390km, 23600m ascent, 24’800m descent, 14 alpine passes and 6 cantons – that is the Via Alpina. It should become my Way of St. James, lead me into my first sabbatical even, which I want to use to move away from the head-heavy work to the more physically emphasized jugging away. To clear my head, to think about what I should and shouldn’t change in the next year of my life or so. What makes me feel good and what not.
What was actually intended as an introduction to my sabbatical is now becoming the main theme of my time away. Nothing grounds me better and faster after an all too often quite hectic workday than hiking, walking and jogging.
Initially, the Via Alpina plan seemed quite daunting to me. So many unknowns: Can I just hike for so many days in a row? Will I get bored? Will I catch blisters, sore muscles, strains or worse? But then I remembered that the first thing I need to do is stop concentrating on the doubts and what could go wrong. Instead, I visualized myself hiking – in different weather conditions – through forests and villages, across meadows, plains and alps to majestic peaks, enjoying the view and tranquility. And finding my way back to myself. And ever since I started doing that there is no stopping me. I look forward to my adventure with great joy and excitement, whether it succeeds or not. Every starting line is already a victory. Worth a little celebration. Because it means that I have overcome my own doubts – but also those projected onto me by other people – and set out on my journey in spite of them, or precisely because of them. And neither the prospect of failure nor the hardships and deprivations I am sure to encounter can stop me. That alone is already a success!
390km, 23600m Aufstieg, 24’800m Abstieg, 14 Alpenpässe und 6 Kantone – das ist die Via Alpina. Sie soll mein Jakobsweg werden, mich in einen Sabbatical führen, in dem ich mich weg vom kopflastigen Arbeiten zum körperbetonten Chrampfen bewegen will. Den Kopf lüften, Gedanken machen, was sich im nächsten Jahr ändern soll und was nicht. Was mir gut tut und was nicht.
Was eigentlich als Einstieg in meinen Sabbatical gedacht war, wird nun zum Hauptthema meiner Auszeit. Nichts entschleunigt mich besser und schneller vom allzu oft recht hektischen Arbeitsalltag als Wandern, Spazieren und Joggen.
Initial schien mir das Unternehmen Via Alpina ziemlich erschreckend. So viele Unbekannte: Kann ich so viele Tage hintereinander einfach nur wandern? Wird mir langweilig? Werde ich Blasen, Muskelkater, Zerrungen oder Schlimmeres einfangen? Doch dann erinnerte ich mich, dass ich aufhören muss, mir als erstes die Zweifel und was alles schief gehen könnte vorzustellen. Stattdessen visualisierte ich, wie ich – bei verschiedenen Wetterbedingungen – durch Wald und Dörfer, über Wiesen, Auen und Alpen hin zu majestetischen Gipfeln wandere, die Aussicht und Ruhe geniesse. Und zu mir selbst zurückfinde. Und seither gibt es kein Halten mehr. Ich freue mich ohne Ende auf mein Abenteuer, egal ob es gelingt oder nicht. Jede Startlinie ist bereits ein Sieg. Eine kleine Feier wert. Denn es bedeutet, dass ich meine eigenen Zweifel – aber auch die von anderen Leuten auf mich projezierten – überwunden habe und mich dennoch, oder gerade deswegen auf den Weg mache. Und weder die Aussicht auf Misserfolg noch die mir bestimmt begegnenden Mühsale und Entbehrungen mich aufhalten können. Das alleine ist schon ein Erfolg!
Ever since I first read the term I have been intrigued by it because it very much resonated with me.
Since we were scheduled to fly back to daily life on the 2nd, the 1st was packing and cleaning up day which meant putting away all the Christmas decorations and leaving the house seemingly dull and dark.
Anticipatory pain seemed to affect my partner a tad more than me as this is literally his second home. And I was missing my kitties and as much as I wanted to stay longer, I just as much wanted to cuddle my boys.
Still, anticipatory pain is supposed to be often more painful than the actual thing. This we cut ourselves some slack on this first day of a seemingly new year and took everything in stride. Just like the real life pros we are… (we wish…)
New Year’s Eve, what a happy occasion. How we wished we could have simply left the old year with all its ghosts behind but as we know from loooong experience that is jot how it works.
New Year’s Eve is just another day. Though the number of the year changes the next day, very little else does. We thought it couldn’t get much worse but only over the last couple of hours we realized it can. It’s been all downhill so far but do not lose hope – what goes down usually rises and blossoms again. That is the law of nature. Though whatever rises from the ashes might take another form. Whether we’ll like it or not is yet to be seen…
Wishing you all the best, especially good health and lots of strength through these rough times. Big virtual hug!
The wish for some seasonal baking has been in the room for a while now and things finally fell into place with all the right ingredients and plenty of time at hand to engage in some creative baking.
Joulutorttu was the suggestion and it seemed straight forward enough even for my long idling baking abilities. And so it was… until the oven played a trick on me and burned the marmalade. Because we were supposed to use preserves instead of marmalade which we only did for half of the Joulutorttu.
But never mind, we didn’t eat the run out, burned marmalade and since the rest was still very much okay we had ourselves a nice little baking adventure. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…
Tuesday, 29th December called me for another run in the cold. I don’t mind cold runs as long as I got my exercise-induced asthma under control which unfortunately I have to admit is easier away from my cats (I only learned I have a cat allergy when I already had cats).
The surroundings were eerily beautiful in their white snow cover and today I did not meet one soul outside of the shelter of their heated cars.
When I passed a seemingly forlorn hamlet I saw a sign warning me to beware of the dog – which according to the picture had to be massive. I felt utterly grateful to not have met that beast in person.
A little after the hamlet back in the woods my eyes caught a slight glimpse of something that attracted my attention and when stepping closer I realized it was a bunch of white crosses in the middle of the woods surrounded by a white snow blanket. That definitely gave me the creeps and I sprinted for a little while, remembering the pretty little cottage with the birch alley I spotted earlier on in the run. Just keeping my mind busy and getting as much distance between the cemetery and me.
Sometimes if you’re not quite in the mood for a fast workout life hands it to you anyway.
The day started differently than anticipated – an outside control peep hole for the toilet drainage overflowed and this indicated a… situation. The drainage pipe must be clogged.
So the plumber was called, hours spent with unclogging the pipes and our grocery shopping trip postponed to the evening hours.
Apart from standing outside and freezing the tushes off we still managed to have an enjoyable vacation day. In the meanwhile the blockage has been fixed and all is well again, so nothing that couldn’t be handled.
A happy run is an important ingredient of every good, restoring vacation. Be it in a new city, by the beach or in the woods as was the case here.
I was going for an easy 5-6k but ended up doing 9k owing to a missed fork in the path which send me on a 2.5k extra loop.
Apart from the fact that dawn was drawing in which makes every single forest a somewhat mystic and even slightly creepy place to be I didn’t mind in the least as the running was going smooth and easy and I had a general feeling of peacefulness and content.