About a week ago I had to go to the doctor’s office for an annual checkup. While I was sitting in the waiting room a tiny fluffy black kitty hopped in the window, quickly gazed at me and offered me a little meow before plopping itself down on the chair next to me and starting to clean itself vigorously. I watched it for a while then shrugged and continued my reading. I was under the impression that this happened regularly and since I love a cat’s company I was in waiting room heaven.
When the doctor came to welcome me she greeted me,’looked at the cat, back at me and asked me quite dazzled whether the cat would be ok in the waiting room and I once again shrugged, telling her she probably ought to know better. A puzzled expression crossed her face and she asked me “So this is not your cat?” And I’m just like “Nope, I only bring my cats to the doctor when it’s a vet.”
Next thing I know is the doc calling for the assistant who looks at me a tad outraged and I immediately knew she too was thinking this was my cat. And there it was, she asked me and I once again declined patiently.
Both the assistant and doctor look a little helpless at this point and so the assistant tries to shake the cat off the chair which immediately makes me step in, cradle her in my arms and setting her outside the window. I’ve hardly ever seen windows being closed any faster.
The doctor and the assistant were quite obviously uncomfortable but to me it was one of my best visit to the doctor’s. If it were up to me I would only visit doctor’s with waiting room kitties, I’ve positively never been sooo relaxed in a doctor’s office ever!
Running has been a two-sided sword lately. While I’ve always loved the serenity and calm, clarity and freedom I gained from running, it is still a sport and if you’re a little under the weather or simply a tad burnt out it can be a real challenge to complete a race. No more feeling like flying over those fields.
Before I went on my 3-week vacation mid-September I was definitely drained, both physically but even more so mentally. And thus I had to realize I wasn’t up to finishing the 10k race I had registered for. After 8k my mind simply shut down and my legs wouldn’t move anymore. I took this as a sign to slow down and seriously re-charge my batteries during my vacation.
I was successful and even though I caught the sniffles and stopped training alltogether for a couple of days, it seems like this was exactly what my body needed.
Thus regarched and mentally ready I got off to this year’s half-marathon of my choice around a most idyllic lake close by. All went well – until km 10…
And that’s when – for some still inexplicable reason – I not only fell, but flew for the briefest of moments and came crashing down on the gravel path: Ouch! It hurt. And once again not only physically but even more so mentally. I know it sounds aweful but I was kind of relieved to see another runner crash at the exact same spot I did only a minute later. Helped me not to feel too awkward… Horrible, I know.
Anyways, after getting cleaned up a little I tried to run on but in the end didn’t have the stomach to pull it through and turned around. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t cracked or torn anything. As luck would have it the halfway mark where I crashed was right where the boats crossed the lake so I was able to hop on and get myself chauffeured back to the finish line.
Luckily, I wasn’t seriously hurt. So the next day despite the road burn, bruising and horrible muscle aches I was able to get up – and even run. As my friend said: Get up on that horse again to avoid a mental block. And so I did. My dear Renntier (running deer :-)) friend took me back to the lake and “made” me finish the second half of the race. Just for the sake of it I added some extra 3-4k to show running who’s boss 🙂
Q: Did you ever crash badly enough to keep you from ever doing something again, say skiing, horseback riding, skating etc.?
Running is my outlet. Whether I need to let some steam off or re-energize myself, going for a run is always very high on my list. I’m by far not a fast runner as I keep struggling with exercise-induced-asthma and interval training is simply not my favorite. But I get my behind out there on a regular basis, no matter what the weather’s like. I just love to be outside, sucking the fresh air into my lungs, feeling my legs work and my head airing out. The latter is a main motivator for me – whenever I have stuff to process I run it off as I seem to be more honest with myself on my runs and thus find conclusions that are closer to my heart than if I simply sit and ponder. So if you’d ask me if I’m running from something I’d rather say I’m running towards something: A solution. Peace of mind.
