All posts filed under: Sports

climbing, hiking, Via Ferrata, mountain biking, slack lining

Dance like no one is watching – because in the dark no one is!

There’s a couple of things that make me not only happy but “to-the-moon-and-back-happy” – Dancing is one of them. Last year I’ve been to a real fun dance session here in Wanaka and as soon as I knew I’d be back this winter I decided that I would make it a weekly regular on my ski instructor schedule. Tonight was one of those evenings where I really needed some cheering up after a bad day at work and it was pure bliss to dance away all the sorrows, stress and self-questioning from an awful day on the mountain. Dancing in the Dark – picture by No Lights, No Lycra. Some of you might argue that they are not good at dancing, that they feel awkward to dance in front of other people or like one of the fellow ski instructors put it: “I need a couple of drinks before I can bust out my dance moves – and as soon as I’ve had those couple of drinks, my balance & coordination of body parts might not be …

Team Scandinavia vs. Team Austria (while Team USA gave up)

Week One at Ski School was a slow one so we’re still full of energy for fun activities on our days and nights off. My Austrian friend Kathi and me had a big (and particularly long) night on Friday so it wasn’t easy to get up early for a hike on Saturday – but I’m glad we did! We headed up Mt Roy with our two Scandinavian friends Veina & Sanna (who turned out to be hiking racehorses) and my two American flatmates Ruby & Doriana (who decided to turn around half way up). Let’s say Kathi and me settled in between…. given our shape from the night before we had no chance of catching up with our two sporty Scandinavian friends. But we promised to get in shape for our next hike! Or rather take Veina & Sanna out partying the night before…. and then we’ll see who’s up there first (probably still them). Thanks for the lovely hike, girls.

Piha says Haere rā with rainbow colours & golden sunset

The two weeks I had in Piha were outstanding overall but my last weekend was picture perfect and couldn’t have been any better. One of the reasons was Emmy turning eight last Saturday and the great birthday party going on at the house, a rainbow loom party to be precise and I was impressed by all the effort and creativity put into the party preparations by all the family members. No question that the birthday girl was really excited on the birthday morning and was up really (!) early. And what a surprise that the whole family was dressed up in onesies (and the eager readers will already know what piece of clothing that is). Most impressive was Dad’s pink unicorn costume and especially the pride and attitude he wore it with. For reasons of unicorn-privacy I’ll just show the unicorn-body as he was climbing up the porch to have a look at the waves from the roof: What a cool Dad! Or can you imagine your Dad wearing a pink unicorn onesie? Even the people not so …

On top of some big waves

Do you know that awkward moment when you see a set of really, I mean really, big waves coming towards you? The sudden prayers you put out there, asking to survive and surface after what’s coming towards you? And then you just take a deep breath and dive into that monster. You come up, grasp, dive in again. Come up, grasp, dive in again…. Whether it’s in the surf or in real life – that big set might scare you, turn your world upside down for a while, keep you under the water for a bit – but as always in life: it does pass and you will eventually pop up again. Today I was very lucky to make it through some big sets of waves and wish I looked like the guy in the picture, peacefully sitting on top of the wave. And I remembered: although I can’t stop the waves I can learn to surf them (Thanks, Jon Kabat-Zinn for that wisdom). Picture by Figure20.

Waves of Happiness instead of Mountains of Happiness

Right now I’m not dreaming about riding mountains or slopes but rather waves. Since I got here the surf has been absolutely stunning. I had left both board and wetsuit here so I luckily ready to hit the waves from day one. Every single day I’m getting out there – and even though I am not great at it every single time out in the ocean feels great anyway. Above are a couple of pictures I took from Tasman Lookout at the South End of Piha Beach when I had a little surf break. And for my surf friends who want to see more: The local Surf Club has done a little video:

Pictures from my perfect paradise island

Good news! I have found exactly what I wanted: a long, perfectly white beach on a quiet island that is not yet as popular as its bigger island brothers around. There are no cars or roads here, electricity is only available four hours per day, internet almost never and phone reception is rather a coincidence than permanent. The bungalow I rented for five Euros per day is basic but sufficient, stands under a palm tree a couple of meters from the beach and comes with a slack line in its front yard. I can hear the waves while I fall asleep, see them from my bed first thing in the morning and jump into the warm turquoise water instead of the morning shower. There’s a pile of books waiting to be read on my table, I have found a couple of slack line and dinner friends and at my favourite café in the little village they already know that I will order a fresh coconut for breakfast. I can blend alone time with company, explore the …

A week in the life of a dancer – a real dancer!

There’s been a little side project that has kept me busy for a while already: As it happens I became part of dance company here in Auckland (Etched Dance Productions) and this is our big week as we are performing every night at the Herald Theatre in downtown Auckland. But from the beginning: It all started with Jess, the choreographer, looking for people who like dancing. I said I like it but am not particularly good at it – which was sufficient for getting on the team (without knowing what I got myself into.) A couple of days later I went to rehearsal at the Dance department of Unitec, one of Auckland’s major universities and just that was an experience in itself: Big dance studios, all of them fully equipped with Ballet barres, a piano, huge mirrors (which turned out to be quite confusing when learning a new piece) and dancers – lying around everywhere, stretching their already super-flexible bodies even more. During that evening Jess taught us the main phrase of the piece and …

The joy of doing something new: Fitness boot camp

To me, one of the greatest things about being in a completely new environment, where no one knows me is that it is so much easier to try new stuff that I wouldn’t usually do in my home environment. My personal goal over here is to do something new every day and today it was taking part in a fitness boot camp for the first time. Of course when it was about time to get there my inner self found hundreds of reasons why staying in a warm dry home was a way better idea than getting out into the rain but I convinced my feet to put on their trainers and move. And how much that was worth it! Just imagine Kiwis of all sizes and backgrounds sharing the experience of  pushing themselves to their physical limits. The class is exactly as you would imagine it: A military style instructor who’s incredibly well-trained and fit, shouting out exercises, counting down seconds to go, always adding a couple more seconds when you think you’re close …