My list of things to do before I die

No, I don’t have a list hanging in my house, crossing off item by item as soon as the goal is reached, of the things I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t been able to do yet.

It’s in my head, not really clear and complete, but it’s there. Certain things are just dreaming and I actually knew that when I put them on the invisible list. Certain things are simply aspirations like we all have, and maybe with a lot of luck they can come true someday after all, and many are quite doable, but super exhausting. Goals such as going to a certain place one day are not on my list.

My list also included running up a mountain. When I need to air my head, I go up a mountain. Thanks to Corona and the fact that I need to air my head a lot, I ran up the very steep track I normally run at some point last year. But it was still a “cheat” on me. That’s actually only part of the way, only as far as the St. Verena Chapel. But the mountain is much bigger. During normal daytime activities with all my duties, I make it to St. Verena and back but not to the top. It simply takes too long.

On Sunday it was supposed to rain. My programme was thus determined, I was going to yoga and I was really looking forward to it. There is nothing more liberating than standing on your head, bringing your limbs almost to the point of pain and then, after all the exertion, just lying flat and losing yourself somewhere in infinity and allowing your body the deserved and complete relaxation. It didn’t rain, though. It was cloudy, relatively warm but not a drop of rain. Our yoga instructor is always drawn to the outdoors then. I checked the website and sure enough, instead of yoga in the room with a view of the lake, we would be on the lawn. I can do all the exercises on the Wise but for some reason I can’t relax there afterwards and so all the effort goes to waste. It needs a plan B. I decided to go running. It didn’t take long and I was ready to go.

It was early in the morning on Sunday, the city was still asleep, the streets were empty, the air was fresh and still smelled of rain. I could run with incredible ease and it felt like it only took a few minutes and I was at the St. Verena Chapel. The idea flashed through my mind that today was the day I could run all the way to the top of the mountain. The weather was perfect – the temperature just right, slightly cloudy, no rain. Like Forrest Gump, I kept running and it just felt great. I was alone and met no one. Only sounds testified to the presence of others. The cowbells, the whooping of the three paragliders disappearing into the mist that formed on this part of the mountain.

I got to the top and was sweaty and quite red in the face but not at all tired. Actually, I could keep running, maybe until noon, maybe until evening. Somehow everything was right and I had a lot of strength. But I didn’t dare. The last time I had this feeling of lightness while running was in Madrid where I ran 2.5 hours very early in the morning on Sunday and then had an Achilles tendon inflammation. Unfortunately, I’m not really trained to do a marathon at the moment. Out of respect for my own body I stopped, but actually I thought it was a shame. The race was liberating, felt easy and not exhausting and allowed me to find inner peace.

It’s off the list. But who knows, maybe it wasn’t the last time, now that I know I can do it. I went back by train. I don’t find walking downhill so inspiring.

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