Video: American Man Grudgingly Jogs Around the Hannover Maschsee in Germany

Jogging sucks. You know it, and I know it. Even professional athletes and marathon runners know it; they just won’t admit it.

Every stride is a test. Every thundering heartbeat, every burning lungful of air, every aching muscle and swollen joint is a lesson in willpower. Your mind whispers conspiratorially, “You know, we could make this end right now. We could stop this pain if we wanted to. We can run for real tomorrow; let’s just walk today. Walking is good enough, right?” And then some ancient German granny in spandex totally dusts you, and you think, “Not today, Raisin Wrinkles. I’m not losing this race to the old witch from Hansel and Gretel.”

And if you’re me, you pull out your iPhone and start filming things while you jog. Here is a video of me jogging around the Maschsee in Hannover, Germany. The circumference of the Maschsee is 6.3 km, or 3.9 miles. Pretty hard, for a terrible jogger like me. It’s even harder when I’m holding my iPhone out in front of me and talking at the same time. I got a lot of funny looks from the Germans I passed, but I ignored them all because I was too busy trying not to hurl.

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63 thoughts

  1. Actually I didn’t get sick watching this, but my baby totally puked on me round-about the 1:30 mark when you were singing. You really are a lousy runner, aren’t you? You probably didn’t even run the whole way or why were you only filming bits and pieces? Oh, wait, I know: iPhone batteries don’t last 6 hours filming bahaha ;)

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      1. Oh, it was entirely my pleasure. Since I don’t seem to be able to write much myself thse days I hsve to resort to leaving mean comments on other cool blogs to buoy me up a little ;)

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  2. Wow. That was fantastic! I have a cultural question: for the five months out of the year when there isn’t snow on the ground in Minnesota, I like to jog. Other joggers I pass, I give either the slight head nod of acknowledgment or the half-wave of fellow-runner-camaraderie for which always receive a mimicked reply. I, for obvious historical reasons, go with the slight head nod instead of the half-wave when visiting my lady and running a bit of the Rhein in Mainz, Deutschland. The thing is, I have only gotten one or two fellow head nodding responses in Germany. Am I doing it right? Any expat wisdom you can grant?

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    1. Hello! And thank you for the great comment!

      In general, I’ve found the average German to be pretty private. They don’t seem too forthcoming with strangers. Certainly not like in the States, and DEFINITELY not in a state like Minnesota. I would probably just give up on waving to fellow joggers while in Germany… or gleefully wave at them while skipping and smiling. That oughta freak ’em right out.

      My wife explained the whole “Americans are like peaches, Germans are like coconuts” social metaphor to me once, and I wrote a post on it:
      https://ohgodmywifeisgerman.com/2011/08/31/coconuts-and-peaches-social-differences-between-germans-and-americans/

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    2. You must be a newbie to Germany. You certainly don’t smile and nod at people while walking down the street here. Why would you ever do that while jogging? Must.maintain.intense.concentration.at.all.times.

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  3. Just be glad you can put one foot in front of the other. I never thought I’d look at casual strollers and cyclists with such envy until injuring myself so badly I have to drag an ankle-to-hip brace around everywhere. After three weeks I wonder if I’ll ever walk properly again.

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  4. I was smiling the entire time – while I watched your little film, while I tried to figure out what you were saying between the moans and the breath catching and of course about the comments. This is one of those blog posts that I love so much!!
    Thanks for sharing!!! :-)

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  5. I went to school there, and we had to jog around the Maschsee in the sports lesson. I always took the ship. In Winter i borrowed a bike and hide it there before school began, so if you wonder about bikes in bushes around the Maschsee… it’s a long lasting tradition to avoid jogging ;)

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  6. Exactly, it was the “Tellkampf Schule” on the Altenbekener Damm right beside the lake, but it was lang ago (~20 years), so i don’t know if the tradition still exists ;)

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  7. Hah! You did better than I ever could. If I tried running more than 1 kilometre, I’d die! 6 bloody kilometres! God, I’m having a heart attack just thinking about it! LOL

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  8. Brilliant. I love this blog so much it’s a bit sad.
    As a disgustingly lazy Aussie, I am very much looking forward to not accompanying my German boyfriend on his ‘wandern’ missions. I will stay at home and hold the fort. As long as the fort holding does not require me to attempt to communicate in German. This situation could only end badly.

    Love your work.

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      1. It is SNOWING still. Last year it was ‘summer’…this year, well- not so much. We remain hopeful :). Gute Nacht (I took a semester of German in college- under duress. I can’t remember how to spell ‘good’.) I am pretty good at the guttural stuff…nacchhhtt!

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  9. I think making a video of myself run would motivate me to run. Just to get the word out on how much I hate it. I’m going to make a blog of videos of me running (mostly because most of my good blogging ideas come when i run).

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