Mad Dancer, Medicine Man and Cocaine.
I can't think of a better way to start the year than with this interview. Around Boek has been in my life for about 20 years. I have seen him in many incarnations from youth social worker to massage therapist but always with the common thread of authenticity and kindness.
Arnoud is a mad dancer and a medicine man. He is someone who has always coloured outside the lines and I’m sure this is why I’ve always been drawn to him.
As you can tell from his name, Arnoud is Dutch and with many Europeans, he speaks more than one language. Six to be exact. Dutch, English, French, Spanish, American sign language and Papiamento.
His family eventually emigrated to Canada and settled in Kelowna where they were hoping it would be a great place to raise a family. Arnoud wasn’t so sure…..
He did, however, get involved in boy scouts and was able to explore the Canadian Shield and have loads of involvement in the outdoors. This, of course, got him into climbing and hiking.
In 1996 while climbing in Vernon BC, Arnoud slipped on the path. He fell 5 stories, hit a bolder, bounced and fell another 10 and a half stories…..
He was in 37 pieces and was 18 years old….”the surgical team told me I will never walk again, never stand again. Never dance again.”
Arnoud had just started university and just came out as a gay man. He was now this active ADD child stuck in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down.
This was one of those moments in someone’s life...that make or break moment. He suddenly had a lot of time on his hands. “This time helped me process my place in the world and how i fit.“
“I had started down that path of ok my life now is in a wheelchair. But there was another part of me that said, what if it’s not.”
Today Arnoud is a Mad Dancer!! He has a holistic approach to life that has not come easy but is at the core of who he is.
“I was meant to be here today.” - Arnoud Boek
I hope you enjoyed this interview with another amazing community hero!