👩🔧 “I think I’ve been fortunate to grow up in a no-nonsense environment and experienced through the lens of sport and work what comradery and loyalty mean. I have never felt or identified as a minority, or think that I could not solve things that my male partners could. I think it might’ve made me feel more levelled – no matter what gender I work and play with.”
🥊Meet Sammy Jo (SJ for friends): an ultimate Rotterdam Dutchie whom we met in Koh Samui while punching our guts out at Muay Thai camp . While SJ was handing out killer high kicks, we became intrigued when she explained she’s a car mechanic at day and a pro-amateur football player the rest of her time.
💆🏼SJ has this air over her that (we think) a lot of Dutch/European girls have – they down to earth, easy to vibe with and they won’t give you BS. It translates back in her daily work as car mechanic: she works with only men on the work floor and loves how there is no nagging, no time for BS, not complicating things more than needed and hearing a bad joke or two a day. It’s definitely a more relaxed environment than an office job with (lady) frenemies swarming around each other and trying to hit that next big promotion. “And it keeps me fit .”
💁🏼When asked if there was an advantage working as a female car mechanic in this male-dominated world, she shrugged and answered that there “actually isn’t a real one, unless you count the argument that ‘you can get more easily away with things because you’re a woman’”. SJ can quickly overcome those kinds of comments since she grew up in her father’s garage, knows more than the average car mechanic, can definitely carry out all activities by herself and is as capable as the guys she works with .
👵🏼Her most memorable and proud moments are when older generation ladies pass by to get their car fixed and SJ services them. They utter “that they always wanted to become a car mechanic, but in their time they couldn’t as it wasn’t the proper thing to do.” It makes her (and us) realise to appreciate the times we live in – where we literally can “become anything or anyone we want to” (even if it’s with a little eyebrow raise).
⚽ When SJ isn’t involved with cars, she is on the pitch playing semi-pro football in an all women’s team. She loves the loyalty and comradery that comes from the game: “You play in such a tight-knit group and for 90 minutes you’re there for each other – no matter what. You do everything to win, not only for yourself but also for each other as a team.”
💜SJ’s mom passed away at a young age and she’s seen her family struggle with their health. In a way this has formed her and has contributed to her realistic and steadfast view on life:
“Life is really precious and short, make sure you spend it with your loved ones, that you are honest and do good”.
✋Her life motto in Dutch is “Niet klagen, maar dragen”, which loosely translates into that “One shouldn’t complain, but if one does, they’d better make sure to do something about it or not complain at all”.
🏷️Tag or forward to a friend who reminds you of SJ #NANAgirl