Before 2017 whenever I joined a race I was mostly disenchanted – too many people, too nervous before the race, not properly prepared… whatever the reasons, it usually took me quite a while to get back on the track. But returning home from the USA I felt the urge to participate in a race with my running bud and best friend of several years. And as fate had it he asked me right around that time if I would like to join him in a New Year’s race mid-January 2017. And that was the start to a crazy running season for me: I completed over 180km in 15 races! Seriously: Kudos to myself 😉
Swiss City Halbmarathon
I’m not intent in surpassing the number of runs of mileage put into runs, not at all. In fact I think I’ll do a little less but you never know… I mean, the first two or three races are already set for 2018, the first two taking place in January… so hopefully off to a great start!
Q: Do you have any sports, reading, vacation, party or otherwise fun goals for 2018?
Saturday, March 19th, 2017 – Ever since I moved into my apartment there’s been one thing that’s been bothering me: The incredibly low pressure at which the water trickled out the kitchen faucet. So a couple of weekends back I decided to fix it: So I descaled the faucet, took it apart and built it together again the way it was supposed to fit together and – voilà: Ever since it’s been working like a charm. And to this day that makes me very happy. Small pleasures sweeten my life 🙂
Sunday, March 20th, 2017 – The week before last I fell sick. I’d caught the crud. My throat felt thick with a cold and over the weekend I got a very sore throat. It later turned into a bad cold with fever, coughing and sneezing galore.
So I put on my beanie and surrounded myself with my favorite stuffed animals… okay, my one favorite stuffed animal: Hedwig, the snow owl.
Monday, March 21st, 2017 – Later in the week I started to feel way worse and when the voice at the end of a 10 min. meditation session I tried to follow asked me how I was feeling now the first answer that shot through my head was “Like someone had stuffed my lungs through a meat grinder!”
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 – It has become customary for me to celebrate my second Birthday on March 22nd every year. It was that day in 1994 when I was rushed to the hospital with a thunderous headache (seriously, it felt as if that monster from the “Alien” movie tried to escape from my skull instead of my gut :-p) and a boiling fever, a stiff neck and arched spine. Turned out I had a bacterial meningitis and after a spinal punctuation to confirm the bacterial part they flushed me with antibiotics immediately. I was lucky the first antibiotics the pumped into my system worked and thus I am who I am today: A lucky one who has gotten through some rough patches.
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 – That’s the face you make when your doc tells you that you’re not suffering from the flu but “just from a common cold”. The addition that it was a severe cold and undoubtedly serious doesn’t really help to pick up your ego after such a blow.
Friday, March 24th, 2017 – I dared to go for a walk as the weather forecast promised a lot of sun, thanks to the southern wind coming over the alps and usually bringing splendid weather with it. Unfortunately, the “Föhn” – or “chinook wind” as it is sometimes called by English speakers – was quite frosty and fierce this time and almost blew my hair off my head… as you notice my beanie’s already gone. Luckily, I took it off myself. And just in time – a ferocious gust of wind managed to blow a fellow walker’s cap off so he had to chase after it – and in my imagination he’s running after it to this very day.
Saturday, March 25th, 2017 – I have to admit: I’ve never been the biggest fan of curtains. Mostly because however thing they are they steal my daylight. So I try to avoid them wherever I can. Since I do have a pair of windows that is facing directly my neighbors windows/balcony door I decided I needed a little privacy, so I designed my own visual cover. I am pretty pleased with the result. And I dare say my neighbor doesn’t have much to complain about either.
What did you do last week? Did you manage to get healthy through this winter?
It’s not like I didn’t know anything about zentangling, meaning I could have attended the advanced course but I was interested to learn the basics, the phylosophy behind the whole zentangle movement. And it is fascinating, I’m telling you.
The three hours were well spent, even if it meant that I sounded like a failing steam-engine Sunday morning. That would most certainly have happened anyway. At least now I know that I had three memorable hours with a bunch of creative ladies who to begin with thought they were utterly talentless but as it turned out they were all amazing artists. That’s the beauty of zentangling: It takes out the stress of competing with either your own expecations or others work – each and every piece is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. See for yourselves:
I hope you all had an inspiring weekend with at least one activity that took you to that place of calm contentment that one only finds when being in the here and now, finding the flow. What’s your go to activity to find that state?
