I detest those mornings when he wakes up and asks, ‘What are we gonna do today?’, with the answer being already clear. We are going to the mountains. Thanks to his passion (and my inability to say no), we have visited four different mountains over the past month. And it has been a blast. But every day, when we are driving 2h+ into the middle of nowhere, I ask myself, ‘Why the hell am I doing this?’ And then we arrive, and the answer is suddenly clearer than the fresh crisp air. Mountains are the closest you can get to paradise. At least, for Marc and I.
Every weekend or a day off, when I have a long to-do list of what ‘needs’ to be done at home, I know he has already checked the weather forecast and the snow conditions, and is getting ready to ask me if I wanna go for a little trip (the answer being presumably yes). Generous as he is, he offers a choice of hiking and cross-country skiing (inclined unequivocally towards the latter) and starts arranging our trip - from packing the skis to picking up the doggo (who is a great companion but due to whom I am always twice as exhausted as I would have normally been - at least that is what I tell myself, hoping that my physique is not THAT bad!!!).
Once we arrive in the winter paradise, all the bad thoughts and my resistance are suddenly gone.
I love it, don’t get me wrong, but dragging myself out of (a very warm!) bed, driving for 2h+ to the middle of nowhere, and freezing in -5 degrees or more is not my idea of fun. At least, that’s what I say to myself every morning when he starts packing and I am putting on my ski pants, pretending that all the dirty dishes, stinky clothes, and dusty cupboards are not there. Then I make some sandwiches (sounds far too fancy for what it actually is), prepare a thermo flask with tea, and are ready to set off (sort of!).
We drive and drive and drive, talking mostly about our plans for the future. The occasional topics of the appalling weather conditions in Czechia and the food we are gonna make for dinner (more precisely, its lack of) interrupt our conversation occasionally and before we realise it (or maybe after my numerous complaints and ever-so-slightly-annoying question, ‘Are we there yet?’), we arrive.
I refuse to turn proposals like these down (though sometimes I’m THIS close to saying no). Quite frankly, because spending time together is one of my favourite activities, so I willingly transition into a baby snowman, layering jumpers, socks, and warm scarfs on top of each other, so I don’t risk any potential danger of cold or chills bringing me down. Instead, I let Marc infect me with his contagious excitement.
It is fascinating to stop for a moment and just watch what Mother Nature has created.
Once we arrive in the winter paradise, all the bad thoughts and my resistance are suddenly gone. I look around the snowy fairytale and feel my body ease down and release all tension it has gathered over the week. It is fascinating to stop for a moment and just watch what Mother Nature has created. Icy branches reaching out to hug you, pretty little snowflakes laying on top of fluffy covers of snow, distributed evenly on the trees and along the pathways. Once I take everything in, we are to set off.
We put on the skis, tie up the dog (to Marc, not to a random pole), and hit the road. Sometimes we respect the pathways, other times we choose our own (depending on the conditions). We walk and talk and take in the views and just enjoy switching off for a while. We both wish those days would last forever. When nothing matters but the next step you take. This feeling is absorbing.
You can feel the stress leaving your body, your mind relaxing, your spirit freeing up. Regardless of how exaggerated this sounds, it is the best experience you can get (at least in the covid-era). And that’s why again and again, every Saturday when Marc wakes up and asks ‘What are we gonna do today?’, I am already stood by the cupboard, pulling up my tights, replying with a smile ‘of course, darlin'’. And we are ready to conquer yet another Czech mountain. And what is your regular weekend like?