It’s hard to live in Southern Germany and NOT get involved in lots of walking. As we’ve spent more intentional time focusing on our health and fitness, the many trails of the Black Forest have been joyfully utilized.
This is also something we share with our good friends.
They invited us to join them on another Nordic Walk… although instead of only Marcy and Doris, we took the whole family. Well, the whole adult family, anyway. This was a great chance for both of us to get to do something together without kids in tow (and that was nice!)
We drove for about an hour to a beautiful lake called Schluchsee. We arrived, perused the discounted, quality fitness apparel, received our dry-fit shirt and hat, and waited for our warm-up exercises. This is one of my (Marcy’s) favorite parts of the walk… the warm-up exercise, and how ridiculous we all must look… and yet how much fun we’re having looking it. We squat and sway and lift and twist… we even used our poles for a bit of a stretching pole dance. But when the instructor lifted her poles from directly in front of her (arms stretched out in front) and rotated them ENTIRELY to behind her without bending an arm… yeah, we all let out a collective sigh of either admiration or incredulation. Probably both.
And then the gun goes off and we are off! For eleven kilometers we climbed a mountain, descended a mountain, and walked the length of the lake. It was gorgeous. Though, what I thought was a fine mist hovering over parts of the forest ended up being clouds of pollen, doing their Spring-thing (which I’m now paying for with my sinuses).
And I’d do it again!
I’ve been walking so much lately, the 11 kilometers themselves were no problem. The problem is that Nordic Walkers tend to walk faster than I run. So even though I walk/hike regularly, it’s not usually at the Nordic Walking pace. This was a little shorter in distance than my last one but just as beautiful. I loved sharing it with our friends. For our small entrance fee we not only got the shirt and hat, but drink and snack stations, a medal, and a three-course buffet meal at the end. Hello?! That was INCREDIBLE. In fact, next year we may need to walk the 18 kilometers, just to make sure we’ve walked that upcoming meal off. Phew.
My goal was to finish in two hours or less. We finished in one hour and fifty-six minutes. Woot!
And, like anything anyone does around these parts, it usually takes a community to make it happen. DEEP thanks to Christal and Shannon who tag-teamed watching our kids while we were on the walk. It was a rich experience with our friends, good for our souls and minds and bodies, and good for our marriage.
Plus, we found ourselves in the thick of some serious German culture.
And we loved it.
There aren’t many from across the pond (that I’ve noticed in my two walks) who are walking these walks. We only know about them because of our local friends and their invitation. They’ve been such amazing bridges into their world, their food, their traditions, their culture, and their language. What a blessing to have them in our lives.
In fact, on our drive home, I found myself soaking in the feeling and knowledge that these friends are truly one of our greatest surprises to moving here.