Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Lapse in Denmark

I knew when I started this program that there would be times when I would have a hard time with motivation. This is one of those times. Since arriving in Denmark my back has hurt, my stomach is uneasy and I am finding it hard to generate enough energy to do sightseeing, let alone strenuous exercise. Fortunately, my appetite is also a bit sketchy, so I doubt I am gaining any weight.

Yesterday we drove to Skagen which is at the tip of Jutland. It is an amazing place, where Denmark's landmass comes to a very distinct point-- a long sandbar that extends into the ocean separating two seas (the Danish names for these seas sound something like Kitty Kat and Skata Ract but the actual spelling looks entirely different- nothing in Danish is pronounced anything like it is written). On the east side of the sand bar large rough breakers move toward the west where they meet the softer surf which flows from west to east. You can walk along the sand spit and wade into the waters where the two seas meet.

After the three hour car trip my mood was bad and my back hurt, but I climbed the first dune and looked at the sand spit ahead. Hundreds of people, young and old, were making the walk of about a mile and a half. I decided to force myself to do the walk with my husband who was eager to get out of the car and get moving. I made it up and down the second dune and then on to the flat spit where I began to walk toward the point. After five minutes of walking in the soft sand my legs and back hurt and I burst into tears. I didn't want to even try to go forward. I urged my husband to continue without me and I walked back slowly. Half way I stopped at the grave of a Danish writer who is buried there. There were little rocks and flowers on the top of the gravestone. I spent at least ten minutes rearranging them; concentrating on their textures as I built small towers.

I continued to the parking lot and souvenir shop where I discovered a huge sand tractor that pulled a trailer full of non-walkers to the tip of the sand spit every half hour or so, but I didn't board it for fear I would miss my husband when he returned. The whole episode made me feel abnormal -- incapable of doing things that most people seem to be able to do with ease.

Today after a long sleep, a pain pill for my back and a beer with lunch I feel a bit more optimistic. Perhaps I am just worn out from all my travel or have a mild virus. I have decided not to push myself for the remainder of the vacation. In the coming week we will be on a self guided tour of Norway including Oslo, some of the southern fjords, and Bergen. We will travel by train, bus and boat, staying in historic hotels and inns along the way. I am just going to relax about exercise and enjoy the trip. When I get home early in September I will resume my regular exercise program, I hope.


  1. Martha, for what it's worth, Diane and I and George Robertson had lunch yesterday at Pasta Pomodoro. We toasted you (well, not exactly, but close enough...) and your new life -- however it is that you're living it. We love you for exactly the person you are.

  2. That nice to hear. I miss you very much. I am feeling better now that we are on the move. Today we flew to Oslo and tomorrow begin a tour of some of the country by train and boat. It raining and foggy but still very beautiful. When I am back in the US let's talk. Love, M.