Top German freestyler, Andre Paskowski has recently announced that his cancer is in remission following a long and painful battle against the disease.
Boardseeker caught up with him for a chat about his ordeal, how he feels now and what the future holds.
So Andre, where are you now and how long have you been there?
Right now I am in Germany. I am working on my movie and on my physical situation. I have been here since 6th May
We heard that you are in remission, are you feeling back to full strength again yet?
Not by far! I think that I am in a good way. I try to do the maximum I can but there is a limit on what is good for the body. Right now I spend 3 hours in the gym each day and as well as 2 hours with physiotherapy every 2-3 days. I feel quite good but am not yet ready for sports.
With something like that hitting you, it must alter your perspective somewhat. Do you feel that it has completely changed you?
No. I am happy with what I did and how I saw things. Yes, I evaluate thinks slightly differently now. For example, 5 years ago, breaking my hand was a big shock and I felt bad for long time. Now I know that breaking a hand or leg is nothing to worry about!
At no point during my treatment was I ever really down, which is abnormal! It made me think a lot to actually see all the other people and their problems. I spent 100 days in hospital and have seen so many people who are no longer alive. Seeing them in their final stage of life and how they and their families deal with that, that’s really crazy. It makes you feel like a stone. I am a very sensitive and emotional person. But you have to act like a stone in hospitals otherwise the problems of all the others will turn you mad.When are you next going to get out on the water?
Right now I am happy that I know that I will hit water again. It’s such nice feeling. It feels like when I was young: in winter time I could not sail because of the cold and I was counting days. I lost that feeling because I could sail whenever I wanted. Now it’s back to counting days and that’s great. I hope to sail on Maui. I will be there to film and train physically. First contest could be Sylt, or maybe even on Fuerte, but that’s totally up to my body.
What is your main focus at the moment?
My focus right now is my movie and my body. I want to do a good movie – that means a lot to me. I believe it is important for the sport in general. My body is clearly as important. I want to get fit and strong again and enjoy the life of a professional windsurfer for a long time. By 2012, I want to be fully back in the game, fighting for ranking points. It will be hard, but it is also hard to survive cancer in its 3rd stage.
Your movie project: We have recently heard that unfortunately you have had to change the name of the movie. How is the preparation and filming going?
Yes we have to change our name. It’s annoying but won’t affect the final result. We are working hard on it. I have a crew of 4 people and 6 riders. I just got tonnes of new equipment and we will start in February with a few nice trips. I hope to be ready for a premiere on at the World Cup, Sylt 2011.
People can expect a beautiful film which will make them dream and book flights for there next windsurfing vacation. Sometimes I feel that the approach of windsurfing movies is not. Yes, a movie should hype people and showcase the most radical moves but the beauty factor is missing. In our next movie, we will increase this a lot.
We have much better gear so pictures will look better and angles will be new and different. But most important is that the movie is touching.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with the readers of Boardseeker Magazine?
Yes! I check out the website every day. And I know that some of my very best friends from England do that too. I hope we will meet again soon to sail and have a few Cuba Libres – I miss that!