The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Monday, April 13, 2009

Viva La Feet!

The weather has been just beautiful lately. Spring is definitely here. But I really haven't had a chance to get out and enjoy it until yesterday. I took on a project from Conny, who is doing her PhD at the university in Berlin. She has done some interviews that she needs transcribed from audio and doesn't have the time to do it herself so she's paying me to do it. It's really tedious, boring and time consuming but the money at the end will be nice to see. I spent the better part of last week working on it and decided yesterday that I needed a break and also needed to get outside. So I put on my walking shoes. I've gotten out of the habit of my daily walks since I got here and now that the weather has gotten so nice I plan to make them a priority again.

Nikki lives in Ludwigshafen and I live in Mannheim. The two cities are only separated by the Rhein river. Then there is the Neckar which branches off the Rhein, runs through Mannheim and off to the southeast (actually I think it comes from the SE and runs into the Rhein at Mannheim). So riverside walking/biking paths are in abundance around here. They are quite pretty, well maintained and very popular. I started my walk yesterday along the Neckar and ended up several miles later in a little town called Neckarhausen. By the time I got back to my starting point I had covered about 9.5 miles and was thoroughly pooped, but in a good way.

Today I decided to go to Luisenpark for my walk. I haven't been there since Nikki and I went last October. The park is really big with outdoor cafes, fountains, boat rides, flower gardens bursting with color, several playgrounds bursting with children, large open grassy areas and endless paths that meander through it all. There is something about walking through a park on a beautiful day with an ice cream cone in your hand that just makes you feel so carefree. I don't think I walked 9 miles today but, even so, I covered a good bit of ground and felt very satisfied by the time I left the park and caught the Strassenbahn home.

I'm not sure which I enjoyed more...the river or the park. Either way, though, I have really missed my walks. I've gone meandering through the forests and the vineyards with Nikki and Bert and various other people several times since I got to Germany but those excursions have a different feel to them. They are fun and very social and usually consume the whole afternoon. On the other hand my daily walks are solitary, only take a few hours and seem to be my way of staying in touch with myself. I don't power walk; I just walk. I think it's my form of meditation. I feel better mentally and physically when I walk regularly. I had a gym membership for a while several years ago but I finally realized that it caused me more stress than it relieved. I had to force myself to go and felt guilty when I didn't! I much prefer to just put on my tennis shoes, grab my iPod and step out the front door. I don't have to make myself do it. I don't find excuses to avoid doing it and it's a whole lot cheaper than the gym!


Michael said...

Go Mom!

Shauna and I are considering going to the gym together, actually. Should help to build up good endorphins and relieve stress.

Anonymous said...

Connie I learned a long time ago a peace of mind is a whole lot better then a good behind. You make am slow and eat all you want....skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO what a ride!”

Nikki said...

Viva la Deutschland! (Er, le Deutschland? La Allemagne? Le? Whatever, D-land ueber alles!)

Also Bro, gym = excellent idea. Give it a few times (read: a few weeks) and suddenly you just start to feel so *good* in your own skin!

And then you can come here and kill your beach bod with beer. :)

Amy said...

"I had a gym membership for a while several years ago but I finally realized that it caused me more stress than it relieved. I had to force myself to go and felt guilty when I didn't!"

Amen, sister :) Gyms have their place, but I've never liked them myself, not compared with getting outside, getting stuff done, going to new places, riding my bike...

John and I just started a qi gong class, and man, I'm sleeping way better! I think I feel more peaceful too. It's not the kind of class you even break a sweat in, more like meditation plus some movements to support it.

Nikki said...

Ooo, what's qi gong? (I guess I could look it up, but I wanna hear what it means to you!)