TL;DR: I went to the CityWave with some of my buddies from my snowboarding club Union 4 Elements and it was fun!
What to do when you’re a landlocked surfer? Especially during times where travelling is difficult?
A non-surfer might not understand the feeling of missing the water. It may seem like a pure first-world issue, but to me, spending time in the water is healing. I am aware that this sounds kinda esoteric and if you know me at all, you know that I am not a spiritual person. Still, I can’t find other words to describe this sensation, this heart-felt feeling that usually also stays with me for weeks after a surfing trip. It’s strong.
Visiting a stationary wave is a chance to get back into surfing, be in the water, spend time with friends and work on your surfing skills. It’s not the same as surfing in the ocean, but it’s a start. A small glimpse of the feeling that surfing in the ocean gives me.
It was new bike day recently for me and while testing my new mountainbike (it’s the Specialized Enduro Expert), I recorded this fun little reel at the Singletrail at Wexl Trails. I can only recommend checking out Wexl Trails, they offer trails for every level, including a jump line, downhill line, flow line or “Bergabradweg”, which is an entry level downhill trail for the whole family.
Camping in the parking lot is allowed, and while it’s for sure not the most luxurious camping spot, it offers a nice surrounding with green meadows and pastures as well as a cozy mountainbiker-spirit feeling.
A video showing Stephanie Jagl-Posch riding down a steep section full of tree roots on her Mountainbike.
Follow along, as we check out the Mountainbike Trails in Trailland Miesenbach in Austria. This time, I have even cut a trailer to prepend my videos with, so you can witness the premiere of that as well in this video :)
On a recent Monday evening, I pulled the plug. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. As uneventful as that may sound, it has been a drastic decision for me. I have never measured how much time I spend on Facebook, but I am sure it must have been quite some hours in a week.
Getting dragged into the never-ending rabbit hole of the auto-scrolling Facebook feed for more time than I wanted was one part of the problem. What was even more of a problem for me was that I kept reading postings that aggravated me and caused me to think about smart rebuttals, resulting in long, imaginary conversations that kept my mind working for hours. I hardly ever really replied to anyone, of course, knowing that discussions with others online seldomly where fruitful.
So, a few days have gone by since Monday – how did my “strategy” work out for me?
I haven’t logged into Facebook ONCE since Monday. I never felt the urge to do it, although I had a brief moment of wanting to check out one of the camping groups I am in to find some info about travelling to the Bretagne.
I have checked Instagram sometimes, although way less than I used to. Somehow it currently feels uninteresting to me to scroll through endless streams of pictures. My Instagram follow-list has grown so much that I sometimes see more stuff from people I don’t really know than from the ones I care about. Today, I opened Instagram and was instantly triggered by a posting about organic veggies by somebody I don’t even know in person… I closed the app and haven’t opened it again since.
The first noticable effects my reduced social media consumption has on me are:
better sleep. I guess the first reason is this: less imaginary discussions mean less time that my brain is rattling on when I actually would prefer to sleep. The second reason could be that I was more conciously spending my evening, watching a movie or a show and not browsing social media at the same time. Due to this, I noticed when I was getting tired and went to bed a bit earlier.
more time for other things. It sounds cheesy, but I really managed to do more “real” stuff instead of scrolling around on my phone, without it feeling like a burden or being exhausting. I’m not forcing myself to do more “real” stuff, I just want to do it. For example, I went on multiple walks, I completed a book, I made my own chocolate, I tried my hand at making granola bars and I completed some chores in the garden and house.
more creativity and motivation. I wrote a few postings on this blog already again (which I have been wanting to do for ages!) and I often have ideas for new posts or other stuff I want to try/make. That’s how I came up with the wish to make chocolate and granola bars.
feeling better. I am proud of myself that I have gone a few days with less mindless social media consumption.
