Everyone, even the hardest of workers, needs an occasional reboot. Some people like to get one in the adrenaline rush and unforgettable emotions that come with extreme physical exertion, which helps you look at familiar things in new ways. The highly motivated AsstrA team reflects this approach to risk in their professional lives.
For Maksim Raskopin, a member of Railway Transportation Department team, skateboarding has become a key element of his lifestyle. In 2006, he started skating with his friends, and this amateur hobby stayed with him for a dozen years of practice. It was hard at first, and he learned his first trick only after a month. A couple of years later, he began to go to competitions, sometimes winning prizes like wheels and bearings.
“In Moscow, skateboarding began to get popular 15 years ago. We had to practice at normal’ places in the city that were not specially designed for skateboarding. Fortunately the city is a great training ground full of obstacles of varying difficulty,” says Maxim Raskopin. “Skateboarding teaches you to focus on the moment as you skate. You need to focus on clicking, jumping, and landing correctly just like you have to focus on breathing and taking strokes when you are swimming. I recently took a three-year break from skating, but I’m still excited about doing more challenging tricks. Now I help children and teenagers and we all learn new combinations together. I see that they are truly enjoying, and that energizes me too. When the weather is good I love getting out to work on the board.”
Natalia Ratkevich, France Division Freight Forwarder, watched a video of the Bison Race and, the most extreme obstacle race in Europe, and immediately wanted to experience it for herself. At her first team race, she "barely crawled across the finish line." Walking through fire, carrying heavy weights, slogging through mud, and hanging on to metal bars all seemed like sheer madness. Today, in order to keep in shape, she trains all year round: 4-5 times a week in spring and summer, and 3-5 times a week with weights in autumn and winter.
“When I ran across the finish line, I was covered in mud, bruises, and abrasions. Despite my terrible fatigue, I had a strange, overwhelming feeling of happiness and lightness. I confidently declared that would be back again for more. I started to train and soon run individual races”, comments Natalya. “Often it is necessary to overcome not only physical barriers but also psychological ones like the fear of falling, jumping, or landing incorrectly. This year I overcame some serious obstacles and finished second place in the SPRINT category competition for women 18-29 years old."
Anton Khomenko, a lawyer in the Claims and Insurance Division, is convinced that life by the water encourages one to take up boating. His story began first with an inflatable rowboat. And then after getting his motor boat license, he wanted to move on to sailing.
“Yachting distracts you from your everyday life and focuses you on the moment, so you get a good rest. To stay in shape, I train on weekends 2-3 times a month. I take vacations for amateur regattas and have unforgettable journeys. It’s great to feel the thrill of victory after an exhausting race that required teamwork to overcome emergency situations. Internationally, yachting is very popular. Chartering a boat abroad is as easy as renting a car. All you need is money and good maritime experience."
Forcing yourself to experience vivid and lively emotions and take on new challenges is a great way to overcome inner fears. After a recent trip to the Caucasus, Anton Makarov, a Sales Specialist at AsstrA, wanted to go mountaineering. Mountaineering strengthens you and helps you understand yourself. The sport is full of inspiring people who set records as well as those who, despite their physical limitations, go never give up till they reach the summit.
“I regularly attend Moscow mountaineering schools which organize trainings and give information about this sport. Before planning a route, it has became a habit to check where the "bath" will be. As a rule, these are mountain rivers and lakes, as well as melting water from glaciers,” says Anton Makarov. “No matter how hard life is, it's harder in the mountains. Therefore, every time I reach a summit I remember that every goal is achievable."