środa, 22 lipca 2015

Better bodies

Welcome to Norway, land of the fit, home of the healthy. Norwegians are totally crazy about, friluftslivet, which translates into doing things outdoor as often as possible, (and taking pride in it) and it includes sport, leisure, camping, barbecuing, hiking, skiing, literally everything. 2XU leggins and running shoes are like a national costume here, and it doesn't matter if you are actually running, or just buying toilet paper in your local supermarket, as long as you are wearing some NASA-approved flashy leggins (the latter suggests that you might have been running just a while ago). 

Because obviously, the body you already have is not good enough.

Being fair, I must say, that the vast majority of Norwegians does look fit and healthy, and they really run in their 2XUs. It happens that our stand at the Fish Market sells moose burgers and we can get them for free, which sometimes is the only way of not dying of starvation during a busy market day. Having this, and all these fit runners running back and forth along the Torget, makes one freeze over ones burger and re-think life, especially in terms of the recent dietary decisions. Akhem. 

Luckilly, Bergen has plenty of instruments of torture sport facilities, the most famous one being Stolzekleiven. Stolzekleiven is not really a sport facility per se. It's just 908 steep steps that will take you to the top of Sandviksfjellet. Four years ago they were renovated. By Nepali Sherpas, and may it give you some idea of what we are talking about here:

I hope you like steps, because this is what you're going to look at for the next 30 minutes.

An average creature born and raised on the plains of Central Europe (or just any non-Norwegian, who wasn't trained in friluftslivet since the early infancy) will reach the top in 30-40 painful, humiliating minutes, and on the way up will be taken over by old (Norwegian) ladies in flashy leggins, (Norwegian) pre-schoolers and small (Norwegian) lap dogs. Stolzekleiven is not merely a hike in the mountains. It's a competition, and if you climb and tell others about it, you will surely get asked how much it took to reach the top. Just for comparison: In the annual uphill run Stolzekleiven Opp in 2014, the winner in the cathegory of "Women 65-69 years old" was Liv Astrid Losnegård, with the score or 14 minutes and 48 seconds. Will you beat Liv Astrid? 

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