Why so fast?

IMG_0762Yesterday as I was powering down Sasamat to meet a friend for a walk in the forest, I overtook a man and a small dog. The dog was setting the pace, waddling along and stopping frequently. As I passed them, I joked, “You guys are moving along at mach speed today!”

The man smiled. “It’s senior speed,” he replied. His love for this little fireplug of a dog was palpable in the air as I passed.

Later, in the park, my friend and I were surprised by a huge guy wearing earbuds who flung himself off a wooden walkway at top speed, nearly mowing us down. He pounded into the distance, leaving us gasping in his wake. Continue reading

The elusive Om

You should take R–‘s,” says the woman just ahead of me, when I ask at the neighborhood community center if they could recommend a yoga class. I’m hesitating between the three classes offered; they all promised to “accomodate” those with “limited mobility.” R–, it turns out, has had extensive training with the best of the best.

Despite the fact that the class is an hour and a half long, which summons painful memories of a brief and humiliating yoga experience in Baltimore, I decide to take the plunge. I set great store in word-of-mouth recommendations, particularly from elderly women with recent knee replacements. If she can recommend it, I should be okay. I sign up for a ten-class session.  Continue reading

Dispatch from the wild west

So many things have happened in the Gydle-sphere lately that I have not been able to manage the mental focus it takes to sit down and write for more than ten minutes. Even if I had managed to pull myself together, I don’t think I would have been able to choose any one thing to write about.

Here’s a three-sentence summary to catch up:

On July 8, a group of friendly Kosovans from Allied Moving company came and put all our stuff into a shipping container and drove away.  Then we took off to the Alps and hiked for twelve days. Luc and I barely had time to recover from that before we packed our bags, loaded a very unhappy Minnie the cat into a cat carrier and headed for our new digs here in the wild west.

As I’m settling into my new, albeit unfurnished, home and getting to know my new city, the mental clarity is slowly returning, like coffee grinds to the bottom of the cup. The itch to write once again needs scratching. What precipitated this post? you’re probably wondering.  Am I going to tell you the sordid details of my Canadian immigration experience? The wonders of shopping on Sunday? The exhilaration of running in a midlatitude rainforest?

Maybe later.

No, what happened was I almost fell asleep at the wheel. Continue reading

Last lines to Lausanne

IMG_2781My last days living in Switzerland are looming. Two weeks and I’ll be back across the pond, the sun rising hours later on a completely different body of water. As the time draws nearer, I realize that:

One, I’m getting really impatient with things that drive me nuts about Switzerland.

Two, I’m already feeling nostalgic about the things that I love about Switzerland. Continue reading

Moment of (unexpected) beauty

It was a long, wet winter here in Heidiland. And is has been a cold, soggy, hypothermia-inducing spring. Down in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, Lago Maggiore is brimming over. Around here the farmers can’t plant their potato crops, because the fields are too muddy for their tractors to till. Continue reading

20km de Lausanne: hypothermia version

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Hello. It has been a week and a half and I am finally warmed up enough to type.

Last year’s 20km had people suffering from heat stroke. This year, it was hypothermia. Nothing like a little variety to keep those race organizers on their toes. Continue reading

Dispatch from the pit

IMG_0509It happened today. Out running along the lake in a cold drizzle, I felt it. The low pit of winter is past. We’re on the upslope to spring. There was a huge gaggle of cormorants (is gaggle the right term for cormorants?) on the fake island in Preverenges. They must be on their way to Scandinavia. They must be feeling it, too. (I took this picture the day before.)

I know it officially happened on December 21, when the balance of dark versus light hit bottom and the slow climb back into the sun began once again. But January is usually still too dark and cold and, well, winter for it to register. Today, however, despite the clouds and the rain, I finally feel like I’m climbing out of the hole. Continue reading

The function of funks

I was a little worried that after my last post, someone would stage an intervention. Take away all my running shoes, maybe, or set up a booby trap in front of the door so I would trip and sprain an ankle. Remember, way back this spring I asked you to remind me to be moderate when I started going off the deep end. Thanks for nothing, people!

As it happens, I intervened all by myself and took two consecutive days off. Then I went into a funk. And that has really slowed me down. Continue reading

I’m a movie star

Here I am again. I just got back from a run and I had to post something. It was transcendent. It’s probably just my endocannibinoids talking, but I feel like I’m entering a whole new plane of existence. Yeah, that does sound cannibis-like. Duuude.

This morning I was snooping around on iTunes looking for some new running tunes. None of the music that other runners were raving about on various blogs and magazine sites did anything for me; the songs were all too strident and fierce. Then I happened upon an album of new age-y, celtic inspired music by David and Diane Arkenstone, and when I checked it out with my BPM counter, all the tracks were right in the 90-95 bpm zone. Perfect for running! On impulse I splurged and bought the whole album for 12 francs. I downloaded it to my iPod and headed out the door. Continue reading