Thursday, 16 October 2008

Only Those Who Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far They Can Go - T.S. Eliot

I love to run. I never used to love to run, in fact I used to hate running. My throat burned, my knees ached, and my lungs squeezed by the time I got around the corner, but moving to Geneva and entering my 40s changed all that. Someone once told me that once you are 40, you have to exercise twice as hard for half the result. True enough.

I started running seriously shortly after moving here in 2005. People are very fit in Switzerland, you just don't see the obesity that is so ubitiquous in North America. Add to that the aforementioned 40-something and I decided that the odd visit to the gym and rambles with Murphy just weren't cutting it for me any longer.

Enter my friend and fellow Canadian Cindy...marathoner, triathlete, baseball coach, mother of three and general superwoman. She moved me off of the gym treadmill and out into the Geneva countryside that surrounds our village. She got me going and kept me moving those first few months. The endorphin highs, fast fitness results, the clearmindedness and pure physical joy that occurs while running, and the magnificence of my surroundings have kept me going ever since even through injuries.

I took these pictures during one of my regular runs through the villages and vineyards of Choulex, Carre d'Aval, and Puplinge.

Now it goes without saying that part of the reason running is so addictive in Geneva is that I don't have to step off of curbs, stop at intersections or wait for green lights. I run on trails, quiet roads and winding paths through vineyards.
I am not looking at suburban sprawl and stripmalls. I look at rolling hills, mountain peaks, and depending on the season, grapes, sunflower fields, apple and kiwi orchards, spectacular architecture and travel magazine-worthy Swiss villages. It is an all-you-can-eat buffet for the senses and must be one of the most visually splendid places in the world.

It's a long climb from the flat up and around the hills and terraced vineyards into Carre d'Aval. The rising strains of Coldplay's 'Viva la Vida' echoing through my Ipod always push me to the top and I try to resist the temptation to do a Rocky-like fist-punching-air dance when I finally get there.

The newly opened Café de la Poste in my village.

1 comment:

Jen said...

how many ways can I convey my happiness for you guys as well as my desire for similar environs and experiences.....?????