Man, it is hard staying inside when the sun is blinding me through the windows and the sky is high and blue-like endless. Like a balloon losing air, I cannot hold on to my sessions indoor in the gym or local fitness centre. My mind wanders, my body grows restless, and all of me just itches to leave my office, forget about cleaning the house, drop the book I am reading sitting comfortably on the couch, and seek out new activities to do outdoors under the open sky. Yup this is the Danish summer – a season during which it’s a crime not to do any sport.
On the move
Summertime is outdoor-time for sure, and summertime is the right time to discover new hidden treasures in your city and nearby nature. I get a kick out of strolling through the off-beat streets, finding new shortcuts and exploring the waterfront. Walking offers me a different perspective on my hometown than a bike-ride would. And you too would love the sight and smell of colourful flowers in the park if you took a walk there just as I enjoy the meditative vibe when walking among tall trees and bushy ground in the forest.
A runner’s delight
It doesn’t take much to go for a walk except a pair of good shoes or boots and a windbreaker for the easiest way of exercising you can imagine. But somehow I miss the sense of going further down the roads and maybe into the park, into a small wood, or along a lake glittering in the sun. Where are my old running shoes? Ooh, I threw them into a basket of last year’s worn-out shoes, and trying them on, I decide to waste some money on a new pair of shoes in the name of the independence that the freedom of running gives me – whether it’s in between work, fetching my kids from kindergarten or school, shopping for dinner, and going to a meeting.
On two wheels
There is a sense of southern Europe in the air come May or June: a warm breeze, a spicy fragrance, and smiles all over the faces of people passing by or enjoying a cappuccino at a café. Maybe it’s time to park my mountain bike and wipe the dust off my ordinary bike, oil the chain and pump the wheels ... and it looks good and shiny and ready to take me anywhere ... to work, to school, to the seaside or into the forest just to have a first taste of outdoor life. In glimpses I recall the bike rides last summer along the coast with the sun blinding me and the wind redecorating my hair. Will you join me for a 10km ride to reach the new ice cream parlour we discovered up the road last year? But remember your helmet!
Indoor turning outdoor
Ah, I can breathe now … I mean, I loved doing crossfit indoor in the old gym that smells of sweat, sour socks and authoritarian teachers’ rules. But it is such a relief to carry the kettle bells and the medicine balls outside, place them on the grass in the corner of the soccer training ground, and get stuck into the chin-ups, push-ups, squats and exercises, which guarantee one thing: that your body feels worked-out to the bone after sweating buckets of water. But with a smile on my face. Forgotten is the pain. All I feel is the relief that it’s over – for now – and the thrill of having used all the muscles in my body in an intense, pace-driven and tough type of activity.
On a long, hot summer’s day, the city is bursting of outdoor life from morning into night. The cafés are brimming with joyous people, while others stroll through the parks or along the seaside promenade. In between and around them, rollerskaters, skateboarders, BMX bikers and parkour powertumblers display their elegant charms and make me dig deep in the cardboard boxes to find my well-worn rollerblades for a triumphantly youthful journey down memory lane to see the city and the streets from a different angle.
A ride on the water
Summertime is watertime. It is okay to nurse a garden and it is fine to conquer the gravel paths on my bike, but it is better to go to the seaside and to go onto the water. Suddenly my view of the city changes and it takes on a different perspective seen from the waterside sitting in a kayak. I move quietly through the water as if I’m on a meditation early in the morning while the sun is colouring the houses on the coast. Three early morning rowers pass me while greeting me silently, leaving me to my own solitary company as the summer’s day slowly grows warm and full of light.
Steen Bille has been a reporter at DGI for eleven years, primarily covering recreational or leisure time sports activities – a topic he has written about for almost all of the 26 years he has been a journalist. The DGI (the Danish Gymnastic and Sports Associations) is an umbrella group for around 5,000 local associations, which massively vary in size, from the dozens to the thousands.
For four weeks at a time, four times a year, our aim is to give you all the seasonal lifestyle advice you need to thrive in the areas of gardening, health, food and sport. When should you plant your petunias, when does the birch pollen season normally start, which week do the home-grown strawberries take over the supermarket, and which outdoor sports can you play in the snow? All the answers are here in ‘A plan for all seasons’.