Long time no blogposts. And the closer we get towards snowy white winters, the more I feel the need to type my words again. The last months have been more hectic again, and with that less time for blogposts and irregular “long form content”. However. On Monday night I got back from my holiday in Crete, and pretty much pushed full throttle again once landed. With that said: I arrived Wednesday morning in South Tyrol for the 2021 edition of the Champions and Friends Club Days. An event that my friend Chris, from Champions and Friends, hosts every year.
As you might remeber, most of this video was shot earlier this year during the Champions and Friends Experiences event with Andi Sander.
But why did I choose to write an blogpost about this event? Whats different than usual for me? Well, not only is it a networking event with ONLY seriously inspiring persons on the list. It’s been the first time ever for me as a guest to attend an event. And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been slightly nervous 🤯 #hellosocialanxiety
So what is this event about?
“We are excited to host the C&F Club Days 2021 in the spectacular Italian Dolomites! Our participants will be hosted by the brand new 5-Star-Hotel Falkensteiner Kronplatz.
As in previous years, Champions & Friends invite inspiring personalities, speakers and champions from a variety of different fields such as sports, politics and economy to unique locations. Amongst an exclusive group of invited guests they share their experiences and ideas in a very private and familiar setting. Lasting connections and friendships are formed and business partnerships develop along the way.“
With guest speaker & champions such as Amelie Stiefvatter, Viktoria Rebensburg, Erich Falkensteiner, Philipp Walter, Uli Milz & Alexandra Burghardt.
Before the event started, we got a very very motivating and uplifting introduction at the Falkensteiner Kronplatz hotel by our host Amelie Stiefvatter. The overall topic has been: “Self-optimization – a curse or a blessing”.
Before the event started everyone had to choose an activity. It was either climbing with Philipp and Moritz Hans, javelin throwing with Thomas Röhler or paragliding exercise with Paul Guschlbauer. Before leaving the hotel, everyone got a letter with a name on it and a bunch of basic questions. With that every guest should use the time at the activity to find out more about the name on the letter. End goal: Introduce within 60 seconds at the evening introduction one other person.
But lets go paragliding first. After my usual stiffness, social anxiety and a short little walk to the location I slowly got into it. Not only did I start talking proactively, which felt a bit unnatural to me, but also really got motivated to try paragliding. After seeing Leo in Iceland flying, I’ve been very very fascinated by this sport I did never give much attention.
Thanks to Paul Guschlbauer and an incredible mix of humans I think everyone had an amazing kick off into the 2021 edition of the C&F Club Days. Paul explained and helped us with an enormous amount of patience. Thanks to that I got lucky and could really get a glimpse of how it feels when the paraglide gets some strength.
Thanks for that Paul! 🙏🏻
Once we got back, everyone met at the inside garden (or whatever you wanna call it) of the hotel. Here the introduction round started off and the more I heard about everyone who attends the event, the more excited I got for everything that was ahead of us.
After our one hour introduction “event” the first speeches took off. Very very inspiring and emotional words by Erich Falkensteiner, international hotelier, talking about his road to success. I can only recommend you to watch some videos about him and his story. Very very thankful I could listen to all his knowledge and advice. All this followed by an amazing discussion about “How do you control something uncontrollable like air?” by Paul Guschlbauer, Thomas Röhler, Alexandra Burghardt and Marco Fürst.
And with that, the first day full of action came to an end with an amazing dinner at the 7Summit Slow Food restaurant at our hotel. For me it’s been an early nighter, as I was clearly maxed out by the amount of social interaction I havent had since Covid started hahah 😂
Day two started with an easy 30 minute ebike tour to Genussbunker by Hubert Stockner which serves South Tyrolean cheese specialties. Can only recommend you to go there for a visit. Not only to see the huuuuge shelter where all the cheese matures. Also to experience and try all the different specialities. ONLY wow! After that, of course we went back on our bikes to the hotel where everyone had a little bit of a time out. I took the time and had some very inspiring talks in the lobby of our hotel. Around lunch we met again at the gondola which is right next to our hotel to go up the mountain 🔥
LUMEN – Museum of Mountain Photography
Once everyone arrived at the top we all met at the LUMEN museum where everyone had time to check out the incredible museum, follwed by an introduction video at the Shutterroom and a experience at the Mirrorroom. As much as I love my job and creating content for social plattforms, seeing videos I put together like these in such spectecular surroundings is truly stunning to say the least. This is an experience. This makes you feel! Just truly grateful that Chris gave me the opportunity to help and work on these little add ons. Still stoked watching all these experiences.
All of this followed by very inspiring talks of Philipp Walter, Uli Milz and Dr. Med. Johannes Weingart. To find words for all this is probably incredible. Especially if this gets followed by another discussion of Ole Bischof, Reini Sampl, Regine Mispelkamp and Viktoria Rebensburg. To say the least: I’ve been blown away. Motivated. Emotional. Energized. Inspired.
For some reason I even got lucky enough to get an surprise by Chris and the Champions and Friends team. After a very emotional speech which gave a little bit of tears in my eyes, Chris said I will fly down the mountain instead of going down with the gondola. And 10 minutes later I’ve been up in the air. What to say? I don’t know. Just THANK YOU.
Events like these are priceless. I wonder what pricetag you can put on these, because I would be willing to pay loads to get all these insights, human connections and forever lasting experiences. All this in combination with a huge new learning for me: I am enough the way I am. I don’t need a camera to attend events like these. As long as I am cool with myself, I truly show my interest in other peoples stories, because I have the energy to. The initial reason why I loved my job so much 10 years ago, was exactly this. The human connections you make along the way. So a HUGE THANK YOU Chris for believing in myself and everyone attending this event giving me the freedom I needed to adapt to the new version of myself. The slightly little older younger man I am now. The one that has been growing up from an 18 year old film skiing dude to again: a slightly little older younger man 😜
Much love and take care everyone ♥️
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Huge thank you for all the pictures by the incredibly talented @k_voigt_fotografie!