Our Anniversary

xcskisIt’s been a year and a few days since we moved to Germany. It’s true; time flies. It’s amazing to reflect on how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned, and how much I’ve adapted in only 369 days.
See those XC skis? I’m pretty sure we bought them this exact time last year. Upon our arrival to Ansbach it was snowing. Phil and I decided we wanted to be able to enjoy the snow in town; so the next day we went to the mall and bought two pairs of XC skis. Then, we never used them. It either didn’t snow again, or we went snowboarding instead.
Luckily, we’ve seen some snow here as of late and I was able to christen the sticks on the anniversary of their purchase.
At first, I felt really dorky. I like snowboarding (as you know) and I like running; but I’ve never actually XC skied. When I put them on I didn’t know what to do. Needless to say; I fell on my butt within the first two minutes of motion. I felt so uncoordinated…I am a bit uncoordinated. I couldn’t get my legs and arms to sync. I had to think about my Jillian Michael’s videotape segment; where we do an interval of XC ski motions. I also thought of a Nordictrack. I tried not to focus on the jogger or walker coming towards me down the path…probably staring…probably laughing.
Eventually I got the hang of it. It’s fun touring around on the skis. You, obviously, go faster than you would just walking; and you have free rein to go on whose ever lawn (or field) you like. A year ago I would have called it trespassing (and would have been afraid of getting a citation or shot by a farmer) but now I don’t think twice about it. Other than falling on my butt a couple of more times; I pulled a few additional rookie maneuvers. I forgot protective eye wear and something to cover my neck. I was acting like it was my first time in the snow. Really self? You’re propelling yourself forward through falling snow and you don’t even have sunglasses covering your eyes? Real smooth. And yes, you work up quite a sweat XC skiing, but it’s still cold outside and your neck is still exposed.
After I returned from my outdoor activity I shoveled my driveway for the second time. Then my landlord came over and we went to the hardware store together. He is building me a closet organizer. We spent a total of 2.5 hours together today. This is an incredible amount of time considering Hans doesn’t speak any English. That means I spoke enough German this afternoon to pat myself on the back for. Talking to Hans is different than talking to Katharina and Ludwig. Sometimes I feel like Katharina can understand more English than I can German. But with Hans, it’s just me and him…German or bust. When we first moved here, last February, I couldn’t communicate with Hans at all; with the exception of smiles and hand gestures. It was, really, tripping me out to be discussing details of a closet, measuring, and shopping together. I’m actually going to say it was fun. I think if I had tried to do this a year ago it would have been agonizing. I think for the most part (since we arrived in Germany) I’ve been telling myself that I don’t know enough about the culture, my town, or the language. I just keep charging ahead; trying to learn more and more. I quit that, for today at least. Sometimes you just have to stop, turn around, and acknowledge how far you’ve come.