Sometimes I feel like I am stranded on a cold, gray island at the top of the world. I then I realize I am.
At 1:45 pm today I looked out the window and saw I had better start my run because it was getting dark. Yes, that what happens at 55 degrees latitude.
My run was rainy, cold, windy and muddy like usual. But... it was great.
Here are my times over the last three weeks on what I call the muddy 8 miles to Ladby. It is quite the challenging course.
2 weeks ago: 67:00
1 week ago: 62:33
(This is the one store in Ladby and then there are a few farms. The store is always very busy.)
Yes, exact same path and with a garmin on. Exactly 8 miles. I know I'm European now since I had to look up how many km that is (12.9) to make sense of it. I have to conclude all of the interval and tempo training I have been doing is paying off.
This morning, The Lorax and I took the train to Copenhagen because the lady who watches him has a 2 day vacation. SR's mom kindly offered to take care him while I work. You know how dark it has been here by how The Lorax looked at the sun coming up with amazement and said "The moon!" (in Danish månen).
The return of dark times marks the 1 year anniversary of our move to Denmark. I ask myself daily "are we doing the right thing living here?" but now that it has officially been a year, the question is more poignant in some way. There are so many ways to look at our experience and, in all honesty, we are quite happy here, especially because step-daughter and The Lorax seem to be doing so well.
But there are some things that make me wonder.
So I work in ophthalmology. And that in itself is great. I love using lenses and fun equipment and I love having patients I care about. But having to use loads of extra hand sanitizer because a patient is afraid I am from the Faroe Islands can get to me. Or when patients refuse to be treated by a doctor who might be from Poland, I get sad. They rarely ask me where I am actually from. If I had a American accent, I doubt this would be a problem. At least that is what everyone tells me. But why would should I be glad I am not from Poland or, God forbid, the Faroe Islands? Of course if my skin or hair were any darker, I'd be dealing with a whole other set of problems. Call it xenophobia or nationalism, it is rampant here. If your children are not named Predbjørn, Solveig, Rigmor or Nikolaj, you had better think twice about moving here.
One man told step-daughter and I that he thought people from Asia and the Middle East should be allowed to visit, but shouldn't live here because they don't share his understanding of life. And he wouldn't want to grow old with them. He said he was so proud that he was born in the best country in the world with the best education and the best social system. When we got into the car, I wasn't sure if I should laugh or hang my head in foreign shame. And then step-daughter piped up, "Boy, I'm glad I was born in Denmark."
Perhaps I am just bitter because I just found out I have to take 3 huge tests to get permanent authorisation to work as a doctor. Doctors from Europe are of course exempt from these tests; they are really meant to weed out the unwanted foreign doctors. I am reading this enormous book tonight about the Danish Social System for a test on Wednesday.
But we've two exciting races coming up this weekend. An 8.4 k on Saturday and a 10 k on Sunday.
Thanks if you actually read that whole post, or even if you just read this sentence.
Running Song of the Day: Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley (thanks, Kathleen!!)
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin