Honest (and totally random) thoughts on Nordic Walking – 1

German: Ja, ich hab ja versprochen ich schreibe einen Text über meinen „Sport“ Nordic Walking, aber leider leider ist er auf English verfasst (er ist von 2017, als ich noch reichlich Zeug auf English geschrieben habe), denn sowas Gemeines mache ich ab und zu und bin danach einfach zu faul den Krempel wieder ins Deutsche zu übersetzen, sehr zum Leidwesen von so ziemlich allen die ich kenne. Zudem habe ich zu meinem eigenen Erstaunen immer wieder internationale Besucher und wäre doch nett, wenn die auch mal was lesen dürfen. 😉

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[This was a older letter from back in 2017 to my young and terribly attractive teacher after a 8-week Nordic Walking course. And I’m German, so my English is obviously rather lackluster – I’m sorry. I will probably write another text about my adventures with this sport, so dont worry if you like it.]

Well as I said there is a bit more stuff I wrote about the topic Nordic Walking and my (few) experiences with it, but I’m not quite sure how well you will react when reading it 😉

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You said at one point in the Nordic Walking course that, in order to avoid low hanging branches, we should bend our knees slightly to simply walk underneath it. Funny girl, but that’s not how it works (at least not in my case)! Of course it didn’t stop you from repeatedly choosing paths underneath or through low hanging foliage.
   Actually because of the fairly significant height difference between us two (I’m 1,93cm and you barely 1,60m) I would actually have to kneel down and slide on my knees in avoidance of the low hanging tree stuff and no, that’s sometimes simply a bit too much work to be bothered with. Instead I simply ignore it for the most part and walk right through it – which works just perfectly fine as long as I don’t bash my head into a branch (I have btw. similar experiences with expeditions into our cellar, which is clearly not build for tall people and if I’m careless I’ll risk running into a ceiling-mounted valve or against a steel beam). Running through low hanging leafage can be a bit annoying but is somewhat feasible.
By the way if you’re asking yourself how my conclusion leads to kneeling … I measured it – on my knees I’m still over 140 cm tall.

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When it comes to walking in a group in a set walking pace, it’s not particular exciting for me because I’m kinda forced to walk slowly, which can be fairly frustrating in the long run. Because of that I really enjoyed the few occasions where I was walking on my own and could reach my full potential in terms of walking speed.
   But I remember very well that one moment (near the end of the course) when I was chosen to lead the group on the way back and the result was that I walked the same distance – we walked beforehand to this point – back in about half the time and when I reached the end of the track I had to wait a couple of minutes for the rest of the group to catch up (If I remember correctly you said, that you had to run occasionally to catch up to the rest of the group).
   I guess I would reached the end of the track probably even sooner but mounting a headlamp while walking turned out to be a bit more trickier than I thought and the terrain was a bit challenging as well: A rag rug of concrete plates where you couldn’t really use your sticks for support. That and a muddy mess so bad, that the concrete blocks after that were a welcome variation (till the point when you remembered why concrete isn’t ideal either).
   Also as someone with glasses it’s a bit annoying  to have a very limited vertical field of view, which results in regularly switching between watching the ground for muddy terrain or objects in the way and back watching the tree-line in order to avoid running into trees or smashing my head into a damn low hanging branch.

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Sometimes I think that it could be quite interesting to do some Nordic walking with you together, but I guess it will probably end in an activity of torturing each other. On the one side you probably won’t be that happy when I’m walking (very) fast through a number of all possible and impossible variations of terrain (even at night in pitch black darkness) and I on the other hand would be completely screwed if you would decide to switch from Nordic walking to Nordic jogging for a longer period of time, because my endurance is just that awfully bad.

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What I find quite interesting is (and in this case I kinda have to admire you for that), that you doesn’t seemed to be bothered about it at all at how stup … uh, I mean strange Nordic walking and all the related exercises may look like to other people – resulting in somewhat confused and even spiteful looks and commentaries by other people or pedestrians, which seemed to just bounce of you with ease and no harm.
   I on the other hand had quite a difficult time not to burst into laughter at any time while doing some of the more silly looking exercises and was very glad that I never met someone who I know from university or work (maybe because Nordic walking isn’t really what you would expect from someone who looks like the archetypical geek).
   But I guess I simply dislike it when people watch me doing stuff (no matter what it is I’m doing. It’s especially annoying when for example writing an exam and for some reason the prof decides to stand behind you and looking at your paper but without saying anything at all, which kinda drives me nuts), which led me to the only logical conclusion to walk either in complete darkness or in an area where nobody else is.

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By the way: as I searched online for a headlamp for walking at night (when nobody can see me. Even though thinking about it I’m not quite sure whether people actually want to know what kind of maniac is running off-road in the middle of the night with a shaking headlamp like he is hunted by the devil). Anyway, prior to my purchase of a headlamp I did some research on night vision devices (SEALs call them Nods). Because honestly what would be more perfect for walking peacefully in pitch black darkness while being able to see clearly, while other people can’t see you in return?
   But sadly many of the models I found weren’t available in Germany and even worse the better ones cost a small fortune – for some of the higher class ones you could get a small car (or a special made bath tube for people my size). So sadly I had to scale down my expectations quite a bit and settle for a “cheap” headlamp.
   But if it comes to a point when I have too much money to spend on questionable items (even more so than now) I will probably go back and buy a night vision device, just because I can. Also it would fit quite nicely in my collection of stuff that could come in handy, but nobody really needs.

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So the next Nordic Walking Course starts in the middle of January? Well considering how reliable we don’t have snow in winter (thank god) and Nordic Walking was meant as an alternative for cross-country skiing when snow isn’t available it would kinda make sense to a degree. Even though could it also end in a mess of walking through a mixture of mud and damp snow in one place and frozen earth with some spots of somewhat untouched snow.

But it kinda comes in handy quite a bit because purely accidentally I just managed to organize the appropriate equipment for walking in colder temperatures, including spikes for my walking boots. The only thing that is missing (apart of the stuff I ordered but hasn’t arrived jet) is a pair of Nordic Walking sticks. But in this regard I already kinda made my choice, even though it’s probably not exactly the cheapest entry I found while searching online.

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