Inner balance

The challenging part of our lives is when it comes to setbacks, stress situations or even strokes of fate and to get the best out of the given situation. For the physical health it is very important to exercise especially during hard times. It keeps us healthy and mentally adaptable. But most of all it is a great way to free our mind and to balance mental stress.

Nowadays we often hear about youngsters threatening each other or fighting or getting into trouble somehow. This problem mainly but not only concerns people without perspectives (unemployed, no working permission, etc.).

One reason for violence besides missing education, support or affection is that exclusion or rejection responds to the same brain areal as physical pain. This kind of “feeling attacked” can lead in worst case to the need of a physical reaction. Luckily sports give us the opportunity to alleviate this kind of “pain” and to free the mind for an approach to a non-physical solution for life’s problems.

This is the first part of the story of two refugees who went through hard times but finally found their motivation and love of life back in sports…


Imam Ali war born in Afghanistan but meanwhile he lives in Austria for five years. He is 23 years old and has five younger siblings. When he was 18, he came to Austria – alone.


“I came to Austria because of the war in my home country. I am a refugee and at the beginning I lived in a home for asylum-seekers in Carinthia. For two years I wasn’t allowed to work or even visit a German course. I lived in a room with six other people from different countries. It was extremely boring to sleep all day just to be sleepless at nights. The food was horrible and every day the same. A friend of mine is Kurd, he taught me Kurdish. After two years I had my trial and the judge decided that I could stay and work in Austria. Immediately I searched for a flat and after three months I move to Vienna.”

Arrived at Vienna he had to start over from the beginning – a stressful and frustration situation. Still motivated he started a German course and went to school. He was very glad for the chance to finish school and to start a new life.

Nevertheless all the mental burden made him insecure and let him doubt. The future he is facing is difficult and every step he takes new problems appear. Alone, without the support of the family, problems have to be solved by himself. All this stress leads to a great pressure and the feeling that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

At that time he became a member of a Thai-boxing club in Vienna. There he found the motivation and self-confidence to take life step by step again! There he found his place in the group and was able to make new plans for life. Because physically exhausted our mind is clear enough to see the future and forget about the past.


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