Checking in from Switzerland! The last couple of months have blown by like an angry German driver on the Autobahn with about the same amount of adrenaline and lane changes. I've done my best to hang on! The month of May consisted of some beautiful spring skiing at Sunshine, packing, running in the mountains, cleaning, then some more packing, dinner with friends then tracking down some cardboard boxes again and again, more packing, cleaning, mountain biking, hiking, storing and finally boarding a plane.
I’ve been considered a resident of Davos for a month now and things are slowly starting to come into place! I would be lying if I said the move was easy and seamless. Storing, moving and packing my belongings was the easy part and ended up being cleansing to sort through everything and remain with a bag of clothing, two ski bags and my road bike to take to Switzerland (Ok, confession: my parents are bringing more of my belongings later in the summer). Saying ‘goodbye’ to friends and family was difficult but the hardest part came when I finally landed in Switzerland and the reality of it all set in. I have been on the road much longer than I’ve been in Switzerland for, but I have never missed my friends and family more than I did this past month. It is so cool to say that I am living out my dream and pursuing so many of my passions simultaneously, but I have to be patient to allow myself to get into the real swing of things in a new country, team and life. I keep shaking my head everyday thinking to myself - this is happening! Unreal.
The lead up to my departure from Canada was incredible - best thing I could’ve asked for, ever. After a day of hiking with my fam, there was a followup surprise party for me. Underlining of surprise party. I had no idea whatsoever, completely clueless. Most of us consider ourselves to be pretty ‘observant’ and ‘with it’, but I can count myself out of that running now that I had my socks blown off. Rollin’ up to a surprise party with a blindfold and headphones on to find that all of my friends and family were in the know and I was the last to find out. So awesome. Insanely fun. Still in shock.
With bags packed and nerves racked – I boarded the plane and jumped continents! I don’t know where I would be had it not been for the Flury family taking me under their wing/roof. It is an incredibly different experience to be a tourist in a place than it is to move to a new place. I am so grateful that I had a family to take me as one of their own. Picking the kids up from school, wedding party dinners, family meals and all – I’m stoked to have a family away from my family.
Considering that previously, my biggest ‘move’ was from Banff to Canmore, this feels considerably more significant. I have never truly lived away from my Bow Valley home or family and I have never made such a big decision either. Regardless of my past experiences, I am confident that when you live out your own quest, dream, legend – whatever you want to call it – with your whole heart and mind, life becomes that much more simple and beautiful. The only thing that stands in the way of this ‘quest’ is the fear of failure. To quote The Alchemist, ‘when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.’ I’ve had my moments of hesitation, doubt or anxiety this past month but it is all put into perspective when I realize there is nothing to fear. Risking, trying, doing and embracing this change leads me exactly where I need to be.
My FIS license has now been paired with a white cross instead of a maple leaf, but I have yet to be officially named to the Swiss Ski team, the bureaucratic steps seem to take some time. Nevertheless, I attended my first camp with my new team this month in Oberstdorf. I can’t say that I am in good shape and training normally, but it is slowly coming along! I have had to really adjust my approach to training this year; being five steps more patient than I expected. Following a disappointing season, a lot of rest and a big change, I’m taking my time, or rather my body is telling me to take my time, to come back into intensity and full board training to build myself back from feeling like ‘damaged goods’ to ‘dangerous goods’.
So far, the best things about Switzerland are
- the mountain air and panoramic views
- not having to worry about importing my favourite items home and saving room in my suitcase
- waking up to birds singing and bells ringing
- the butter
- the cheese
- Valser Wasser
- how pumped Swiss people are on Swiss athletes
- the Flury-Mettler Family
- playing with Swiss kids and hearing little kids speak Swiss German. So cute.
- training alongside goats, sheep, cows, old churches and beautiful homes
- the people!
- getting to know my new team
- the train!
- Not having a car
- The mountain scenery
- Enzian flowers
- Mountain running – Panoramaweg is unreal
- people speaking French in front of you, Swiss-German behind you and Italian beside you. But actually. Then a woman speaking Romansche five minutes later
- The weather
- Learning a new language/hacking away at a new language like an Amazonian tribesman in the jungle. Anything goes in my German.
- Learning a new culture
- Shaking my head everyday thinking that Davos is my new home. Unreal!
- Fulfilling a dream
- Connecting with inner Heidi
Liebe Grüsse, Heidi