intwine (a rock band) for a long time; the hectic lifestyle had its fun sides, but it was very all-consuming. Working out was a way to take a moment for myself and focus on something different.

Some people have quite a hard time keeping a fitness routine going. How do you do it?

Some people would say going to the gym is boring, which is can be! But this all depends on your mindset and how much effort you put into it, just as anything in your daily life. You need to make working-out fun for yourself. You can do this by including friends, setting goals, charting your progress and more. We are not meant to be sitting down for most of the day – embrace your body and its movements.

Tell us about your eating habits. Are they a big part of your fitness routine?

Honestly, I can chow down on a lot of junk food now and again! I do know how to eat healthily and what is good for my body. I have tried many different diets – at times out of curiosity and at times as a necessity – during training for competitions, for example. Trying different diets is a great way to get to know your own body and how food affects it.

I think a good tip for anyone who is prone to eating unhealthy is to start at the supermarket. Inform yourself on what is good and what is bad for you, and push yourself to buy those healthy items on your grocery runs. This makes it easier to eat healthy on a regular basis at home.

What is an aspect of keeping fit that most people don’t take into consideration?

Doing research! Learn about the sports you play, the exercises you are doing, and the food you are eating. This will make you a better player, will produce better results in the gym, is safer and will help create more sustainable and effective healthy lifestyle.

What are you doing at the moment to keep fit?

CrossFit! I started about three and a half years ago. I love that I always feel like I am progressing while doing CrossFit. With its unpredictable routines, it takes you out of your comfort zone, which also leads to better results. I also enjoy the social atmosphere; the regimen motivates interaction and learning from others.

When you aren’t keeping fit, what do you enjoy?

Of course, I love playing with Orange Grove, my band. At the moment, we are writing a lot of new material for ourselves and for other artists, which is exciting. During my downtime, I really enjoy watching movies or TV series with well-developed characters.

Do you have any final advice for our readers who are working towards their own fitness goals?

Inform yourself and try different things. Find an activity that doesn’t feel like a burden to do, but rather as something fun. This way, you will be able to keep it up for years to come and see true results!

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