I’ve been into sports more or less all my life. Not in a club or another specifically dedicated way but either watching it or just doing it for myself. As a kid is was mostly playing games that involved running around outside or sometimes playing soccer with my brother and his friends (if they let me). Of course I also had a bicycle, roller skates and at times a skateboard that kept me moving.
As a teenager I wasn’t crazy about gym class but in my spare time I still remained active and rode my bike pretty much everywhere. So that never stopped. But only at the age of 27 did I consciously take up running as a regular habit. At first I found it extremely arduous, I could hardly run a couple of hundred yards without sounding like a steam engine. But I kept at it and stuck with it ever since.
I’ve never turned into a fast runner but I can run moderate distances and as I run slowly I can run for quite a long time no problem. Record is around two and a half hours. In the past years I’ve participated in a few races but after each and every one I was convinced it was the last. I did not like the masses, running with other folks does not appeal to me at all and usually race day is simply not one of my “magical days” when I just get up and run as if I’d never done anything else.
Of course, exercise-induced asthma doesn’t help. But I’m starting to get accustomed to it and know how to work with it. I’ve found my peace with not being the fastest runner but instead concentrate on having fun while I’m out there enjoying nature in all it’s glory. And I think that’s why this year everything’s different.
All of a sudden I’m chasing race after race. Or, well, let’s say I’m easily convinced to join in yet another one. One of my very best friends is an inspiring runner, duathlete and thriathlete. He recently joined the board of a runners club and asked me to join the club as well. He lured me in with the prospect of receiving 10 bucks for every race I finish that is on our race club’s list. So after only a couple of races I’ll have earned back my club fee and after that it’s pure cash… haha, it seems I’m a capitalist after all.
But to be honest, it’s not about the money at all. What spurs me this time is
a) The fact that all the races I’ve joined so far were only regional events with few runners and
b) I’m taking it so easy with the only goal being that I arrive – regardless of the time.
That does the trick. I’ve stopped agonizing about my performance but instead concentrate on the joys of running: The feeling of being healthy and able to run at all, the fresh crisp-clean air, the sounds, texture of snow or gravel under my feet, the friendly folks spurring the runners on, the other participants- joy – it’s all most inspiring. And guess what? I’ve been delivering my best results when it comes to times so far 🙂
Now of course one might think I might be running away from something… which might make sense after as exhausting a year as the one I’ve just put behind me. But then again I’ve always been a rather positive person so I prefer to look at it the other way – I’m running towards something. Be it answers, a new beginning or simply the appreciation of a cleansing shower after the run 🙂
Dear readers, is there anything you totally changed your mind about over time?
I’ve been away from my blog – and pretty much all things social media in general – for almost two months. When looking around the blogger sphere I see this happening on a more or less regular basis, especially to blogger who have a day job, possibly staring into a screen more or less all day. I sometimes feel intimidated by the mere thought of spending more time in front of a screen so I rather spend my spare time doodling or painting, enjoying meditative yoga sessions or going for a run.
Fast zwei Monate habe ich mich von meinem Blog – und so ziemlich allen sozialen Medien – ferngehalten. Wenn ich mich so in der Blogosphäre umsehe, scheint das auf einer mehr oder weniger regelmässigen Basis zu geschehen, speziell bei Bloggern, die einer (anderen) hauptberuflichen Tätigkeit nachgehen und dabei vielleicht auch noch den ganzen Tag in einen Bildschirm starren. Mich selbst schüchtert der Gedanke, noch mehr Zeit vor dem Bildschirm zu verbringen, manchmal richtiggehend ein und so verbringe ich meine freie Zeit lieber mit Zeichnen und Malen, einer meditativen Yoga-Sitzung oder beim Joggen im Wald.
