Straight from the pen: Marcel

Last Saturday I bumped for the third time over the Dodeman, a mean Limburg pimple with an increase of about 11 percent…..I walked in circles…as is often the case in life, but this time it was fun laps. I took part in the Trail of the same name, organized by Trailrunning Events, and I was in my element. To be precise, there were actually no laps because after a very early start I criss-crossed a maze of forest paths and sunken roads, through ankle-deep mud and soggy lawns, I tripped and clambered over fallen trees and the hellish descents attacked the quadriceps. In the dark I had to balance every step to avoid flossing the mud from between my teeth like some pseudo-pope, the Trench was savage and wild, the not-so-early-as-me birds announced dawn and I was one with myself and with the environment. I enjoyed it to the fullest and felt the life swirl through my body. When I wanted to leave for the fourth time after 3 'rounds', almost 70 kilometers and almost 2,000 altimeters, a heavy thunderstorm broke out, and I burst into tears, because I was not allowed to continue. I felt like someone had taken my marbles…..with drooping shoulders I fell off…literally and figuratively. You can find the whole story on my own facebook page

Why am I telling you this? okay then; I once ran a personal best at the Berlin Marathon… with a hangover. In the hot summer of 2018 I ran my first ultra after three hours of sleep and a hundred beers. I did the Montevideo and New York Marathons after 3 days of 'consultation' in the pub, the day before the two Oceans in South Africa I spent on the terrace at the Waterfront and for the Midsummer Marathon in Tromso I saw my bed not at all. I finished them all, and usually in a more than acceptable time, but for the hours, sometimes days, I walked around like an old, discarded police dog with clump legs. But hangovers are for wimps so you'll walk out again, beer also contains carbohydrates so why would you eat spaghetti, a guy you are not alone in the evening, and more of these kind of swinging doors told me that this was normal. I almost believed it myself…but was it really good for my body? Had I continued this lifestyle, I would have fallen to the ground on Saturday during the third round and the thought of the fourth would have made me scream for my mother. So we found a moral in this story.

I started my first IkPas adventure in January with these experiences in mind, and from the feeling that things had to be done differently. My registration for the UTVV in Slovenia obviously played a major role in this. I hoped that a month of alcohol-free would do me good, that it would change my mind and that I would transform from a habitual drinker to a casual drinker of choice. When I read my blogs back now, it was a bit disappointing to say the least. Only towards the end did a sort of realization come; actually drinking (too much) isn't fun at's just stupid.

I went into the après-pas month of February and after my ultra run on February 2, I took my first Lion (and it really didn't taste bad). In the weeks that followed, I had a few slips, which I immediately regretted, but I also caught myself aiming a zero point zero in my cart despite all my initial objections. As the month went on, I started to dislike drinking more and more. So where Dry January was an impulse decision, this time it is a deliberate decision. But I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't do it just a little differently. To start right after the carnival while I was not allowed to celebrate carnival, I think there is no chance, and then I can't get it through with myself either, so I started on March 1, and then I think I'll start ranting again during Easter not a strict plan either because I will be walking in the mountains the following month. I have decided on a longer challenge where I have the space to go a little over the line every now and then. But very limited, and only on special occasions. And then I face it, evaluate it with myself, and hopefully learn from it. A month of nothing at all was a breeze; but what happens during more than 2 months with a little freedom. Can I deal with it, or will I fall into old habits? Can I just have a single beer, or will it be half a crate again right away? In my life the 'all or nothing' has been elevated to art; I hope to find a middle ground for myself, where a social drink now and then means enjoying yourself, but where I just as easily go back to apple juice with spa red (Note: free tip). I don't have the illusion that I will live without alcohol for the rest of my life, but I can change my behavior; and that is central to this second round.

As you can see my tone is a lot milder than in the previous period, and there is a reason for that. In January I had something to prove; to myself and to the outside world, but this time I'm doing it because I want to. I'm doing this for myself, my choice, my decision, because I know it's good for ME, because I feel my body is happier when I'm bumping somewhere in a dark forest, because I know it helps me with practicing my favorite hobby. Not IkPas 0.0 but IkPas 2.0. When you are in doubt, have a weak moment or are drooling in front of the wine fridge, just remember that this is your choice, that you do it of your own free will and that you do it for YOU; the most important person in your life. You will see that you suddenly feel much less in the mood for that glass.

Good luck everyone….I'll talk to you next week!


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