Story of Why I Had to Walk Backward – Zugspitze (2.962m)

Ever since I was a child moving my body a lot had been part of my existence. I was a professional tennis player in the junior league in Romania, so I was used to the routines that come with daily training and tournaments. Even after I stopped playing tennis, I continued to be the person who was moving a lot. I simply loved (and still do) walking long distances.

However, in the first years after I moved to Germany, moving my body changed for me as I had to work different jobs to finance my studies and was oftentimes too exhausted for further physical exercise.

We took a lot of day trips on the weekends back when I was a student, so walking was still a part of my life, but it was reduced only to the weekends.

So, one day we decided to do something different on the weekend. Instead of getting on a train to discover yet another new town, we agreed to try out mountain hiking. The idea was not foreign to us as we all had had different hiking experiences in the past, but it had not been something that we were particularly pursuing those days.

At that time it sounded like a great idea to start out with Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze because that is exactly how normal people start their hiking careers… To be honest, we did not really give much thought to what we were about to do. Not only did we not have the necessary physical condition to hike a mountain of that caliber, but we did not even have appropriate hiking clothing and shoes.

Looking back to that trip from where I am now, almost 15 years later, I can only shake my head in disapproval, but well, we went on with our plans.

Knowing that we might not be able to hike up, we came up with the brilliant idea to go up by lift and hike all the way down (yeah, I KNOW!!!). So that is exactly what we did.

The weather was beautiful and the view from the top of the mountain was breathtaking. That day I realized how much I really missed and loved mountains.

The hike from the top of the Zugspitze down to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen took us nine exhausting hours. By the time we got back to our hotel we mostly stopped talking to each other simply because we were too tired to speak.

The next day was even harder. We had such sore muscles that we were barely able to move. Certainly walking was a challenge, but we still needed to get from one place to another. What we found out was that walking backward was less painful, so that is how I spent most of that day, walking backward and collecting awkward looks from other people.

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