Ballet Workout Number 11

Ooof, it’s been a while and I feel it. One thing I noticed, seemingly nonchalant enquiries from my classmates about whether anyone knows which trainer we’re getting today are on the rise. Depending on the answer, people either stand gently stretching or attempt to coax out their inner pretzel princess.

Me, I just breathe through my nose and try to center myself and stuff like that. I am, after all, as mentioned many times, on a separate path.

But I had no idea just how separate. “When you stand at the front and do things wrong, out of sync (ouch), everyone behind you follows you.” – “I can stand in the back” (hopeful tone of voice misinterpreted as annoyed diva behaviour) – “No, you don’t have to.” Until now, occupied with the sole dedication to my own craft, I didn’t consider the responsibility resting on my shoulders.

I also thought everyone knew I was standing in front mainly because I’m nearsighted, the trainer doesn’t let me stand in the back and actually I try to sync my movements with those standing behind me. Pick a person and stare at them in the mirror! Not creepy at all!

“What you are doing is not ballet! This is ballet! This is not ballet!” I appreciate her commitment, but my butt seems to have a mind of its own, and the same looks to be true for the rest of the class. But hey, ballet butts, here we come!

I sweat my way through the fast-paced tendus I have come to know and love – front, back; side, back; behind, back; side, back; change to left foot, add arms! No arms for me, hands on hips, I’m on serious sweat patrol and concentrating on my feet. There is only so much multitasking a diva-in-training can do.

We lower ourselves in to the deepest of pliés – mine stops about a foot above the floor. Hands on thighs, we raise ourselves on tiptoe from that position and I promptly sway forward like Humpty Dumpty, thankfully avoiding the great fall. The next task is to raise ourselves and straighten our legs while still on tiptoe. Sorry, but no. My whole foot goes down, and I straighten up, only to meet the stern gaze of our trainer. “No”, she says, shaking her head at me and pointing at my feet. I shake my head too to keep her company. Boy, she must love me.

As the workout ends my ballet butt and I hobble out of the room before she can make us stay for the stretch class immediately after. It’s not like I want to hog the limelight.

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Alster River Trail

It’s summer, and while I’m a city girl through and through, the soul is demanding open spaces and lots of tall, leafy trees, their branches disappearing in a roof of green foliage over my head, wide paths and a bench every now and then to sit and read, or scribble…

Don’t want to go far, but want to be away from the center, though still near civilization and the possibility of public transport. Like I said, I’m a city girl. So where to? Their are several options in Hamburg, and one of them pops up on my radar immediately. Take the S-Bahn to Poppenbüttel and start from there, it’s easy to get your bearings. On your way to the trail you might stop for a glimpse of Burg Henneberg, which might be the smallest castle in the world, and then you proceed towards the Alsterwanderweg, or the Alster river trail.

Everything I had been longing for was there. Quiet water, plenty of space, old trees, shade and the green summer spilling from every corner. I’ve only covered a small part of the trail, but I’m eager to continue. Biking takes two to three hours, walking four to five hours, all depending on how fast you go and how often you stop for breaks. Considering how often I stop to take pictures I might take all weekend…

Click on the gallery to get an impression.