Wouter de Haas (33) from Ersel is the only Brabant participant in Camp Van Koningsberg, which starts again on Monday evening. In the TV show, Wouter goes through harsh commando training with fourteen others. He wanted to test how far he could go, but also how he could learn to express emotions. “At home I learned that men don't cry. It was always supposed to be fun.”
In daily life, Futter works as a personal trainer and gym manager in Eindhoven. It usually helps men become fitter and push their limits. Now it's his turn. “I was curious what would be left of me if I had to dig deeper. When they almost take away your sleep and nutrition. It drains you physically. I've got an answer for that.”
“It was very difficult, especially mentally. There are no words for it. You do tasks in the group and then get support from each other. Then you have to do things on your own. Keep walking hopelessly with a heavy bag. You are facing yourself.”
The personal trainer has learned a lifelong lesson. “There is much more to it than you think. Our body has solutions for everything. Also for people who often stop too early. And beyond that lies your growth.
“We didn't get a hug as soon as we got home.”
Wouter has also been involved in processing part of his past. Born and raised in Ercel. “I had a beautiful childhood. I come from a farming family. I have two brothers and a sister. We were allowed to play outside a lot and were given motorcycles and dirt bikes. Anything was possible.”
“But now I found out that my parents weren't emotionally available. We didn't get hugs as soon as we got home. And my parents didn't say they were proud of me, or what I did. It was very superficial. If there was something going on, and it wasn't talked about: If you don't talk about it, it doesn't exist. “I only realized it later.”
“What are you going to do with yourself?”
“One of the reasons for participating in Camp Van Koningsberg is that I want to share more about how I feel. I want to strengthen the emotional bond with my father. I want to be able to hug my father. Behind this there was a question: ‘Why have I always been so busy?’” By being good at sports. “I wanted a compliment from my father: that you're doing a good job and that you're good enough.”
Ultimately, Wouter received this confirmation even before he participated in the program. “My parents thought it was very intense. They said, 'What are you going to do with yourself?' Before I left for the program, my mother came to see me. She came to tell me that she was very proud of me. For everything I do in my life. I shouldn't need a program like that for that.” She had never said it this way before, in those words.
Wouter isn't allowed to say how far along he is on the show, though he says “it definitely makes sense to watch longer than one episode.”
Season 4 of Kamp Van Koningsbrugge starts on Monday at 8:35pm on AVROTROS on NPO 1.
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