Wow– it’s almost been a month since Murphy and I caught the TGV and arrived here! It’s been a very eventful, exciting, and (sometimes) frustrating time. Happily most of our issues have slowly been resolved. We have internet, most of our appliances, and some cool new furniture. I’m still waiting on: a bank card, a French cell phone, and an oven….but we are making progress!
I wanted to talk about something near to my heart– fitness. Being active has been a huge part of my adult life, and I couldn’t do without it. Honestly, I’m not a very nice person if I stay still for too long….Marc and Murphy would be happy to attest to this! Also, I love to eat, so living an active life enables me a lot more freedom in my diet. Very important here in Paris where there are treats like this all over the place!
Perhaps ‘fitness’ isn’t really the first thing you think of when you think of Paris, it certainly wasn’t for me! Food, romance, culture, fashion, yes….but working out? Not so much. I was honestly a little worried coming from Switzerland, where activity (especially outdoor activity) is deeply ingrained in the culture, that I wouldn’t find enough to keep me busy. Happily, I was very wrong.
According to my Apple Watch, I walk an average of 14.5km per day or 20,750 steps. This is a lot by any measure -double the daily recommended goal- and is quadruple the Canadian average of 5,000. And it’s not just me, it feels like everyone in Paris walks a ton- the infrastructure is very pedestrian friendly, and many people don’t own a car.
For example, to go to the city or to CrossFit, I need to walk almost a kilometre to the metro station, and then the same distance back when I return. My grocery store is a 1km round trip. It all adds up so quickly! I also have a dog who LOVES to walk and is always pushing me out the door, so that helps matters…
For the first couple of weeks I lived here, I was blown away by how many runners I’d see in the Bois de Boulogne every morning. It’s basically a runner’s paradise, with hundreds of kilometres of roads, trails, and tracks through forests, fields and around lakes. And the best thing? It’s FLAT.
I have a hard time finding motivation to run, so while I was inspired by seeing all the people hitting the trails every morning, I knew I’d need something else to push me into running more often. With this in mind, I’ve signed up for the 20km de Paris, which is a half-marathon in the city (starting and finishing at the Eiffel Tower!) taking place in October. I’m really excited, and have already started training. It’s a long way away still, so I’m working on building milage at the moment. The last race I ran was an 8km in Canada last October, so I have a ways to go! I’m pretty pumped though, and have already set a goal to complete it under 2 hours. Providing I don’t get injured, it should be possible. Wish me luck!
I’ve been doing CrossFit for five years now; I began before our wedding in Canada, continued throughout my time in Switzerland, and now have found a great place to go to here in France. It’s called CrossFit Grande Arche and is located in the metro station at La Défense. I go at lunchtime and meet Marc there most days, which is really special. We love working out together, and it’s amazing to get to see each other in the middle of the day. This was our workout today:
CrossFit is a great mix of strength, gymnastic, and cardio training. It’s also a fantastic way to meet people and practise my French. I take the metro there and back, and this horrible staircase of death is always waiting for me as soon as I get back to Neuilly. It is not at all pleasant to walk up, carrying all your gym stuff, after an hour of hard training. We are not friends.
This is last on the list because it’s my least favourite. I am really, terribly, horribly inflexible- not bendy at all. I get bored stretching and have always made excuses to get out of it, but as I am not working at the moment and have lots of free time….no more excuses. I do RomWod, which is a 20 minute daily yoga program aimed at CrossFitters. As soon as I bring out the mat, Murphy is there to help! He considers the floor to be his kingdom, and he is always VERY interested and concerned when we come down to that level.
At the moment, the combination of walking, running, CrossFit and yoga are MORE than enough to keep me busy and entertained, but I do love trying new things and mixing it up a little. So who knows, maybe cycling/swimming/boxing/climbing sometime this summer?
We are renting a car and going back to Switzerland this weekend- I can’t wait to see friends and family (and the mountains!) again. I’ll be sure to write about our experiences!