May 2009

If someone had told me last summer what I'd be doing this April, I probably wouldn't have believed it. While Carolina was spending the entire April in Dillingen for her basic military training and has only been back in Dortmund since May 1, I basically just took some time off and I probably had the most easy-going month in two years. That was not only relaxing, but also simply necessary. I didn't want to go on vacation (even though by now this is common practice among some students even during the semester), but simply have some time for myself, my friends and university. Moreover, I finally had the opportunity to care about those things for which otherwise I don't have time/that I'm not keen on doing and which I usually put off. That did me good and I'm looking even more forward to training again now.

One example of how much we were en route in the last few months and how little time we had anyway is Falco, a new roommate who currently lives in Tim's old room. Falco is about as old as I am, a 400 m (relay) runner and was a substitute at the Olympic Games in Beijing. He has been living with us since October and we still hardly know each other. In the beginning, we all went out together a few times, but since November it's either him who is at a training camp/competition, or we are elsewhere. Sometimes you can't do anything anyway because you have to rest, and because of our different training schedules there's hardly a time when we see each other. This month, for instance, he had training camp in South Africa, and there have probably been only a few times when our entire apartment-sharing community was in Dortmund at the same time.

If, however, we're all together or meet in the kitchen coincidentally, we talk a lot. What's nice about the conversations is that it's not all about skating, to see his perception of the sport, and what all the differences are between skating and track and field. Support, management and PR, or just the course of the season. Since Falco is already the second track and field athlete who lives with us, we could notice how much the sport influences your personality. There seem to be much more lone fighters in track and field, and correspondingly, certain character traits are considerably more pronounced. Including Falco, our little apartment-sharing community consists of four roommates. Falco, Carolina, Mr. Schubert, and me. It may seem a little funny how such a group gets together and how Mr. Schubert feels about this. With so many young people around, it's really good to have someone here who looks after everything "once in a while." After all, it can sometimes happen that the kitchen looks a bit "used." Particularly when Falco or I are cooking. Mr. Schubert also takes care of us a little. He often buys some food for us when we return after a competition and there wouldn't be anything eatable in the house for us otherwise. It really is a funny and great team that lives together here......

I had actually wanted to catch up on a few exams as well, but since these aren't offered by the university at the moment, I am compelled to take a mandatory break. Approx. 15 exams are pending until the end of June and then I'm done with all my exams. It'll therefore be a lot calmer from July on, and I think I won't immediately continue with the master's program next year since I have the feeling that I need a break. With a dual burden like the one I currently have, it's impossible to do anything besides sport and studies. That is, I don't manage this. There's hardly any leisure time and even best friends can only be met every other month. Of course you could argue that I should cut down a little and extend my studies by maybe a semester, but I just don't want this. I have two really good friends at university who totally pull me along. Particularly in the past semester, I could completely count on them and they often helped me. If I cut down, college would probably be less fun. It's so important to have good friends in your studies, and without them my average wouldn't have increased so much to date compared to my high school diploma grades. In addition, some student life offers some variety to training.

Carolina and I haven't seen each other for three weeks now, and we haven't been separated for so long that often. To tell the truth, not a single time comes to mind when we haven't seen each other for three weeks (we did meet shortly around Easter). I can proudly announce, though, that, contrary to her claim, I have the ability to keep the kitchen inhabitable. No complete chaos emerged and I washed the dishes on my own repeatedly (and without the request of a third party). Merely when going shopping it became a bit problematic. Usually, Carolina reminds me when we have to go shopping again because I always tend to put this off. She also has a better overview of what exactly we need. When I'm standing lost in the supermarket, I only buy what I'm hungry for and nothing else. Most of the time, that's just as expensive as when we normally shop, but unfortunately the purchases only last for two days then and afterwards there's only bread left... Within the next few days, our new skates will arrive. They were custom-made for Carolina.

What's also new for us since this month is that we're now in the ADAMS test pool. Shortly before Worlds, we received an e-mail and now we have to specify three months in advance where we will be every day. Of course you can change the particulars again, but that's complicated and annoying. Luckily we don't fall under the "1 hour regulation" where you have to specify this by the hour.

With all these things, April went by way too fast. I would have needed much more time to really do everything that I felt like doing. In particular, I couldn't spend as much time with some friends as I would have liked... Also, I should have studied even more, and my room could also use a makeover. I also would have liked to take dancing lessons, and I had promised to help someone on the ice. You probably never have enough time for everything...

Best wishes





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