Spring Sunshine Weather

April 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm (Germany)

IMG_0767With Easter just around the corner it’s about time I updated my latest adventures. ( Not that I have been anywhere particularly interesting since Christmas)  It’s been an interesting couple of months with lots of reflection, tears and laughter.  Spring has definitely sprung here in Darmstadt and we’ve had some of the most beautiful weather.   When the sun is shining I am always reminded why I love living in Europe.  I’m sure we have beautiful weather days in Melbourne too… European ones just seem so magical.

The year started in Bonn.  I celebrated the new year at a friend’s place and then headed in to the city for more partying.  The boys all enjoyed lighting their fireworks and letting the inner child roam free; I however steered clear.  Bonn seems to have been a little bit of a theme as late as a couple of weeks later I signed up for the Bonn half marathon.  Damaris had decided to sign up so I figured I could join her.  🙂

imageThat meant that the majority of my time was spent training for my half marathon and playing hockey.  I concluded the indoor season as captain on a high note with the team finishing third on the ladder.  My new hockey stick was christened quickly and I also ended the season as the leading goal scorer for TEC.  Hopefully I can keep scoring in the field season!  The highlight for me, and I think the whole team, was the game where my students came.  For the past three years I have always invited my class to a game.  This year nearly the whole class turned up with posters and very loud voices.  They were extremely cute and it was lovely playing to a crowd.

Between hockey and half marathon training I also managed a few different outings.  I finally visited the Felsenmeer which is a rock formation in the Oldenwald not too far from Darmstadt.  It was great fun climbing and jumping from rock to rock.  I spent a beautiful day in Frankfurt with Gwen at the Film museum and cheered on Darmstadt at both the rugby and soccer!

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IMG_0761Before I knew it, my birthday had come around and I had finally turned the big 30.  My amazing flatmate Fiona decorated the flat with balloons and streamers, which was a huge and lovely surprise when I woke up.  My day was as normal as any other apart from all the emails, facebook messages, congratulations and phone calls.  I went to hockey training as per usual and celebrated 21 years of playing with champagne on the hockey field… much more important than turning 30!  Thank you to everybody who thought of me (unlike my three brothers).

P1040357Of course turning 30 was just an excuse for having a big party.  I celebrated in a cute little pub with an English feel.  I know the owner and she is English so it made organising nice and easy.  It was amazing having everybody there, all the people that are my support crew here in Germany and I was completely spoilt with presents.  In particular it was fantastic having Suzie there as the one and only Melbourne representative.  She is also the only person who was at my 18th, 21st and 30th.  I can’t wait to return the favour in June.  In Australian tradition both Suzie and Katha made speeches… Suzie even had notes (on her iPad) and had contacted people from back home!  It was an amazing night and I had an absolute blast.

Slowly but surely my second half marathon was upon me.  I spent the weekend in Cologne with Damaris, which was a great catch up and probably the last time I will be able to visit her there as she is moving back south to start university.  My aim was to run the race in under two hours but I would have been pleased with any personal best.  I can’t say I stuck to my training plan like I should have… too many things kept getting in the way and then my knee started hurting.  I ended up basically doing no running for the last two weeks and riding my bike to school instead.

IMG-20140406-WA0000Basically my fitness was completely up for the challenge but my knee was not.  I ran the first 14km and then walked the last 7 and came in at 2:32.  This was a pretty good time considering I walked 7km of it, which means my first 14km must have been smoking.  In fact, I ran two personal bests: 5km and 10km.  So although I was disappointed about the half marathon there was still a lot to stay positive about.  I now also have three medallions in my collection 😀

Damaris completed the event and was probably the proudest person ever afterwards.  She was really nervous beforehand but she pushed through her pain barrier and man was I proud of her!  I loved how she had her afternoon nap with the medallion on!  In some ways her excitement and positiveness after the event was actually the best part.  She was inspired to run a half marathon because she cheered Suzie and I on in Cologne last year.  Seeing her complete something she never thought possible is a highlight that I will treasure forever.

The past four months haven’t exactly been easy for me in many ways but I am looking forward to new adventures.  2014 may have started badly but that doesn’t mean it will end that way.  Life is what you make it, and I intend on having a blast.

 

xoxo

 

P.s  More photos?  Check out https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152288964265589.1073741834.509745588&type=1&l=8b3c467c11

 

In memory of Angela, a second mother and one of the most caring, beautiful and inspirational women that I have had the privilege of knowing.

When the people we love become a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.’

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