My name is Lindsey De Grande (1989)! I am a Belgian middle distance runner, a personal&online coach, physiotherapist and cancer fighter since 2011.
But most of all, I am me! A loving and caring person, who is trying to find her way in life!
When I was 7 years old, I started running at the local athletic club. What started as playing and fun, developed in more severe training at the age of 16 (2005). At that age, I participated at the European Yought Olympic Games, where I became 6th at the 1500m. I realized that I could become faster and better, since I didn't really trained that much! I brought my passion into action, and wanted to know what I was capable of if I would do everything in my power. In 2005, my Olympic dream started, and I hoped that the best me, would bring me to the Olympic Games.
The following years, I competed in several European Championships 800m, 1500m and cross-country. But my 'braekthrough' came in 2009 (20 years old), when I became 4th at the European Championships 1500m U23. That moment, I did not only hoped, but I started to believe, that I was capable of so much more. I combined my athletics with my studies at the University of Leuven. A though combination, but I had and have a lot of willpower in me. 2010, was the first year I could compete with the senior category, although I was only 21 years old. A semi-final at the European Championships was the result, but I wanted more.
2011 seemed to become that year! I ran the Belgian Record at the 1500m (4.09.18), a record that is only been broken recently, after 10 years (2021). My 6th place at the European Indoor Championships in Paris, made me even dream of international medals in the future.
Unfortunately, it turned out totally different. A few months later (July 2011), I got diagnosed with a chronic type of blood cancer (CML) and the treatment with oral tumor suppressors started instantly. Instead of preparing myself for the Olympic Games of London (2012), I was going to hospitals, doctors. Instead of running most of the time, I was forced to rest and lay down, due to my tiredness and side effects from the treatment.
I kept running, and it became my sort of medication. But competition at a high level, was not possible anymore, although I really tried. I wrote and write blogs about my struggle during and after (still going on) my years of treatment, and I even wrote a book! (Weglopen is geen optie- Mijn verhaal over topsport, kanker en hoop).
After several years of treatment, my cancer got into a sleeping-mode and I could stop my treatment. Unfortunately, some side effects like my neuropathy and tiredness, did not disappear. Nevertheless, I started training again and in 2019 and 2021 I could even compete at the European Cup and European Indoor Championships 1500m. But I fell short for the Olympic Games Tokyo (2021). Top 45 in the world was the criteria, and I ended up being 54th. Painful, but I did everything in my power, and sometimes it just is what it is!
I believe that everything happens for a reason. And that everything has a purpose in life. That gives me hope and power, to keep going. But the struggle, the feeling of loneliness, and the shortsightedness of other people, can be really hard! I also believe that there is a solution for everything! And that we, as people, can help each other so much more! With love, light and hope, we are capable of almost everything! We are so strong on ourself, but even much more stronger together! That is why I share my story, that is why I work as a coach, and that is why I will keep spreading my expierences and search in life!