Thursday, March 31, 2011

First Day Back in the Saddle

"The hardest part about training is making the decision to start training at all.” – Wolfgang G├╝llich


After a long hellish time away from the wall, I am back! I have been climbing lightly for about a month now, but today is the day I restarted my training. With minimal training equipment I needed a training routine that only requires the floor, a pair of rings and a chair. My friend and personal trainer Eleni Kehagiaras hooked me up with a regime to get me back into shape. It includes bicep curls, rows, squat jumps, lunge jumps, jumping jacks, dips and my least favorite…running. I will be adding some lower back and abs as well. I am hoping that by the time I get home from Europe I will be in good physical shape so I can train hard for climbing.

The “wall” I have to work with is very small, and not the best for training. Compared to my Portland stomping grounds, it isn’t much. However the people that climb there make all the difference. I have met a great group of people who have been very welcoming and friendly. 

The "wall" in Sigmaringen.


Other than the “Wall” I have been to two gyms. One in Ravensburg that has great features on their lead wall, and another in Munich called Boulderwelt or Boulder World. It’s an all bouldering gym with very interesting wall designs and is very spacious. Being all bouldering, it reminded me of my home gym The Circuit and how much I miss it!

I have yet to climb outside! The outdoor area near me is known as the Donautal. It is escarpment after escarpment of polished limestone all around five to ten minutes from my front door. I am just waiting on some good weather on my days off!  I have planned a trip the second week in April to Kjuge, a bouldering area in Sweden. I plan on meeting up with some friends I met while climbing in Kalymnos. Hopefully I will get some good weather so I can get the most out of my trip!


Living here in Germany has been and continues to be such a great experience. Adjusting took some time but now I feel very comfortable and happy. Working with the kids every day is so much fun, and a dream come true. For those of you who don’t know, my stay in Germany has been 12 years of dreams and planning. The woman I am an Au-Pair for was my Au-pair when I was 4 years old. After she left, my family and I took a trip to Germany to visit her. During my stay I decided that I must come back and live here, and maybe be a nanny for Silke. Around 3 years ago this dream started to become a reality when Silke had her first child. We started planning, and setting a date for me to come. It was so unreal until I got here. The kids are amazing. Magdalena, age three; is a bubbly, sensitive little thing. She has super cute Harry Potter glasses, and loves to play hide and seek. Lukas, almost one; is also known as “The hardwood Surfer”.  He doesn’t crawl! The lays on his stomach much like a surfer on a board and uses his arms to pull himself around the floor! It is the weirdest thing! I actually got on the floor and tried to do what he does all day every day, and it is really difficult. (I might weigh a little more than he does.)

I spend most of my time with Lukas, because Magdalena goes to kindergarten during the day. My day consists of feeding Lukas, getting him dressed, then making Magdalena’s lunch and driving her to kindergarten. If I don’t wave at her when I leave, her day will go completely sideways! So, always remember to wave good bye. Then I come back, give the key to Silke so she can go to work and Lukas and I keep the house clean. He helps me fold the laundry (meaning I get to fold it twice), we have lunch, and we go for walks. Silke usually is home in time to put him down for a nap. After nap time I try to do a project with Magdalena once a week. This week we made rock candy. I think at least a quarter of the sugar needed for the candy was poured on the floor! The sugar crystals are growing in jars on the windowsill.

Magdalena and I blowing bubbles.

Every day here is a new experience. Whether is a trip to the bar with new friends, or learning a new word in German. It’s something that I will never forget and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to live and work here.