The Danes are super into fitness. Super super super. One of the dialogues in my Danish language workbook claims that Denmark is the runningest country in the world. As in, a higher percentage of people run in Denmark than in any other country. And you can tell. A few weeks ago, after the gloomiest January in 24 years, we finally had a weekend of sunlight. And this is what happened:
Everyone came out of their winter hidey holes to run. Apparently in packs.
Not that the Danes don’t run when it’s rainy, snowy, and dark because they definitely do. They run always, no matter what.
And if they’re not running, they’re biking to work (which isn’t considered actual exercise as you’re merely biking to get where you’re going) or playing some sort of group sport. Because group sports are also big here. The second question a Dane will ask you after what do you do for a job (Hvad laver du?) is what sports do you do (Hvad går du til?).
So, of course, I have had to hide my general laziness these last few months.
And I have had to hide the fact that I hate running.
There, I’ve said it. I’ve finally admitted it. I HATE RUNNING! It’s boring and tiring and ugh… it kills my soul a little bit every time I try.
Now that being said, we have been desperate to find some form of physical activity to do lately since the Danes don’t seem to be very health conscious in terms of diet and all we’ve been eating is meat and potatoes and pastries and desserts and…. yummmm…. Really though, if you go to the grocery store it’s hard to find many of the “fat free” and “sugar free” options you see in the US. I, for one, am kind of excited about that, since most of those options are overly processed and full of gross fake sugar anyway. But it does indicate that the Danes don’t seem to worry too much about their diet. (As does the ritual Friday afternoon binge on gummy candy. A topic for another post.)
Why don’t they worry about their diet? Because they can! Because they bike to and from work, run every Saturday morning, and play handball twice a week.
The assumption that everyone does some sport is so huge that when Brian’s coworkers found out he wasn’t running they practically bullied him into signing up for a series of 5k runs over the next few months. As a result, last weekend Brian and I found ourselves in a Danish fitness center, signing up for new gym memberships. My time of laziness has come to and eng.
But I have to say, I’m so glad to be back in the gym. I had forgotten how much I love lifting weights. It gives you such a confidence boost. I’d been taking long walks and doing yoga – both of which I love for other reasons – but they’re just not the same as sweating it out in the gym.
So now I can say, with confidence, “Jeg går til fitness,” instead of lying about how I “go” to yoga when really I just follow along to a YouTube video in my house a couple times a week.