Beloslava Nedelcheva, Software Engineer on Skiing

My name is Beloslava Nedelcheva and I’m a Software Engineer at Software AG Bulgaria. I love experimenting and taking challenges,  so almost 4 years ago, I decided to try the IT sector. It was interesting and unfamiliar to me, so I said to myself: “Why not?”

I’m from a small town in the mountains – Velingrad. I came to Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) to study for Cross Country Skiing Coach. One of the reasons for staying here is because of my current job.

When I’m not working, I really love to do some sport. From an early age, I’ve been really passionate about running, skiing, and hiking – whenever I can, I practice these sports, as I like being outside and moving.

I first became interested in skiing at a young age – I’ve always loved watching the biathlon, which is similar to cross country skiing. When I was 12 years old, during one of my Sport classes in school, the cross country skiing coach came and picked some of my classmates (including me) and offered us to try skiing in his team. I said “yes” without blinking.

The first time I went skiing was very interesting and fun. We were at a ski slope in my home town – there was so much snow! Honestly, I was a little scared at first, but I really enjoyed the experience. In the beginning, everything was like playing with friends.

One of my biggest inspirations when it comes to skiing is self-improvement. Practicing this sport makes you stronger (physically and mentally), you see nature from a different perspective, and your body is pushed to the edge. The satisfaction when you complete a competition or training is a very powerful motivator.

It’s very important to wear suitable clothes when skiing: don’t wear anything too warm (something water- or wind-proofed, like Gore-Tex), use cross country skiing gloves (not the big ones for alpine skiing) and wear sunglasses. You also need ski shoes, skis, and pins. It’s good to take something to drink in a small backpack because you can become dehydrated while skiing.

To perform at the top of my abilities in skiing, I have to have a good training plan which is balanced and done according to my needs. A big mistake is to train too much, as it becomes monotonous before a competition – the body needs some recovery. Regarding mental training, I need a clear goal and to believe in myself. Also, it’s very important to try not to stress too much.

When I’m skiing, I love the feeling of freedom, mental clarity, and the beauty of the surrounding nature. Gliding across the snow is the perfect therapy. One of the best skiing spots I’ve been to is in Bansko. The trail is really well-maintained and the profile has great characteristics.

I have many great experiences with skiing, but one of my favourites is at a national championship relay. The competition was very interesting and hard. We were falling behind the other teams. I was running second (from a team of three) and managed to bring my team to first place. Then, the third girl managed to keep the position and we finished in first place. We were so happy – that were our first gold medals, won with so much effort – I love playing in a team!

Another great experience was when I was at university during the winter season – I was a cross country skiing instructor. Teaching students gave me satisfaction and many great emotions. It thought me to be more patient and responsible.

In the future, I’m planning to continue skiing for fun. I really would love to go skiing somewhere in Norway.

There are many common things between training for cross country skiing and working as a Software Engineer. In the two activities, long-term motivation and discipline are very important. I have learned from sport to never give up, to have a plan, and also to work in a team.

My experience with skiing is a great benefit for my current job because I’ve learned many important things while training. One of them is to look out for your teammates and help each other for better results. Also, I’ve learned to be strong and to not be afraid of hard tasks.

My advice for the people who want to try skiing is to just do it because it’s great for the body and for the soul. You can see many beautiful places while skiing and meet great people. You’ll become healthier and happier.

There is always more than tech. I think that to be a good tech specialist, you need to have other interests too. I believe in harmony between mental and physical development. After a busy day at work, the best way to rest is with some physical activity, which gives you power and clears your mind.

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