What keeps you running?

What keeps you running?

The film "What keeps you running" wants to answer this very question. What exactly is it that motivates athletes to never give up and to find new motivation day after day? The young runner, Jonathan Dahlke, is one of these athletes who manages to test limits and push himself every day -- to always be mentally one step ahead, ambitious and motivated.


Jonathan Dahlke in an interview

The 24-year-old has already experienced quite a lot in his young sporting life. After graduating from high school, the Cologne native was offered the chance to start a new life through a sports scholarship. He took advantage of it immediately. He studied psychology for four years at an American university in North Carolina, developing rapidly as a person and above all as an athlete because of the opportunities available. He got to know himself personally more intensively, became more professional and tried to listen to himself in order to be able to make the right decisions on and off the track.
In the interview with us, the current sports psychology student talks about his connection to Ryzon, his inner drive and tries to answer the question of the film. He also gives valuable motivational tips....

Four years in the USA have certainly left their mark. What influence did the stay abroad have on the runner Jonathan Dahlke?

Jonathan Dahlke (JD): Above all, the chance to be motivated every day as part of a large training group was an important aspect. But also personally, I have fundamentally changed my attitude to the sport on site. I allowed few disruptive factors, was completely with myself, and learned to pursue my goals constantly and professionally.

What do you think were the reasons for this change in thinking?

JD: I think both the community of the training group, which always pushed you, and my character were responsible for this. You can't do it without the inner drive. You have to be willing to push yourself again and again and test your limits.

Your career as a runner started with a low blow -- one of the first races in your childhood, you had to give up due to a collapse. What made you decide to keep going?

JD: After that incident, I initially struggled with a mental block that prevented me from returning to the track. However, the curiosity to discover myself never seemed to let me go. So I rediscovered my passion for the sport after some time off and haven't questioned it since. In my opinion, it can often be counterproductive in sports to think too much. You have to let yourself be driven by your rhythm and want to get the best out of yourself -- then doubts usually become superfluous.

"For me, it's those moments when I'm introspective, listening to the beat of my steps and following my own rhythm."

Ryzon stands for the special moments out there. Can you describe these moments for yourself?

JD: For me, it's those moments when I'm introspective, listening to the beat of my steps and following my own rhythm. I often train alone, which means I often find myself in these situations. Whether it's late at night running through the city in the rain or early in the morning running through the woods in the fog. Those moments when you don't see a soul. And only concentrate on yourself to be able to reach your goals.

To experience these moments, you need stamina and the will to test your limits. How do you deal with that?

JD: I don't think it's easy for anyone to push themselves to their mental and physical limits. Endurance athletes in particular always train at the limit of their capabilities. It's important to listen to yourself and not overdo it. This makes it a fine line to find the optimal measure. Even for the best it is not easy. The art is to be able to motivate yourself to do it again and again. That is the attraction to which we athletes are addicted. And the challenge we set ourselves every day.

For us, the environment and the conditions in which we operate also play a central role in the development of our products. How important are these aspects for you?

JD: Ideally, the running environment and my goals complement each other perfectly. Accordingly, the choice of route also plays an important role for me. The tranquility of nature is of course a decisive factor why I like to run in the countryside. As an athlete, I also have to adjust to the changing weather conditions again and again. But I am not one to avoid this. In the same way, I am flexible with the choice of the route, as much as it is possible. Because of the manageable size, I really knew every route in my hometown in the USA. The advantage of a certain monotony of the route -- head out and let roll.

A central theme of our film with you is the inner rhythm of an athlete. What meaning does this have for you?

JD: To be able to follow your rhythm, you first have to find it. It's something that doesn't work overnight. It comes from experience with yourself on the track. Once you have found it, there is hardly anything better for athletes. You know how to assess yourself, you can let yourself go. Your rhythm sets the pace and lets you function. You have to learn to listen to your inner self. Then music, times, or other orientation aids are hardly necessary. The film brings exactly this aspect to the point.

"What keeps me going is my constant desire to test my own limits."

The name of the film, "What keeps you running?" is also the overarching question it seeks to answer. What is your answer to this question?

JD: What keeps me going is my constant desire to test my own limits. Titles and successes are secondary for me. First and foremost, I want to get the best out of my given potential, my talent. Even though it can sometimes be thankless to go out there alone at certain times of the day and face that challenge, it always drives me. I just want to be the best version of myself.

What would you like to give to people who find it difficult to motivate themselves again and again?

JD: Take it step-by-step. You need a goal, an intention that you can pursue. Be honest with yourself and define it realistically. After that, consistency is important. Show perseverance and reward yourself by setting small interim goals that you can achieve in the short term. If, like me, you like to run alone, then you need to be your own motivator. The only way to do this is to always have your goals clearly in mind. Don't look to others for guidance: it's about yourself.

Jonathan Dahlke the triathlete -- conceivable?

JD: For me, the fascination [about] Triathlon is the constant change of rhythm and the versatile forms of movement that you have to perform. Since I would probably fail at swimming, I'll stick with my core discipline for now, but never say never. 


director of photography. ALEJANDRO GOMÉZ
assistant director. MARVIN KÜHNER
assistant camera. MAXIMILIAN HÖLLER

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