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  • Writer's pictureiKonnect

#Meet_the_Oleh Frederic Simon

Aliyah Date: November 2019

Made Aliyah from Toulouse, France

Currently living in Netanya

Frederic is trying to break a world record! Want to know which one? Keep reading to find out about that and his Aliyah experience!

Oleh Frederic Simon coming out of the sea in a black wetsuit and goggles

Frederic was born in France, but he actually lived in China for the last two decades, and move to Israel from Beijing just before Corona hit. He is currently living in Netanya, but he and his fiancee hope to move to Tel Aviv soon.

Frederic made Aliyah for a few different reasons -- one being that he wanted to reconnect with the country, and it's also geographically and culturally very interesting. Smack in the middle between Europe and Asia -- the travel opportunities are great!

Then there is the connection to his family -- both of Frederic's grandparents were Jewish, as is his mother, and he has always liked the country the few times he visited before. It was a mixture of things -- there was no strong catalyst, but rather he took the opportunity to come live in this country, and explore the language and culture.

Oleh Frederic Simon running on a dirt path along the sea

Usually, Frederic is an orthopedic coach -- he coaches athletes with postural issues, specializing in those who do triathlons or endurance races. The business has slowed some because of Corona, so that is how he ended up pursuing the World Record.

What is the World Record? He is doing a successive half Ironman daily -- that means a 1900m swim, 90 km bike ride, and 21 km run EVERY DAY -- he is aiming for 101 days of this! Talk about a goal during Corona!

Frederic explains, "Some days are fine, and some days are very hard." He has done smaller challenges, marathons, and racing, but this is something he has always wanted to do. Frederic wanted to challenge himself -- he always got by from doing 80%, and this is a chance to go above and beyond what is sane. He also explains that it is a chance to learn to fail. "If I fail, I want to fail on my own terms, knowing that I am trying my best, and if I can't do it anymore that's okay. I want to be able to accept failure."

Frederic made Aliyah right before Corona, and so it was hard to learn the language since many institutions closed for a while, and socially that has also made things difficult. Having lived the last 20 years in China, culture shock is definitely a reality and challenge as well. Frederic is lucky that his American fiancée is here with him for the lockdown because the isolation of Corona is difficult.

Oleh Frederic Simon and his fiancee

The best part of Israel to Frederic is the people. He has met friends through swimming and training, and everywhere he finds people to be friendly and welcoming. It is easy to connect to people here.

Frederic's advice for those making Aliyah? It's never too early or late to start learning Hebrew -- just start! Make as many friends as possible, and be open to new connections! That is the factor that will completely change your experience in Israel.


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