My return to Switzerland and the getting settled in again was both exhilarating yet exhausting. So when I finally and quite literally collapsed into my vacation over Christmas and New Year’s I decided to cancel all my plans except the ones with my family and to stay away from all “virtual” contacts. I needed to concentrate on the here and now and I regret nothing. I spent my time exactly as I had imagined, rediscovering my love for winter, snowfall, freshly powdered fields and both winter runs and hikes.
Meine Rückkehr in die Schweiz und der Prozess der Akklimatisierung sind gleichzeitig beglückend wie auch erschöpfend. Als ich also buchstäblich in meine Weihnachtsferien kollabierte, entschied ich mich, sämtliche bisher gemachten Pläne abzublasen, abgesehen von den vereinbarten Treffen mit meiner Familie, und mich von allen virtuellen Kontakten fernzuhalten. Ich musste mich auf’s Hier und Jetzt konzentrieren und ich bereue nichts. Ich habe meine Zeit genau so verbracht, wie ich es mir vorgestellt habe, indem ich meine Liebe für den Winter, Schneefall, frisch gepuderte Felder und sowohl Winterläufe wie auch -wanderungen wiederentdeckt habe.
Luckily I got myself a pair of Goretex Reebok Trails at the close by Adidas Outlet store that now also carries Reebok products (no, I’m not getting paid to say this, I’m just a huge fan of the fact that I can get some reasonably priced Reebok products close by now). I’m super happy with the shoe as it has the profile to get me through all sorts of snow and mud without slipping once. While I’m usually not a huge fan of races one of my best friends asked me to join a New Year’s race of 12k which I joined last weekend. Though I was as slow as ever I did have a ton of fun enjoying the serene, white landscape and the unusually few runners competing in the race. And the ones who were there had the same goal as I did: Just enjoy the atmosphere, never mind the time. We joked and sang with the audience, motivated each other along the way and helped one another up if someone should slip on the icy path after all. That’s the spirit that pulls me back to races, makes me consider signing up for another race or two. And yes, the next one I’m registered for is very close to home and only 8k long but promises no less fun!
Glücklicherweise hatte ich mir bei nahegelegenen Adidas Outlet, der seit Neustem auch Reebok Produkte vertreibt (nein, ich werde nicht dafür bezahlt, dies zu sagen, ich bin nur ein riesiger Fan der Tatsache, dass ich nun ein paar vernünftig teure Reebok Produkte ganz in der Nähe einkaufen kann), ein paar Goretex Reebok Trails gekauft. Ich bin super-glücklich mit dem Schuh, hat er doch ein Profil, der mich durch jegliche Art Schnee und Dreck transportiert, ohne auch einmal auszurutschen. Während ich üblicherweise nicht ein riesiger Fan von Laufanlässen bin, habe ich doch letztes Wochenende auf Anfrage eines meiner besten Freunde an einem 12km Neujahrslauf teilgenommen. Obwohl ich langsam wie immer war, hatte ich doch eine Tonne Spass dabei, die ruhige, weisse Landschaft und die Gesellschaft der ungewöhnlich kleine Masse an Läufern, die an diesem Anlass teilnahmen, zu geniessen. Und die wenigen, die da waren, hatten dasselbe Ziel wie ich: Einfach die Atmosphäre geniessen ohne sich um die Endzeit zu kümmern. Wir witzelten und sangen mit dem Publikum, motivierten einander unterwegs und halfen einander auf, sollte doch jemand mal auf einem eisigen Pfad ausrutschen. Das ist genau die Einstellung, die mich wieder darüber nachdenken lässt, an weiteren Läufen teilzunehmen. Und ja, der nächste Lauf, für den ich angemeldet bin, ist sehr nahe bei mir zuhause und nur gerade 8km lang, verspricht deswegen aber nicht weniger Spass!
Unfortunately, my – literally – fast friend who’s running whatever race comes under his feet will be benched for the time coming: He had to get his shoulder fixed after having it dislocated for the umpteenth time. But he promised to come and cheer me on, so that should be good!!