Sounds pretty good so far, eh? Even a bit too good to be true ;) I am looking forward to seeing how this journey unfolds for me. At the moment, a variety of different developments is imaginable to me.
Today, I went shopping for groceries. I wanted to check out what options with no plastic and less packaging in general there are.
First, I went to the farmers market. This is a pretty easy way to buy non-packaged stuff, often-times the food is even organic. I loaded up on veggies there, got some fruit and bread, as well as grape juice in a glass bottle.
Next, I stopped at the local organic supermarket. I was able to find some hearty spreads to go on top of the bread I bought, packaged in glass. They also had one of the chocolate brands that use biodegradable wrapping for their goods (info found here: https://einbisschengruener.com/2016/02/14/plastikfreie-alufreie-nachhaltige-vegane-schokolade/). Sadly, they didn’t have any noodles in paper or cardboard. Maybe one of the packages was non-plastic, as it felt differently to the touch, but since there was no info on it, I didn’t buy it.
I went to a bigger supermarket, where I found noodles from the house-brand, packaged in cardboard box. Too bad that those noodles aren’t organic. Phew. Maybe it’s like with the vegetables – if they’re organic, they will be wrapped in plastic. If they are non-organic, they won’t have a plastic wrapping. I still haven’t understood why it’s necessary or meaningful to wrap the organic stuff in plastic, but I guess most people don’t buy organic, so at least less plastic gets bought that way… with the exception of those damn plastic bags they give away for free at the fruit & veggie section.
My conclusion so far: it’s possible to buy less plastic and less packaging. It feels a bit like when I went vegetarian (or vegan after that) – in the beginning, it seemed a bit difficult to find alternatives, but as soon as you knew about them, your shopping list changed a bit and from then on, you simply bought a few different items.
Only three ingredients are needed: cocoa, coconut fat and powdered sugar. That means that you might be able to quickly make yourself some chocolate anytime you crave some, if you keep basic baking ingredients at home! That sounds pretty calming to me ;)
The process is easy, although it takes some time to melt and mix the ingredients. I was able to produce a pretty decent result, so everyone with minimal baking knowledge (reaaaally minimal) can do it too! Next time I will use syrup as sweetener instead of the powdered sugar to avoid having lumps of sugar in the finished chocolate.
Since deciding to reduce my plastic consumption starting in September, I have done a bit of research and thinking.
My first quest is to find alternatives to noodles and chocolate packaged in plastic.
So far, I have found out that there‘s a company from Austria called Wolf Nudeln which produces noodles packaged in paper/cardboard AND they offer vegan noodles (good old-fashioned durum wheat noodles ;)).
Also, I found a blogpost about chocolate without plastic wrapping, stating that there are some brands which use a bio-degradable plastic wrapping. The author even tried the bio-degradation for herself by burying the wrapping in her garden for some time and she was able to confirm the company’s claim.
During my current quest to reduce my social media consumption, I have noticed a general urge in myself to improve my focus skills. I feel like I am easily distracted and I want to change that.
To help myself to stay on track, I have started using the Pomodoro technique (again). Basically, the Pomodoro technique helps you to focus on getting one task done, concentrating on it for 25 minutes. After that period, you can take a short break of 5 minutes. When you have completed four cycles, you get to take a longer break. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the Pomodoro technique: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique
I am using an extension for Google Chrome called „Block & Focus“, which helps me to stay on track.
Sometimes I also manage to turn off all notifications for a period of time, but sometimes I am also too weak for that ;)
So far, I feel that using this technique is helpful for me. I find it hard to grant myself the right to take a break, although breaks are needed to stay mentally fresh. The breaks are what make a work process sustainable after all! Still I feel guilty from time to time for taking breaks.
I have extended the focus timespan to 60 minutes today, because 25 minutes seem just a bit too short for the tasks I need to complete. Maybe I will go down to 45 minutes of focus, so I don‘t overlook my need for breaks.
I will try to incorporate the Pomodoro technique as often as possible!