Swimming with the shark


Have you ever swam over a mile in a lap pool? You know the feeling at the start, to think there are over 80 more lenghs coming, the water is cold, this will take forever? But then, towards the end, it gets so easy, and the last lap usually turns out to be the most enjoyable one of your entire swim... Now imagine your 1mile+ swim with a

A love declaration


   I used to hate the winter. I still hate the cold. The one thing powerful enough to let me make friends with the winter was snowboarding, after 14 years of struggling with it. Snowboarding has changed my life in so many ways. Far beyond allowing me to sympathize with winter, it enabled me to find and be myself. At age 13 I felt

From Jaegermeister to the Nirvana. Zooms on life.


Originally, this was a text about „Cheating, Killing and Chocolate Mousse.“ There were some fundamental thoughts leading from roadkill to the group dynamics of war and the question wheather 2 married women put less guilt on their shoulders when they have a threesome with a stranger than if they´d take him home alone, individually. I

In between. Munich Purgatory.


  It´s June. I haven´t written a personal blog in a long time. Didn´t feel like it. Wrote for another blog too, one that I couldn´t pour my heart into. Doing something half-hearted can take a lot more energy than going all in and forcing yourself to be more shallow than you truely are comes at a price. It´s hard to pretend, even if it

See what I see, feel what I feel


It starts with the squishing sound that snow only makes when the temperatures are almost unbearably low, a sound I haven´t heard in Germany in a long time. Either because global warming has already hit us too hard or because I´m barely at home through those coldest times of the year. This squeeking melody my feet create while

What is indoor snowboarding like?

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It’s a fact — people living in countries without mountains and/or snow are not as likely to get into wintersports. But due to ski domes and dry slopes it’s possible to get into skiing and snowboarding even in places like Dubai these days. But what is indoor snowboarding really like?

The Netherlands are a pretty flat zone. Interestingly Ride picked exactly this country to showcase all the 2012/2013 product at their International Sales Meeting – at Snowworld Landgraf, an indoor snow dome.

I´ve been to other indoor slopes before and every single place has it´s own vibe and specialties. The Skihalle Neuss in Germany is a famous bachelor-party spot, in Japan the escalators (that are used instead of lifts) give the ski domes a touch of shopping-mall-feeling whereas Landgraf was the first place where I’ve ever seen a 6-person-chairlift inside.

Even though you wouldn’t expect conditions to change much without the impact of weather, the slopes are definitely the best in the morning and get gradually icier until the end of the day. One of the days I really rode until the last lift. Last lift means midnight. Since the light and temperature is the same all day long it’s easy to lose the feeling for what time it is when you ride indoors.

Besides the six person chairlift I was also really impressed by the park they had set up at Landgraf. It’s possible to hit three jumps or a decent amount of jibs including a nice staircase rail feature in just one run. Sure the landings get pretty icy as the day advances, but to be able to snowboard a park of that standard in a country that otherwise wouldn’t even have a single snowboard-able mountain is really amazing to me.

I’m stoked Ride decided to do the sales meeting at such a place, because without that reason I´d have never traveled there myself — if you have a choice between Breckenridge and Holland fridge it’s a easy choice.

By now I got back home to Munich after a week of indoor shred, epic parties from Amsterdam red light districts to Landgraf Apres Ski, checked out the entire range of 2012/13 product and met a lot of great people from all over the world. Today it feels I´ve somewhat caught up on my lack of sleep – it´s important since I´ll already drive to Dachstein for the next adventure aka Pleasure Jam tomorrow!

