Living in a foreign country is all about trying new things.
Such as Nordic Walking
Everything from the customs and traditions to the food and culture are different. And when living abroad, it’s all about becoming a part of something new.
Such as Carnival
I’ve tried many new things in the past 2 years…
Such as running my first half-marathon. (Or running at all for that matter.)
And living without a car and relying completely on public transportation.
…but something I hadn’t tried until today was something not too far from my home-land… Les Mills Body Pump.
For 2 years I’ve looked into the studio at my gym and watched strong men and women pump iron through the air. I’ve watched in amazement as their muscles bulged with every move. Witnessed the impossible changing of weights which would rival the speed and precision of any nascar pit crew. For two years I’ve looked in and wondered what it would be like. For two years, I’ve been too afraid to find out.
Well today was different!
With the support of my friend and Body Pump advocate, Larissa, I completed my first iron-pumping, muscle-bulging, weight-changing lesson. You want to know what? It wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d imagined. I actually enjoyed every bit of the burn. (Ok, well maybe not every… the never-ending lunges weren’t enjoyable.)
I followed up the new class with my old favorite- Body Balance.
I thought that the deep stretching and focused attention would be good after Body Pump, but found that my muscles were still shaking so badly that I couldn’t hold my poses as usual. I still enjoyed the class but found myself getting frustrated at my ability today. With some careful rescheduling, I have no doubt that I can fit in both classes– just not on the same day.
My day of trying new things continued with figuring out a way to walk to a restaurant as quickly as possible since said public transportation wasn’t working properly today.
When I first came to Bonn to do my student teaching, I got along really well with an assistant named Susanna. Unfortunately, she left the school after my student teaching year so hasn’t been there for the past two school years. Luckily, she came to visit this weekend. I met with her and three other lovely assistants for a late lunch at Vapiano. I mentioned Vapiano earlier this week when I shared a recipe I tried to recreate.
I had one of their specials: dill pasta with shrimp, garlic, cherry tomatoes, green and white asparagus, carrots, and arugula cooked in coconut milk. It was good but in my opinion had too many flavors going on at once.
Several hours later, back at home, I ate a dinner which included one of my favorite new things.
If you haven’t noticed, I have a passion for this spicy salad leaf. I know arugula can be found in the US, but it is not nearly as common nor accessible as in Germany. Before living here, I’d never tried the stuff. Now, I’d be happy to eat it in every meal.
Dinner consisted of steamed asparagus with olive oil spread, salt and pepper and a salad with arugula, avocado, red pepper, tomatoes, and smoked cheese.
The smoky cheese went really well with the spicy arugula.
Sorry for the blurry photos, it was getting dark and I was holding my plate in one hand and my DSLR in the other. Never a good combination.
So here’s to trying new things– it might just end in a life-long love. I heart you, arugula!