• Engelberg
  • Bitte Langsam

    Engelberg Spring Tiina Kivelä

    Although I made the same notion last spring already – and this is kinda exactly why I have moved here – my home has pretty amazing surroundings. Even when the (ski)lifts and commercial activities are closed and it generally feels a bit like gentle apocalypse.

    Today I ran by the Aa -river to clear the head a bit, to get the daily exercise in, and just to enjoy the hazy sunny weather before forecasted snow storms. Pair of shoes*, clothes, sunnies, braid and semi technical trail.

    Can’t get much more simple yet good.

    (Yes it was trailrunning even though started with this a bit bigger road than trail.)

    Bitte Langsam Schweiz

    Trailrunner Tiina Kivelä

    Trailrunning Girl From The North Country

    Trail Swiss Alps Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Engelberg, Switzerland


    * Women’s Nike Pegasus 36 Trail shoes, newly purchased with the confidence from earlier good experience of the “normal” Pegasus shoes and the super light Women’ Air Zoom Elite 9. Seems to be ok ones for my feet and the semi-technical trails and gravel roads. Also light and supported enough for the longer runs too. Maybe will do a detailed trail running shoe advice article later on, if not and interested, remind me of the idea please. 

     

     

     

  • CYCLING
  • Outdoor Activities In The Time Of Covid-19

    Biking Switzerland Tiina Kivelä

    Backyard escapades are the trend these days. At least for the ones who are still allowed to go out. And it really becomes a luxury when your backyard is the Swiss Alps, with it’s mountains, hiking trails, xc-ski tracks (not in Engelberg though) and just the nature and landscapes itself.

    In here, one can really take advantage of the health benefits what being physically active (or just lazying around) in the nature offe. Outdoor activities in the time of covid-19 shouldn’t be too risky and taking all the safety measures and distance recommendations seriously is more than advisable, but they are ok and they have many benefits, like always.

    (And well, if you are like me this Tuesday, one can also very easily totally freeze her fingers and upper body when riding the bike down from the treeline. Note to self: It’s still March, the ski and skitouring high season. Not biking, despite what the temperatures from the previous weeks and closed ski resorts suggest.)

    And (not bragging but) since in the past (while carelessly sitting close to each other in restaurants and sharing the bowls of moules frites‘ with friends and strangers like no one currently) I have studied the outdoor recreation and nature based tourism and tapped in some hours in the Finnish Forest Research Institute – who conduct research on these things too –  I thought to share now some of the research findings on the health benefits of natural environment exposure.

    (On side of advising you more practically to not forget the warmer gloves and jackets and headbands if you already get up and down the hills and mountains with your bike. I think next time I take my ski gloves.)

    These are not the easiest of times for most of us, but I hope this too can help at least some to cope a bit better with the uphills and challenges. And please note the last sentence of the quote below. I know in many places the parks are closed too and urban hangouts aren’t advised even on outdoor spaces. So what’s better to know that even research shows that our favourite things, urban forests, recreation and coastal areas work better for our health and wellbeing than the now closed urban settings.

    I know, for many even these are hard to get to especially now, but I do hope we all are back to our favourite things sooner than later.

    Until that, let’s try to make the most of it despite everything, dream and plan on. What’s best, it also doesn’t cost anything.

    Please do note though, if you are going out these days – walking, biking, running, easy hikes and (xc) ski tours –please keep in mind the recommendations of your local health authority. Which in Switzerland means that one should keep as close home as possible, keep at least 2 meter distance to every other person, avoid public transport, not meet/gather with more than 5 people etc. (The Swiss authority instructions in many languages can be found in here.) Also, if you in example are in Swiss Canton Uri and over 65, you shouldn’t go out at all. (And if you are under 65 and healthy, go help your neighbour and the over 65 year old near you.)

    It’s also always advisable – and especially now–  to do your best to avoid injuries and other emergencies. Covid-19 is a huge challenge for the whole healthcare and emergency response system and you shouldn’t be the one going to the hospital with broken leg right now. So keep it safe, keep it your responsible careful granny/grandpa -style, and keep it delivering the good, not bad.

    See you on the other side!

    Spending time and being physically active in nature promotes well-being and health. Nature helps us recover from the effects of stress and forget our everyday worries. It also lifts our moods. The effects are manifested in lower blood pressure and a stabilised heart rate.

    Spending time in our favourite spots in nature, in particular, restores us. Experiences of restoration in reported favourite spots such as recreation areas, urban forests and coastal areas are stronger than those reported in favourite spots such as parks or built-up urban environments.

    Quote: The Natural Resources Institute Finland– The effects of nature on well-being


    Where: My backyard (Engelberg, Switzerland)

  • BLOG
  • The Most Persistent Loser

    Trübsee Langlaufloipe

    I don’t hate you for failing.  I  love you for trying.

     I had this “quote” (somewhere credited to Marge Simpson, no knowledge of the original idea) on my wall for years. And it’s no wonder then that the “Mont Blanc’s most persistent loser” -description (of Marc-Théodore Bourrit in Fergus Fleming’s “Killing Dragons – The Conquest of the Alps” book I am currently reading ) hit my nerve as well.

    (Btw that^ book again is full or annoying arrogant or simply just rude dudes, and I am still looking for more mountain books of good men and especially of and by the brave women. Feel free to drop them to me by email or in the comments.)

    Of course it would be way nicer to be the winner always. To succeed, reach goals and just do amazingly all the time. But while that’s not the case, it’s better to try and try. To do and just go for it. Even with the possibility of failing, it’s better to dream and try than waste life by dreaming but not reaching. Not even failure.

    Persistence and sisu. Stubborness and perseverance. Very good qualifications in sports, work and life in general.

    Eh and yes, this semi deep talk just randomly accompanies these cross-country skiing pics from February. Which basically don’t have anything to do with the persistence and reaching goals. I mainly ski just for fun and exercise, don’t aim for much, and it’s also been many years from my last race.

    I am not even sure if I really dreamed of one day skiing nordic in the Alps above 1000m where it really helps to have the good technique and endurance I have as a result of skiing nordic since 90´s. Also, very hard to think how one could really fail badly in this sport (as long as one doesn’t aim for Olympic gold).

    Falling may hurt, yes. Muscles most likely hurt after tens of kilometres, no matter how well trained previously. Or you may not reach the planned 20km because just can’t do it. (Or don’t have enough extra energy. Until now I have carried with me on my adventures these honey shots by Arctic Warriors – funnily named with the Finnish versions of perseverance, persistence and strength – and boosted my morning/lunch/dinner porridges with their berry powders * which now unfortunately are finished. And so I have made more restaurant stops in between skiing and suffer now of slight flu – hopefully not corona – symptoms.)

    In Lapland, frost may also bite. And skis and poles may break, for various reasons, which comes expensive.

    In general though, nordic skiing is pretty funny, especially on places like Trübsee in Engelberg where one can simultaneously watch the freeskiers come down from the higher glaciers, past and over snow covered crevasses and cliffs. Nordic skiing is not really risky sport, yet the sessions like in these pics are pretty rewarding and the ultimate experience amazing.

    And yes, if you fail it will not be as bad as a failure on the glacier or big scene in front of huge audience. And when you succeed, it just strengthens your confidence and endurance.

    Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.

    ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

    Tiina Kivelä Langlauf

    Trübsee Langlaufloipe


    Where: Trübsee, Engelberg/Titlis, Switzerland