Bebek

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I´m walking 25 min to the vet everyday. First i carried Bebek inside my jacket. The guys at the vet felt bad, so they gave me a transport cage to use while I´m here. On the way home I felt not right to carry an animal in a cage that can be totally self sufficient, that can hunt to survive and has feet that very well walk themselves. No matter if it´s a baby, cats are still wild inside and this baby survived on the streets before we met.
So in a more quiet zone through a forest i decided to let her out the cage and give her the chance to choose wheather she actually wants to be with me. Yesterday, when i did it the first time, I sat on the cage and wrote something while letting her run around a bit. She pretty soon jumped on my lap and started purring. I sat her on the ground again and encouraged her to explore, but she jumped back onto my lap. I guess she chose to stay with me that day.
Today i did the same thing, but kept walking to see if she would follow. And she does. Like a little dog she followed me the entire uphill way on the forrest path and even on the almost-no-traffic-road to the appartement. I couldn´t believe it.
I´ve known cats for a long time, and i always loved them for their free will, for how they don´t kiss your ass if they don´t like you, how they sometimes pee on the stuff that belongs to people they hate and how they would always survive in the wild if they had to. It made me so happy this little kitten chose to stay with me, walk behind me, even when it´s in a beautiful forest and could just run off anytime…
All this story telling is far away from snowboarding, but that´s one of the reasons why i came to Istanbul. To be away from the entire snowboarding thing for a minute, since i know the winter will be long enough… It´s working out real well!

Since tonight i`m a mum

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It started as ordinairy as a day can start – in a city you don´t know, in a country whose language you don´t speak, with your friend going to work and you just doing your thing, meaning going to the United Club, an incredible Istanbul gym, on the way home picking some amazing food that I neither know its name nor what is it, buying it by explaining with my hands and taking the number 22 or 40 bus home.
I had some amazing name-less turkish lunch, twice as much desert accompanied by some computer time before taking the 22 bus again to go for another Istanbul adventure before my friend comes back from work.
This time i dared to take the bus all the way to the end, superdowntown Istanbul. Had a little walk, sent a postcard to my grandma and decided to walk back along my bus route since the traffic was so incredibly dense that walking was faster than the bus anyways. And you see more, too…
I walk along this insane rush hour traffic road with 4lanes when i see a stopped car and 3 people running around it sticking a stick under the car. I got scared they hit an animal, wondering if i can help, run there and it´s a baby cat under the car. On a 4 lane rush hour crazy traffic road. None of them was able to get it out. Somehow I went there, and the cat let me take it away from under the car. The driver jumps in the car, leaves. The 2 women look at me, say something in turkish and walk off. I stand there, a baby cat in my hands, in the middle of downtown Istanbul. No way i leave it here.
The next thing i know is that i stand in the totally crowded 40 bus, in traffic that moves slower than a regular person walks, with a baby kitten inside my jacket kuddled against my heart. I really think my heartbeat made it relax a bit.
The bus ride felt endless. When i walked uphill to my friends apartement, the little furball inside my jacket started purring. I think he likes when my heart starts beating stronger. Actually – I don´t even know yet if its a he or she… But it´s name is Bebek. That´s turkish for baby and also the name of the area right next to my friend´s apartement.
Now I´m back home in my friends apartment, gave Bebek a tiny bit milk and since he seemed real scared by himself I invited him back into my jacket. So I´m wearing a jacket inside, with a baby kitten in it. Bebek sleeps inside my jacket while i write this.
I am a mum now. And I think I will take Bebek with me. It´s gonna be interesting with the airplane to Germany and an incredibly busy snowboarding season afterwards. But no matter what, it will be better than getting run over on a 4 lane street during rush hour downtown Istanbul.

Limited Love

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It makes me feel good to have some kind of a daily routine. Even if doing something similar for just 3 days barely deserves being called a routine. But that´s how it often is with all the travelling.

I love bright awake mornings, a not stressed breakfast with a good book or newspaper, early morning gym visits or even better perfect Breckenridge jumps before 9am when there´s no tracks and no people. I love the right music in the right moment, and a hot cup of coffee when i walk down Breck mainstreet to the gondola – I get it at the same place everyday and it´s always still hot when i sit down in the little gondola that takes me up to the park. Usually it´s not even 8.30am, the windows have dozends of glittery frozen ice flowers all over them and the sun peaking through gently brightens the gondola with fairy tale light. I sit by myself with some amazing music and just feel happy through and through. I can have that morning 100 times in a row and will never get tired of it.

