Thursday, January 14, 2010

running hellos in the snow

Before we moved to Zurich, John and I were regular gym members, and enjoyed the security of being able to exercise despite the what the weather had in store for us on any given day. While we were planning our move here, we checked out gym prices and decided it was way too expensive, and our money was better spent elsewhere. Next step, start running again, walk everywhere (easy with no car!) and figure out how to exercise at home.

Running was going fine until winter started and snow started falling. It's proving to be difficult to run in the snow and below freezing temperatures. We are still running, but it takes 2-3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, gloves and a head wrap. Some days I think I'm pretty tough, other days, I think I'm extremely foolish and would be much better off staying home drinking hot chocolate.

I wake up early to run, and rarely see other runners out, but I do pass commuters on their way to work.  There is no smiling while passing your neighbor, no friendly hello's, you just pass by others on the sidewalk and pretend they don't exist. I have grown accustom to this pedestrian culture, so naturally I was perplexed yesterday morning on my run when this happened.....

It had snowed the night before, and I beat the plows out the following morning. The sidewalks were a mess - filled with snow, slick, slushy, terrible for running. But I was already out, and I am too stubborn to go back home, so I kept running (foolish, I know, I just can't help myself.) That particular morning, I got 'nods' from all the men I ran past. Kind of a, 'hey, nice work' type of nod. Then, I ran past a gentleman around the age of 70 or 75, and he literally cheered me on! He had a huge smile on his face, shook his fist in the air, and said 'Yeah' and some other encouragement in SwissGerman. I waved, smiled and continued on my merry way. I couldn't resist writing this up, because it isn't very often that I have a positive Swiss encounter on the street.


  1. That's so cool! It kinda reminds me of one of the old Nike Running commercials or something.... Good to know what it takes to get those Swiss cordial!

  2. Move out here to cow land! I swear the Swiss are way more friendly out here than in the city. I am RARELY not greated when I pass someone on the sidewalk in Stallikon. Wanna come out here and run the Stallikon 8K race on the 31st? Sebastian and Danielle's hubby are doing it!

  3. I might just have to move to Stallikon with you guys! Thanks for the info on the 8k I'm looking into the 8k right now and might just join the guys!