It all started with a bottle of red wine at a tapas restaurant with Joyce and Iwi. Both talking about the wonderful scenery of Elbsandsteingebirge and talking about how cool Elbi 2016 would be. An entire weekend of running with many others crazy folks. Like minded running junkies, freaks or whatever you like calling them. An entire weekend spent in running shoes, running clothes and – wait for it – chilly comfy jogging pants when not out there…moving. What else would you ask for? I signed right away.
Running is a mirror, let’s say, of life. We may have lost a little bit of ourselves and our true feeling… because we depend on machines and numbers and things like that. You have to rediscover the life and especially in the cities, this crazy rhythm makes you forget things – Dimitris Theodorakakos
One weekend escaping the stress of the city, the stress of the daily routine. This weekend couldn’t have come at a better time, and I am really thankful for the coincidence. Yeah… Before my adventure in the awesome Elbsandsteingebirge, I hit some low points beginning of the week. One can’t say it started very well, but in the end, it’s always for a good thing.
Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain – Richard M. Nixon
This weekend was all about amazing encounters with like-minded, welcoming and heartwarming people, about introspection and rediscovering dreams. About pushing beyond the limits and redefining what really is important. A weekend shared and enjoyed around the same passion for freedom and nature.
Ever brained off for a crazy downhill session?
Don’t forget to feed your child inside
After an uncomplicated trip by train, train again, boat and some walking up the hill to reach the hotel, Fabi, Jens, Iwi, Alex and I arrived at the hotel beginning of the afternoon on Thursday.
The scenery was already breathtaking – in the Elbsandsteingebirge, not in the train obviously – and the legs were already tingling of excitation. I had only one idea in mind: taking out the running shoes and explore this new playground with my friends. I felt like a child ready to open the Christmas present.
This weekend it was our kind of Christmas
And the presents were the trails and the amazing scenery.
Check in, bags in, shoes on. And we took off for the unofficial opening run of our weekend.
I am always so astound
How incredibly powerful it is
That changing your environment
Doing something you love
Surrounded by the right people
Can outshine negative thoughts.
Run a trail
And all negative emotional loads will vanish.
After one and half hour we went back to our lovely hotel. I can only recommend this place. It made our stay so comfy. The hosts were hilarious, adorable and so welcoming. I would totally go back! Jana could remember our bedroom almost right away, Daniel knew if you were a vegan or if you could eat three portions of the same menu. I am not sure we were the easiest guests…. I mean with a group of over-excited freaky crazy runners feeling like children, and having extra wishes… Gastronomy can be tough! So here big up to both of them. I think I can talk for everyone when I say that the Daniel and Jana brought a warm soul to the place and a big smile on our faces.
After meeting the others and having dinners, the air was highly charged.
All these runners who made the trip in cars, trains or planes
Having only one thing in mind…
Running the legs out.
Shoes on, headlamp on and we were out on the trails again.
Imagine a child
Keep him inside
Without being able to touch the playstation, IPad, or whatever they have today
The child can look at it
But is not allowed to play.
What would happen the minute you let it go?
Ok, a better example.
Imagine the children of the 90s (yeah, you can’t compare with today’s youth)
Keep them inside by a rainy, snowy or sunny day
With a view on the immensity of a garden
Or a parc.
What would happen the moment you open the door?
The electric atmosphere
The will to go out
And let everything go.
What I saw that night
Give all meaning to the fact
That Human are animals.
While hurtle down that hill
Screaming their happiness
Of being outside
With Mother Nature
And beloved one.
I had no power to keep the pace.
And my first thought was
“Never ever will I hold this pace the whole weekend.
Only crazy people here.”
These encounters are those, which help you find your way
The second day started with an improvised session in the hand of the lovely physiotherapist of our group, Katja. My left calf was hurting like hell. No running for me this morning.
So as the other crazy folks were running (for some of them, already the second session of the day) or core training, I took the chance centering myself and digest the struggles of the last days. Lucky me I took my book Au Coeur du trail with me (for those who can read French, I highly recommend the read, it’s written as passionately as you run the trails).
During this weekend, I was me.
You are surrounded by people who share more or less the same values as you
At least the same strong passion
For a sport, a philosophy.
We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love. – Dr. Seuss
I was talking with a friend today about the fact that at some weekend like this one, you are suddenly among people who are like you. They are sharing the same craziness, the same weirdness, the same love. You laugh, you talk. Sometimes you have the feeling you know them for a decade.
So where are these people in real life? In the daily routine? Where are these freaks?
But there you are
Talking with strangers
And you feel right
You feel at the right place.
With them, and with yourself.
That weekend, while talking during the runs, while reading or chatting, I closed one important chapter. And I felt free. It’s important to let go. To be able to embrace what is happening. Closing with the old to make room for new. It’s liberating to settle on a decision.
After this weekend I was able to rejuvenate my big dreams I kept inside so long.
The one, which have been already growing again since a few months
Reminding myself to never forget them.
You know, that quiet and gentle voice
You decided to not listen to for so long?
That quiet and sneaky voice
Making her way
Becoming bigger and bigger
Until you can’t hear anything else
The one you’ve known since you can think
The one who says
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver
I think the worst in this case is that in the end,
When you’ve defined where you want to go
Which trail you’re going to run
Which mountains you’re going to climb
Which cliff you’re going to jump over…
You need one precious skills.
And well… It’s not my best characteristic.
I want to jump, run, being silly, and do stupid stuff.
I want to explore the world, running
I want to fall to get back on my feet stronger
I want to scream, laugh, and smile out this incredible
Feeling of life that keeps flourishing
So deep inside.
I feel like exploding in my little cage.
It’s time now.
I am really thankful for the playground I discovered in Elbsandsteingebirge and thankful for the people I met this weekend. I regret I did not take the time to talk to everyone, or not giving it the attention that was needed. But the beauty of the exchange lies also in a smile, a helpful hand, a hug… A card game. And a good bottle of red wine.
I would also take the opportunity to thank Matthias and Frank who had the brilliant idea to reunite us in Elbsandsteingebrige and who gave me the opportunity to feel the vibes of an amazing tribe. Guys, you gave me the opportunity to escape the hurdles and the hustles and to find some peace.
In a way, these encounters are those, which help you find your way…
Thanks to Nils, Volker, Frank, Dennis, Matthias, Christiane, Ulf, Maty, Toshi, Daniel, Dominik, Kati, Iwi, Jens, Kathi, Mathias, Bere, Christoph, Joyce, Dennis, Thorsten, Katja, Jenson, Henning, Sonja, Anita, Tanya, Fabian, Wolfgang, Carolin and Alex.
Thanks for an amazing scenery. Elbsandsteingebirge got me deep. I’ll defo go back again.
You guys rock, and I can’t wait for the next event where we will all meet together again.
Running Elbsansteingebirge 2017 the latest!
When I came back home on Sunday, I was not at peace, struggling to unpack.
Can’t we just unpack and pack again? And leave?
Tell me, where will your heart take you next?