But right now I´m in Munich, I´ve been riding all summer long in New Zealand and I´ve been drinking coffees every single morning in Silvia NZ style – which ment out of my terrible looking emergency to-go-cup. It is a former tomato sauce glas run through the dish washer a few times. I couldn´t find a good reusable to-go-cup to buy, so i started using this thing instead and through time established a relationship with it that brought the innocent New Zealand tomato sauce glas all the way to Munich in the end. I admit it.

For the next weeks there will be no snowboarding, I make my body take a break since i know I´ll need the energy to stay strong and healthy through the upcoming season all the way into May.  Even though you love them and the routine that comes with them, it´s good to take breaks from your passions sometimes – once you return to them the fire will burn even brighter and fiercer.

People usually want what they don´t have, so if you are confident to be happy to want a certain thing (are you happy to want to eat tons of candy?) , it´s ok to sometimes cut yourself off it for a bit – to want it even more afterwards, to enjoy it to the last bit, to love it more dearly and be completely filled by the passion you have for it.

That´s what i do with snowboarding and coffee right now. Just thinking about early Breckenridge mornings and perfect jumps after a coffee&music gondola ride made me sigh with pleasure. I love the warm late German summer we have right now, and i enjoy my good morning tea, but i am already feeling the fireworks starting to explode inside when I think about being reunited with those other passions.

This concept also works for people you care about in my eyes. Maybe it is a way for myself to see the tricky social snowboarding/travelling situation in a better light – there`s so many people i would like to see more often, spend more time with – but since they´re all spread out over continents it`s hard to do.

Sure , through spending a smaller amount of life situations together the bond might not get as strong as it could,  but when you are reunited, the life situations you do spend with a person you have a great connection with are twice as meaningful and deep-felt. Seeing people you love less might make you appreciate being with them twice as much when you can.

Being limited from many things you love at times might turn you into a more loving person in the end.

Challenge Wanaka

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This spring there was an Ironman-distance triathlon here in Wanaka/New Zealand called Challenge Wanaka. My friend Simone, who i met as the girl working in the organic supermarket, got second in it. Never underestimate the person selling you your morning coffee…

I had my own Challenge Wanaka during the last week after badly spraining my ankle skateboarding on saturday after the Bro Down finals, where i finished unlucky 4th not being able to get enough speed for the last big jump.

After getting x rays the night of the accident it turned out at least there were no broken bones. But I was far away from being capable to walk and spent the next days taking decent amounts of iboprofein and walking only on my left leg with the help of crutches. Just a few days on crutches made me realize again how much more difficult life is on them. Carrying a cup of tea can be such a mission…

I had 4 days between my skateboard accident and the NZ open semi finals. 2 of those days i spent full time on crutches. The 3rd i tried to do some turns but they felt funny so instead of practicing on the NZ open course i ended up sitting next to it watching everyone else ride it and that way learning about the speed and other characteristics of the features. In the end of the day i did some scary feeling pipe runs for pipe qualifiers – that way if i wouldnt be able to ride the slopestyle the next day at least i had a little share of NZ Open, after coming from the other end of the world.

At night I was nervous. It`s a scary feeling to realize you`re planning to hit some big jumps first time ever in your life at 8am on an ankle whose reaction to jump-landings is unknown and may very well feel that painful that you have to realize you`ll be out for longer than just a few days.

The first run on the course that morning was quite an experience. Gathering all my energy and focus somehow everything worked out. You can really learn to ride a course just by watching others. I ended up having 3 runs on the course before my contest run which was the first run to do any tricks on the jumps for me. All went smooth except coming short on the last – 75foot long – jump and flip-bouncing off the knockle into the landing. I was so lucky I`m still thankful nothing worse happened there. After that I got scared and ended up straight airing that jump in the next run which wasn`t enough to go to finals.

Personally I feel i conquered my challenge Wanaka though.

You don`t see the girl across the counter in the organic store is a real Iron woman, and you might also not see that simply riding the course and placing 11th in the NZ Open is a big achievement. But most the time, there`s a story behind the surface. Finding and realizing it makes many things in life a lot more appreciate-able.

(Thanks Ananda Van Welij for the NZ Open photo!)