Beach in Norddorf
... on the island of Amrum. The beach chairs are pretty typical for the beaches of the North and Baltic Sea.
A couple of months ago, there was a show on German TV in which a German and an Austrian team walked to the South Pole. One of the members of the German team had "I don't do it for the pleasure, I do it for the pain" written on his skis. I liked it and made it my personal mantra while preparing for the first triathlon in my life. I’ve been wanting to participate in one for ten years, but I never managed to start the training. After feeling like a useless cripple for months in 2009, I think I’m overcompensating now, hopefully getting fitter than ever before.
Right after getting back from Asia, I started training for the triathlon that will take place in one week. It consists of 500 m swimming, 20 km cycling, and 5 km running. It is actually a doable distance, but considering where I started from (not at 0, but at least at -1), it will be a challenge for me. This meant that I had to do a lot of training. Five times per week. Twice running, twice spinning, once swimming. During the first five weeks of the training, I met with my
... on the island of Amrum
trainer Mark once per week, and he did an hour of demanding running training with me. After five weeks, we saw each other only once in two weeks (personal training is the most efficient thing I’ve ever done, but it is also expensive...). He also monitored all my other activities. And believe me, the training was very effortful because after the surgery in November, I hadn’t done any running or much training. But you don’t make any progress unless you constantly push the envelope, and so I kept getting better and better. And I was simply persistent, missed out on almost no training unit, and kept challenging myself. I also consulted a nutritionist in order to make sure that I was supporting my training efforts with a good diet. I met her three times, and she gave me a lot of good advice.
Then, two weeks ago, I bought myself a racing cycle. It is an awesome bike. When you ride it, it feels almost like flying because you get so fast, and it is so much easier than with my good old mountain bike. It is a second hand bike, I bought it off my trainer who had
... on the island of Amrum
originally bought it for his wife. But she did not really enjoy the sport and hardly rode it. That means that it is almost as good as new! The only thing that took me some time was getting used to the shoes. You attach them to your pedal on the race cycle because it makes pedalling more efficient. But getting into the pedal and getting out needs quite a bit of concentration. And you better make sure you get your foot away from the pedal before stopping, otherwise you will just tip over. So I started by teaching myself the technique. My first step was on the attic where I could hold on to the wooden walls that separate the compartments that belong to the different tenants. My next step was to go outside and start cycling, get my shoes into the pedals, cycle for a couple of metres, get the shoes out again, and stop. Then I did a longer tour, stopping only at traffic lights. And I think I’m doing alright now. Went for a two hour trip yesterday and really, really enjoyed it.
But the training was not the only thing that kept me busy. There
Original Frisian house 1
... in Nebel on the island of Amrum
were also loads and loads of work to do. So my days consisted of work, exercise, work, sleep. But that was okay. It is simply what happens when you work as a consultant. I just have to say sorry to all my friends that I really neglected during the last months.
Besides, there is my doctoral dissertation. I wanted to officially enrol as a PhD student at the Freie Universität Berlin
, where my professor Michael Eid
teaches. In order to do so, I first had to submit a dissertation proposal that contains an introduction, a literature review, my hypotheses, a description of the planned studies, and a schedule. I wrote that proposal, and in the end, it was 19 pages long. In order to get the approval for enrolling, I needed to submit this proposal (four copies of it), my university diploma, my “Abitur” certificate, a kind of extended CV in which I had to describe my experiences that qualify me for the subject I want to write the dissertation on, and a confirmation from my professor. Then the committee sent me a letter of approval, which I had to send to the university. But hey, we’re in Germany. It would be
Originial Frisian house 2
... in Norddorf on the island of Amrum
too easy if you had to send in only one piece of paper. No, in addition I had to send them a form in which I gave some personal data (six pages, and it is truly an intelligence test; after filling it in I was not even sure whether I had applied for a PhD degree in psychology), one more (this time certified) copy of my “Abitur” certificate, a copy of my diploma in psychology, a confirmation of being exmatriculated from the university I studied psychology at, and a written confirmation from my health insurance. German bureaucracy, I can tell you... Anyway, it all worked out, and now I am a PhD student in the subject of psychology again.
I also did a bit of travelling during the last couple of months. I go and see my professor about once in two months, so then I catch the train to Berlin. I love Berlin, so after my appointment with my professor, I usually spend a couple of hours in the city. Last time, for example, I saw my old friend Jenny. We went to school together, and she lives in Berlin. For my birthday, I went to see family
St. Clemens in Nebel
... on the island of Amrum
and friends in Weinstadt. In the second week of March, I spent a week of further training (Categorical latent class models, pretty nerdy stuff 😉) in Cologne and stayed with my friend Hetty in Aachen during that week and for the following weekend. I spent a weekend with Christiane in Duisburg, and I did a short trip to an artist’s house in Jesteburg, to Winsen (Luhe), and to Lüneburg (all of them towns not far from Hamburg) with Kathi. For the Easter holidays, I went to the island of Amrum with my mum, about 2.5 hours from Hamburg. Most beautiful place, just watch the pics! We did a lot of cycling – the island is only about ten kilometres long and four kilometres wide, so that’s easy. And last weekend, Adriaan, Donny, and Donny’s brother Rob from Australia came to see me, and I showed them around Hamburg. They are currently on a trip through Europe and having lots of fun. Anyway, it was just great to see them.
That’s the news for now. Please keep your fingers crossed next Sunday for the triathlon. I will let you know how I went.
Tot: 2.622s; Tpl: 0.096s; cc: 11; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0483s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb