I never really thought much about running up until a short while ago.

I used to live in a small town where people would laugh at me, if they would see me jogging on the streets or even in the few small parks hidden between the big bunch of ugly gray block of flats.

I was also lazy back then. I was more what you call a couch potato. I was always making up excuses to skip the weekly gym class at school. I used to hurry home from school and later from the office to enjoy a big meal in front of the TV.

When I came to visit the new company in Germany in 2007 (I was just hired at one of its subsidiaries in my home town), my first shock was how many huge parks are here and that people actually go there daily for recreational purposes.

Opposed to them, the parks in Romania are mainly used to walk the dogs and nothing else.

A few months later when it was decided that I’ll be staying in Germany for a longer period, I found a nice little one-room apartment overlooking the Wöhrder See and close to the Wöhrder Wiese park.

How I loved this place. I often went for long walks around the see, sat on a bench watching these sporty people bicycling or running. It tempted me to try it out but I didn’t dare to. I still had a little Romanian philosophy in me. I felt ashamed to do any kind of sport activity outside of my home or a fitness studio. I thought everyone would look strange at me, laugh at me or make fun of me.

I remember once I was asked if I’m going to jog, as I went out to meet this person in my training suit. People in my country are wearing those frequently, even if they aren’t doing any sports. It’s more comfortable than wearing tight jeans. Plus they think they look cooler by wearing famous brands like Adidas or Nike.

But not here. Here the training suits are strictly used only when doing sports which actually makes sense since they were designed for that. I also think that because people earn more money, they can afford these items more easily. So wearing these brands is not such a big deal to them like back home.

Anyhow we’ve been searching this year for a new flat but I was sure that I wanted to stay in the same area where my last apartment was. So after 6 months we finally found what we were looking for, the perfect home next to the Wöhrder See.

After settling in, I wished to start exercising outdoor. I wanted something new, not just the usual visit to the fitness studio or the Wii at home. So I got a new bike as a present. I was bicycling a lot during the summer, driving by bike to work and even making long biking tours outside of the city.

But I never gave up on trying one day running and so I did. Ever since that first time I’m regularly going out for a run and I absolutely love it. The location couldn’t be any better. I’m simply enjoying the nature and getting into a good pace by listening to good music on my mp3 player.

I’m usually a good sleeper. I wake up quite late every day so I’m arriving to the office later than most of my colleagues (but I’m also staying till evening). You can imagine that I even surprised myself today in the morning as I woke up around 7 o’clock with the thought of going out for a run before heading to the office. This is so not me!

It turned out to be a great idea. I felt good and refreshed afterwards. I didn’t even need my morning coffee, although I did have one out of habit.

But I wonder if in time I will prefer the morning exercise instead of the caffeine? It would be a good thing because I’m sitting all day in front of the computer so I need the exercise. Plus it’s really fun too.

Finally I feel like I’ve overcome a lot by living here these 3 and a half years. One of these is my fear of making a fool of myself when doing some exercise in a public park. I mean it was very stupid to think that way in the first place.