Heart thump

Christina Mihaela Carare Atletica Idrettens treningssenter PT-54_red

I stared for a long time in front of a blank screen on the computer. Eventually I closed the laptop, without one word written. I tried again in the days that followed to collect some introductory words. But all the thoughts and feelings that I’ve had the last couple of months have not been easy sum up.

It is becoming more real, what I have chosen to do, which will affect the next few months of my life, maybe the whole year. Hopefully the whole year. As that would mean that I succeeded.

In December, I stepped down from a position as a project manager at Presis 360, a PR- and communication agency where I worked for two and a half educational, eventful and exciting years. It was a difficult decision to make, not only due to the fact that I was giving up the security of a job to pursue an uncertain life as an entrepeneur, but also because having this employment had meant an enormous amount to me, both professionally and personally. When I in 2012 received a phonecall from the CEO of the company himself, who had found me through my blog on the Internet, and wondered if I was interested in applying for the position of project manager, I thought that this agency had guts. That I liked. I did have the “proper” education, a bachelor’s degree in communications, but my work experience as a freelance journalist, a store manager and entrepreneur, was not exactly directly transferable to a position as a project manager in the private sector.

Besides an abrupt learning curve (just the way I like it), the job gave me the opportunity to work with a very wide range of customers. Especially one project in the recent past, I find extra rewarding – a project where I was the model for a recognised, international fitness equipment supplier, Redcord. For me, who had not exercised much before I actually started working at Presis 360, it was a great compliment. The whole experience was for me an indication that the training had provided (visible) results. So rewarding to know that the work one has put in gets you results! The photos are being used in promotional material for the company.

Presis 360 ​​is also the place where I met my boyfriend, Håvard Stiansen. He works as a video photographer at Media Service and had his office right across the floor where I had mine. One can say that I met him during lunch time, where all three agencies that inhabit this part of the house, Presis 360, Media Service and Novemberfilm, meet every day in such a friendly atmosphere. Yes, it was just such small glimpses we got of each other before, probably a year after I started working at Presis 360, we actually started talking to each other, apart from a shy smile from me, or a smile from him as he passed my office.

For almost a year I´m sure, we discussed what was most difficult to play of tennis and badminton. I played tennis, he played badminton. I meant of course that tennis was the more demanding sport. He believed that badminton was. So I challenged him to come and play tennis one day. He took the challenge, and turned up on the tennis court wearing new shorts, new t-shirt and a new sports bag. I melted a little inside, that was so cute! … Between laughter and chatter, tennis hits and a few misses, we bonded.

Even to this day I send him a shy smile as he passes my office. And ever so often, he too sends me a smile.

This is what a small, but very nice part of my everyday life at Presis 360 has ​​been like.

Christina Mihaela Carare Atletica Idrettens treningssenter PT-32All photos: Håvard Stiansen

From February the 1st my life will be completely different. From then on I will be self-employed.

Someone asked me the other day about what I’d love to work with. The answer is my passion for tennis and a healthy and active lifestyle that the sport represents, as well as the fitness, nutritional and mental aspect of incorporating tennis in one´s life, for any and every skill level.

I have many good qualities, including a large portion of willingness to learn, determination, creativity, passion, curiosity and ambition. I like excitement, innovation, but also structure and routines. I am an entrepreneur at heart, always striving and wanting to create something special for the benefit of others.

It is precisely these qualities that have been my driving force to overcome an increasingly underlying fear to fail. The more that is at stake, the more you are afraid to fail. But at the same time, it is precisely these qualities that I hope will drive me forward when I in 2015 will invest more in tennis to realise an online vision that I have for tennis-Norway.

I had no background as an athlete or a tennis player before I picked up a tennis racket at the late age of 27. Gradually I started to play actively, compete in tournaments and workout in my leisure time. The passion for the combination of tennis and fitness grew, and it is now stronger than ever.

Even though one lacks the “correct” background, experience, knowledge to embark on a new journey, you are still allowed to have ambitions to learn and become better. I think this is important to remember no matter what your goals are. Work hard, persist, follow your dreams and goals.

I love tennis. It´s only been three years since I started to play, and it´s been a huge struggle mentally to overcome my anxiety for competing and to learn to just have patience as my technique improved. But I love the game more than I do the opposite, and this has kept me pushing forward. Tennis is joy, inspiration, motivation, a rewarding feeling of mastery, discipline, and a healthy competitive instict. Tennis is so much that I want to be a part of. And I want to know even more about all aspects of the sport.

The vision that I have for tennis-Norway I will invest as much time possible to find out if I can succeed. I’m not afraid to start small, to slowly approach a larger goal.

My research amongst tennis players and clubs started already in April 2013, when I received financial funds, and with assistance from the Norwegian Tennis Association I examined Norwegian tennis players´ needs for tennis equipment and amongst online tennis websites. I wrote a report of the research, which now forms the basis of my focus.

In his spare time, I’ve been in meetings the Centre for Establishment in Arendal, and I have lined up meetings with potential collaborators. I look forward to meeting these people, to spar with them on their thoughts, ideas, solutions, learn from them, be inspired – in all, work with my vision.

This is a leap of fait for me. A pretty scary thing to do to quit one´s job. But this is also fun, rewarding, interesting and exciting for me. I cannot really believe that I will be working with tennis for an unknown amount of time. May it result in a good and new offer for tennis-Norway.

On my tennis mission from here onwards, I hope that you will continue to follow me. For my part, I’ll keep you posted.

Sporty regards,
Christina Mihaela Vintilescu Carare