Unglücklicherweise wird mein unglaublich schneller Freund zum Zeitpunkt dieses Rennens auf die Ersatzbank verbannt sein: Er muss seine Schulter operieren lassen, nachdem er sie zum x-ten Male ausgerenkt hat. Aber er hat versprochen, mich anfeuern zu kommen, das sollte also trotzdem spassig werden!!
Well, I guess I’ll keep you updated on my running, doodling and other shenanigans on a more frequent basis again. At least that’s the plan. But we know how live is: Every so often – or more often than not?! – it interferes and we’re left juggling our at times challenging everyday lives. But I’m determined to use this blog as an outlet for what’s going on. Maybe even on a deeper, more personal level… who knows what this new year will bring 😉
Nun, ich denke ich halte euch wieder etwas regelmässiger auf dem Laufenden 😉 über meine Rennerei, Zeichnerei und anderen Spielereien. Zumindest ist das der Plan. Doch wir wissen ja, wie das Leben derweil ist: Gelegentlich – oder öfter als nicht?! – funkt es uns dazwischen und wir müssen versuchen, unseren teilweise doch recht herausfordernden Alltag unter einen Hut zu bringen. Doch ich bin entschlossen, diesen Blog als Ventil dafür, was in meinem Leben so vorgeht, zu nutzen. Vielleicht sogar auf einer etwas tieferen, persönlicheren Ebene… Wer weiss schon, was dieses neue Jahr noch alles mit sich bringt 😉
What keeps you running? Do you join races on a regular basis?
Was hält dich am Laufen? Nimmst du regelmässig an Volksläufen teil?
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It is the time of the year when young birds leave their nest and so it’s probably no wonder that I happened upon this little fella on one of my last runs. Of course, I didn’t touch him or anything, just watched him sit there for a while, hoping that his family would find him and finish the job of teaching him how to fly. Es ist wieder die Jahreszeit der flügge werdenden Vögel und so scheint es wohl wenig erstaunlich, dass ich auf einem meiner letzten Läufe diesem kleinen Kerlchen begegnet bin. Natürlich habe ich ihn nicht angefasst sondern nur für eine Weile beobachtet, wie er geduldig dasitzt. Ich hoffte inständig, dass seine Familie ihn finden und ihm das Fliegen noch fertig beibringen würde.
On Saturday’s run a couple of bicyclists and fellow runners had to disturb a wedding party about to take pictures on this little footbridge down at Lady Bird Lake close to Longhorn Dam. It was drizzling at the time so they first had to remove the humongous pile of umbrellas they had piled up at the end/beginning of the bridge 🙂 Auf meinem Samstags-Lauf mussten einige Velofahrer und Mit-Läufer eine Hochzeitsgesellschaft stören, die gerade dabei war, Fotos auf dieser kleinen Holzbrücke beim Lady Bird Lake nahe des Longhorn Dams zu schiessen. Es nieselte und so musste die Gesellschaft erst einmal den enormen Haufen Regenschirme aus dem Weg räumen, die sich am Anfang/Ende der Brücke aufgetürmt hatte 🙂
The other day I finally stopped and took a picture of a flock of geese that I come upon quite frequently on my runs along Town Lake. I don’t know what it is about geese but they always make me smile. Their looks are very similar to that of swans but the latter have a tendency to scare me while geese just seem so much friendlier, not sure why. Probably because no goose ever tried to peck my brother to mush in his stroller back when he was a baby. Kürzlich habe ich mir endlich die Mühe gemacht anzuhalten und ein Foto dieser Gänseschar, die mir recht oft auf meinen Läufen um den Town Lake begegnet, zu machen. Ich bin mir nicht ganz im Klaren darüber, warum mich Gänse immer zum Grinsen bringen. Gänse sehen ja Schwänen ganz schön ähnlich, aber die Letzteren beunruhigen mich eher, während Gänse so viel freundlicher wirken; keine Ahnung. Vielleicht weil keine Gans je versucht hat, meinen Bruder in seinem Kinderwagen zu Brei zu picken als er noch ein Baby war.